For electric guitars, electronics (and especially pickups) are often a personal preference. I prefer to use as much wood on my guitars as possible which often includes pickup trim rings, covers, knobs and controls.

Controls are typically made in the USA. Pickups vary widely from instrument to instrument. I frequently strive for versatile wiring schematics which provide both a minimal (and clean) set of controls while maintaining a broad sound selection at the guitar.


Most jigs in the shop are made in house, often based on the work of others and improved for specific needs I have in constructing Morelli instruments. Jigs are critical for both repeatability and expediency in repetitious activities.


From vacuum presses to bandsaws, thickness sanders to handmade in the USA chisels, the shop has a broad variety of specialty tools meant for precise woodworking. Modern shops have the benefits of digital measuring devices, composite materials and high tolerance machinery.


I work with a wide variety of woods, some of which you may have never seen. Rare Belizian Rosewood Burl, fine grained Macassar Ebony, Rosewood Cocobolo with gorgeous ink figure are just a few. Katalox and rare Black and White Ebony or African Blackwood all make excellent (and striking) fretboards. For electrics often custom switchgear, knobs and pickup covers are made from exotic pieces.

Electric Bodies

Electric bodies are made with a wide variety of woods. In the shop I age body blanks in Honduran Mahogany, Black Limba and local Black Walnut. These woods are particularly well suited for electric bodies and produce both a wonderful look along with great stability and sound quality.

For body tops we mostly use Maple – curly, quilted and spalted – and Spruce. For the Spruce instruments we can provide a natural, tinted or sunburst finish. As an option, Spruce carve tops can be veneered for a very unique look which is rarely found on electric guitars.

Backs & Sides

I have a large and varied selection of woods sourced from around the world. All woods used in my instruments are hand selected and well seasoned in my shop. Each piece is unique and lends a one-of-a-kind character to the final instrument, both in sound and aesthetic.

A small sampling of the shop wood selection is shown here, from Ebonies to Rosewoods to Walnuts, Acacias, Myrtles and Maples. Top woods are various spruces from Adirondack, Sitka, Lutz and European to California Redwood and Western Red Cedar.


With electric guitars, bridges are either metal or archtop style bridges which I make in-house. Classical and Steel string guitar bridges are also made in-house from stock materials. I prefer resonant bridge materials, such as Brazilian Rosewood.

For acoustic instruments I strive to keep the bridges lightweight. Bridge plates on the steel string guitars are made of a Maple and Brazilian Rosewood lamination.


There are many quality tuners on today’s market. Their selection depends on application and desired benefits. First and foremost they must have a solid structural design – one that will not distort with time. Secondly tuners must be smooth and not lose tune.

Often I make custom buttons for the tuners. I prefer both the look and feel of wood over metal.


My shop is a place of solace and concentration, yet full of music and the sounds of wood. We frequently hosts curious visitors and clients. Sharing the wonder of building instruments with children is a favorite activity in the shop.

I also frequently work with other luthiers – a good network and community creates a high tide which raises all boats. While my advancement as a luthier is inextricably tied to those relationships, the friendships outweigh all other returns.