Brookguitars News April 2021

April 2021

Firstly, this month, we have this spectacular Koa Lamorna.

Koa Brook Lamorna

We bought the wood from a local furniture maker who regularly visits Hawaii sourcing the timber,

Koa Back and Front

Koa purfling to match.

Brook Koa Close Up

It’s great to be able to include customers again in our monthly news update now we’re able to invite them back into the workshop and I think it’s fair to say Tim was delighted with his guitar!

Tim and Koa Lamorna

Another Lamorna left the workshop with singer songwriter Will Adams who records under the name Graffiti,

Will and Brook Lamorna

Here are two previous recordings, Will’s planning on writing a Lamorna song inspired by the instrument.

2 CDs by Graffiti

The third Lamorna of the month, a rosewood and Sitka one, was collected by Kevin from Milton Abbot in West Devon.

Kevin and Brook Lamorna

David sent us these photos of himself with his Engelmann and black walnut Taw in his parents’ garden in New South Wales, just south of Sydney.

Torridge in N.S.W.

He’s just put in an order for a reclaimed mahogany and Sitka Lamorna.

D.H. Torridge

Stewart came over and we fitted a pickup on his new Abbey, he brought over his sunburst Lyn which will be coming up for its tenth birthday shortly.

Stuart with Abbey and Lyn

James managed to navigate the lane in the largest motor-home we’d had up here for a quick set-up on his fifteen year old cocobolo Torridge.

J.H. and Brook Torridge

Bob bought the rosewood Taw we had in the shop, we were delighted to see the slightly serious face offset by the very fine fez!

Bob and Brook Lamorna

A pair of Torridges here for Coda,

Two Brook Torridges

Sitka tops, one with a figured mahogany back and sides and the other with rosewood.

2 For Coda

Amongst the repairs this month perhaps the most interesting was this neck narrowing and reshaping on a guitar for Matt, a fine guitarist and classical guitar teacher in Exeter.

Re-shape Neck

That’s all we have for you until next month!

Brook Guitars News March 2021

March 2021

Rick Camp wrote to let us know that the Clyst model we originally made for him back in 2001 was now 20 years old, it’s been gigged extensively, here are a couple of photos of Rick and the Clyst in action!

First Brook Clyst

Regular visitors will be aware that this is our new website. We’re still tweaking it, let us know what you think. We’re really pleased with the way it’s turned out – we’ve nodded our heads to the style of the old site and improved the information on the different models and their relative sizes.

New Brook Home Page

We made this 12 string Tavy for Andrew in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire. It has a Sitka top

Brook 12 string Tavy

And English walnut back and sides, Andrew was after one similar to the one we made for Ant Phillips.

Brook 12 string walnut back

Since the first lockdown and the ending of any live musical activity, our old friend, musician Richard James has taken to writing! His latest book is about the rock band UFO and, like buses, he has three more coming along shortly, celebrating Tom Petty, Status Quo and Joe Jackson. We promised Richard we’d give him a special author’s discount when his sales catch up with previous Brook owner, author Kazuo Ishiguro.

Richard and UFO

We had some stormy weather the other morning,

Stormy Morning

Andy discovered the lane blocked by a fallen tree and had to take a detour to the workshop.

Andy's Bike

Spring is in the air and Jez took the opportunity to take this little un to the park! He wrote “Thanks so much for your hand in my present! We’re setting a pattern here with the Lyn for my 40th, Holly for 50th….”

Jez and Brook Holly

Jack started making up some mahogany linings

Brook Linings

So Andy thought it may be time to overhaul the jig he made up to slot them on the bandsaw!

Andy mending the lining jig

I started roughing out the padauk neck for James in Michigan, as always with padauk there’s a lot of bright orange sawdust!

I thinned out the neck and narrowed it a little on this classical guitar for Matt from Exeter,

reshaping a classical guitar neck

Here we have the first coats of lacquer on James’ Tamar and Matt’s classical.

Two in the spray room

Megan and Brian from the duo Red, Green and Blue came down for set-ups on their guitars and treated us to an impromptu concert!

Brian and Megan outside the workshop

We’ve just reset the neck on this twenty one year old Taw

Taw neck reset

And this Gibson LG-0, we also replaced the cheap plastic bridge with an ebony one.

Stay safe as we start to come out of lockdown.

Brook Guitars For Sale

Guitars for Sale

We have this newly completed Taw for sale.

Brook Taw For Sale

The Clyst has just been sold.

Brook Clyst Sold

Another small guitar here: We made this rosewood Abbey for the shop, it’s just been sold.

Abbey Sold

And also this rosewood and sitka Lamorna.

Lamorna Sold

The spectacular figured mahogany Lyn has just gone off to the happy new owner!

Fihured Brook Lyn Sold

This rosewood and Sitka Taw

Brook Taw Sold

And the other mahogany and Sitka Lyn have both been sold now as well.

Brook Lyn Sold

The two Brooks we made for stock below have just gone up to Coda Music, the first is our new Blackwater model

Brook Blackwater Sold

Along with this Taw with a Sitka spruce top,

Brook Taw Sold

This walnut and cedar Tamar has now found a new home!

Brook Tamar Sold

This 2016 walnut Lyn has now been sold.

Brook Lyn Sold

This 2004 Tamar has now been Sold.

Red Gum Brook Tamar

The fan fret Tamar has now been sold

Fan Fret Custom Brook Tamar

Robb’s Tamar’s now been sold

Robb Johnson's Tamar Sold

 

This Creedy has now been sold,

Brook Creedy Sold

This four year old Weaver was sold a couple of days after making an appearance in the Shop!

Brook Weaver Sold

Robbie’s long scale, bubinga Tavy has now been sold

Brook Bubinga Tavy

This Teign has now been sold

Brook Teign Sold

This secondhand 2003 custom 015 Tamar has now been sold.

 

Cocobolo Tamar Sold

 

We’ve just sold this rosewood OM

Brook OM Sold

The second-hand sunburst Torridge 015 has now been sold

Torridge 015 Sold

The 000 has now been sold

Brook 000 Sold

Along with the Tamar,

Brook Tamar Sold

And the rosewood and Engelmann Weaver.

