Nelson Palen, Builder of Palen Guitars
NEW!! Read the article about luthier Nelson Palen
published in the Chanute Tribune.
Artistic Woodcrafts II - This was Nelson Palen's website before he started building Palen Archtop Guitars. Before Nelson made Palen archtops, he had been making decorative wooden bowls as shown here for approx. 12 years. His woodworking skills and attention to detail began here and from his ancestry. His dad, Benedict Palen, has been doing woodwork since the 1930's starting out with a pedal-powered lathe. His dad's enterprise, Artistic Woodcrafts started with a Shopsmith and then homebuilt a heavy-duty lathe capable of swinging up to 32" diameter blanks.. The blanks for the bowls are made up of segmented rings stacked and glued. Various wood species, domestic and foreign are used. Examples are walnut, white gum, padauk, wenge, mahogany etc. Nelson Palen added a CNC desktop mill in 1998 that can be mounted on the lathe for engraving. The spindle is slowly rotated by computer command with approx. 1000:1 reduction. The basic turning operation is done with conventional hand tools.
Shown below are Nelson Palen's first 3 archtop Palen Guitars. The tone and consistency were amazing right from the beginning.