February 20, 2011

Sounds Good

That’s the response music lovers have had to John Stass’ line of handcrafted wooden music room furniture.

By Ray Routhier rrouthier@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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John Stass has found a niche making music room furniture and selling it all over the world. Stass’ custom-designed pieces appeal to professionals who are passionate about a musical hobby and want something other than metal or plastic display racks or cabinets for their instruments and accoutrements.

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John Stass, owner of Katahdin Studio Furniture, got into the business of making music room furniture when he was looking for some for himself and found little available. Fifteen years later, Stass is expanding his woodworking to include custom office and home furniture in his Zen Modern Collection. Stass and his staff work from a space in the Lewiston Hill Mill.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer


TO SEE MORE of John Stass' music furniture, go to www.katahdinstudio.com

With Griffith, the order came from the Martin guitar company, which was making a signature model guitar for the TV icon and musician and wanted a good-looking wooden stand to go with it. Soon after, Griffith himself called Stass to talk things over.

"He was just like you'd think Andy Griffith would be on the phone," said Stass. "After we were done talking about the pieces, he kept me on the phone another 20 minutes talking about all kinds of things."

In his shop, Stass made and sold about 120 pieces last year. He made the same amount five or six years ago. The difference is that now he's making more of the larger pieces, including sheet music cabinets and guitar display cabinets that can range from $2,000 to $8,000.

The difference between Stass' music furniture and most other pieces is apparent just by looking. While many guitar and instrument stands are metal, Stass makes his music pieces out of 11 or 12 kinds of wood.

Cherry, black walnut and bird's-eye maple are the ones he uses most.

The pieces are held together with glue and wood screws for sturdiness, though the screws are covered and don't show. The pieces are hand-rubbed, often with tung oil.

"People are usually impressed with how sturdy our stands are, since they're used to metal stands," said Stass. "We put most of a day's work into one guitar stand."

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:



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