In praise of: James Trussart Steelcaster

Holey instruments played by guitar gods

James Trussart Steelcaster
This Steelcaster has been left to corrode before being sanded and finished

Maverick luthier James Trussart is keen on steel - it's the primary material used in his guitars' bodies, as seen on his most popular creation, the Steelcaster.

"Many models go through a process that Trussart player Billy Gibbons calls the 'Rust-O-Matic' technique"

Born in France, Trussart began his career in music as a Cajun fiddler in the late 70s, but soon developed a taste for guitar building. His first steel axes were completed in the mid-80s, including the Steelcaster, as he opened a guitar-repair shop in Paris.

Many models go through a process that Trussart player Billy Gibbons calls the 'Rust-O-Matic' technique - the guitar body is left to corrode in the great outdoors, before being sanded and finished.

The steel doesn't just affect the way Trussart's guitars look; their construction gives them more zing than a traditional T-type, with an almost resonator-esque tone.

Trussart now builds all his steel-bodied creations in Southern California, at close proximity to his rock-star fans, including James Hetfield, Tom Morello and Joe Perry, who all have a feel for steel.

James Trussart Steelcaster timeline


After years of experimentation, James Trussart builds the first Steelcaster.


Trussart opens a guitar-repair shop in Paris and continues to build new instruments.


Trussart moves his guitar workshop to Southern California.


A baritone incarnation of the Steelcaster is introduced.

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