Unified Guitar Works was born in Pawtucket, RI, quite fittingly the home of the industrial revolution. After fifteen years as an industrial designer at Hasbro Toys, designing everything from Transformers to Star Wars, Playskool, Play-Doh and Sit 'n Spin toys, Bill Paukert decided it was time to take his music hobby full time. Since his days at Cleveland Institute of Art he had been immersed in art and music, playing in bands all while honing his craft as a designer and maker. Inheriting wood working skills from his father (also a master woodworker) Bill had a particular fondness for working with various types of wood. After moving to Rhode Island to work at Hasbro Toys, he continued playing in bands and began building his own guitars, speaker cabinets, synthesizers and effect pedals. Everything from a replica Telecaster inspired by George Harrison’s “Let it Be” Rosewood Fender Tele, to a one of a kind keytar conversion of a Novation X-Station 25 synthesizer--all instruments were fair game. At the same time, Bill began collecting reclaimed wood from around RI and Southeastern MA, it called to him, it was porches and floor boards, attics and garages. It had a destiny, he just wasn't sure where it would take him. In 2004, Bill coincidentally moved into a third floor apartment next to the great archtop guitar building guru, Otto D'Ambrosio. Striking up an indelible friendship with Otto, Bill continued to build for pleasure, as Otto helped mentor and refine Bill's guitar building skills and instincts.
With ten years of guitar building and designing experience, in October 2014, Bill began work on the initial guitar body designs to be released as Unified Guitar Works. And he had a vision for all of that reclaimed wood. Milling the wood down to all the same size he was able to start piecing the bodies together. It was exhilarating to see that floor, that attic, that porch, that garage, take on a new life as a guitar, ready to be placed in someone’s hands. He’s also chosen specific stains to really bring out the uniqueness of the wood varieties. In 2017, Bill began using the Japanese charring technique Shou-Sugi-Ban, to finish some of the guitars, which both preserves and hardens the wood. The guitars are as rich played clean as they are overdriven and distorted.