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Latest News


November News 2019

First off this month - these two, an Okement and a Teign went up to Coda Music.

Brook Okement and Teign
The Teign has the stunning figured mahogany top back and sides, while the Okement has a Sitka top and maple back and sides.

Close Up of Brook Okement and Teign
We don't often get asked for the Okement so here's the opportunity for a couple more photos,

Brook Guitars Okement
It's the largest of our range, similar in size to a J200 with a 650 mm scale. It's a big powerful guitar!

Close  Up of Brook Guitars Okement
Sebastian came to pick up this Lamorna,

Sebastian and Brook Lamorna

He'd picked out the flamed English walnut and Sitka some months ago.

Sebastian Brook Lamorna
The guitar was a present and he asked for this inlay on the twelfth fret to mark the occasion of his 18th bithday.

Sebastian Brook Lamorna Inlay
Now - what are the chances of this? The same day as Sebastian (above) came to pick up his guitar we had a visit from another Sebastian, same age, both came with their fathers, both had a Lamorna! Seb here had bought his from Project and it was love at first sight! He came for a look around the workshop and to have a strap button fitted.

Sebastian in the Brook Workshop
It's not often we get a chance to make any guitars for stock as we're so busy with orders but we thought we'd better make up a Taw out of one of the last sets of the spectacular figured mahogany before it was all snapped up.

Brook Taw For Sale
Here's the back. If anyone would like to try it come and see us at the workshop.

Mahogany Brook Taw
We sent the Abbey featured last month over to Italy, Fulvio sent us this photo of himself with the guitar overlooking his beautiful home city of Sanremo. He wrote to us " When I hold the Abbey in my hands, I get excited like a child with his first toy. Pleasant to the touch, to the ear and to the view; it attracts me like a magnet". Thanks Fulvio!

Fulvio and Brook Abbey
These two Taws are about to go to Project Music. The walnut one has our standard bridge and the rosewood one has a traditional belly bridge, we give our customers the choice but we'd be interested in anyone's opinion if they have a preference.

Two  Brook Taws
Jez has our old friend Chris Ayliffe's Lyn. Jez came down to visit Chris' wife Jan and pop into the workshop so we could show his neighbour Mark, a violin maker, around.

Jez and Brook Lyn
Aaron's Tavy had now re-joined his collection back in Australia after a spell abroad and Aaron's really pleased with the new custom neck.

Aaron Guitar Collection
Now - some customers want low, low frets while others like the jazz playing owner of this Epiphone Emperor want them as high as possible, here we re-fretted the guitar with substantially large hardwearing Evo Gold fretwire.

Epiphone Emperor
We'll give you the final news update of the year in about three weeks.

 

October News 2019

Dave here has had lots of guitars from us over the last twenty years and for a while and was distributing them in the Dorset area with our mutual pal Freddie under the company name Shady Grove.

Dave an his Brook Lyn This time Dave went for a reclaimed mahogany Lyn

Reclaimed Mahogany Brook Lyn
With an Adirondack top, rosewood fingerboard, bridge and head veneer, and a slightly narrower body.

Montage of Mahogany Brook Lyn
George picked up his left handed Taw

George and his Taw
With a cedar top, abalone purfling and rosette,

Left Handed Brook Taw

Local English cherry that we sourced from a farm in North Devon, a sound-port,

Cherry Brook Taw
These delicate fingerboard inlays

Brook Fingerboard Inlays
And a wolf inlay on the headstock.

Wolf Inlay
This Abbey is about to go out to Fulvio in Italy,

Brook Abbey Parlour Guitar
Like the original we made for Ian Anderson it has his trademark pearl rosette

Brook Abbey Close Up
And is going out in a custom flight case.

Brook Abbey Flight Case
Here's a slightly unusual instrument for us, it's a nylon strung Weaver we've just completed for Paul from London.

Nylon Brook Weaver The Weaver is a small parlour size guitar with a full 630 mm scale length that fits into a three quarter sized hard case. We fitted a passive Fishman under-saddle pickup,

Brook Weaver Close Up

Here's the flamed maple back. Paul will be coming down to pick it up next week.

Flamed Maple Brook Weaver

The Indian rosewood Torridge here had just gone off to Project Music in Exeter.

Brook Torridge For Project Music
A friend passed on half a dozen guitar books to us the other day. Browsing through them we noticed that, unknown to us, we were featured in several of them. Amongst them this little parlour we made for Tom Cutler was included in '1001 Guitars To Dream Of Playing Before You Die'!

Brook in Book Rather a lot of repairs and set-ups this month:

First of all we were asked to make up a wider and deeper neck for this Tavy we made for Aaron in Australia four years ago. He loved the guitar but neck was too skinny for him so he sent it back and we've made a replacement with this alternative headstock design he'd asked for.

Brook Tavy Neck Replacement
The customer who ordered the Lyn here earlier in the year had the opposite problem and asked us to narrow the neck, fingerboard and nut width by 1.5 mm. A substantially easier job!

Brook Lyn Neck Thinning
Jesse Molins brought in his nice Aria jazz guitar for a re-fret with tall Evo Gold fretwire. As well as performing with his own trio Jesse has toured and recorded with Mike Westbrook and other prestigious musicians - and played at Ronnie Scott's!

Jesse Molins
The bandaged arm here belongs to Marcus who had an unfortunate incident involving a ladder - get well soon and we hope you'll be up and strumming those Indian influenced compositions on your Taw again before too long!

Marcus Arm Brook Taw
We set up this fifteen year old 680 mm scale Tamar baritone for standard tuning with a new nut, saddle and a set of Elixir 11s to bring it to the normal string tension.

Brook Baritone Tamar
This cello turned up a little worse for wear, we glued it back together and repaired the finish and it's now as good as new.

Cello Repair
This nylon strung vintage instrument is a bit of a mystery to us and the owner, we had the glue the bridge back on and get it back together. It has an interesting clock key neck adjustment. Any information about it from our readers would be appreciated.

Vintage Guitar Repair
Finally - thanks to Frances for this little Brook mosaic

Brook Mosaic

It's now taken its place amongst our increasingly large display of unusual instruments!

 

September News 2019

This beautiful Lyn is soon to be shipped out to Wolfgang in Germany,

Kopa Brook Lyn
The koa is the finest we've seen for a while,

Koa Brook Lyn Top The soundboard, back and sides are a matching set.

Koa Brook Lyn Back
It's an 015 trim with bound fingerboard and headstock, abalone purfling, diamond and dot fingerboard inlays, Wolfgang preferred the chrome tuners to the regular gold ones we'd normally use on the higher spec model.

Brook Lyn Headstock
Brian Higbee, a local artist, collected his new mahogany Taw,

Brian and his Brook Taw
Brian chose this Escher inspired image for the headstock,

Brook Taw Inlay
He asked us to sign the guitar so we made up a similar themed label for the purpose!

Brook Taw Custom Label
Here are the latest three for Coda Music, clockwise from the front: a rosewood Taw, Lamorna and Teign.

Brook Taw Lamorna and Teign
Rob's the proud owner of this thirteen year old Taw, it's Rio and Sitka and has a dolphin inlaid on the headstock. He picked it up a couple of years ago from Ivor Mairants. Rob's delighted  with it and at last got the chance to bring the guitar down and have a look around the workshop earlier this month.

Rob and his Brook Taw
Allan appreciates the quality of his Torridge, in part because he works to the highest standards himself, Allan makes the superb quality leather cases you see in the photo on the right.

Leather Cases
Pete MacGregor picked up this walnut Lamorna from Project Music and put it straight to work the following day accompanying Rosie Upton at the Village Pump, Trowbridge. Thanks to Dave Pegg for the photo.

Pete Rosie and Lamorna
Finally - a sad farewell to our friend, blues legend, Julian Piper who died a fortnight ago. Julian was a great player, promoter, interviewer, reviewer, enthusiast - and genuine good fellow, we'll miss him.

Julian
Our sympathies go out to Cathy, Lucy and Sam.

 

 

August News 2019

We'll start with a couple of guitars we previewed for you last month: Suhail is a filmmaker from North London, he ordered this fretless Taw with the Anjan fingerboard, he's planning on using it for the soundtrack of the film he's currently working on!

Suhail and his Fretless Brook Taw
Tony picked up his ziricote Tamar and is already considering a second Brook.

Tony and his Brook Tamar
This month we seem to have mainly been working on mahogany topped guitars:

Mahogany Topped Brook Lyn and Clyst
These two for Coda, a Lyn and a Clyst,

Brook Lyn and Clyst Backs
Pretty stunning figured wood, pyramid bridges on these two 12 fretters.

Brook Lyn and Clyst close up
John Middleton brought in his 2016 reclaimed mahogany topped Tamar for us to fit a pickup.

Brook Tamar Reclaimed Mahogany
And this lovely vintage Martin came in for a neck reset, new bridge and repair work to the bridge plate and bracing,

1935 Martin neck reset
It's  an 00-17 from 1935 and sounds great now with an easy action.

1935 Martin
Amongst the other repairs we had this Maton in with some severe damage to the back, Andy did another great job getting it back together, the customer was delighted and couldn't even see the repair!

Maton Repair
Andy relacquered the fingerboards on two of these custom shop Strats and sorted out a few dents and dings.

Three Custom Shop Strats
I went up to Kevin Aram's workshop in North Devon with Martin who edits our Babbling Brook magazine, Martin was picking 'Ritzy' his new classical, I had the pleasure of trying it out up there!

Si and Ritzy
It's back and sides are from the same batch of yew as Martin's Okement.

Aram and Brook Yew
It's festival time again, Dave Treloar always has a pop up shop with his vintage instruments at the Sidmouth Folk Festival, he brought in these nine instruments from his van for a quick set-up before he set up shop.

Brook Guitars Set Ups
I went down to the Cornwall Folk Festival to see Wizz Jones, Pete Berryman and Boo Hewerdine, then on to the Hellys Guitar Festival to see Pete again along with Chris Woods, Bob Devereux and innovative luthier Kif Woods. Here's Pete playing the Tamar we made for him about twenty years ago.

Pete Berryman at Hellys
Nice to see this pretty little German blonde guitar-shaped mandolin on the bench again for a re-string.

German Mandolin
And thanks to Pat in Las Vegas for the photo. Pat's still planning on eventually crossing the pond to see us - The Devon cream tea will be waiting for you and April! 

Pat in Las Vegas I've collected so many guitars over the years and occasionally not been particularly selective, I know that this may not go down too well with some enthusiasts but, rather than giving unplayable instruments away to budding guitarists, it's sometimes kinder to dispose of them gracefully,

Guitar Fire The guitars not the budding guitarists of course, let's make that clear!

 

July News 2019

First off the post this fine July morning and certainly a first for us is this fretless Taw, it's tuned in fifths from a low F to a high E.

Brook Guitars Fretless Taw 1
It's a cedar topped 12 fretter with an Anjan fingerboard, bridge and head veneer. Anjan's one of the densest Indian hardwoods so we thought it would be eminently suitable to cope with fingerboard wear.

Brook Guitars Fretless Taw 2
Rosewood back and sides with a satin finish.

