Made in Illinois: TEF Custom Guitars

STEWARDSON, ILL - Just like the people who play them, each guitar has a story. For exactly six guitars every year, that story begins in a small garage wood shop in Stewardson, Illinois under the watchful eye of Tom Foreman. For the past fifteen years, Foreman has been handcrafting guitars from scratch. While he has been wood working for much of his life, the transition to making guitars wasn’t easy, but he relied on a variety of resources to become self-taught.

"It’s  mostly trial and error. When I started building, I came across a book by a writer by Jonathan Kincade, that is kinda my bible, it taught me a lot. The internet, YouTube, it’s probably where I learned the bulk of my stuff." Says Foreman.

By building guitars by hand, Foreman is able to make each one unique and tailor it to specific customers needs. It is something he says makes all the difference.

"The difference in a mass production guitar and a handmade guitar is mostly the fact that in a custom made guitar you can pretty much get what you want design wise and wood wise compared to a factory, some guitars all sound alike. Quality isn't quite there on some of the lower end guitars." Says Foreman.

In addition to building new guitars, Foreman has also done repair work on instruments dating back more than 100 years. For more information about TEF Custom Guitars and Repair, you can visit their website. 


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