Posted on

Birth of the Packaxe

Birth of the Packaxe

by Francis Kosheleff

Previously published in Guild of American Luthiers Quarterly Volume 9 #2, 1981, updated 1994 and Lutherie Woods and Steel String Guitars, 1998

The Need. Several years ago after reading an article in Guitar Player about the hassles of traveling with a guitar and remembering my own camping trips in Europe and the United States, it dawned on me that the answer was a folding guitar. That night I went to work on that idea with pencil and paper, slept over it, dreamt about it, and the next morning started work in the shop. The following Saturday I went to the flea market and bought several cheap, broken acoustic guitars to experiment with. Later on that month I started the actual construction of the first folding guitar and named it the Packaxe. The name Packaxe is now trademarked.

The idea of a hinged neck on a guitar is not new. It must have occurred to many luthiers before me, yet I had never seen a folding guitar, nor read or heard of one. Knowledgeable people usually told me that such an instrument could not possibly work for a hundred reasons. I went ahead anyway building several types of guitars with folding necks, and sure enough, there were problems, lots of them. But for an inventor, this is a challenge to be enjoyed.

Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article

This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page.

If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.