Brook Weaver Sold

The Torridge has now been sold.

Sold Brook Torridge

This Taw and Lyn have now been sold.

Brook Lyn And Taw Sold

This Lyn’s now been sold

Brook Mahogany Lyn

And also this custom mahogany Clyst.

Brook Mahogany Clyst

Recently Sold

 

Brook Bovey Sold

Walnut Black Sold

Brook Guitar Tavy sold

Brook Guitar Taw sold

Brook Guitar Cherry Torridge sold

Brook Guitar Roger Lyn sold

Brook Guitar Jazz sold

Brook Guitars News Febuary 2021

February 2021

Steve Tilston latest album ‘Such Times’ has just been released on Riverboat Records, it’s a generous helping of fifteen fine songs and tunes and we heartily recommend it.

 

Steve Tilston Such Times

Steve used his Calder on all but one of the tracks!

 

Such Times back cover

We’ve just completed this rosewood Taw for our shop,

 

Brook Taw Shop February
Here’s a close up of the Sitka spruce top.

Brook Taw Close Up February

Two here for Mak in Rathbone Place –

 

Mak's Two Brooks

An English walnut and cedar Torridge and a bubinga and Engelmann spruce Taw.

 

Brook Taw and Torridge

Every year we post a photo of the snowdrops in the orchard so here’s this year’s array,

 

Brook Workshop Snowdrops

Along with a scattering of snow on the pond.

 

Snow on Pond

Woody Mann emailed recently – “I’m just getting in touch to let you know that the guitar you made for me way back is sounding great and is so comfortable to play.  A different voice from my other instruments…I’ve been playing it a lot lately. Reminds me of my visit to your shop years ago.” Thanks Woody!

 

Woody

Here’s Andy grafting a strengthener across a tricky break on an Atkin headstock.

 

Andy Grafting

Anyone for a nice set of cocobolo?

 

Cocobolo

And finally – a quick shot of some of the guitars we’ll be putting together and stringing up shortly.

 

Brook Spray Shop

Brook Guitars News January 2021

January 2021
This beautiful all koa Lyn went off to Coda,Koa Brook Lyn
Here’s a close up of the back, the wood came directly from our supplier in Hawaii.Brook Lyn Koa Back
The headstock is fitted with Schaller Grand Tune tuners with snakewood buttons.Grand Tune Tuners
A Lyn and a Lamorna went up to Mak at Mak’s Guitars in Rathbone Place.Brook Lyn and Lamorna for Mak
The Lyn‘s walnut and Engelmann, the Lamorna‘s rosewood and Sitka.

Walnut Brook Lyn and Rosewood Lamorna
Two more Taws for Project:

Two Brook Taws for Project
One rosewood and Sitka and the other walnut and Engelmann.

Rosewood and walnut Brook Taws
Andrew has a Lyn he bought some years ago, he couldn’t resist the Lamorna in our shop. He wrote  “the guitar sounds wonderful, it’s a superb instrument. As requested here’s the Brook siblings, about 20 years separating them I think!”.

Andrew and Two Brooks
Andy did a fine job again getting John’s damaged Torridge back in working order.

Broken Torridge
He’s been preparing some custom necks out of maple, walnut and paduak along with some standard ones out of our old stock mahogany

Brook Workshop Making Necks
Meanwhile I’m carving necks for this batch, then preparing the guitars for lacquering.

Pre Spraying
Mark Robinson sent us this photo of the Tamar we made for him nearly twenty years ago. He’s running a songwriting workshop on Zoom on February 17th.

Mark R Tamar

We’re still busy redesigning the website, we’ve been looking through the archives and thought we’d add some models we’d initially made as one-offs to our range,

we hope to have the new site up and running to coincide with the February news update.

New Model Brook Plans
Coincidentally while all the plans were around a little Holly came in for a set-up. This one’s the guitar model on the uke body.

Brook Holly Travel Guitar

Stay safe.

Brook Guitars News December 2020

December 2020

It’s the winter solstice, the shortest day today, there have been some spectacular skies on the drive to and from the workshop every day. Here are two morning photos,

Morning Drive 1

Morning Drive 2

And an evening shot.

Evening Drive
John picked up his nylon strung Taw to join the other Brooks in his collection

John and his Nylon strung Brook Taw
And Stewart bought the Abbey to join his Lyn.

Stewart and his Brook Abbey
Bernie Baines sent us these photos, he snapped up the figured mahogany Lyn we’d made for our shop.

Bernie Baines and his Brook Lyn
We’ve drawn up a plan for another small parlour guitar for a customer in the States, this one’s sized between the Abbey and the Creedy.

Another Brook Parlour Plan

TV’s latest album contains a series of songs written and recorded at home in the period after the first lockdown when he discovered he’d contracted Covid-19 whilst supporting Stiff Little Fingers in the weeks before the country closed down.

Lockdown Holiday

We received these five rather battered boxes of rosewood, walnut, maple, spruce and ebony from Spain this week to add to our substantial stock of wood.

Wood for Brook Guitars

Talking of woods – I discovered an old memory card for the camera with some photos of Chris at National Bee Supplies in Okehampton cutting up some bubinga and walnut for us.

Exeter Bee Supplies

Andy and I were sent a massive box of delicious Indian snacks and teas – thanks Dev!

Indian Snacks

Andy had to make up a special tool to adjust the truss rod on this Walden baritone.

Walden Baritone
Two interesting guitars came in for a neck reset and other work: A nice old Weissenborn and a Stella.

Two Vintage Guitars

This Gibson came in for a neck reset and the plastic bridge lifting from the front, we’ll replace it with an identically shaped ebony one, the bridge resting on the top is one we took off a previous Gibson with a similar problem.

Gibson Plastic Bridge

Season’s Greetings to you all, stay safe.

Seasons Greetings

Let’s hope that we have a better year in 2021!

Brook Guitars News November 2020

November 2020

One of the problems of the lockdown is that our customers can’t come down and pick up their guitars. This nylon strung 12 fret cutaway Taw is for John from Somerset who has several other Brooks.

