About Thomas Rein

Thomas Rein Guitars

I have been building guitars since the early 1970s. I started out making steel-string guitars and served a two-year apprenticeship with the late Edward F. Rose in Lexington, Kentucky. Ed was an old-time cabinetmaker and guitar restoration expert. Ed got me started with proper machinery techniques, including sharpening tools and designing jigs, and the experience I gathered repairing a myriad of instruments with him helped me “design out” in my own guitars many common guitar ailments. In the early 80s, a lutenist approached me with the idea of building him a 7-course Renaissance lute. I was intrigued by this challenge since the lute was so different from anything else I had ever built. This led to a decade of building all sorts of lutes, theorboes, and a bass gamba. After a move to the Washington DC area in 1986, I decided to concentrate solely on the classical guitar. My classical guitars have been played throughout the world in concerts and on recordings. In 2007, I came full circle and started building steel string guitars again while continuing to build classical guitars. I have found that many of the construction details that have become established in contemporary classical guitar design work equally well for steel string acoustics, like double sides, French polished soundboards and the use of hot hide glue.