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How to Order An Instrument

Instruments are made to order, and there is usually about a 1-year backlog of orders. 


  It’s useful to me to know who really wants an instrument to be built. I want to help you be a musician, so if it does not seem likely I can make what you want, I am quite happy to suggest other makers who could- ask me. There is a $100 deposit to be put on the list.. I have generally been merciful about returning deposits for a decent reason…..  but you should know that regretting a whim is not one of them.

On receipt of the deposit, I will send a receipt and the order will go in the list. It’s useful to know what you’d like when you send the order, but details and models can be discussed and changed until I am ready to build. Once I am ready to build and the details are settled,  I make the instrument, and when it’s ready to leave the shop I ask for final payment. 

Though I’m more likely to catch it before it leaves the shop, an unsatisfactory instrument can be returned for a refund within two weeks.  If there’s a defect in workmanship that arises within five years, I’ll repair or replace. 

Repairs and maintenance of my own instruments are given priority in the shop .  We want to keep you playing!  Simple things like replacing strings or damper felts can be done with little notice, and sometimes while you wait.  Bigger jobs (like adding dampers) will require more time and notice.  I have worked on other makers' instruments, but unless it Is impractical, I recommend bringing their instruments back to them for repair, not to me. Builders learn a lot by repairing their own designs.

Hammers, strings and accessories, are usually in stock and usually are shipped within three or four days. Although I’ll bend the rule in case of an emergency, I request a $10 minimum order for strings.  Postage for small items like hammers and strings is, at present, $7.50 for most of the US, $8.50 for the west coast and Alaska. Shipping charges are subject to change, and for larger items it has to be calculated: please inquire. 


Orders within West Virginia should include 6% sales tax.

Payment can be done with a personal check or via PayPal. A personal check can be sent to

Nicholas Blanton Instruments

PO Box 1473

Shepherdstown, WV 25443

If you’d like to use PayPal, email me your order and I will send you an invoice (add 3% to pay  by PayPal with an invoice). Or, if you already have a PayPal account, and you trust me, you can pay without incurring any fees by going directly to and logging in. Click Send & Request. Enter, then click Next. Type in the amount you want to send, and instead of “paying for an item or service”, click Change and select “Sending to a Friend”.

International Orders

I ship overseas but it can be expensive. The cost of shipping depends on the instrument. First Class International Mail is often the least expensive, but the larger Forte and Extended Range instruments need to go via UPS or FedEx. I can calculate the shipping costs once I have your address.

Many countries also levy a duty on instruments from the United Sates, and that includes Canada. You should investigate those charges, if you are concerned about the cost.

Payment for International orders.

The simplest way to pay for an international order is PayPal. The fees, however, are somewhat high. A less expensive method is through Wise (previously TransferWise) and I have a TransferWise account.  For large purchases likeinstruments, I recommend it.



Thank you for considering owning some of my work. Please ask, you have any questions.

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