History

Praxis Guitars LLC was founded in 2011 by Andrew Benson to explore the concept of open source guitars. The dream goes back to 2005, when Andrew wondered what would happen if people shared guitar designs openly, and could fabricate them with automated machinery.

Andrew learns to translate code into guitars

Praxis Guitars originated at Club Workshop, a hackerspace in Denver, where the equipment required could be rented for a low monthly fee. After a year of prototyping different designs, Andrew took the project to the Bay Area Maker Faire in 2011.

As development continued, a kickstarter was launched to buy a CNC wood router for the company. When the requisite funding was not reached, development moved to software, where iteration was much cheaper.

The Kimura Gumo after the final coat of Tung Oil

The Kimura Gumo was carved by hand in 2013 to provide a test bed for digitally capable guitars. The guitar has undergone many different changes to scope and hardware, evolving over the years. This guitar was the basis for the “Wizard Class” of guitars offered during the next kickstarter, which also did not reach funding.

The Kimura Gumo in 2016

Not long after the second kickstarter, Andrew was homeless and living in his van. During that time, Praxis Guitars kept moving forward, with a custom CNC built in a friend’s garage.

It was a comfortable van to live in.

It took several years to scavenge and purchase the parts to build the first CNC. The first iteration of the machine had trouble with precision, and so it upgraded itself with some scrap aluminum.

The Praxis Guitars CNC was built from scratch, almost entirely out of scavenged materials.

Praxis Guitars has been bootstrapping itself ever since, recently acquiring a potentially permanent home for the business in Denver, CO. Feel free to browse the instrument archive as well.