Brook Nylon Taw The top is Sitka spruce,

Nylon Strung Brook Taw Top
The back and sides are Crelicam ebony with bubinga binding,

Crelicam Ebony Taw Along with Schaller GrandTune machines with ebony buttons and black barrels. Hope to get a photo of John with the guitar for next month’s news.

Nylon Brook Taw Headstock
Dev has now got his Lamorna and send us these stunning photos taken in the beautiful Ambapur stepwell!

Dev And Brook Lamorna 1

Dev And Brook Lamorna 2

Dev and Brook Lamorna 3

This ovangkol and European spruce Little Silver and is about to be sent to Keith in London,

Brook Little Silver
It has a 595 mm scale, it’s strung as a Terz and is tuned G to G.

Brook Little Silver Terz
This mahogany Lyn and rosewood Taw have just gone up to Coda

Two Brooks For Coda
And these two, a rosewood Torridge and Lamorna, are off to Project this week.

Two Brooks For Project
This fine piece of English walnut has just been chosen by a customer for a Taw.

Waltut Brook Taw Soon
You may remember – this red gum Taw had been left outside in its case on a Middle Eastern airfield by airline staff for a considerable amount of time. The Hiscox case took the brunt of the excessive heat and we managed to get away with just re-topping the guitar.

Red Gum Brook Taw Re Top
This month brought in a couple of headstock repairs: This Gordon Smith

Gordon Smith
And a rather nice Heritage.

Heritage Repair
This Torridge has had a rather nasty knock, we’ll see what we can do to get it back on the road again.

Broken Brook Torridge
Unless you’re lucky enough to live in Cornwall or the Isle of Wight you’re going to still be under a fairly strict form of lockdown like us. Let’s all be patient, stay safe, then hopefully next year things will return to a form of normality!

News Archive 2020-2019

December News 2019

It’ll be a shortened news this month as we’ll be taking a couple of weeks off for our winter break. To start – we had Andy from Plymouth picking up his new Lamorna,

Andy and his Brook Lamorna

It had a Sitka spruce top and this stunning English walnut for the back and sides.

Walnut Brook Lamorna
Second along this month we have this twelve fret Torridge for Sarah from Somerset. Sarah wanted her Brook to have an aged look so we shaded the top, stained the nut and saddle and gave the guitar a satin finish,

12 Fret Brook Torridge
The inlay around the twelfth fret is based on her tattoo.

Brook Torridge Tattoo Inlay
The Brook logo is maple in a rosewood head veneer with an inlaid pearl star to match a similar sticker Sarah’s daughter applied on her previous guitar!

Brook Torridge Headstock
Mark really liked my Lamorna when he came down from Surrey to place an order so we built a similar one but with a slightly wider nut width and fingerboard splay to his specifications. He couldn’t make it down to pick the guitar up so we sent it up to him. He wrote ” It’s a beautiful guitar! Your collective workmanship is superb and the set up is fantastic”.

Rosewood Brook Lamorna
Julie has several Brooks and came down from Stroud to buy this figured redwood topped pre-owned Torridge.

Julie and her Redwood Brook Torridge
This spectacular top, back and sides set has just arrived by post – we bought it to make an all koa Lyn for Coda Music in Stevenage.

Koa for Brook Lyn
Adam came down from Scotland to order his second Brook with the Tavy we made for him nearly fifteen years ago. Adam did the inlay for that one himself, here it is –

Adam Inlay
Two of the repairs this month include a neck reset on this vintage Martin and repairing a split back on this David Oddy guitar.

Vintage Martin and David Oddy
Now, in the true spirit of an over commercialised Christmas, we send you our best wishes

Xmas Card
And hope to see you again in the New Year. New Year, new guitars!

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!

News Archive 2018-2017

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!

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 against the wall here.

Simon and Brook Taw

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

News Archive 2016-2015

December News 2016

OK – Final monthly update of 2016!
Jon came down from York to pick up his new Torridge, it’s Jon’s second Brook, we’d built an 015 Creedy for him back in 2004.

Jon weith Brook Torridge News Archive 2016-2015
This time he went for a Torridge with a Venetian cutaway,

Brook Torridge Top News Archive 2016-2015
With bubinga back and sides

Bubinga Brook Torridge News Archive 2016-2015
Bubinga head veneer with the old logo to match his Creedy, Waverly tuners

Bubinga Head Venner Brook Torridge News Archive 2016-2015
And a sound-port

Soundport Brook Torridge News Archive 2016-2015

Yes – the obligatory photo of the interior through the sound-port!

Inside a Brook Torridge News Archive 2016-2015
James Bartholomew came to pick up his fan-fretted Tamar,

James Bartholomew Fan Fret Tamar News Archive 2016-2015
He went for a 630/650 mm scale

Fan Fret Brook Tamar News Archive 2016-2015
With a tight grained German spruce top and rosewood back and sides.

Spruce Top Brook Tamar News Archive 2016-2015
He asked Jack to inlay this dragonfly around the 12th fret,

Dragonfly Inlay Brook Tamar News Archive 2016-2015
here’s the headstock with Gotoh 510s with ebony buttons, the fan frets aren’t very obvious from the angle of this photo!

Gold Gotoh 510s News Archive 2016-2015
George came down from Milton Keynes for his new Brook uke,

George an his New Brook Uke News Archive 2016-2015
A cedar top on this one

Brook Tenor Uke
With figured mahogany back and sides. George is a fine player and we enjoyed listening to the new uke in action.

Mahogany Brook Tenor Uke News Archive 2016-2015
Another small bodied instrument here, the first Bovey for a while, this one with a tobacco sunburst top,

Brook Bovey News Archive 2016-2015
We built it for Chris who’s a long-time supporter of Brook and has had many instruments from us over the years.

Chris and Si with Brook Bovey News Archive 2016-2015
This beautiful Venetian cutaway Torridge with an Engelmann top has just gone up to Bristol,

Florentine Cutaway Brook Torridge News Archive 2016-2015

The customer asked for this sea trout inlay on the headstock.

