Guitars are a Grand Rapids man’s great passion

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Lloyd LaPlant remembers how he got into the business of making guitars.

He wanted one, but didn’t have the money to buy one. So he decided he’d build his own.

“I kind of went by the seat of my pants, mostly, and looked at other guitars and tried to copy what I saw.”

The retired carpenter has learned plenty since those early days.

“It’s kind of fun, to take a piece of wood from the start, and then go with it,” he told us.

Now, at 93, he estimates he’s made about 260 of them. And he’s ventured into the mandolin category as well.

LaPlant and his two sons, Chuck and Billy, and another friend recently performed at a car club Christmas party.

“I love music,” he said. “It’s something that’s built in you, I think. I like the slower tunes that are prettier, like the waltzes and stuff like that.”

Plus, he helps fix violins for the local orchestra members. Busy guy!