Dale Wallace – Guitarist and Luthier!
Dorian’s Angels had the privilege of being invited to learn all about making guitars and playing the guitar by a well known guitarist and luthier (A craftsman who makes/repairs stringed instruments) – Mr. Dale Wallace. We all know what a great musician Mr. Wallace is he has been playing for over 40 years and has been working alongside Mr. Wil Nuñez (Wil & Dale) serenading beautiful girls, parties, anniversaries and at different resorts. The Angels got to see firsthand how San Pedro’s only luthier works on custom made guitars and other special orders at his work shop.
With over 20 years experience in repairing guitars and10 years of making guitars, Mr. Wallace takes much pride in his work. First things first, we were explained about the different types of wood he uses to make his guitars. All the hardwood that is used is bought either here on the island or brought in from the mainland, jobillo, ziricote, rosewood and che-chem (black poisonwood) are used for the back and side of the guitar. For the neck, Mahogany and barba jolote are used and about ¼ inch thick piece of ziricote is placed on top (fret board) for additional strength on the neck. Softwood is then used to make the top of the guitar, usually cedar.
After having learnt about the different types of local wood that is used to make the guitar we proceeded to work shop where Mr. Wallace with much precision showed us and explained to us how to make the actual side of a guitar. The frame of the classic guitar was designed by Antonio de Torrez of Spain and this is the same style that Mr. Wallace uses to make his acoustic guitars. Dale explained the process of bending the wood to get the body shape; first the wood is soaked in water and then heat is applied and in a custom made frame made by Dale himself, in a matter of minutes the side o the guitar body is done.
It takes a lot of hard work, dedication and years of experience to make a beautiful guitar. But of course The Angels, we can’t keep still and although we are great listeners and we were paying close attention to everything Dale was saying, we just had to put our hands in and help out Dale. Delsie and I helped out in putting together a new guitar with Dale, adding the sides and neck to the body. Meanwhile Perlita helped Dale repair an old guitar.
Dale also showed us some of the guitars he collects and we got a bit carried away and tried playing some of the instruments he has. Delsie and Perlita tried playing the mandolin while I strummed to a banjo. I can tell you this, no band would want to hire us for any gig but hey we gave it a try! Lol!! Dale was kind enough to show us how to properly play the mandolin, banjo and the guitar; he gave us a serenata! How romantic!
This past year Dale sold ten custom made guitars and this year, not only is he working on making the classic acoustic guitars he is accustomed to, Dale is making Guit-Art! Wallace Guit-Art is the newest addition to Wallace Guitars. But what is this you may ask? Well my best description for it would have to be that they are giant sized paper jamz except these guitars aren’t made of paper but of wood.
Dale has made two of these giant sized guitars and are on display at Fido’s Restaurant and Bar, one oversized Gibson Les Paul Guitar and one Fender Stratocaster. Dale is currently working on two more that will also be displayed at Fido’s.
We surely had a great time with Dale, learning everything about repairs and making a guitar from scratch. Dale also offers guitar lessons but we will leave the guitar lessons for some other time. So if you want a custom made guitar or a specialty display guitar be sure to get it from Wallace Guitars! You can contact Mr. Dale Wallace at 206-2445 or email at [email protected] and remember if the Angels recommend it, it’s Gotta be Good!
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