Brook Guitars Fretless Taw 3
The Lyn here will be going up to Manchester this week. Adirondack top,

Adirondack Brook Lyn
Snakewood binding, soundport,

Soundport in Brook Lyn
Highly figured bubinga back and sides

Bubinga Brook Guitars Lyn
With a laminated mahogany neck with a rosewood splice, topped off with bronze Waverleys with snakewood buttons.

Brook Guitars Laminated Neck
Possibly not coincidentally - this cutaway Tamar is for Tony who has a place down by the Tamar estuary.

Brook Tamar Close Up
Nice ziricote back on this one!

Brook Tamar Ziricote Back
Andy took this English cherry Tavy and English walnut Torridge up to Project Music in Exeter a couple of weeks ago.

Two Brook Guitars for Project
Phil Taylor took a trip down here for an adjustment to his Lamorna neck.

Phil Playing His Brook Lamorna
This early '90s Gibson ES 175 has rather unpleasant cold checking on the headstock and other areas - an all too common problem on these. The frets ended up working their way through the binding as the fret-board shrunk, everything points towards humidity problems in the factory during the build. Unbelievably there are still Gibson fans out there who consider this a charming feature!

Gibson Headstock
A considerably better finished Gibson Midtown Custom came in, we made up a replacement pick-guard.

Pickguard
Here's a cute small bodied arch-top Framus - it came in for a neck re-set and went out playing beautifully!

Framus Archtop
TV's Taw with the removable neck came in for a check over,

TV Brook Guitars Taw
And - yes, that's buckle rash!

Buckle Rash
It was somewhat of a disappointment to see this printed tortoiseshell pattern on an anniversary edition Martin. Ladies and gentlemen I can assure you at Brook Guitars we only use the very best quality fake tortoiseshell for our pick-guards!

Printed Martin Pickguard
Enjoy your summer.

 

June News 2019

First up - We resisted for many years but our thanks go out to Robbie and Martin for their hard work and prodding us into setting up the Brook Guitars Facebook page. For anyone who might be interested in following us we promise not to bombard you with incessant inane drivel and photos of our food!

Brook Guitars Facebook Page

Back to the real stuff: Arjan and his wife Monique came across from the Netherlands to pick up his new Tamar,

Arjan with his Brook Tamar

It has a European spruce top, red gum back, a torch inlay on the headstock and hexagonal abalone block inlays for position markers.

Brook Tamar Composite

Arjan was so pleased with his new Brook he called in to Project Music on the way home and purchased a Lamorna to keep it company!

Arjan and his Brook Lamorna

Our buddy Tony has added a custom Calder to his impressively large collection of Brooks,

Tony and his Brook Calder

This one has  English walnut back and sides with a tinted Swiss spruce top

Brook Guitars Calder

And Jack's kingfisher inlay on the headstock.

Brook Calder Kingfisher Inlay

A couple of weeks ago I went to see the excellent Steve Tilston and Jez Lowe playing a gig in Kingskerswell, Steve was happy to sign the label and test drive the guitar - Tony was delighted!

Brook Calder Labels

While we're on the subject of the Calder, here's Steve's mate Keith Warmington performing at The Eldon House, Bristol.

Keith Gigging With His Brook Calder

Phil came down from Oldham to pick up his new Lamorna,

Phil and his Brook Lamorna

Adirondack top on this one along with English walnut back and sides.

Brook Guitars Walnut Lamorna

When Phil got back he took this photo of the Lamorna, already feeling at home, between his Torridge and Lyn.

Phil's Three Brook Guitars

Another Lamorna - very popular this month, this time with a sitka top with a pick-guard, and rosewood back and sides,

Mike's Brook Lamorna

Also very popular with our customers currently is the new decking area. Here's Mike with his new guitar!

Mike and his Brook Lamorna

Will Riding's playing his Torridge on his latest EP 'Venus In Mohair', it's officially released on 1st of July and available on Bandcamp here.
Tom Robinson wrote "The unpretentious charm of Will Riding’s performance...completely disarmed me"! Check it out.

Will Riding EP Venus In Mohair

Lars Mullins came down to interview us for Britain's Rare Guitars

Britain's Rare Guitars 1

It's for a short feature for their program on Sky, you can check photos from the shoot on their Facebook page here.

Britain's Rare Guitars 2

See you next month!

 

 

May News 2019

Keith Warmington picked up his new Calder. Keith's a good pal of Steve Tilston and ordered a similar guitar but with a few changes:

Keith and his Brook Calder
Keith went for a natural finish for the fine Swiss spruce top,

Brook Calder
he asked for a Cornish chough inlay on the headstock.

Brook Calder Cornish Chough
Apart from that it had the same features as Steve's - the 12/14 fret body join

Calder Body Join
And the sound-port.

Calder Sound Port
Here's the full-length shot

Brook Calder Full Length
And here's Keith on the decking outside the workshop for the obligatory photo!

Keith and his new Calder This Lyn's just gone up to Steve in Hertfordshire,

Brook Lyn
A solid headstock rather than typical slotted one - it does make string changing a lot easier!

Brook Lyn 2
He asked for a nice aged tint for the top, simple wood rosette, purfling and binding along with a pyramid bridge and diamond and dot position markers.

Brook Lyn Close Up
Jon had this walnut Torridge shipped across the US from Shoreline in Colorado to North Carolina, he said " WOW.  I've probably owned over 200 guitars in my lifetime (I used to buy and sell), but this is by far the best guitar I've ever owned.  Incredible workmanship, and the tone is...I don't know, it gets inside me.  Just WOW.  Not ever selling THIS one!" Thanks for the kind words Jon!

Brook Walnut Torridge
This Lyn and a Tamar went up to Intersound last week,

Intersound Brook Lyn and Tamar
The Lyn (above) is Bubinga and sitka and the Tamar (below) is ovangkol and cedar.

Brook Bubinga Lyn and Ovangkol Tamar
Marcus and Nitin are part-way through their latest tour, they dropped in to see us again and we were really pleased to have another impromptu performance.

Marcus and Nitin

There's still an opportunity to catch them at the following venues:

Gig List
Here’s a picture of Mack with his owner's new Torridge, we featured Rob and Mack in the February news last year. Recently Rob decided to trade in his Clyst for a bubinga Torridge he'd seen in Coda. He loves the new guitar, he had some regrets about letting the Clyst go and checked Coda after a few days about maybe buying it back but it had already found a new home. It's a slippery slope Rob - one Brook's  never enough!

Mack and Torridge

As usual we've had more than our fair share of repairs and set-ups this month - one of our customers brought in these four and I worked my way through them one busy afternoon.

4 Repairs

We replaced a worn bridge-plate on this 1970's Gibson MK53.

Gibson Bridge Plate.

Andy worked wonders with this Martin which had a major split along the ribs.

Split Martin Ribs

He's part way through some interesting repairs, we'll show you the results next month!

 

April News 2019

We're pleased to announce the sixth issue of Babbling Brook is now available, you can download it here, you'll also be able to download it along with previous issues on our homepage.

Babbling Brook 1
We have an in-depth interview with Steve Tilston, our collectors feature and a look at Celtic Chords in Stonehaven, an article on some of the more unusual guitars we've made outside our standard range, a brief explanation of how the new CITES legislation affects guitarists, along with tab for 'A Place For Solitude' by Phil Taylor. As usual many thanks to Martin Bell for all his hard work, hope you enjoy it, any feedback will be most welcome!

Babbling Brook 2
Adrian came down from Berkshire to buy the walnut and cedar Tamar we had in stock, it was a toss up between this one and a walnut Lamorna in Project Music  - the Tamar won out this time!

Adrian and his Brook Tamar
Chris also had a similar dilemma: he'd come down to look around the workshop and try some guitars before Christmas. He recently went into Intersound and was torn between a Taw and a Lamorna, eventually the latter got his seal of approval! He sent us a message "I’m constantly astounded by the quality and consistency of your guitars. They are the bench mark that I judge others against. I’ve yet to play anything that enjoy as much as these". Thanks to Sam, aged 6, for the photo!

Chris and his Brook Lamorna
You may remember this spalted sycamore Taw we recently sent out to New Zealand, Matt got in touch to say "It's arrived, and is even more beautiful than I had hoped".

Spalted Sycamore Brook Taw
Coincidentally - we've just been sent this photo of Alex playing his Bovey by Lake Taupo in New Zealand. Thanks to his daughter Kora for the photo.

Alex and his Brook Bovey
Closer to home, Len picked up his rosewood and Sitka spruce Taw and looks delighted with his new Brook!

Len and his Brook Taw
Mark brought his 000 shaped Newlyn over for a set of strings, we've only made a couple of these....so far.

Mark and his Brook Newlyn
Here's Matthew in Stourbridge with his cat Charlie, along with a ten year old Clyst he's just acquired, he'll be coming down our way in August so he's going to call in to the workshop then.

Matthew, Charlie and Brook Clyst
Several years ago we made a striking black Tamar for New Zealand born, London based singer/songwriter Louise Loft (that's the third N.Z. connection this month!) Louise decided it was time for another Brook.

Louise and Brook 185 Plan
A few years ago we had a vintage 1950s Gibson 185 through the workshop and took a drawing from it. Louise liked the look of it and we'd been waiting for the opportunity to add this shape to our range so we made up a mould in preparation for the, as yet, un-named new model!

Brook 185 Mould
As I've got my new Lamorna John here asked if my old Taw was for sale, I reluctantly agreed - it's the seventeenth Brook in his collection, which now includes several which were my personal guitars!

John and his 17th Brook

This Bovey came in for repair, damaged while builders were working on the owner's house, Andy managed to glue the top back and replace the broken binding.

Broken Brook Bovey
I've just re-fretted this Ovation and it reminds me of why they're not amongst my favourite instruments: you can't hold them down on the bench to work on them, you can't release the strings to work on the saddle and bridge, the saddle is integral with the pickup so changing the action is a nuisance, they slip off your lap when you sit and play, I could go on.....and on......

Ovation need I say more

but I'd rather not end this month's news on that sort of note!

 

March News 2019

Andy made the trip down from Hertfordshire to collect his highly customised Tavy, dedicated to his late father with his initials on the 12th fret.

Andy ans Brook Tavy
It has a stunning variegated cedar top, figured English walnut back and sides, sound-port, along with abalone Celtic knot inlays, rosette and trim. Andy's really pleased with the result and already contemplating his next Brook!

Brook Tavy Cedar Top
Barry came down from Oxford to pick up his tasteful cutaway Lamorna -

Barry and Brook Lamorna
With dark rosewood binding and purfling, custom bridge with stained black saddle and nut

Brook Lamorna Top
And this rather nice set of heavily flamed Australian blackwood for the back and sides.

Brook Lamorna Australian Blackwood
We made this Tamar for our shop, the majority of woods are  non-tropical, the only concessions are the ethically sourced Crelicam ebony we use on all our guitars and reclaimed mahogany for the laminated neck and back struts. The top's cedar, the back and sides are figured English walnut and the binding and heel-cap are lacewood - London plane, cut on the quarter.

Brook Tamar For Sale
The latest four guitars for Project Music are nearly ready now: a bubinga Taw, a walnut Lamorna, a rosewood Taw and a walnut Torridge.