Brook Torridge Fish Inlay News Archive 2016-2015
Jim’s over in Australia right now but his parents collected his new cherry and sitka OM so it’ll be waiting for him on his return, hopefully we’ll get a photo in the New Year.

Cherry Brook OM News Archive 2016-2015
And another OM here, this time a bubinga one for Forsyths in Manchester,

Bubinga OM News Archive 2016-2015
We gave the purfling a red theme as you can see here alongside the sitka top.
Red Purfling News Archive 2016-2015

Tinker came over from Norway to drop off his Weaver, he asked if we could narrow the neck a little for him, we did the initial work while he waited which may have been a bit of a shock!

Tinker Weaver Neck News Archive 2016-2015

Here’s the re-finished neck ready to return to Tinker.

Brook Weaver Neck Refinish News Archive 2016-2015

Jed and Maggie work in music therapy in care homes in their area, they also raise funds for Dementia UK, a very worthwhile charity I’m familiar with after losing my father to the disease earlier in the year. Anyone wishing to can donate here: https://www.dementiauk.org/donate/

Jed and Maggie News Archive 2016-2015
Repair section:
I don’t want you to think we’ve got a thing about Martins, we’ve had some very good ones through the workshop over the years but really – we’ve had a lot with finish problems and where the binding has sprung off, this one the fingerboard binding had fallen off completely and the binding on the waist had come away on all sides.

Martin Binding News Archive 2016-2015
Now we did have a new one in last year where they’d forgotten to put in the neck bolt completely, whereas on this other new one they’d just omitted to add the odd washers on the tuners – slightly less important!

Martin Headstock Washer News Archive 2016-2015
Amongst the other set-ups this month this Gibson 160E came in for a fret dress and set-up after the customer had previously paid for an unsatisfactory job on the same instrument by a local ‘reputable’ guitar shop.

Gibson 160E News Archive 2016-2015
This 1950s Gibson came in for a neck re-set and to change it to a lefthander, it’s a good example of a previous appalling attempt at a vintage re-finish, not much we can do to save this one but it sounds pretty decent and the owner’s not too worried about the look of it.

Gibson Refinish News Archive 2016-2015
This Manson Cittern was sent down for a refinish and to re-fix the tip of the headstock after it had taken a knock.

Manson Cittern Brook Refinish News Archive 2016-2015
Season’s Greetings to all

Season's Greetings from Brook Guitars News Archive 2016-2015
We’ll be starting next year in a slightly different format with larger photos in our monthly news updates so we hope to see you in the New Year.

November News 2016

TV picked up his new Taw,

TV and Brook Taw News Archive 2016-2015

We made this thin-line model with a detachable neck so Tim can take it apart and fly with it as hand luggage rather than risk it in the hold

Brook Taw Taken Apart News Archive 2016-2015
As you can see…

Taw detatched News Archive 2016-2015

The Shock of the New: TV’s twenty year old Taw and the new one!

Two Brook Taws News Archive 2016-2015
We made this Taw for Amy Newton, a fine singer/songwriter from North Devon, she chose some local cherry and walnut for the back and sides

Cherry And Walnnut Brook Taw News Archive 2016-2015
And we inlaid the logo from her studio on the 12th fret.

Saunton Road Studios News Archive 2016-2015
Here’s Amy debuting the new guitar at a gig in North Devon, she took her Martin along as well but the Taw sounded so good she didn’t bother to use the Martin!

Amy Newton with brook Taw News Archive 2016-2015
Ged came down from Salisbury for his new Florentine cutaway OM,

Ged and Brook OM News Archive 2016-2015

He chose this bubinga

Bubinga Brook OM News Archive 2016-2015
And we went for a red theme again but this time with cherry binding.

Bubinga Brook Taw Detail News Archive 2016-2015
Here’s the full length shot.

Bubinga Brook OM Full Length News Archive 2016-2015
I went up to the Intersound Guitar Show last week and delivered their latest Brook – this little rosewood Weaver.

Rosewood Brook Weaver News Archive 2016-2015
On our YouTube channel now – check out the John Forrester trio with Linze Maesterosa & Jenny Carr performing ‘Butterfly Catcher’ at The Harrison in London. The song’s from the forthcoming album……

This mahogany Torridge went off to Gerry in Washington, D.C.

Mahogany Brook Torridge News Archive 2016-2015
Pete Berryman came over for a refret on his fifteen year old custom Tamar.

Pete Berryman and Brook Tamar News Archive 2016-2015
Andy ended up wiring up another of our friend Stan’s guitars he makes to auction off for a children’s charity. They’re loosely based on Brian May’s guitar, unbelievably there are about fifty solder connections to make on the one guitar, hope this one makes as much as the last!

Brian May Wiring News Archive 2016-2015
Chris bought his Torridge from Ivor Mairants in London and came down by train for his free set up, we picked him up from the local station, took him back to the workshop, set up the guitar, and spent a couple of hours there before taking him back for his return journey.

Chris and his Brook Torridge News Archive 2016-2015
David, in the States, sent us this photo of Wayne Henderson playing his Taw, master guitar-maker and player Wayne was giving a charity concert for a small group in the mountains of Virginia on Sunday 30th October!

Wayne Playing a Brook Taw News Archive 2016-2015
This very nice Sobell came in for a set-up

Sobell  News Archive 2016-2015
And this gorgeous little 1955 Martin tenor for some T.L.C.

1955 Martin Tenor News Archive 2016-2015
I guess the repair side of the business is all grist to the mill but we sometimes despair when we see the work of other repairers.
A couple of examples : These replacement tuners weren’t even screwed home leaving a large gap between the plate and the headstock – naming no names but this was by someone in the business who should know better.

Tuner Gap News Archive 2016-2015
This Martin came in with replacement tuners delightfully held in position with gloops of araldite.

Glued in Tuners News Archive 2016-2015
And how about this for a repair to a Martin soundboard – the customer decided the best approach after seeing this disaster was for us to re-top it! Well enough of that.

Martin Soundboard News Archive 2016-2015
Finally – Tim debuting the new Taw in Penzance.

