J. Rod McClellan

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Handmade Instruments Built For The Musician
W11530 County Road C, Hancock,WI 54943 Voice:(715)249-5777
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What Do I Do?






First of all, my name.  It's James Rodger McClellan.  All my friends just call me Rod.  Using the "J. Rod McClellan" idea instead of "Rod McClellan" just helps to make more sense of the logo.  I realize that the "J" in JRMc kinda looks like an "S", but I've initialed things this way for so long, that it doesn't really matter anymore.  I developed these cursive stylized initials back in high school, when I would initial drawings in drafting class.  It continued into my career life as a plastic injection moldmaker and designer, where initialing things was a way of life for over 20 years.  When I built my first guitar, it seemed natural to put my most personal identification mark on the headstock.  It would have been a lot nicer if my name had been Otto Olav Olinski, or something, but I got what I got.

How does a moldmaker/designer find himself building guitars?  That's a valid question, since one seems to have very little to do with the other, at least on the surface.  In reality, they face very similar structural engineering problems.  I won't go into any great detail about this, but many of today's best luthiers came from mechanical engineering backgrounds initially i.e. Kevin Ryan.  When you couple the challenging structural issues with the tactile, visual and auditory goals, it presents a very satisfying list of mountains to conquer.  For someone who doesn't just enjoy engineering things, but also has a deep-seated need to build with his own hands, lutherie offers this and more.  Art, music, design, math, craftsmanship - these all continue to draw me further into lutherie.  With each instrument comes a unique set of needs which I'm expected to satisfy, and that really continues to excite and energize me.