Hell’s Half Acre

“One of my biggest beefs with “work culture” is its tendency to discount the creative process. It’s impossible to say why or when inspiration will strike—and it can’t be switched on like a spreadsheet on a computer. I try to be open to the things around me, but I rarely can predict when I’ll be inspired to act.”

Acre Ace
The bullets that pierced this ace of diamonds were inlaid into the ebony fingerboard

About The Hell’s Half Acre Build

An idea for a guitar came to me while reading books about the great cattle drives and the cowboys of the frontier.  I’d heard the term “Hell’s Half Acre” since I was a kid—there’s even a Robbie Robertson song by that name. Instinctively I knew it referred to a patch of town where society’s rules did not apply for those who chose to live life on their own terms. I envisioned a guitar that evoked the spirit of the era when cowboys were just working men, and the pistol was law. This video shows some of my process.

Acre Back
Bookmatched figured maple back—cellulose binding
Hell Inlays
Fully bound ebony fingerboard with brass shell casing inlays
Harvesting the period correct shell casings


Acre Controls
Cellulose tortoise shell pick guard with vintage 1950s switchgear
Acre Head
Signed ebony headstock plate with mother of pearl monogram
Acre Control Plate
Italian cellulose backplate and period gunsmith slot screws

Hell’s Half Acre
18,000 usd

More photos and full documentation of the build here: The HHA Build

Hell’s Half Acre Specs

• Mahogany body (old growth Honduras)
• Mahogany neck (old growth Honduras)
• Figured maple (bookmatched) top and back
• Hand laminated Italian ivoroid binding (body neck and head)
• Ebony and maple checked “rope” purfling
• Ebony fingerboard
• 12” fingerboard radius
• 25.5” compensated scale
• Period brass shell casing inlays
• Cellulose nitrate pickguard, truss rod cover and backplate
• Hand shaped steer bone nut
• 1.650” nut width
• 22 medium oval frets
• Vintage C neck carve
• Brushed nickel hardware
• 30 gram wrap bridge
• 2016 fine pitch steel anchors
• Vintage style lap steel knobs
• Wraparound aluminum bridge
• Kluson tuners—hand aged
• Volume, tone contour controls
• CTS pots with custom taper
• Vintage Sprague “Black Beauty” tone capacitor
• Treble retention circuit
• Vintage refurbished 1950s telephone switch
• Vintage 1950s Bakelite switch tip
• Custom wound John Grail humbuckers
• Nitro-shellac “violin” finish
• Custom hardshell case