Steve Grimes, Grimes Guitars

Steve Grimes was both a woodworker and a working musician in Seattle, Washington in 1972. After studying with a violin maker and working in the instrument repair trade, he set up his own shop and began making arch top mandolins.

Being more of a guitar player than a violin or mandolin player, he found that his interests were leaning more toward guitar construction, and in 1974 he began making acoustic arch top guitars and expanded to flat top guitars in 1982. This was also the year he moved his to its present location in Kula, Hawaii. At approximately 4,000 feet elevation on the dry, leeward slopes of Mt. Haleakala, he found the perfect location to build instruments.

Although guitars have been the focus of his work since the 1970's, Steve Grimes has maintained a fondness for smaller instruments and is known as one of the pre-eminent ukulele builders. He built tenor and concert sized ukuleles in the 1970’s, along with his more requested arch top and flat top guitars, and added tenor and concert ukes to the line again in 2002.

He has teamed with other guitar designers and players over the years, including Ned Steinberger (a collaboration which produced the highly experimental “stress free soundboard” flat top guitar, a design that Gibson purchased in 1991), jazz great Larry Coryell, who helped develop the “LC” model, worked with George Benson on a new Ibanez George Benson Model, and slack key virtuoso Keola Beamer, who helped in the creation of the “Beamer Model” double hole flat top guitar.