Project Music Four Brooks
I thought it was about time for a change so I'm moving on my old Taw and have gone  for a Lamorna this time!

Si and Brook Lamorna
Very plain with simple appointments, an Adirondack top and Indian rosewood back and sides.

Brook Lamorna Adirondack Top

I'll be spending most of April playing my new Lamorna in but hopefully also get enough work done to put together something for next months news!

 

 

February News 2019

First off the post this month is this Taw, heading off to New Zealand shortly.

Brook Taw going to New Zealand
The spalted sycamore came down in a paddock just round the corner from Andy's home in the village of Sandford!

Brook Taw spalted sycamore
Here's a close up of the back, plenty of variegation as well as flame!

Brook Taw spalted sycamore close up
Mike, from the New Forest, picked up the cherry Tavy 12 string we featured last month.

Mike and his Brook Tavy
Another guitar we featured last month was the Macassar ebony Lamorna, collected a couple of weeks ago by Gary who came down from Dorset.

Gary abd his Brook Lamorna
Rose brought down her custom Lyn for a tweak of the truss-rod. It's not often you get more than a wry grin out of us two old buggers but we all cracked a smile over Andy's quip along the lines of 'a rose between two thorns'...... though slightly more offensive about us both - and slightly more amusing!

Rose and her Brook Lyn
Rose has been setting up gigs again recently and will be playing with Ian Holleran at the Plough Arts Centre in Torrington on April 12th.

Rose's Gig Keith's up in Cumbria, he bought his Torridge from Project Music in Exeter, he wrote - 'I want to thank you for making such a lovely guitar. I’m a little different, being a one- armed/handed guitarist after a serious motorbike accident fourteen years ago. I’ve persevered and managed to develop a style of playing that works to a level, with both electric and acoustic guitar. Once again thank you for making such a lovely instrument.'

Keith and his Brook Torridge
Here are more photos of Chris with his Tavy and Teign performing around his home town of Tavistock. Photos courtesy of Jac Flash Photography.

Chris and his Brook Teign and Tavy
Jan popped down from North Devon with a fine hurdy gurdy and lute handmade by a relative of hers, we did a little research, ordered a set of lute strings and put on a couple of temporary ones until the new set turn up.

Hurdy Gurdy and Lute
We took delivery of a massive board of old stock Brazilian mahogany which we've been cutting up for necks, back and sides.

Brazilian Mahogany
We also ordered up this superb top, back and sides set of koa for Wolfgang in Zetel, Germany who's asked us to make a Lyn for him. The koa was sourced and supplied by Joshua Rose, a native of Hawaii who's relocated his fine woodworking business to Devon!

Brook Guitars Koa

We should be able to show you the completed guitar towards the end of the year!

 

 

January News 2019

Mike's planning on coming across from the New Forest to pick up his new Tavy 12 string in a couple of weeks,

Brook Guitars 12 String
Here are close ups of the cherry back and sitka top, the binding is rosewood with a yew rosette and also yew purfling.

Brook Guitars 12 string back and front
Mike asked Jack to inlay this sparrow hawk on the headstock using local woods.

Brook Tavy Buzzard Inlay
We've just strung up this Lamorna for Gary in Dorset

Brook Guitars Lamorna

Based on the O.M. shape this one has a stunning Macassar ebony back and sides and finest grade Swiss spruce soundboard.

Brook Guitars Lamorna back and front
We inlaid this abalone torch design in the headstock.

Brook Lamorna Torch Inlay
Three new guitars for Intersound: (front to back) a Creedy, Lamorna and a Taw.

Three Brooks for Intersound
The woods (front to back again) cherry, rosewood and red gum.

Three Brook Backs for Intersound
Mauro, in Foggia, sent us this photo of himself with his new Torridge

Mauro and Torridge
Along with some pictures of the stunning area of Southern Italy where he lives.

Mauro Scenery
Andy's been spraying the latest batch of Brooks

Latest Batch of Brooks for Spraying
He's also spraying a sunburst on this fine yew Strat made by James Millman.

Andy Spraying Strat
We've just repaired the bridge and splits ribs on this lovely 1925 koa Martin.

1925 Martin
Richard sent us this photo of his music room to remind us about the Bovey we built for him back in 2002 and the Taw a couple of years later, he's promised to pop in and see us again this year....

Richard's Music Room
Jake has just finished his course in music engineering and production, he's joined our small team to see how he gets on with guitar making!

Jake at Brook Guitars
We've just re-fretted this Fylde and still got a couple of Strat refrets to fit in before the end of the month!

Fylde Refret

More next month!

 

December News 2018

To start off the final month's news of 2018 we have this Lamorna which has just been sent off to Howard in Norfolk,

Brook Madagascan Lamorna
An Adirondack top, Martin style rosette, simple pearl diamond inlays on the fingerboard and a belly bridge decorated with a couple of additional pearl diamonds.

Adirondack Brook Lamorna
Madagascan rosewood back,

Madagascan Back Brook Lamorna
Along with a  fleur-de-lis inlay on the headstock and Waverly tuners with snakewood buttons.

Brook Lamorna Headstock
Richard came down from Bristol for this Torridge,

Brook Torridge Full Length
With a Lutz spruce top,

Brook Torridge Lutz Spruce Top
A figured English walnut back and figured mahogany laminated neck

Figured Walnut Brook Torridge
And a Celtic knot headstock inlay.

Brook Torridge Celtic Knot Inlay
This cutaway Torridge is going out to Mauro in Italy in the New Year,

Brook Torridge For Italy 1
It has a yellow cedar top

Yellow Cedar Brook Torridge
And a figured English walnut back.

Enlish Walnut Cutaway Brook Torridge
We've just delivered this rosewood and Sitka spruce Lamorna to Project Music in Exeter.

Brook Lamorna for Project Music
Amongst the repairs this month: We had to glue a few small splits in this fine Nicholas Scott classical, we also reshaped the neck and re-lacquered it to make it more comfortable for the owner.

Classical Guitar Repair
We're repairing a puncture wound in this old Harmony Sovereign. Once a favourite of 1950's and 60's folk and blues musicians, the model was so popular there were even European copies made of them!

Harmony Sovereign Brook Guitars Repair
This Silvertone arch-top, probably also built in the Harmony factory, came in for a neck re-set. The owner has a collection of similar models, with a bit of luck we should have this one ready for a place in the January news.

Silvertone Neck Reset
For everyone who keeps up with the Brook news updates we send you our best wishes,

Brook Guitars Seasons Greetings
We'll be off for a few days for our winter break and see you again next year!

 

November News 2018

We'll start the news this month with George in Atlanta, George has, to our knowledge, become the first Brook collector over in the U.S. Here he is in Peachtree Corners with his collection, second on the left is his latest acquisition - a Taw made of yew from the Haldon Grange estate near Exeter.

Brook Guitars collection in Atlanta
Tony came over from the Isle of Wight to pick up his 12 fret Tamar 12 string:

Tony and his Brook Tamar 12 string
015 spec with abalone purfling, rosette and fingerboard inlays,

Brook Tamar 12 string A bound, slotted headstock with Golden Age vintage tuners,

Brook Tamar 12 string headstock
A stunning English walnut back and sides, bound with maple,

Brook Tamar English walnut back
Along with  a sound-port.

Brook Tamar sound port
Many thanks to Anne Schelhaas-Wöll for these photos of TV and his Taw, he's on tour in Germany supporting Die Toten Hosen

TV Hand All taken at the gig at the SO36 club, Berlin on 7th November.

TV in Berlin

Jake has recorded a couple of tracks with his Tavy fan-fret and put it up on Bandcamp, to listen - check it out here.

Jake EP
This bubinga Torridge went up to Ivor Mairants in London.

Bubinga Brook Torridge
Chris visited the workshop with his twenty year old English walnut Tavy, we remember making this one for the original owner - we're pleased to say that the guitar's matured beautifully and sounding even better after all those years of playing!

Chris and his walnut Brook Tavy
A few interesting repairs again this month: Gareth Hedges brought over his 1970 Zemaitis to lower the action.

Zemaitis
Stan brought over his latest instrument - a Les Paul / Telecaster crossover, capped in English walnut we supplied, Andy wired it up for him. Stan's raised a considerable amount of money by donating his guitars to various charity auctions.

Stan walnut LP Tele
Mark Foxhall, from Lyme Regis, came up with his unusual Jerzy Drozd custom bass. With a fret dress and careful customisation of the saddles we were able to get the sneakily low action Mark needs for his super fast double thumbing technique!

Jerzy Drozd bass
It was great to see Kev Aram's domino Torridge again, it's loosely based on a vintage Regal.

Brook Domino Torridge
We made up a full set of bone and ebony miniature dominos and arranged the fingerboard markers to add up to the appropriate fret positions with the remainder incorporated in the rosette. Kev's next guitar is going to have a cowboy theme, we're looking forward to working on that!

Brook Domino Torridge Close Up
This Norman Wood guitar has been an interesting renovation: it had been messed around with over the years and even been fitted with a Strat bridge, we patched it up, filled the splits and put a fresh bridge plate, bridge and tailpiece, some new struts, reset the neck and put it back together. It sounded remarkably good and the owner was delighted to get an old favourite up and running again.

Brook Guitars Norman Wood Renovation
I met Norman in the mid '70s, he was an eccentric character with some novel ideas about guitar making including an unusual layered back and stainless steel bar frets. This was his advertisement in a major guitar magazine from the same period!

Norman Wood Advertisement

Just one more Brook News before the New Year!

 

 

 

October News 2018

Here's a snapshot of the first frost of the Autumn over the orchard by our workshop.

Brook Guitars Frosty Morning

These are the first four guitars that Andy took up to Project Music in Exeter,Four Brook Guitars for Project Music
From the top: a rosewood Torridge, a rosewood Lamorna, a rosewood Tamar and an English walnut Taw.

Four Brook Guitars Backs
Ken came up from Cornwall to pick up his Teign,

Ken and his Brook Teign
European spruce top, diamond and dot position markers,

Brook Teign
An English walnut back

English Walnut Brook Teign
And an inlay based on the logo from the Dartmoor Pony website, many thanks to Jenny How for permission to use the image.

Pony Headstock Inlay
This Martin came in with a nasty break in the sides,

Martin Break 1
Andy jigsawed it back together and used these strong magnets to hold a patch in place while the glue dries,

Martin Break 2
A little sanding and filling, then some colour to disguise the damage before building up with clear lacquer -

Martin Break 3
And a delighted customer picks up the result.

Martin Break 4
David took a trip up from Glasgow to Stonehaven to try some Brooks in Celtic Chords, he came away with this Taw.

John and his Brook Taw
Su picked up this rosewood Taw recently, the guitar's over twenty years old now and still sounding great!

Su and her Brook Taw
TV got a good review for his latest album in Vive Le Rock magazine.

TV and his Brook Taw
Amongst the repairs this month were a re-spray on this Fender Jaguar

Brook Guitars Refinish on Fender Jaguar
And repairing a neck break on this banjo uke for Liz from Cornwall.

Uke Neck Break
Finally this month - another three guitars we're about to take up to Project Music,

Three More Brooks for Project
From the top: A walnut Torridge, a rosewood Torridge and a rosewood Taw.

