Becoming a luthier started many years ago…

Reuben Forsland, luthier

The day I bought my first guitar, was magical! I was 9 and had spent many months collecting and recycling bottles to buy myself a used guitar and some lessons.

In my early 30’s there was still a sparkle in my eyes as I stood amidst 50 or so guitars in the local music shop. All of a sudden, I started to think, ‘maybe I should just build one instead’. Why not?? Afterall, I’d been a professional carpenter, furniture maker and wood-worker for over 15 years already. I asked around and found a luthier to mentor me.

Before long, I found a new passion… The art of guitar building is so much more than building a beautiful instrument. The detail of exact measurements and the intrinsic qualities of the different woods is what truly makes a guitar sound like it should. Good tone, resonance, and differentiation for each note played, are some of the criteria for a perfect guitar. Creating the perfect sound has become the chess game for me; starting with my own proprietary bracing system, and finding the perfect combination of woods for a particular size of guitar to get the sound my client’s are looking for, is what fuels me.

Working in the beautiful Comox Valley on the shores of Vancouver Island my hope is to inspire musicians of all levels to play beautiful music with JOI Guitars.

Reuben Forsland


Reuben Forsland is well-known for his respect of traditional building methods, but enjoys exploring new design through the use of rare and exotic woods and materials. His philosophy of building a great guitar extends to lives of the people it will touch. Everybody has a story, and while custom building a guitar, Reuben likes to bring that story to the guitar. Or to create a story within a guitar that someone will identify with. Thus, each guitar also comes with its’ own coffee table book telling its story. 

Reuben has been building acoustic guitars since 2008 and has earned commendations from his peers, clients and high-end retailers alike, on both his craftsmanship and achievements in producing an incredible sound quality.