Pete Knight Photo of TV News Archive 2016-2015

Thanks to Pete Knight for the photo.

October News 2016

When I got to the workshop the other morning the mist was just starting to clear, here’s a photo with Nymph Woods in the background – and before you ask – no we haven’t seen any!

Orchard at Brook Guitars News Archive 2016-2015
Richard from Bristol popped down for his beautiful new Taw

Richard with Brook Taw News Archive 2016-2015
With an Engelmann top,

Engelmann Brook Taw News Archive 2016-2015
It’s a little deeper than normal with a figured mahogany back and sides.

Figured Mahogant Brook Taw News Archive 2016-2015

Here’s the back and front of the headstock.

Brook Guitars Headstocks News Archive 2016-2015

John’s an old friend of ours, he picked up his third Brook a few weeks ago, he’d always fancied an all mahogany guitar,

John Middleton and his Trio of Brooks News Archive 2016-2015

We made his new Tamar out of this lovely dark reclaimed mahogany.

Mahogany Brook Tamar Full Length News Archive 2016-2015

Here’s the close up

John's Mahogany Brook Tamar News Archive 2016-2015

We’re working on the new issue of Babbling Brook – Martin took a trip to London to interview founding member of Genesis and solo artist Ant Phillips who has three of our guitars!

Ant Phillips with his Brook Guitars News Archive 2016-2015

Stephen, blending in well with the lime tree in the orchard, came down from Kent for a set up on his Torridge and his Bown. He also has a Lyn but found this second-hand mahogany Torridge in Project Music in Exeter, we’re not quite sure of how it got there as we’d made it for a shop in the States!

Stephen and his Brook Torridge News Archive 2016-2015

Here are a couple of shots of the cutaway thinline Taw with a removeable neck we’re making for T.V.

TV Smith Brook Taw News Archive 2016-2015

Just a few finishing touches before we hand it over!

TV Smith Brook Taw Close Up News Archive 2016-2015

Steve Lane sent us a photo of himself with his maple Tavy at Acklam Park Open Mic. Steve told us “folks said the guitar sounded wonderful” – and the songs of course!

Steve Lane and his Berook Tavy News Archive 2016-2015

This red gum Torridge went up to Intersound.

Red Gum Brook Torridge News Archive 2016-2015

Now our regular repair feature:

Andy and I have had quite a few guitars on our benches this month, amongst them this Manson Magpie we made about twenty years ago,

Manson Dove at Brook Guitars News Archive 2016-2015
And this Bluebird that Andy Manson made a few years ago.

Manson Bluebird at Brook Guitars News Archive 2016-2015
Nice to see this Creedy again when it came in for some T.L.C.

Black Brook Creedy News Archive 2016-2015
We made it about fifteen years ago with an all-over black lacquer and dark pearl purfling

Black Lacquered Brook Creedy News Archive 2016-2015
Along with a dark pearl vine inlay, we haven’t had to inlay a vine for many years!

Black Pearl Vine Inlay on Brook Creedy News Archive 2016-2015
A rather nice old Levin, it’s always a pleasure to see these.

Levin News Archive 2016-2015
This guitar came in for a set-up, it brought back a few memories – my first hand-made instrument was a similar model to this made for me in the early seventies by Norman Wood in Sennen, down near Land’s End in Cornwall.

Norman Wood Guitar at Brook Guitars News Archive 2016-2015

Visiting Norman’s workshop all that time ago was the initial reason I decided I wanted to make guitars!

And here we are forty or so years on……..

September News 2016

We seem to have had a lot of interest in our guitars this month and all but one of our stock Brooks have gone to new homes, we only have the rosewood OM left. Simon from Halifax liked the Tamar we sent up to him so much he came back a couple of weeks later and ordered a bubinga Taw! Phil from Dorset came down to pick up the figured mahogany 000.

Brook 000 figured mahogany News Archive 2016-2015

John from South Devon collected his five string baritone uke.

Brook Baritone Uke News Archive 2016-2015
There’s a fourth course octave pair so you can get the best of both worlds – the high and low D!

Brook 5 string Baritone Uke News Archive 2016-2015

Here’s the ever popular figured bubinga on the back and sides.

Brook Bubinga Baritone Uke News Archive 2016-2015

Two sets of shop orders this month, the first went to Forsyths in Manchester,

Four Brooks for Forsyths News Archive 2016-2015
From front to back: a cherry Torridge, a rosewood cutaway Tamar, a figured mahogany Taw and a rosewood Teign. We heard that two of these were sold shortly after they arrived!

Brooks for Forsyths News Archive 2016-2015
These two, a cherry Tavy and a rosewood Taw are just about to go off to Project Music in Exeter.

Two Brooks for Project Music News Archive 2016-2015
Dev, who we’ve featured on our YouTube channel, came over from India to visit. He bought his Torridge from Ivor Mairants in London some years ago, so far Dev is holding the record for distance travelled to get his free first set-up!

Dev at the Brook Workshop News Archive 2016-2015
Dev stayed with me for a couple of days and wanted to visit Poldark country so I took him down to St. Ives….

Dev at St. Ives News Archive 2016-2015
…..To visit the residents

St. Ives Residents News Archive 2016-2015
Which reminds me – I was amused by this sign on a lamp-post at the Wadebridge Folk Festival.

Folk Festival Sign News Archive 2016-2015
Will Riding bought Fliss’ Torridge and sent this photo of its first outing at the Chester Live Music Festival.

Will with Brook Torridge News Archive 2016-2015
Lastly a couple of the latest photos of TV’s Taw with the removable neck, here I’m giving it a final sand before it goes to the spray-shop

Brook Two Part Taw 1 News Archive 2016-2015
And here Andy’s giving it its first coats of lacquer, we might well get this one together for next month’s news.

Andy Spraying Brook Taw News Archive 2016-2015
Finally –

I was looking out some bits and pieces for a Brook display at a local craft fair and came across these two photos of me and Andy from the early days in the mid 90s,

Si and Andy 1 News Archive 2016-2015
These the first batch of Mansons before we started concentrating on our own range – a little piece of obscure history!