Three More Brook Backs for Project

Keep warm!

 

September News 2018

These are the latest five guitars we've just sent up to Coda Music: A Teign, Tavy, Lyn, Weaver and a Creedy.

Five Brook Guitars
From bottom to top: Indian Rosewood, English Walnut, Figured Mahogany, Ovangkol (top left) and Indian Rosewood again (top right).

Five Brook Guitars Backs
Thanks to Pat Muff for these photos of Chris, taken on Dartmoor with his two Brooks.  Chris bought the red gum Tamar we had for sale to accompany the Teign he got from us a couple of years ago.

Chris and his two Brook Guitars
We completed the renovation of this 1920's guitar, the maker, Raffaele Calace, was a celebrated Italian lutenist and luthier and died in 1934.

Raffaele Calace Classical
The owner wanted the rather battered guitar to be made playable again so he could use it but wished to retain its character as his father had acquired it in Alexandria during the war. We kept and replaced the boot nails used to repair it after we'd taken the back off to re-glue many of the struts and repair the splits all around the instrument.

Raffaele Calace
Mike came down for the Torridge we mentioned in the July news,

Mike with bubinga Brook Torridge
Bubinga back and sides with an Engelmann top.

Bubinga Brook Torridge
Andrew's sent this walnut Lyn down for our shop, he's selling it to fund a nylon strung Cary. It's only two years old and in very good condition, if anyone's interested in saving some money and not having to wait for a new Brook this one's for sale at £1800.

Brook Lyn for sale
Sometimes people just don't treat a handmade instrument with the respect it deserves! Unlike the standard  Gibson headstock it's really not that easy to decapitate one of our guitars but this seventeen year old Tavy had been knocked over and had split around the volute.

Brook headstock repair
To be fair - it didn't look as bad as this when it came in but to get a better gluing surface this time we felt we'd make a better job of it by fully breaking the headstock. Here's the completed repair.

Brook headstock repair complete
We've been working on lots of other repairs, more of which next month!

 

August News 2018

Here are the first four guitars that we've just sent up to Coda Music in Stevenage,

4 Brook Guitars 4 Coda Music
From the front: A rosewood and European spruce Lamorna - our OM model, a beautifully figured mahogany Clyst, a bubinga and sitka Torridge and a rosewood and European spruce Taw.

4 Brook Guitars
Gary came down to pick up his new Taw,

Gary and his Brook Taw
It's rosewood and Engelmann spruce, slightly customised with diamond and dot inlays, deeper body and wider fingerboard and string spacing.

Brook Taw Front and Back
Brian bit the bullet and bought the spectacular fan-fretted Tamar we made last year! Brian wrote -
"Thanks for all of the effort and fantastic craftsmanship that Andy and yourself put into creating this guitar, it's found a home with someone who appreciates it more than words can say".

Brian and his Fan Fretted Brook Tamar
A couple of photos from Brook owners in the States this month: Firstly from David who let us know that his Taw was featured in his local Greensboro paper along with David playing at Porchfest accompanied by his friend and top musician Scott Manring.

Porchfest
Secondly we have Geoff from South Carolina who picked up this Kew walnut Torridge recently. We love to receive photos with a little local colour and Geoff sent us these shots from Greenville which is the only place in the US to have a natural waterfall in its centre!

Brook Torridge in Greenville
Bob, on the left, has a recording studio in London and came down for set up on 2002 Tamar. On the right - Steve Goodchild picked up this second-hand 2016 Torridge recently and took a detour down to see us while he was working in Bristol.

Bob And Steve with Brook Guiitars
Ken dropped in to see how his English walnut Teign was getting on and to finalise his headstock inlay, the guitar is up in the spray shop now so, with a bit of luck, we'll be able to show you the finished guitar next month!

Ken and his Walnut Brook Teign
Andy's just done a fine sympathetic restoration job on this rare Selmer Eddie Freeman tenor guitar, in the foreground is the superb history of Selmer guitars book by François Charle with all the information about this model.

Selmer Tenor
As we were cutting up some of this Brazilian mahogany, we thought it might be interesting to show you an early stage in the building process - Marking out from the neck template, rough sawing to shape, then we leave them for a while before they're thoroughly stable and ready to select for future batches of Brook necks.

Brook Guitars Necks
Film editor John Mister popped in with Gareth Hedges for a set up on his Martin which involved a fret dress, lowering the bridge height and dropping the saddle.

John Mister
We've been working on some interesting restorations - more details of those next month, but this Sobell bouzouki is worth a mention, it was one of the late John Renbourn's which came up for auction recently. We're converting it to left-handed for the owner but we'll keep the original bridge, saddle and nut in case it needs to be converted back in the future.

John Renborn Sobell Bouzouki
Jack inlaid this spaniel in John Middleton's Lowden a few years ago, it was nice to see it again when Andy fitted a Fishman Infinity pickup.

Lowden Brook Inlay
Steve Tilston sent us a video of 'Let Your Banjo Ring' with his new Calder - see it our YouTube channel.

Steve Tilston Video
I've been making the most of all the music around during festival season: I saw Steve and Jez Lowe's set at the Sidmouth Folk Festival, then went off to see Wizz Jones.

Hanging Around

Pete Berryman was amongst the many who played at the Hellys International Guitar Festival, Pete played a great set on his Tavy ending up with a crowd pleasing fingerstyle version of Albatross that you can watch on the festival site. The festival encompasses a multitude of guitar styles with top players from around the world and is organized by lutenist Ben Salfield, there were several luthiers there so it was great to have a good chat with them along with other old friends! I caught up with Wizz and Pete again at the Wadebridge Festival last weekend.

Pete Berryman at Hellys Guitar Festival
Finally - a shot of the next five guitars we're just finishing for Coda, they'll be ready for delivery early in September.

5 Brook Guitars for Coda Music

July News 2018

These three guitars, a Tamar, Lyn and a Clyst, are off to Ivor Mairants

Ivor Mairants Three Brooks
And this bubinga Torridge is for our shop.

Bubinga Brook Torridge
Steve Tilston's new Calder is being seen out and about regularly with Steve's busy touring schedule, here he is at Radio Leeds

Steve Tilston at Radio Leeds
And also at the Bristol Harbour Festival a few weeks ago. We've had two orders for his Calder model already, one from Keith Warmington who plays with Steve occasionally and one from Tony Kerry to add to his substantial collection of Brooks!

Steve Tilson at Bristol Harbour Festival
Most of you will know Robbie from our YouTube channel, over the years he's posted many superb acoustic guitar and bass videos of his arrangements and his own compositions.

Robbie J Last year he found himself in the unfortunate position where he had to sell his collection of instruments. He's crowd-funding to record his second album and put something towards the deposit on a guitar. We'll be helping out but if any of you good people would like to contribute you can find out more about it here

Go Fund Me

Thanks to Simon Maidment for this photo. Simon runs a bespoke design company Simon Maidment Design And Research in Kew.
With his design background it's very flattering that he chose a Taw and a Creedy from us!

Simon and his Brooks

John bought in this 1930s Raffael Calace guitar. We love to see guitars like this with a bit of history:

Raffael Calace Guitar

John's father picked it up in Alexandria during the war and when it started falling apart mended it with nails from his boots! Our task is to keep these interesting features and get it back into a playable state.

Mended with Nails Drew and his wife were over from the States on holiday and scheduled in a visit to the workshop. We made a Taw for him last year, the inset photo shows Jack's inlay to celebrate Drew's mother's love of gardening and the shamrock below as a reminder of his Irish heritage.

Drew and his Brook Taw
It was good to see these two Grimshaws together, the one on the left is a 1930s Revelation from our collection and on the right, a later Plectra - with one of the strangest cutaways we've ever seen!

Two Grimshaws
The Plectra came in because the celluloid pick-guard had bent almost double, unfortunately we forgot to photograph it before we separated the laminates and binding but we managed to flatten everything out and then glued it all back together.

Grimshaw Pick Guard
A gentleman rang up the other day to ask about two Boveys he's acquired, we looked up the serial numbers and the earliest one we made way back in 1997 for Martin Barre!

Martin Barre with his Brook Bovey
Mark was on holiday in South Devon with his family so called in with his Tamar and Bovey for a string change and a set-up.

Mark with his Brook Tamar and Bovey
Ollie here came over one day to complete his work experience week, he's a fine player and enjoyed the chance to try the finished guitars!

Ollie at Brook Guitars
Michelle and Rob dropped in and gave us a few tunes before heading down for their gig at the Bodmin Folk Club. Michelle recorded one of the numbers on her phone, I'll be posting that on our YouTube channel shortly.

Michelle and Rob
Amongst the other repairs we've been working on recently: this Takamine was the worst for wear, Andy did a fine job to get it back together and get it looking in a reasonable condition again.

Brook Guitars Takamine Repair
This limited edition Martin acoustic bass had the common problem of the celluloid binding shrinking and coming away from the guitar at the waist, we re-glued and refinished the lacquer in the offending areas and it's pristine again.

Brook Guitars Martin Acoustic Bass Repair
Ah.... and this green Washburn came it for a fret dress and a set-up. Back in the early 1900s Washburn made some of the prettiest guitars around - this one - not so sure!

Washburn Green Thing
It was nice to see this fine guitar Chris Ayliffe made.

Chris Ayliffe Guitar
The story was that it was custom made for someone who annoyed him so much that when it was completed to the customer's satisfaction Chris refused to let him have it!

Chris Ayliffe Guitar Headstock
Next month we'll show you the first batch of guitars going off to Coda Music.

 

June News 2018

Marcus and Nitin dropped in to the workshop earlier in the month and Marcus played us a short set of his songs accompanied by Nitin on tabla. It was a real pleasure for us to hear these two great players. Nitin's from the third generation of master tabla players. His grandfather, Shenhai Samrat Pandit Shankarraoji Gaikwad was one of the greats of the 20th century.

Marcus and Nitin at Brook Guitars  George came down from Milton Keynes to pick up his third Brook - A Tamar to complement his Torridge and Tenor Uke.

George at Brook guitars

He chose English walnut back and sides

Walnut Brook Tamar

And an Alpine spruce top. George favoured the slotted headstock rather than the solid one we usually use on the 14 fretters.

George's Brook Tamar

Adrian couldn't make it down to pick up his Taw but sent us this photo from his workshop.

Adrian and his Brook Taw

He makes the very fine, award winning, guitar pedals at Thorpy FX. Check them out here.

ThorpyFX

The back's Macassar ebony. Adrian got in touch -

"The guitar is truly stunning, I'm mainly an electric player but this acoustic is addictive, both beautiful and so easy to play, I can't seem to put it down...."

Macassar Ebony Brook Taw

Here's the European spruce top.

Adrian's Brook Taw full length

Chris brought his mandolin in for us to check out, we made it back in 2001. The small sapling you see in the inset photo is now the large lime tree you see behind Chris in the main photo!

Chris and his Brook Mandolin

John came down from Bedfordshire to pick up his new ovangkol Lyn, he came down a few months earlier when I carved the neck to check dimensions, he wanted a similar feel to his classical guitar.

