New guitar shop opens in Brussels
BRUSSELS — On Saturday night, Canadian Breed Custom Electrics, a new spot to buy hand-crafted electric guitars, opened in Brussels and celebrated its opening with an invitation-only open house featuring live music.
Bill Scheltema, a Woodstock native who moved to Palmerston 14 years ago, is now a Brussels man, as he lives above his recently-opened shop on Brussels’ main street.
Scheltema says he has always been involved with music at some level. It began when he first picked up an acoustic guitar at the age of 14. He has since created guitars for some big names in music around the world, including Canadian Randy Bachman of The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive.
He calls himself a “tinkerer” and with family history in both electrical work and woodworking, and his love of music, it was simply a matter of time until he made his way to making an electric guitar.
His first attempt was in high school, Scheltema says, but he backed off before getting too far into the process, saying he was “intimidated” by the enormity of the project.
Scheltema says he continued to be involved in the music scene throughout high school, playing in a number of bands and then moving to Toronto in an attempt to “do the music thing” before moving back to rural Ontario.
It was there that he first completed a guitar about six years ago.
He said the process of making his first guitar involved asking a lot of questions and a lot of trial and error, but in the end, he was able to make a functional guitar that was nearly 100 per cent custom built.
Scheltema says he still has the guitar today. It is a keepsake he plans on cherishing, while at the same time, it’s also a reminder of how far he has come in the six years since creating his first guitar.
After finishing his first guitar, he quickly delved into making his second guitar. He had materials left over from the process and made a guitar for a local high school that was having an auction fundraiser for a band trip. He says the process of making those first two guitars was “very gratifying”.
By Shawn Louglin, the Citizen, June 25, 2014