Mike Sankey


Ottawa, Canada



I've been building and repairing guitars for 17 years. Each one is crafted individually, slowly, by hand. I give my instruments names, not serial numbers, because every one is unique. I like to maintain a modern and functionalist aesthetic, showcasing the natural beauty of local woods. Hopefully you'll enjoy them too!




New Guitar: "Burly"

A key factor in creating a comfortable guitar is the weight. I couldn't get much lighter than this little beauty with a small body of featherweight California Redwood burl, and hardware made mostly of aluminum. Clic on the pic to learn more...


New Guitar: "Magmatic"

My latest ergonomic guitar; semi-hollow body, seven strings, Cocobolo top. This could be the ultimate jazz/fusion machine. Clic on the pic to learn more...


Anglo-Saxon Lyre

Sonic archaeology again: This is my interpretation of the ancient lyre of northern europe. Played widely for thousands of years, it was somehow forgotten by the time of the renaissance. Using medieval manuscripts as well as artifacts from archeological excavations, we are learning more and more about these amazing instruments, and about the people who played them. Clic on the pic to learn more...


New Guitar: "Midilicious"

Despite the lack of visible pickups, this is one of the most versitile guitars I have ever made. One of the more exotic ways that one can use an electric guitar is as a synth controller. Midilicious has a hexaphonic pickup system and a MIDI-compatible polyphonic output for doing just that.

Utilizing the analog 1/4" output it also works superbly as an acoustic-electric guitar, albeit the lightest, most comfortable and fastest-playing one you've ever tried. It's also a sweet solo instrument if you crank up the gain. Clic on the pick to learn more...



Nobody's perfect. Guitars too. It occasionally happens that I'll have a guitar sit around for a long time without finding an owner. I have to be honest with myself- sometimes it's because the guitar could be better. After all, as I grow as a person I become a better luthier, and some of my older guitars don't meet my newer, higher, standards. So back into the workshop it'll go, getting upgraded to the current state of my art. Corduroy (above), got an infusion of carbon fibre in the neck for extra stiffness, as well as a new lighter and less bulky bridge. While I was at it, I decided to upgrade the tuners to super-lightweight Gotoh Stealths. This meant completely redrilling the headstock, and to cover the plugs and strengthen the area I decided to create front and back headplates from my last pieces of figured hop-hornbeam. It's now stronger, lighter, prettier, and plays better than ever.

Lapdog, on the other hand, was simple enough that nothing could really go wrong The simpler the better, was the motto when designing and building this instrument. After all, I'm not a lap steel player. But after showing it to a few friends who were, they agreed that it would be better if it had built-in volume and tone controls, so they wouldn't have to rely on a swell pedal. I listened, and now it has them, topped with knobs I turned out of cocobolo to match. It may be a little less elemental, but it's a lot more useful.