John and his Brook Lyn

Here's the guitar from the front, John preferred a solid headstock on his Lyn rather than the traditional slotted one.

Brook Lyn wider neck

Quite a a few Lyns seem to have left the workshop over the last couple of months, this cedar and mahogany one is about to go off to Forsyths in Manchester

Cedar Brook lyn for Forsyths

There were a couple of shots of Steve's Madagascan rosewood Lyn in last month's news, he sent these photos with the message -

" Thank you for a beautiful looking and sounding guitar, it's perfect."

Steve and his Brook Lyn

Rob brought his banjo in to show us now it has its full complement of hooks. He's been getting plenty of interest in the instrument wherever he plays. We also have Michelle's banjo in to dress the frets. They'll be playing as a duo again in a couple of weeks time when Michelle comes down from Manchester.

Rob Murch Banjo Complete

Andy made a slightly wider bone nut for Mike's David Oddy OM.

Mike and his David Oddy

Here's a collection of some of the repairs we've been working on recently: a re-fret on a vintage Tele, fret dresses on a Harmony, Gibson Dove, Lowden and Takamine. Andy also repaired a couple of classical guitars with a number of splits and dinks!

Brook Guitars Workshop Repairs

Lastly a holiday shot of Mike under canvas, enjoying the sunshine, scenery and the Framus Broadway we rebuilt for him a few months ago!

Mike Under Canvas

Enjoy the sunshine!

 

May News 2018

 

We've just strung up Steve Tilston's Calder, we're letting it settle for a week before sending it off to him.

Steve Tilston's Brook Calder 1
The top's finest quality European spruce with an amber stain, an abalone border and rosette,

Steve Tilston's Brook Calder 2
Rosewood back and sides,

Steve Tilston's Brook Calder 3
Here's the obligatory inside shot through the sound-port,

Steve Tilston's Brook Calder 4
And here's a shot of our take on Steve's distinctive 12/14 fret body join.

Steve Tilston's Brook calder 5
Here's a Lyn for Steve in Manchester,

Brook Lyn SW1
It's been customised very much in a Martin style with the triple rosette, tinted Engelmann top, courser herringbone purfling with celluloid binding and pyramid bridge,

Brook Lyn SW 2
There's a marquetry centre strip on a Madagascan rosewood back that Steve supplied.

Brook lyn SW 3
Lastly an abalone torch inlay on a Madagascan rosewood head veneer.

Brook Lyn SW 4

Mike came across from the Isle of Wight to pick up his Taw,

Mike with his Brook Taw
640 mm scale with diamond and dot inlays,

Mike S Brook Taw
Wider fingerboard, a deeper body

Mike St Brook Taw 2
And Jack's snowdrop inlay.

Brook Taw Snowdrop Inlay
This customised Torridge is going off to Shoreline in Colorado.

Shoreline Brook Torridge
Here's a cedar Tamar and spruce Lyn for Intersound,

Intersound Tamar and Lyn
Walnut for the Tamar, cherry for the Lyn.

Walnut Tamar and Cherry Lyn
Keith got in touch for some information on this Tamar that had turned up at their shop - Empire Guitars, Rhode Island! We made for Ivor Mairants back in 2002.

Empire Guitars Brook Tamar
I was invited by Pete Berryman to the opening fundraiser for the Hellys Guitar Festival. The festival is organised by international lutenist Ben Salfield and taking place in August. There's an excellent and varied line-up ranging from Clive Carroll and Pete to two of my favourite characters, poet Bob Devereux and artist, musician and writer Jonathan Coudrille.

By the way - Pete has just updated his website, you can visit it here

Pete Berryman Website
Check out Jack Hayter's live performance of one of my favourite tracks from 'Abbey Wood' - 'I Sent My Love To Bendigo',  many thanks to the 'For Folk's Sake' team for this video.
Jack Hayter I Sent My Love To Bendigo
We've just cut up this board of highly figured bubinga, there's a lot of work involved in sourcing the right wood, cutting and storing it - in this case just for three distinctive sets.

Brook Guitars Bubinga Board
We've also been busy with plenty of repairs and re-frets this month but I'm afraid we haven't room to show them, maybe we'll get a chance to round them all up in next month's news!

 

 

April News 2018

As a follow up to the recent article in our latest Babbling Brook magazine we'd like to mention Dev's new guitar book 'Fingerstyle Etudes'. If you follow our YouTube channel you'll be aware of Dev from his beautiful Celtic compositions and arrangements on his Torridge.

Dev and his Brook Torridge

Here's the cover and reviews from guitar luminaries Clive Carroll and Stuart Ryan:

 

"The pieces in this book explore many wonderful sonorities that are unique to the acoustic guitar. The composer Devkinanden Patel, is a player with very fine technique and an expert knowledge of the fretboard. His collection will help to advance student's technical skill and musicianship, and the music also works well in concert!" Clive Carroll

 

"My friend Dev is a great player, a wonderful composer and he really makes the guitar sing!" Stuart Ryan

Dev's Book

You can order the book through Dev's website:
https://www.devkinandanpatel.com/shop/fingerstyle-etudes

Dev's Website

Marcus Corbett, also featured in the same Babbling Brook article, is about to embark on a short UK tour with Nitin Gaikwad:

Marcus Tour Poster
They're are down our way with Faeland  on 22 May at 19:30–22:45 at Kingskerswell Church - a really lovely local venue which is attracting a some major artists.

Marcus, Nitan and Faeland

Jeff and Lucy came up from Totnes to pick up Jeff's new cutaway Torridge.

Jeff and his Cutaway Brook Torridge
He wanted to use native woods as far as possible and chose yew for the back and sides, a European spruce top and a bog oak fingerboard.

Yew Brook Torridge
Jack  was asked to design the inlay of their cat Garth on the headstock and sent us this photo of the subject!

Garth
Here's the result - The verdict was that it looked more like Garth than Garth!

Brook Torridge Garth
Another stunning guitar completed this month, an OM  for John in Merseyside, John sourced the rosewood back. Other features include a Lutz spruce top, koa binding, and an abalone torch inlay, abalone snowflake inlay, rosette and top border.

Brook OM

Pete Berryman dropped in returning to Cornwall after a few gigs in Holland, he really enjoyed playing the custom fan-fret Tamar we have for sale. He was also interested in finding out more about the thinline Taw with the detachable neck we made last year for TV Smith as he's gigging abroad regularly. Pete's new album is almost ready, we'll look forward to that and let you know about it when it's released.

Pete Berryman
Talking of TV - Tim played at the Viva Le Rock awards ceremony and is featured in the current collectors issue!

TV and Viva Le Rock
Will Riding came down from Chester with his luthier friend Andy to see where his Torridge was made. He played us several of his excellent songs, check them out on Soundcloud 

Will Riding and his Brook Torridge

Another hearty recommendation: Jack Hayter's new album 'Abbey Wood' has just been released, you can read about it and stream it on Bandcamp. Jack's Taw is used on most tracks. Favourite track of the moment - 'I Sent My Love To Bendigo'.

Check it out here - Jack Hayter - Abbey Wood  

Jack Hayter Abbey Wood   This Brook tenor uke is winging its way to Australia.

Brook Tenor Uke

Andy, Anita and I were delighted to see Steve Tilston and Jez Lowe playing in Topsham towards the end of April, Steve popped in the following day to see how his guitar was progressing and try out some pickup options. Not long now before we polish the Calder and start putting it together. With a bit of luck next month we'll be able to show you it strung up and ready to go!

Steve Tilston  and Brook Calder

Always good to receive photos of Brook owners. This photo was sent in to us by Keith, it's Phil and Keith with their guitars, not sure of the significance of the owl on Phil's shoulder! Maybe an alternative to a pirate's parrot?

Phil and Keith with ther Brooks

More next month!

 

March News 2018

We were unable to make it in to the workshop several days this month because of the snow down here in the South West,

Brook Workshop in the Snow
These photos were taken on the first day back, the snow had started to clear but it still looked picturesque out there!

Brook Workshop Window
A couple of weeks before, Wendy made it down to pick up her heavily customised, butterfly inlaid, Lyn!

Wendy and her Brook Lyn

Phill picked up his second Brook, this rosewood Tamar to go with his  his Taw, he emailed " The Tamar is bloody fantastic, thanks once again for making such an amazing guitar, I've not stopped playing it!".

Phill and his Brook Tamar
Geoff came down from Gloucestershire with Denver from Intersound and went away with this Little Silver we'd made for stock.

Geoff and his Little Silver
Beautiful figured mahogany with an Engelmann top.

Brook Guitars Little Silver
Denver picked up this Taw for an Intersound customer -

Oriental Walnut Brook Taw
Engelmann top, oriental walnut back and sides.

Brook Taw

And also went away with this Weaver we'd also built for stock -

Denver and Brook Silver

English cherry back and sides, European spruce top.

Brook Guitars Little Silver
Mike was really happy with the re-build of his old Broadway arch-top we showed you last month in pieces.

Mike and Broadway
We glued the braces back on, got it back together, gave it a coat of lacquer and it's now looking much healthier and playing comfortably again!

Framus Broadway

We were entertained again the other afternoon when Rob and Michelle dropped in, Michelle was down from Manchester for a couple of gigs they'd booked in the area.

Rob and Michelle The fan fret Tamar we're selling on behalf of a customer has now been dropped in price considerably to £3390 as we've had it on sale for a while now. Anyone interested get in touch.

Brook Custom Fan Fret
Some years ago Chris part-exed his Tavy for a Gibson 175 and regretted it soon afterwards. We're pleased to say he's back in the fold again, he picked up this Taw from Intersound and is delighted with it. Here are Chris, Albert and Maisie enjoying a brief spell of March sunshine along with the new guitar!

Chris Albert Maisie and new Brook Taw
Here's part of the latest delivery of rosewood that turned up this week.

Brook Guitars Rosewood
Now, an update on Steve Tilston's Calder: Here's the roughed out neck, dovetailed and ready to fit the truss-rod and fingerboard

Steve Tilson's Calder March 1
And here's everything in place. I'll soon be carving the neck and getting it ready for its first coats of lacquer

Steve Tilston's Broook Calder March

so - another update next month!

 

February News 2018

John Forrester's new album was released on the 23rd of February. Produced by Fairground Attraction’s Roy Dodds it features a fine, heartfelt set of new songs from John,  accompanied by the impressive musicianship of singer and cellist Kath Williams, pianist Jenny Carr, flautist Linze Maesterosa, accordionist George Whitfield and violinists Paul Godfrey and Saskia Tomkins.

John Forrester Restless John's used his new Teign on the recording, you can sample the tracks here
John Forrester and his Brook TeignThis cherry Tavy is off to Project Music in Exeter this week.

Cherry Brook Tavy
We like to see photos of Brook owners and their guitars in a local setting, Rob, I'm pleased to say, was happy to oblige! Here he is with his cherry Clyst and his spaniel Mack in front of the knapped flint wall of Old Catton Church, near Norwich.

Rob and Brook Clyst
Rob got in touch with us towards the end of last month showing interest in a parlour sized guitar, either the Creedy in our Shop or the Clyst at Celtic Chords. Rob wrote " The guitar has formed a little triangle of the island, Devon to Aberdeenshire to Norfolk, please mention what a top man Pete at Celtic Chords is" - Consider it done!

