The Story of Harrison Guitars

Harrison Guitars is a one-person shop run by me, Douglas Harrison. To ensure quality and consistency, I do all the woodworking, finishing, and electronics in my workshop in Toronto, Canada.

Douglas Harrison


I started playing guitar in 1972 and regularly perform around the Toronto area in a jazz duo, trio or quartet setting.

As professional guitar repairman since 1980 I have had the opportunity to study guitar construction in depth. I have also enjoyed a close working relationship with renowned luthiers G.W. Barry and David Wren.

Since the mid 1980’s I have built a variety of custom electric guitars and basses. In 1992 my love of archtop guitars led me to build a 16” archtop for myself, orders for similar guitars quickly followed and I have been busy building guitars since.

In recent years, in an effort to keep up with current guitar orders, I have taken time away from my restoration/repair work to focus on building.

Read an interview with Doug in Jazz Guitar Magazine 

Building Philosophy

My experience as a guitar repairman has given me an insight into which building methods are the most successful. Each aspect of the guitar has been carefully considered to achieve the best tone, stability and longevity.

All woods used are carefully selected from specialty wood sources. To ensure stability the woods are then left to air dry for a minimum of one year in the controlled shop environment.

The workshop is kept at a stable humidity of 45% year round. While this minimizes the wood shrinkage and expansion that can occur from seasonal changes, it is still wise to use a humidification device if the humidity drops below 45%.

Necks are made with quarter sawn wood. This method of orienting the grain results in a stiffer neck and also reduces seasonal movement. The neck also uses 2 or 3 piece lamination to enhance stability. Neck shape and width are optional to accommodate the player’s preferences.

Fretboards are made from carefully seasoned woods, generally ebony or rosewood, although I often have other exotic species available; for example, Macassar ebony, Pau Ferro, Brazilian rosewood or Cocobolo. Please inquire.

Workshop Tour