Hi there! It's pronounced uh-GAH-pay. Now that we have that straightened out...my name is Rich Chaffins and I'm here to build you an instrument.
First thing you should know: I consider myself a custom builder, with a caveat or two. The biggest caveat is that I am not down with making a guitar that's already being made by someone else. They make that guitar, and have a lot more experience making it. Know what I mean? No? In other words: I will not make you a gold top Les Paul, or Clapton's Strat, or Randy's polka dot V. That kind of thing just doesn't interest or excite me at all. And of course, you want your luthier to be excited about making your instrument. Right?
Now...any of my models can be done in just about any workable configuration you can imagine. Example: you like the Eve shape, but you'd love it with a 24 3/4" scale length. You'd love an 8-string, multiscale Salome with three pickups and a piezo. Just about anything that starts with "I'd love this guitar, but can you...?" is doable. Just ask! I love that kind of thing. Also, if you have dreamed up an instrument that doesn't look or sound much like anything you've seen of yet, I'd love to talk to you about how to make it a reality. Just know, of course, that custom designs/features/hardware command an upcharge, size being dependent on the particular instrument. I have scalloped frets, I have built a guitar with 42 frets, and I'm currently designing a guitar with a metal fretless fretboard and some other oddities for a client. So, your request may not be THAT weird.
Some things about my guitars and building philosophy that you might want to know, in no particular order: I love beautiful woods. I love using local woods when I can. My guitars are built with tonal versatility and ease of playing in mind. I feel strongly that minor cosmetic imperfections are things of beauty, and reflect us as imperfect, yet beautiful beings. I will often leave them, especially when they speak to me about certain aspects of the human condition. I don't like painting guitars in general. Big fat necks sound better. Locking tuners are an improvement on the original design. I do certain things for aesthetic purposes, some for playability, some for artistic purposes. I build every guitar and bass to work with you, not against you.
In addition to building guitars, I offer private guitar lessons to students here in West Virginia.
Wanna talk? Give me a shout at email@example.com