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Meet the Maker: Dan Kabanuck

Meet the Maker: Dan Kabanuck

by Roger Alan Skipper

previously published in American Lutherie #104, 2010

Dan, you look familiar, yet you’re from my opposite side of the country, and you’re new to lutherie.

I’ve met scores of luthiers, spoken to hundreds more, and processed thousands of your orders. I’m a customer service rep at Luthiers Mercantile International, LMI, and you probably saw my picture gracing page four of the latest catalog, holding the “new LMI Shred-o-matic ‘Dandolin’ guitar kit.” It’s not a real instrument, by the way; several people have asked. I was in the middle of building my electric guitar when my picture was taken, and I grabbed a ukulele neck and held it on my body, and Chris Herrod snapped a picture. Chris is the Sales Manager, and the most brilliant person at LMI — he hired me!

Your first two instruments, an OM-sized acoustic and a Les Paul electric, seem several cuts above most beginning luthiers’, with marvelous wood and beautiful detail and finish. Do you have a woodworking background?

I actually sold real estate for sixteen years — I’m a licensed broker — but burnout and a tanking market led me to find a real job. My woodworking background is fairly limited: shop classes as a kid and some construction work in my late teens. Quite often I’d do repairs on the homes I was selling rather than deal with a contractor. My father is a furniture refinisher and repairman, so I’ve learned some of that. I’m by nature an arts-and-crafts person and have a general knowledge of tools.

I discovered LMI just over three years ago on Craigslist. When I started, I had no lutherie knowledge, and had never considered building an instrument. I wanted to be able to talk intelligently about LMI’s products and how they work, and my nature urged me to build not one, but a couple of guitars.

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