Si and Andy 2 News Archive 2016-2015

More current Brook news next month.

August News 2016

Back in March Norman came down and selected his favourite set of spalted figured sycamore for his Torridge, here he is collecting the finished guitar.

Figured Sycamore Brook Torridge News Archive 2016-2015
The sycamore came down in a storm a couple of years ago, we picked it up from a paddock just a hundred yards from where Andy lives in Sandford!

Spalted Sycamore Brook Torridge News Archive 2016-2015
Here’s the completed guitar.

Sycamore Brook Torridge News Archive 2016-2015
Norman came down when there were a fine display of snowdrops in the orchard here at Easterbrook so he didn’t have to look far for inspiration for his inlay – again expertly executed by Jack.

Snowdrop Inlay Brook Torridge News Archive 2016-2015
Here’s the alternative pearl fingerboard inlay that we’ve previously used.

Brook Fingerboard Inlay News Archive 2016-2015
We made this Weaver for our shop

Brook Weaver News Archive 2016-2015
And this Tamar, the two recently have been smapped up by customers in Birmingham and Halifax respectively.

Brook Tamar Rosewood News Archive 2016-2015
Here are the talented Wheeldon family – Claire, Holly, Jamie and Summer playing some fine bluegrass for us! Claire came down with her cedar Teign for a set-up and some TLC.

Wheeldon Family News Archive 2016-2015
A customer came down from Windsor to pick up his cutaway Taw, the top’s a fine set of Sitka,

Sitka Brook Taw News Archive 2016-2015
The back – rosewood with koa binding and a satin finish on the neck.

Rosewood Brook Taw News Archive 2016-2015
A couple of weeks ago Tony McManus visited Celtic Chords in Stonehaven and seemed to enjoy playing the batch of Brooks Pete had in stock!

Tony McManus News Archive 2016-2015
Marcus Corbett popped in with his Taw to say hi and dropped in his latest CD, we’ll talk more about that when it’s released in October.

Andy and Marcus News Archive 2016-2015
I went to see the excellent Urban Voodoo Machine the other week when they played a rare West-Country gig, they invited TV Smith on for the encore, you can check out the video on our YouTube channel.

Urban Voodoo Machine and TV News Archive 2016-2015
Talking of the man – here’s the latest photo of his new thinline Taw – made to be taken apart, hopefully making the flights abroad a little less stressful!

Brook Taw with Removeable Neck News Archive 2016-2015

Here are Ayse and Sinan

Ayse and Sinan News Archive 2016-2015

Sinan Tuvan got in touch a couple of weeks ago asking if he might come down for a few hours to take some photos of the workshop, here’s a preview of some of the photos you can see on his site at sinantuvan.com along with a video. We’ll be adding it shortly to our YouTube channel, apologies in advance for my rather vague mumblings on the soundtrack and some rather dodgy playing on my tatty old Harmony! Lovely photos, thanks Sinan!

Sinan Tuvan Photos News Archive 2016-2015

Now the inevitable repair section: Two headstock breaks for the price of one here, the most common break – a Gibson and far less common – a PRS.

Gibson and PRS News Archive 2016-2015
We had this lovely 1965 Fender Jaguar in for some work on the frets, a saddle problem and a set-up.

65 Fender Jag News Archive 2016-2015
This nicely battered ’57 Martin came in for a new bridge.

57 Martin News Archive 2016-2015
And a slightly less desirable Martin, along with a Yamaha.

Martin and Yamaha News Archive 2016-2015
Last but not least – Roger, Exmouth’s Town Crier, bought his fan fretted Sanden down for us to lower the action. He’s obviously pleased with the result!

Sanden Fan Fret News Archive 2016-2015
We’ve just come back from a long bank holiday weekend to lots of enquiries about custom builds and even more repairs so – more next month…..

July News 2016

Introducing our latest addition to the range – another small parlour, this one with a 595 mm scale, we’ve called it the Abbey:

New Brook Abbey News Archive 2016-2015
Here’s the body close up,

Brook Abbey close up News Archive 2016-2015
This one’s for Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull so it has his trademark pearl rosette and he supplied a Fishman Rare Earth pickup for the sound-hole.

Brook Abbey Rosette News Archive 2016-2015
These Golden Age tuners seemed the most suitable option for the diminutive solid headstock.

Brook Abbey Tuners News Archive 2016-2015
To give you a true idea of the size here it is in the playing position. The guitar plays beautifully, Ian’s hoping to debut it on stage later this year.

Si and new Brook Abbey News Archive 2016-2015
Nice to see a couple of our older guitars revisiting the workshop this month for a quick look over – a seven year old Tamar and a seventeen year old Torridge!

Brook Tamar and Torridge News Archive 2016-2015
Ornithology Corner: We don’t often see Jays, apart from in flight, around here, here’s one in the orchard though along with a grey wagtail, if we’re not mistaken.

Jay and Wagtail News Archive 2016-2015
We also had a batch of elderly Bantams that Andy led out here the other weekend

Bantams News Archive 2016-2015

Robin Dransfield is highly respected nowadays for his work on violins and cellos after his heyday in the ’70s with brother Barry in The Dransfields. He brings his guitars to us for renovation! We re-set the neck on his vintage Martin a couple of years ago, we’ve just re-set the neck and made up a wider fingerboard and bridge for his Levin and set up his old Harmony Sovereign.

Robin Dransfield News Archive 2016-2015
We’re pleased to see Robin’s out gigging again with a couple of prestigious spots at the Sidmouth Folk Festival this year.

Dransfields News Archive 2016-2015
It’s been another month when we’ve been trying to clear some of the many repairs that arrive on our doorstep: Amongst the other renovations were this Stella 12 string which had a broken truss rod, needed a neck re-set, a new bridge and gluing back the various braces that had come adrift.

Stella 12 string News Archive 2016-2015
A neck re-set on this Keech as well. There are plenty of Keech banjo ukes out there, the odd standard uke and tenor guitar but we can’t find out anything about this seemingly unique Keech guitar. We welcome any information we can pass on to the owner!