Mack and Brook Clyst
Martin picked up his maple Okement, here he is in the orchard with the annual snowdrops in the background.

Martin and Brook Okement
Rob Murch came in for his nylon strung banjo, we hope to get some YouTube clips of him playing his unique English classic banjo style on it very soon.

Rob Murch and Brook Banjo
Michael sent us this photo of the attractive new hard-case for his Bovey from Kingham Cases.

Brook Bovey Hard Case On to the repair section:

We've a couple of arch-tops in: the first - a Zenith is in reasonably good condition for its age and shouldn't need a massive amount of work to get it playing well again.Zenith Archtop
However this Framus Broadway is pretty much going to require a total rebuild! 
Check out this dustball - leaves, hair, fluff, dead flies and who knows what? If guitar detritus could tell a story......

Framus Broadway
Keith Christmas came in with the Fender Palomino we worked on recently, he's now using it for slide and has been writing a lot of his new material on it. He brought his Eggle over for Andy to repair the split in the side caused by somewhat overzealous activity in concert!  Note: Keith's trainers are colour coordinated with his Hiscox case!

Keith Christmas Guitars
We had a second Eggle in for some repair work this month from Project Music.

PE
We replaced the bridge on North Devon bluesman Jim Crawford's J45.

Jim Crawford J45
Here at the workshop we're really busy with a substantial number of orders in the book, we're in-between batches and didn't have too many new guitars to show you this month so we'll give you a little snap shot of what we're up to here: (clockwise from top left) Si preparing necks for carving, Andy fitting a pickup, Yasmin making linings and Jack making the latest batch of bodies.

Brook Guitars Team
We've two different torch inlays on the headstocks of the next guitars to be sprayed, here's one of them in the process of being inlaid.

Torch Inlay On Brook
Here's the latest photo of Steve Tilston's new Calder in its early stages.

Steve Tilston's New Guitar
More next month!


January News 2018

 

Hope you like the New Year's larger format, we should be able to show you the progress each month in a little more detail!

Wendy, from Gloucestershire, ordered this pretty Lyn

Curly Redwood Brook Lyn

With a curly redwood top, abalone rosette,

Redwood Brook Lyn

Jack's butterfly inlay on the headstock

Jack's Brook Lyn Butterfly Inlay

Some stylised butterfly position markers on the ebony fingerboard

Butterfly position markers Brook Lyn

And reclaimed mahogany for the back and sides.

Reclaimed Mahogany Brook Lyn

Steve Tilston got in touch after buying a Tamar of ours, he liked it so much he's asked us to build our take on his signature 12/14 fret Martin Cole guitar.

Steve Tilston

Here's the plan - it's a smaller version of our Taw with a 12 and 14 fret body joint to give a little more access without need for a cutaway.

Brook Calder Plan

We extended our range of Westcountry river names to encompass Steve's local river in West Yorkshire! Here's the new Calder mould, we'll be starting the guitar shortly and keep you updated as we go.

Brook Calder Mould

Martin didn't have far to come from Woodbury to order this Okement back in June

Maple Brook Okement

J200 size, this is the largest guitar in our range.

Brook Okement close up

Maple back, sides and neck back view of Brook Okement

And 'Flo' inlay on the 12th fret.

Brook Flo Inlay

Jon came down from Dorset for a new nut and some fettling on his mandola.

Jon and his mandola

Jon's in the critically acclaimed duo Ninebarrow, nominees for the 2017 Horizon Folk Awards.

Ninebarrow

We've strung up Rob Murch's banjo now.

Rob's Brook Banjo

With the neck built out of maple from reclaimed from his village hall dance-floor, we replicated the shape of his old Weaver neck.The 12" pot is an 1880s Temlett made in England,

Rob's Brook Banjo maple neck

Jack inlaid Rob's initials based on his signature. Next month we hope to get photos of Rob, Wendy and Martin each picking up their unique instruments.

Jack's Brook Banjo Inlay

Pat from Las Vegas sent us this photo reminder that it's his twin Ian Anderson guitars' tenth birthday, we arranged with April, his wife, to get them over in time for Christmas day 2007 much to Pat's surprise! In the photo on the right he's strapped on the Tamar we made for him a couple of years ago, with a bit of luck we'll be meeting up with April and Pat this year if their trip over the pond comes to fruition!

Pat Nestor and his Brooks

Michael found this Bovey in Guitar Classics in Battersea, he sent us this photo of a performance in chapel at the House of St Barnabas, a rather exclusive club and venue in Soho!

Brook Bovey at St Barnabas

Mark Foxhall, a fine bass player from East Devon dropped in his six string Peavey bass for conversion to a fretless, you can see he's happy with the result!

Mark and his de-fretted bass

Tidy bench, tidy mind

Brook Guitars Workbenches

.....oh dear!

 

December News 2017

George Staines, an actor and musician, came down from  London on the train to pick up his new Tavy.

George and his Brook walnut Tavy
He wrote " The Tavy had its first professional outing on Friday, a regular paid session I do with some very fine musicians. Everyone was, to use a rather overworked phrase, blown away. It is interesting; it has so much forward projection of the sound that when playing it I'm unaware of just how much! They all loved the tone and clarity and superb separation of the notes.

Brook walnut Tavy top Here's the walnut back.

Brook walnut Tavy back
This Lyn went across to Athens, Georgia to the second George featured this month!

Brook Lyn top
For a change we didn't need a CITES licence as to export this as it was all in non-tropical woods - English cherry back and sides with a Swiss spruce top.

Cherry Brook Lyn
The Lyn's taken pride of place in George's extensive guitar collection.

George's Collection
This Taw went to Project music in Exeter

Project Music Brook Taw
And this cedar Torridge will be heading off to a customer in London in the New Year,

Cedar Brook Torridge
Here's a shot of the reclaimed mahogany back and sides.

Mahogany Brook Torridge
A montage of the latest stages of Rob Murch's banjo neck - carving the neck, the inlay of his initials and first coats of lacquer, we should get the instrument together early in the New Year, you may remember - this was constructed from maple reclaimed from the dance-floor of his village hall!

Brook Banjo Neck
Amongst the odds and ends in this month we had this early Manson in, the top had been badly damaged by a friend's dog, we were really pleased with the almost invisible repair (so was the owner, his friend - we can't be sure about the dog!)

Manson Magpie Repair
We had to change a lefty Eccleshall to a right-hander, fill and re-route the saddle slot, make up a new bone nut and saddle and give it a thorough set-up.

Eccleshall Left to Right
Finally - Season's Greetings to all our customers and friends out there.

Season's Greetings 2017
We'll be back next year in a slightly different format, we'll be making the news photos a little larger with better definition to show you what we get up to each month.

 

November News 2017

The sun rising over the orchard early one November morning.

Brook Guitars One November Morning
An unusually shy Richard, from Market Harborough, commissioned this Cary classical guitar from us to add to his collection of Brooks. He wrote to us after his visit "Back home safe and then spent a further two hours playing my new guitar which is just superb, thank you both so much. A tune has emerged which I'll record for you. It's a stunning instrument".

Richard James' Brook Cary Classical

Here's the Alpine spruce top with a smoky pearl rosette

Brook Guitars Cary Classical
And the oriental walnut back.

Brook Guiitars Cary Back
John holds the record for the man with the largest collection of our guitars, he recently bought this Weaver - his 15th Brook! He's only ordered one directly from us, the rest he's acquired from various shops and auction sites around the country!

John's 15th Brook
Pete, from Hampshire, has an 015 Teign we built for him ten years ago, here he's picking up his new 015 Torridge

Pete's Brook Torridge 015
With a top quality Engelmann top, abalone rosette and purfling

Brook Torridge 015
And beautiful figured bubinga back.

Bubinga Brook Torridge
This Lyn with a cedar top and drop cutaway went out to Shoreline in the States,

Cedar Brook lyn
It has a rosewood bevel, it's not a feature we're particularly keen on but seems to be increasingly popular.

Brook Torridge Bevel
On another guitar going out to the States, Jack's inlaid this Taw headstock with a flower to commemorate the customer's mother's love of gardening, and a shamrock to celebrate the family's Irish heritage.

Brook taw Flower Inlay
It was good to see this striking Teign with the Celtic inlay again, in for a quick set up.

Brook Guitars Teign With Inlay
This photo was taken at the Manson Guitar Show on Exeter - four luthier friends - James Millman who took our guitar course, Andy Manson who taught us, along with me and top classical maker Kevin Aram.

James, Andy Si and Kev
Nature corner:

Graham brought in his catch of Signal Crayfish from the pond here to show us. We were surprised how large they were. They're an invasive species that unfortunately wipe out the majority of the smaller local crayfish and decimate a lot of the smaller wildlife - as well as eating their own species!

Easterbrook Crayfish

Back to slightly more pleasant subjects next month for the final news of the year!

 

October News 2017

 

We're very pleased to announce that our latest Babbling Brook magazine is now available, it's a bumper issue this year with in-depth articles on Ant Phillips, Dev Patel, Marcus Corbett and Tony Hazzard, along with other Brook related features to occupy you for a while during these windy, winter months.

Babbling Brook Cover

We've also articles on recording techniques from Robbie and Phil, a TV update and Pete Walton telling us why his Brook has probably been heard live more times than any other guitar we've made!

Many thanks to Martin for all his hard work and to all the contributors!

Download your copy here or from our homepage.

Babbling Brook Pages
Richard came down from Manchester and intercepted this OM we'd made for the Shop,

Richard and Brook O.M. It's the first time we've used the pre-aged torrefied spruce. It had a lovely open sound and plenty of bass from the moment we strung it up,

Brook O.M.1
The colour hits the spot for me!

Brook O.M. Close Up
Here's the full length shot

Brook O.M. Full Length
And the headstock.

Brook O.M. Headstock
This one's for Phil in Wiltshire: a slimline Taw

Brook Slim Line Taw
With an Engelmann top

Brook Slimline Taw
And English cherry back and sides with an oriental rosewood centre wedge.

Brook Slimline Taw Back
Chris came down from Bristol earlier in the month to pick up the yew Tamar we featured in the August news.

Chris and his Brook Tamar
Out with the old, in with the new: Robb Johnson recently found himself a second-hand Teign that he's delighted with so he's looking to sell the custom Tamar we made for him back in 2005. If you'd like further details go to our Shop and you'll find more information there.

Robb Johnson Two Brooks
Andy's moving along Rob Murch's banjo neck made from maple from his local village hall dance-floor.

Andy with Brook Banjo
Now on to our regular repair section: We've had in plenty of Gibsons this month for set-ups, fretwork and lowering the bridges.

Three Gibsons
Another one here with a nice Gibson 160E inspired '60s Hagstrom - also brought in so we could shave the bridge.

Gibson and Hagstrom
This is the second Brook cake on these pages, this one was for Sam's 40th and based on the left handed Taw we made for him in July.

Sam's Brook Guitars Birthday Cake
Finally this month -

This little Russian seven string guitar with an adjustable neck was brought over in a sorry state, it once belonged to the customer's father, we were asked to glue the bridge back on and get it up and running. Coincidentally my very first guitar as a youngster was a similar six string from the same factory, given to me by my grandfather. I recently picked up another for a few pounds at a car boot sale and it actually sounds surprisingly good!

