But with the aid of a prosthesis, Rendall began playing music again in the years after the accident, and recently had a six-string acoustic guitar custom made by craftsman John Currier of Stevens Point, who has played guitars for more than 40 years and has been building them for the past six years.
Rendall, 58, who lives in Scandinavia, WI. USA and now works as a US Postal mail carrier, said the injury that claimed his left hand took place while he was working on his family’s potato farm in the Almond area.
“One day, the mechanical picker jammed. I just wasn’t thinking and put my hand in to clear it out and before I knew what had happened, the damage was done,” Rendall said.
Rendall said he always has been interested in music, and he played drums in a band while in high school. After the loss of his hand, Rendall did play some bass guitar with the help of a prosthesis, but didn’t get serious about playing a six-string guitar until he met Currier at a party hosted by a mutual friend in Amherst.
After Currier explained his business, Rendall’s wife, Karen, suggested that he build a custom guitar. Rendall said he called Currier to set up a meeting to discuss the project, and it didn’t take him long to know he had the right person for the job.
John Rendall plays his new guitar in the basement workshop of John Currier, who built the guitar. Rendall, of Amherst, lost his left hand 20 years ago while working on his family's potato farm. / Nathan Vine/Stevens Point Journal Media.
“I didn’t realize how deep the discussion would go. There were many more decisions to make than I had ever imagined,” Rendall said. “All I knew was that I wanted it to look and sound good, besides being a guitar that I could play with my prosthesis. He knows it all, of course, and he guided me through the process.”
Currier makes a number of different guitars, from steel-string to archtop to electric, and from a number of different kinds of woods. When it came to building a guitar for Rendall, however, Currier found there would be some unique challenges.