Keech Guitar News Archive 2016-2015
Three more guitars in for work – this old Japanese Antoria J200, an old Fylde and Kevin Aram’s Silvertone for a body respray it its original colour.

Three Rare Beauties News Archive 2016-2015
Kev also brought over this Precision bass body, he’d commissioned a local artist to paint it, we just gave it a couple of coats of lacquer to protect the artwork.

Birdy Bass News Archive 2016-2015
This Kalamazoo was a tricky repair, it came in pretty much unplayable with a bent neck and the intonation way out, yet another re-set on this, as well as sorting out various other issues – a lot of work but it’ll leave here a really comfortable, useable instrument.

Kalamazoo News Archive 2016-2015
We were joined by Harris who helped with some very useful but dusty preparation work during his week here on work experience.

Harris at Brook Guitars News Archive 2016-2015

Martin, who edits ‘Babbling Brook’ sent us these two photos from a studio where he’s recording with a friend of his, the consensus was that his Okement sounds wonderful!

Martin in the Studio News Archive 2016-2015

June News 2016

We have several fine guitars to show you this month: First of all a cutaway OM for Tony who’s now into double figures with his collection of Brooks!

Tony and his Brook 0M News Archive 2016-2015
This time he chose this stunning curly redwood for the top,

Curly Redwood Brook OM News Archive 2016-2015

Bubinga for the back and sides.

Bubinga Brook OM News Archive 2016-2015

Jack designed and inlaid this kingfisher on the headstock

Brook OM Kingfisher Inlay News Archive 2016-2015

And we designed this coded 12th fret inlay for Tony, if you can work out the significance send your answers on a postcard and we’ll publish the winners cards in next month’s news!

Tony's 12th fret Inlay News Archive 2016-2015

Next along for his new Taw was Clive from Chesterfield,

Clive's Brook Taw News Archive 2016-2015

Here’s the full length shot of the guitar,

Brook Taw June 2016 News Archive 2016-2015

With a bearclaw European spruce top,

European Spruce Brook Taw News Archive 2016-2015

Cherry and walnut back,

Fruit and Nut Brook Taw News Archive 2016-2015

MW insignia on the 12th,

Brook Taw 12th fret Inlay News Archive 2016-2015

And our alternative shape for the slotted headstock.

Alternative Brook Headstock News Archive 2016-2015

Next out this month was this Bovey for Laurent in France,

Brook Bovey News Archive 2016-2015

When he received it he got in touch straight away – “it’s just “Wow” and amazing, so impressed by the sounds and voice delivered by this small beauty, thank you so much!”

European Sprice Brook Bovey News Archive 2016-2015

A Taw, Tamar and Clyst for Ivor Mairants,

3 Brooks for Mairants News Archive 2016-2015

Two in walnut and a figured mahogany Taw.

Three Brook Backs News Archive 2016-2015

A walnut and European spruce Torridge for Project

Walnut and Spruce Brook Torridge News Archive 2016-2015

And here they all are packed up and ready to deliver.

Boxed Brooks News Archive 2016-2015

Jack’s working on a new Taw for TV, this time we’re going to have a removable neck to give him the option of breaking it down for travelling,

Jack on TV New Brook News Archive 2016-2015

Double cross bracing for more stability for the constant gigging. TV’s been putting the photos of the build on his Facebook page and getting plenty of positive comments!

Brook Taw Bracing News Archive 2016-2015

Pete Walton got in touch with us recently:

“I’ve had a Torridge for nearly ten years now and love playing the guitar, my favourite acoustic for fingerstyle playing. For the last four and a half years it’s been with me in Matilda The Musical in London’s West End, so at a rough estimate that’s over 2 million people who’ve heard the instrument! It’s such a lovely instrument to play, I always look forward to the parts in the show where you can hear the guitar solo and appreciate it’s beautiful sound in isolation.”
Checkout Pete’s website along with his Acoustic Earth project on our links page.

Pete Walton News Archive 2016-2015

Anne came along for a first set-up on her cherry Taw, she plays regularly in West Cornwall.

Anne with her Brook Taw News Archive 2016-2015

Finally – it was great to see our old friend and mentor Andy Manson who was over from Portugal for a holiday!

Andy, Andy & Si News Archive 2016-2015

May News 2016

First strung up in May was our new 000 style Aune model we made to go in the shop. We came across this fabulous figured mahogany and used it for the top,

Brook Aune 000 News Archive 2016-2015
Back and sides,

Brook Aune Mahogany Back and Sides News Archive 2016-2015
As well as constructing the neck from it!

Brook Aune 000 Neck News Archive 2016-2015
I’m afraid we had a couple of requests for us to be included in the customer’s photos this month, if you’re easily offended – look away now! Siegbert came over from Germany to collect his new Tamar.

Si, Siegbert and Andy News Archive 2016-2015
Here’s the full length shot

Brook Tamar Full Length News Archive 2016-2015
It’s worth zooming in a little to see the figured, curly Douglas fir top and the English walnut back,

Brook Tamar Zoom 1 News Archive 2016-2015
Zooming closer in on the top!

Tony bought his lacewood Torridge from Ivor Mairants about ten years ago, he took us up on our offer of a free first set-up last week.

Tony and Brook Torridge News Archive 2016-2015
Oh dear – us again – Pat, from Las Vegas, asked that we send a photo of the crew who made his new cutaway rosewood Tamar before we sent it off, he’s promised his own photo in time for the next update.

Pat's Tamar News Archive 2016-2015
Mike’s a local player and runs an open mic in Calstock, he came up to the workshop recently and bought the local cherry Taw we had in stock.

Mike's Cherry Brook Taw News Archive 2016-2015
Early in the month Paul picked up the Epiphone that Andy had converted from right-handed to left. We were all really pleased with the result –

Paul and his Epiphone News Archive 2016-2015

Andy disguised all the old holes and refinished the top.

Epiphone Left Hand Conversion News Archive 2016-2015
A customer bought in this vintage Stella 12 string that arrived from the US unplayable and with a broken truss rod, we’re resetting the neck and putting in a new rod, hopefully a shot of it complete before too long.

