About Renk Guitars
Hello there, and welcome to the official Renk Guitars website. I’m Patrick Renk, a 30-something year old guitarist, artist, draftsman, network guy, and now woodworker and luthier.
When I set out to build guitars, I dedicated countless hours to researching different methods. I tried many of these various methods, some worked, some didn’t work. All of which taught me a valuable lesson. My goal was not to build a guitar. My goal was to create my own process of building a guitar and make my own methods through streamlining and increasing efficiency. I found the way that works for me, and I created my dream guitar. I put in every detail I ever wanted in a guitar, added several weeks of hard labor, and the end result was an instrument that I could not put down. Not only did I not want to put it down, but I noticed that it quite literally made me a better player. Through manipulation of scale length and string tension, I found that sweet spot that made riffing tighter, and strings more responsive.
I played on production model guitars for my whole guitar playing life, and one guitar changed my life, and it was made by my own hands.
How did I get here?
My journey into artistic expression started at a young age. I received my first guitar on my 4th or 5th birthday. I had a lesson or two, but it was at 14 when I picked up the guitar with a mission to learn it. Around 12 years old, I discovered I could draw. This was about the same time that some adolescent genetically altered amphibious martial arts experts came to life on the television. Once the other kids in school knew I could draw an adolescent genetically altered amphibious martial arts experts, my request sheet filled up really quick, so that was a LOT of practice. This led to drawing comic characters, dragons and fantasy creatures, band logos…just about anything I desired. Once I picked up the guitar, however, drawing took a back seat.
I spent a fair share of my time learning the drafting trade. I took all the courses my high school offered and when my junior year came around, I enrolled for 2 years of drafting at the local VoTech school. There I spent 3 hours every day for 2 years drawing by hand and with AutoCAD. With my artistic background and my obsession with fine detail, I found I was a natural draftsman.
My first introduction to the world of guitar building involved the Sept 1990 issue of Popular Mechanics Magazine. It had a center section entitled “BUILD YOUR OWN ELECTRIC GUITAR”. I probably read that article a hundred times. I’d like to say I followed those instructions and built my first, but that didn’t happen until later in 1997.
I was at a local guitar show and I met an older gentleman who had a booth and was displaying his hand-crafted guitars and basses. They featured laminated necks, body tops with layers of veneer underneath for cool pinstripe effects on the edge of the body. Basically stuff I had never seen before in production guitars. I asked if he would consider taking on an apprentice. He declined at that time, but on my 2nd lap around the show, he invited me out to his shop to show me the ropes and start my own project.
I built 2 necks in his shop under his watchful eye in 1997. He showed me what truly was and was not necessary in a luthier’s shop. Some supply catalogs would have you believe that specialty tools are required for every operation of the guitar construction process. This is simply not true, and my eyes were open wide from that point on. I also bought several books on the subject and devoured the information.
Several years passed before I was in a position to build up my own shop. When I arrived at the opportune time, I scoured the internet(the internet wasn’t quite what it is now back when I initially started in 1997) for any and all information pertaining to guitar construction. I joined a few forums and met a lot of great people. I tried building a guitar that wasn’t my own design, and I considered that a failure. The process flow didn’t feel natural. It was at that point that I scrapped the project and decided to proceed with MY guitars built with MY process flow, and I haven’t looked back since!
If you made it this far, I thank you, and I once again welcome you to Renk Guitars!