top of page

A pause from building guitars........

Updated: Feb 13, 2020

It's the 1st of September 2019 ....time to build a brand new workshop!

After months of planning it's time for a purpose built space designed around the art of lutherie.

Nestled on the banks of the Halladale River, Strath Halladale in the far north of Scotland offers a space and atmosphere perfect for my guitarmaking.

You can follow this blog as it takes you through the various stages that will see a patch of grass transform into the new home of Michael Ritchie Guitar Maker.

Clearing The Site . . .

Clearing the site ready for the base to go down. Thanks to Sean Brennan for his help with this, a wizard when it comes to a piece of plant machinery and pretty nifty with a chain saw too.

The Digger Has Arrived . .. . .

James Cowan from

dropped of this handy Volvo 5.5 ton excavator last night. Work should hopefully comence early next week.

The View. . .

This is the site of the new workshop, looking out over the Halladale River and north to the coast.

50 tons of type1 hardcore . . . .

11/9/2019 James brings a lorry load of stone along to the site. the stone will form part of the foundations for the workshop.

Mechanical issues . . .

Of to a good start digging out the site for the concrete base. Unfortunately a faulty altenator meant work had to stop, let's hope Volvo can get one delivered tomorrow and we can get started again. #volvoplant


Well a bit of delay and still the Volvo digger is not working. Fortunately Cowan Plant has this replacemnt and we're all set to get going again. A litte dumper at the ready too.

Starting to bolt the frame together

The initial frame in place

Lee Sutherland helping me out with the building. Lee is based in Caithness and a whizz when it comes to concrete, foundations and shed erection. Anyone looking for such services in the Caithness area can contact him on 07944460042. I can't recommend him enough!

The first spaces are cut for the windows. The insulated cladding will ensure precise control over the conditions, relative humidity and temperature, both crucial for construction techniques and wood storage.

The building runs west-east and so should get good sunlight through the day with the 6 sky lights planned as well as the windows on the south wall. The north facing windows will give great, non-direct light for working in.

A frosty morn in the Strath

The building is all but complete, roller door and electric to go in now.

A cavern

First coat of paint on the floor.

The floor is painted and dry, I've started moving the necessary tools and materials into the building for the next stage of work, finally THE INTERIOR!! I have to line the north wall with "fireline" plasterboard and get the electrics installed.

462 views3 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Michael Ritchie
Michael Ritchie
Feb 13, 2020

Jim, Peter thanks! The floors already scuffed to bits as I go about fitting out the interior with the various cabinets and benches, great to finally get to this stage, more pics to come...


Peter Hague
Peter Hague
Feb 13, 2020

Hi Michael, looks amazing, brilliant.


Feb 10, 2020

That's beginning to look fabulous, Michael, and I love that clean red floor. Puts my single garage workshop to shame! :-)

bottom of page