Russian Seven String Guitar

We hope that Ophelia didn't wreak to much havoc where you are.

See you next month after the clocks go back and we start to get used to those darker evenings again.

 

September News 2017

Peter came over from Germany with his wife to pick up his 015 custom Teign,

Peter and hid Brook Teign
Jack inlaid this hawk on the headstock from a design he'd sent over.

Brook Teign Hawk Inlay
Here's a close up of the top

Brook Teign Top Abalone Rosette

And here are two photos of the Teign's first public outing with Peter and his son Nicholas playing at a wedding ceremony in Schwaikheim a few weeks ago!

Peter Nicholas and Brook Teign
We sent this Torridge off to Kevin in Derby,

Walnut Torridge
The back and sides are local English walnut, Kevin emailed when it arrived to say "I can't stop looking at it and it sounds fantastic".

Walnut Brook Torridge
This OM is awaiting delivery to Gordon in Wiltshire,

Brook OM Full Length
The top's Adirondack spruce with an abalone rosette, diamonds and dot inlays in the fingerboard.

Brook OM Close Up
We've just started work on a neck for the superb classic banjo player Rob Murch. Rob had a 12" banjo pot from the late 1800s and maple from the dancefloor of his local village hall! More to come as we progress it.

Banjo Project
I was down at the St Ives Festival earlier in the month when I came across actor and musician Bernard Faricy playing a Taw in the Salthouse Gallery. It rather took him by surprise when I went up to him and said that we'd made that guitar, it's accompanied him now for fifteen years!

Bern and his Brook Taw
Here's a picture of Scarlett Shocks taken recently at Party In The Park with her new Torridge, thanks to Margaret McGlone for the photo.

Scarlett Shocks and her Brook Torridge
We had two visitors this month who'd bought their Brooks independently but took us up on the offer to have a look around the workshop and a free set up on their guitars, first of all Keith with his bubinga Torridge

Keith and his Brook Taw
And Stuart with his Tamar who was house-sitting in the area.

Stuart and his Brook Tamar
It was good to see this little Holly again, it was one I'd made myself with a removable neck for packing away in a travel bag. I swapped it for an old Rickenbacher lap steel years ago!

Brook Holly
We renovated this Giannini: a refret, a new bridge, saddle and nut and it's playing well again.

Giannini

We're in an old barn conversion here so we're used to the odd scrabbling noises from the bats and other small creatures, this squirrel's our latest, noisiest visitor.

Brook Workshop Squirrel
The workshop is tricky to find at the best of times but there were some confusing directions for customers trying to find us earlier this month while the council were working on the roads in the area,

Road Signs

  It seems all roads lead to Brook guitars!

 

August News 2017

Jack Hayter, former member of Hefner and Spongefinger, popped in to the workshop to say hello, he bought along the Taw we made for him many years ago.

Jack Hayter and his Brook Taw

Jack has this photo of himself performing with his guitar as his Facebook profile picture. We're looking forward to his forthcoming CD, a follow up to the excellent 'Sisters of St Anthony' release from a couple of years ago.

Jack's Facebook Profile Photo

Andy and I took a trip up to North Devon the other afternoon to pick up some reclaimed wood we'd bought. Some old mahogany bar counters

Brook Guitars Reclaimed Mahogany

And some Afrormosia boards.

Brook Guitars Afrormosia Boards

Marcus, who we made the last Abbey for, sent us this photo - taken while he was working in this attractive location in Germany.

Marcus and his Brook Abbey

We made this black OM for Richard in South Wales, we sent it up to him and he wrote to us " The guitar has arrived safe and sound. I love it. It's exactly what I was hoping for. Now all I need is one in cedar and rosewood, and another with an Adirondack spruce top and....."

Black Brook OM Grand

This Tamar is awaiting collection,

Brook Tamar 12 fret

here's the back - local yew

Brook Tamar Yew Back

Complemented with a yew head veneer, ebony tuner buttons and a snowflake inlay.

Brook Tamar Fingerboard

These two Brooks, a rosewood Lyn and a cherry Torridge, are going to Intersound in Dursley this week.

Two Brook Guitars for Intersound

Rhyd popped in on his way to Cornwall with his family and his cherry Tavy. Here he is with Jasper, Harry and assorted instruments from our collection for a family shot!

Rhyd and his lads in the Brook Guitars workshop

Robbie sent us this photo from his performance at the Priming The Pump Festival last month.

Robbie J at Priming The Pump Festival

Another Les Paul headstock repair, the second break in this case.

Les Paul Headstock break again

Now a couple of interesting ones: Beth from Portishead brought in this Chinese Ruan which had lost a couple of its bone frets, along with the early '70's Musicmaster bass which has a broken scratch-plate.

Chinese Ruan and Musicmaster bass

Another rather rare one here - a Burns Split-Sonic from the early '60's, interesting 'Wild Dog' option on the selector switch! In for some fettling.

Burns at Brook Guitars

Last up this month - one of Chris Ayliffe's collection, this old Arthur Froane twelve string, made in Germany for Barnes & Mullins, was one Chris used himself in his twenties. With some bridge restoration, fretwork and restringing it's playing well again and back with Tim, the Froane's grateful new owner!

Chris Ayliffe's Froane 12 string

If you've not taken it already - enjoy your summer break!

 

July News 2017

Sam, a psychologist, sent us this photo taken in front of his London office. We featured his beautiful spalted sycamore Taw in last month's news. He said " The guitar arrived safe and sound on Friday. It's fabulous! Really chuffed with how it's turned out. Thanks again for being such great craftsmen and an absolutely pleasure to deal with". Thanks Sam!

Sam and his Brook Taw
Steve from Intersound popped down for this Lyn for one of his customers. He brought down this pretty Victorian parlour guitar, unfortunately a little beyond practical repair, to donate to our collection of curiosities, all contributions welcome!

Steve and Brook Lyn
Rod came down with Steve earlier in the year to choose this figured mahogany for the back of his Lyn

Figured Mahogany Brook Lyn
And these new Schaller Grand Tune tuners.

Brook Lyn Schaller Grand Tune Tuners
I met Simon last year when he stayed at my favourite haunt - the Highwayman Inn at Sourton. We ended up playing some music together and he was particularly struck by my little Weaver. He came out to the workshop and ordered a Clyst. We met up again at the Highwayman when he came to pick up his guitar. Simon got in touch the other day " I'm loving the guitar, Cathy says whenever it's in my hand there's a big grin on my face. Says it all really, thank you guys" Thanks to Cathy for the photos from inside Cobweb Cottage. 

Simon and Brook Clyst
There's a new album out from old friends of ours Wizz Jones and Pete Berryman, accompanied by Simeon Jones.

Wizz Jones and Pete Berryman Front Cover
A great collection of Wizz and Pete's favourites, Pete's playing the Tavy we made for him nearly twenty years ago, Wizz is of course playing his Epiphone Texan! I'm looking forward to seeing them playing live down this way again in August.

Wizz and Pete back cover
Two guitars went off to Project music in Exeter: this black walnut Torridge

Blacl Walnut Brook Torridge
And this bubinga Taw

Bubinga Brook Taw
We thought this red crows-foot purfling would complement the striking bubinga, this'll be another option in the future should it take anyone's fancy.

Brook Taw Red Purfling
Dave nipped down from Berkshire and snapped up this mahogany OM we'd made for our shop and only just strung up.

Dave and his Brook OM

We had Ian Anderson's guitar in for some TLC. It's the original guitar we made for him while we were with Andy Manson over twenty years ago. Since then we've made him another similar sized one, also a Creedy and our latest model - the Abbey

Ian Anderson Parlour
Ian's using the Abbey as his main stage guitar now.

Ian and his Brook Abbey
Ben Maggs was seen performing with his Cherry Tavy last weekend at the Priming The Pump festival. Thanks to Dave Pegg for the photo.

Ben Maggs with his Brook Tavy
Andy's daughter Yasmin is a new addition to our workforce, she's coming in part-time to help out with the finishing in the spray-shop.

Yasmin at Brook Guitars
Jack made up a plug for Phil Taylor's Lyn to give him the option of blocking it if he needs to, it matches the sides perfectly.

Brook Lyn Soundport
Amongst the repairs this month we built up a very low bridge on this Gibson Dove for Soundpad in Barnstaple.

Gibson Dove

June News 2017

Tony popped down from London for a couple of days to pick up his 12th Brook, this lovely little tenor uke,

Tony with his Brook tenor uke
434 mm scale length,

Brook koa uke full length
With koa top, back and sides.

Brook koa uke close up
This bubinga 015 Lyn went out to Pascal in Switzerland, we inlaid the fingerboard with small Celtic knots.

Brook Lyn June 2017
It seems Pascal was happy with the result -

"The guitar has arrived, my God it is beautiful, I love it. Thank you for this wonderful work"!

Brook Lyn knot inlays

This left-handed Taw is about to go off to Sam in North London,

Left handed Brook Taw

The spalted sycamore on the back and sides of this are from a tree that came down in a paddock a few yards from Andy's house in Sandford!

Brook Taw spalted sycamore

The repair side of our business has been dominated by two brands this month - two Gibsons here,

Two Gibsons

Plus this nice old Gibson A style mandolin.

Vintage Gibson Mandolin

Secondly we've recently worked on this trio of Levins,

Trio of Levins

Along with a repair on the ribs on this vintage Martin.

Martin rib repair

Nature Watch: Amongst the other wildlife we regularly see in the orchard we spotted this jay sunning itself!

Brook Guitars Jay

This month we lost another good friend of ours, David Oddy. He was a fine maker of not only guitars but many other types of instruments, David developed his signature mando-cello popularized by Phil Beer and Steve Knightly from Show of Hands. Nick, his son, will continue to make the Oddy instruments.

David Oddy

David was a regular visitor to our workshop and we'll miss him.

 

May News 2017

This Abbey is going out to Switzerland,

Brook Abbey
The  customer wanted a moustache bridge rather than the standard pyramid bridge along with the inlaid rosette.

Brook Abbey Close Up
Golden Age vintage style tuners on the headstock.

Brook Abbey Headstock
Tony popped up for his new tenor uke,

Tony and his Brook Tenor Uke
Here's the full length photo,

Brook Tenor Uke
Initials on the 12th fret.

Brook Uke Inlay
Steve from Intersound came down with Julie, an enthusiastic Brook owner, accompanied by Rod to see how his new Lyn's coming along. Steve picked up his new rosewood Lyn and ovangkol Torridge for the shop.

Brook Guitars Collection
Two nice walnut guitars here, we were making them to sell on our site but they were intercepted by Vintage and Rare in Bath who are going to be the latest in the exclusive line of Brook dealers!

Two Walnut Brook Guitars
Peter asked Jack to inlay this plaque of his black lab Indy to tide him over until he takes the plunge and joins the Brook owners club!

Brook Guitars Jack Inlay
Martin, who puts together our 'Babbling Brook' occasional magazine, came down with his wife Di to pick up his new classical guitar made by our good friend Kevin Aram, it's a truly stunning instrument.

