Whippleville, Franklin County
Luthier & Custom Inlay Maker    

Everywhere you look in a neat, well-lighted shop in the hamlet of Whippleville, near Malone, there are guitars, mandolins, banjos, ‟anything that has strings on it,” according to Dave Nichols. Upon closer inspection, you will see that these aren’t your run-of-the-mill instruments either. Everything Dave does these days is custom made. From selecting, shaping and finishing exotic woods to cutting and fitting mother-of-pearl or abalone inlay, his skills have been recognized by string players all over the world. If you pick up a Martin or Gibson guitar made since the late 1960s with special decorations, it’s apt to be Dave’s work. In addition to making instruments, Dave plays nearly every weekend with friends for parties or festivals. In fact, if you stop by his shop during the day, as many do, work is apt to stop, instruments will come out, and you will hear familiar bluegrass tunes as they were meant to be played, on the front porch or in the kitchen.

Click here to listen to the TAUNY/NCPR “Meet the Masters” story about Dave.

  • Award Inherited Traditions
  • Award Year 2000
  • Location Whippleville, NY ( Franklin County, St. Lawrence River Valley
  • Categories Music & Dance