My name is Zach Hoyt and I live in Orwell, NY, east of Lake Ontario and west of the Adirondacks. I have been living and working at a nonprofit organization called St. Francis Farm since 2001. I build instruments part-time, mainly in the evenings. In 2021 or 2022 I am planning to move to the Adirondacks and start building instruments full time. In 2017 I was lucky enough to be interviewed by Craig Evans as part of his DVD set Old-Time Conversations Volume 6. For more information about the series and to see a teaser video that tells a bit about life at the farm please follow the link below:
I always enjoyed woodworking and had wanted to learn to build instruments since I was a kid. I finally got started at age 18 in 2004 when I built my first mountain dulcimer out of birch ply, following a plan in a book. From there I started building solid wood dulcimers and then branched out into hammered dulcimers and harps. In 2005 I bought an old tenor banjo at a flea market and made a 5 string conversion neck for it. In 2008 I began my first mandolin, then I started building banjos in 2009. Fiddles came in 2011, followed by resonator guitars in 2013, acoustic guitars in 2014 and my first cello in 2015.
In 2007 the farm bought a sawmill and since then some of my instruments have been built with wood that came from trees cut here on the farm. I’ve been selling instruments online on Craigslist since 2006 and Banjo HangOut and Etsy since 2009. In early 2016 I decided it was time to put together my own website so that all of my in-stock instruments and custom options could be seen in one place. I am new to website design and maintenance so if you find broken links or other issues please let me know.
If you’re in the area and would like to visit and see the instruments in person you are welcome to do that. I am usually available Monday-Saturday, days and evenings, by appointment. Email is the best way to reach me since I don’t carry my phone most of the time, but I check my email regularly and do my best to reply promptly to messages. Below is my email address for all inquiries:
and my mailing address is:
136 Wart Rd.
Lacona NY 13083
(we are located in Orwell but our mail is delivered by the post office in Lacona)
I’m not much of a musician myself, and my skills (such as they are) have been somewhat in decline over the last few years as I spend most of my free time in the shop building more instruments and very little of it practicing. Some folks who have either been visiting here or who have … Continue reading Videos of other people playing instruments I built