Martin and his Aram Classical
Never come across one of these before - A direct copy of an American Harmony Sovereign (above). It's  an Otwin, made in 1963 in East Germany (below), not the prettiest of models admittedly but the Sovereign was used by a lot of blues players along with 1960's folkies still saving for their Martin!

Harmony and Otwin
A couple more set-ups here - a Gibson and a Huss & Dalton,

Gibson and Huss and Dalton
Also this unusual custom made Treslett came in for some repair work.

Treslett at Brook Guitars
We lost a very good friend of ours this month - Chris Ayliffe. Chris was a fine player, guitar-maker, a banjo enthusiast and an important element in the expanding folk scene in London in the late '60s and early '70s, he was a good friend of Ralph McTell, John Renbourn, Jacqui McShee, Jo Anne Kelly, Davey and Wizz and integral in the formation of Pentangle, he also designed the sleeve for their final album 'Solomon's Seal'.

Chris Ayliffe
We'll all miss him.

 

 

April News 2017

Simon came down from Halifax and braved to lanes to pick up his new Taw, he also has the Tamar leaning Simon and Brook Tawagainst the wall here.


The Taw's an 015 model with the higher spec. trim:

015 Brook Taw
Pau abalone purfling, diamond and dot pearl position markers, bound fingerboard and headstock,

015 Brook Taw Close Up
Gold tuners, or in this case the black chrome Gotoh 510s.

Brook Taw Gotoh 510s
Here's the bubinga back with a little sapwood bookmatched in the centre.

Bubinga Brook Taw
We showed you Jack's inlay of two swallows last month, the Torridge it appeared on was for Caroline, aka Scarlett Shocks, we'll look forward to seeing some videos of Caroline and the guitar in action!

Scarlett Shocks and her Brook Torridge
Phil Taylor has just released his CD 'One Year On' - 12 tasteful instrumentals recorded with two of his Brooks and a Martin.

Phil Taylor One Year On
If you're interested in a copy you can get hold of him here Phil Taylor

Phil Taylor John Forrester bought his cherry Tavy from Project Music a couple of years ago, he saw the rosewood Teign for sale on our site, popped down to see us and couldn't resist taking it away with him.

John Forrester and his two Brooks
Toby, from East London, dropped in on his way down to Cornwall with his cutaway Tamar for a look around the workshop and a we gave his guitar a quick tweak. Toby's a huge Billy Bragg fan, a seal of approval in our book!

Toby and Brook Tamar
Four guitars boxed up and going off to Forsyth's in Manchester and Celtic Chords in Stonehaven.

Boxed Brook Guitars
Amongst the boxes was this bubinga and sitka Torridge for Celtic Chords, it sold within a week of being in the shop so they ordered another immediately!

Bubinga Brook Torridge
Our friend Pat from Las Vegas here with the Tamar we made for him last year and the Ian Anderson pair we made for him ten years ago!

Pat and his Brooks
Another montage from the States here - here are some shots of Pete and his new Lyn against the backdrop of the mean streets of Richboro, P.A.

Pete and his Brook Lyn in Richboro
After a beautifully warm month we came in to a rather ominous sky over the orchard the other morning and, sure enough, had an unseasonal April shower of snow before the sun reappeared.

Brook Guitars Orchard
We replaced the rosewood fingerboard on this Les Paul with an ebony one for our old friend Richard James. Andy rewired it with Bare Knuckle pickups, pots and caps. Richard was very happy when we sent it up to him the other day - "The Les Paul has arrived and looks, plays and sounds fantastic. Thank you both very much for such a great job!"

Brook Guitars Gibson Re-wire

Another Gibson here, unfortunately not their finest design - the plastic lightweight bridge. We've replaced a few over the years, we unbolt the original, fill in the holes and make up a rosewood bridge with the same footprint and a normal saddle, it improves the tone and volume immensely.

Gibson Plastic Bridge Replacement

Ah banjos! The joys of working on instruments nearly a hundred years old, necks like a banana and no truss-rod! All the same this is a rather nice unusual John Grey Dulcetta zither banjo. And before you say anything - No we didn't just saw the neck off, it was built that way!

John Grey Banjo

Who knows - maybe more banjos coming up next month!

 

March News 2017

Jim lives locally and came over for his new O.M.

Brook Guitars OM March 2017
He chose an abalone rosette to set off the Sitka spruce top,

Brook Guitars Cherry OM
Along with a three piece back of English walnut surrounded by local cherry which we'd cut and dried a couple of years ago.

Brook Guitars OM Local Cherry
David came all the way from Kent to pick up the nylon strung Torridge we featured in the February News.

Brook Nylon Strung Torridge
These two Taws will shortly be on their way up to Forsyth's in Manchester,

Two Brook Taws

A figured mahogany and Sitka spruce model along with a cherry and Sitka cutaway one.

Two Brook Taw Backs
This Lyn went off to Mick in Essex,

Brook Lyn for Mick
Check out the figuring on the back!

Figured Mahogany Brook Lyn
We also completed this Teign for the shop.

Brook Guitars Teign
Here's a preview of an inlay of two swallows that Jack recently completed for a new Torridge for a customer we'll be featuring next month.

Swallow Inlay
Again, we've been very busy with various repairs: more set ups and neck re-sets. Amongst the instruments we've worked on this month were this Greek bouzouki, a Gold Tone banjola and a Hicks mandola.

Three Instrument Repairs
We've also been drawing up plans for a new model somewhere between the size of the Tamar and the Tavy.

Plans For A New Brook Model

It'll still be a while before you see the first finished prototype though!

 

February News 2017

While the snowdrops are still out I thought I'd start this month's news with an early morning photo of the workshop from the orchard.

Brook Guitars Workshop
Well - here an interesting one! A Tamar built entirely to a customer's design.

Tamar Fan Fret
The customer sourced the ziricote and the bearclaw top.

Ziricote Tamar
He sent us detailed drawings of the rosette and bridge and was insistent on needing a bevel and the soundport,

Bearclaw top with bevel
Here's the headstock with black chrome Gotoh 510s.

Headstock with 510s
John Taylor from Bath came down to pickup his walnut Lyn

Walnut Brook Lyn
And Malwina and Patryeja for Malwina's Torridge,

Sunburst Brook Torridge with M and P
Rosewood with a sunburst Engelmann top.

Sunburst Brook Torridge
A couple more sunburst repairs here: Firstly this Kalamazoo, we've re-set the neck, made a new bridge and given it a good set-up.

Kalamazoo Repair
Secondly this 60s Levin, always a favourite of mine - another neck re-set some work on the bridge and saddle, work on the frets etc. Both guitars are back on the road and playing beautifully now.

Levin Repair
Here's another Brook nylon strung Torridge, we occasionally get asked for these, although it's a crossover 14 fret instrument we use a traditional classical guitar bracing to get a responsive top,

Nylon Strung Torridge
Close up of the smoky pearl rosette, cutaway and bridge

Nylon Strung Brook Torridge
Along with this fox inlay on the twelfth fret.

Brook Fox Inlay
Three guitars here that we've just strung up for Ivor Mairants,

3 Brooks for Ivor Mairants
A figured mahogany Taw, a walnut Tamar and, in the foreground, a rosewood Torridge.

3 Brook Backs
Ant Phillips sent down his Tamar 12 string for some remedial work and a set up.

Ant Phillips 12 String Brook
A couple of months ago I showed you one of the worst repairs to a Martin top we'd come across!

Martin Repair
We've re-topped it now keeping the strutting, binding and purfling as close to the original as possible and it's back in peak condition again.

Martin ReTop
That's all for February!

 

January News 2017

We're having a fresh start for the New Year with slightly larger photos for our monthly updates,
We hope you like the new format! Maybe not the best use of the larger scale -
Here's a photo of Andy and myself taken by Lars Mullen for a recent Tonetech interview.

Brook Guitars Andy And Simon

These two guitars for the States are rather in limbo at the moment until we find out, along with other makers, how the new CITES regulations regarding rosewood are going to be administered and when we can obtain the necessary licences.

Brook Taw And Lyn For The U.S.

Marcus Corbett's new album is out now, Fiona Talkington on BBC's Late Junction liked 'the obvious warmth of Marcus Corbett....a rich amalgamation of both British and Indian music'. You can listen to and buy the album on Bandcamp.

Marcus Corbett

TV's enjoying his new Taw and getting a lot of favourable comments about it!

TV Brook Taw 1

These two photos were taken in Brussels during a five week tour with the UK Subs.

TV Brook Taw 2

Rob here brought the stock OM and sent us this excellent photo. He emailed to say " Thank you from the bottom of my heart for what is a fabulous guitar… I feel very lucky to have snagged it before someone else wised up!". Robbie J previously said that this was one of the finest OMs he's ever heard!

Rob Brook Tamar


And talking of Robbie, he popped down with his bass so we could take some photos for his article in the next Babbling Brook, he's certainly making the instrument his own with his bass arrangements of Celtic tunes, check them out on either his or our YouTube channel.

Rob With Brook Bass

Here's the bass in the orchard amongst the annual snowdrop display.

Brook Guitars Bass In The Orchard

Robbie's thinning out his guitar collection and has reluctantly left his long-scale bubinga 12 fret Tavy to see if we can find a buyer.

Bubinger Longscale Brook Tavy

Singer and guitarist Paul Downes recently acquired this tenor guitar we made back in 2010,

Paul Downes And Brook Tenor

You might recall we designed this with an Art Deco theme in ebony and maple,

Brook Guitars Art Deco Tenor

Here's a shot of the instrument before top went on. Paul has a really extensive touring schedule this year, he's intending to incorporate  the new tenor in his set so try and catch him if he's in your area.

Brook Guitars Maple And Ebony Tenor

Phil dropped in to the workshop with the intention of ordering a Tamar, coincidently we had a stock one in and ready to go so Phil snapped it up and saved himself a nine month wait!

Cutaway Brook Guitars Tamar

Our friend Dave came down from Dorset to show us how his redwood and rosewood Taw had developed in the last year.

Redwood Brook Taw

We've just strung up this little Creedy for our shop.

Brook Guitars Creedy For Sale

Caroline aka Scarlett Shocks came down to oversee the carving of the neck for her new cutaway Torridge.

Caroline with Brook Torridge

We refinished and overhauled this Canadian guitar which someone had previously given an unsightly coat of green house paint,

Lys Refinish

The owner asked Jack to inlay the headstock for her.

Jack Inlay On Lys

Chris brought in a Kalamazoo for a neck reset along with this yew Taw we made about ten years ago, the fish hook inlay represents abundance and plenty, strength and determination. It's a talisman to bring peace, good luck and prosperity. We all need a bit of that!

Yew Brook Taw With Inlay

Chris also brought along this very early Alister Atkin guitar to show us.

Early Alister Atkin

We needed to carry out a thorough set up on this Hicks cittern and it's now playing a lot more comfortably.

Hicks Cittern

Now - we've got some interesting and unusual guitars, either being collected or sent off to customers next month so - just as a taster, have a quick look at this highly customised fan fret Tamar that'll be going off to France in a couple of weeks!

Brook Guitars Ziricote Fan Fret