Stella Repair News Archive 2016-2015
Three interesting instruments in for fretting or refretting work recently: this double cutaway Fossey banjo/guitar, an Orpheum plectrum guitar and a very ornate Vega plectrum banjo.

Three Instruments News Archive 2016-2015
We’ve mentioned the new parlour we’ve been making, here it is before I carved the neck and prepared it for the spray room,

Brook Guitars New Parlour Guitar News Archive 2016-2015
And here’s the latest update – masked up and awaiting its first coats of lacquer.

Brook Parlour Guitar in Sprayshop News Archive 2016-2015
Another preview here: the customer is coming down to pick up this lovely cherry and walnut, fruit and nut Taw in June, more pics then!

Brook Fruit & Nut News Archive 2016-2015
Here’s Nigel’s maple Taw that was separated from its neck by over enthusiastic baggage handlers on its way out to New Zealand recently, back together and ready to brave the airways again.

Brook Maple Taw Repair News Archive 2016-2015
You may remember we’ve undertaken several repairs on Phil Bird’s yew Tamar, firstly a speaker fell off a shelf through one of the ribs, then a few months ago in Cyprus the guitar was sat on after an enthusiastic Greek dancing session! This time it’s Phil in the wars, after rupturing a disc and being laid up with heavy duty painkillers for a month he found the only guitar he could comfortably play was his little walnut Bovey.

Phil & His Bovey News Archive 2016-2015

We wish him a speedy recovery!

April News 2016

Robbie came down to pick up his new Okement bass, here he is in my kitchen giving it its first work-out!

Rob and his new Okement Bass News Archive 2016-2015
This is the second instrument we’ve completed using the new J200 style shape.

Brook Acoustic Bass News Archive 2016-2015
Here’s a close-up of the bearclaw Engelmann top, we used a red theme for the purfling and rosette

Brook Acoustic Bass close up News Archive 2016-2015
To complement this stunning figured bubinga back and sides.

Brook Guitars Bubinga Bass News Archive 2016-2015
Robbie chose these distinctive Da Vinci Schaller tuners and we inlaid a small Celtic knot on the headstock.

Brook Acoustic Bass headstock News Archive 2016-2015
We finished this walnut Lyn and red gum Tamar for Intersound and Steve and Denver came down to pick them up.

Brook Walnut Lyn and Red Gum Taw News Archive 2016-2015
Andy delivered this rosewood Taw and a bubinga Taw to Project Music in Exeter.

Brook Rosewood Taw and Bubinga Taw News Archive 2016-2015
We made this English cherry Taw for stock, you’ll see it on our ‘Shop’ page along with other guitars available directly from us.

Brook Cherry Torridge News Archive 2016-2015
René came across from Holland to pick up this cherry Torridge he’d taken a fancy to from the shop.

Rene, Si and Andy with Brook Torridge News Archive 2016-2015
Jake popped in with his trio of fan fretted Brooks for a quick tweak (the guitars not Jake!)

Jake and his trio of Brook fan frets News Archive 2016-2015
Now for our regular repair section:
Firstly Phil’s Tamar, we mentioned last month that it had been sat on and the neck had been unceremoniously detatched along with parts of the top, it’s back together again now, none too worse for the experience!

Phil's Brook Tamar News Archive 2016-2015
Paul brought this Epiphone in for a major overhaul, we’re swapping it over to a left-hander, it’s surprising how much work is involved, you’ll see the results next month.

Brook Guitar Repair 1 News Archive 2016-2015
Here are a brace of Guilds, the one on the front was in for a set-up and fret dress, the one behind for a neck re-set.

Brook Repair 2 News Archive 2016-2015
We had to repair a few cracks and re-glue the bridge on this pretty little Victorian parlour guitar.

Victorian Parlour Guitar News Archive 2016-2015
Which reminds me – Tom, in the U.S., sent us this photo of his Ian Anderson guitar in its beautiful new custom made case,

I.A. Model in Custom Case News Archive 2016-2015
And speaking of which – here’s a preview of a new model we’re making for Ian.

New I.A. Model News Archive 2016-2015
Lastly a photo of Tony Hazzard with his Brooks in concert at the Convent in Gloucestershire, this must be one of the UK’s most beautiful venues.

Tony Hazzard at The Convent News Archive 2016-2015

March News 2016

First off the mark this busy March we’d like to apologise to the very talented Ellie Goulding for appropriating this photo from her Facebook page, she was in No.Tom Guitars on Denmark Street buying a Taw.

E.G. News Archive 2016-2015

We made this custom Taw for Giles Andreae, children’s author and creator of Purple Ronnie,

Brook Taw Martin rosette News Archive 2016-2015

Giles couldn’t get down to pick up the guitar so we shipped it up to him, he sent us down these photos of himself with the guitar enjoying a pleasant Spring day together by the Thames!

Giles And His Taw News Archive 2016-2015

You might have noticed that Giles decided against the pick-guard, here’s a close up of the position markers we came up with to make the design just a little different.

Brook Taw Diamond Inlays News Archive 2016-2015

Chris was down from Croydon to pick up his beautiful ‘fruit and nut’ Lyn.

Chris And His Brook Lyn News Archive 2016-2015

The back features the last of the walnut from Kew Gardens with a centre stripe of local cherry, the neck woods repeat the theme,

Brook Lyn Fruit And Nut News Archive 2016-2015

Chris came up with this design for the fingerboard inlays which we cut from phosphor bronze and Andy turned the two different sizes of matching position markers out of the same material.

Brook Lyn Phosphor Bronze Inlays News Archive 2016-2015

Chris also chose this dark Sitka top.

Brook Lyn Dark Sitka Top News Archive 2016-2015

This cutaway O.M. was another fine guitar we completed this month,

Brook O.M. Full Length News Archive 2016-2015

It goes without saying it was custom made for a keen fisherman!

Brook O.M. Fish Inlay News Archive 2016-2015

The back is some of our heavily figured bubinga, quite a popular choice recently –

Brook O.M. Bubinga Back News Archive 2016-2015

Bubinga again for the head veneer with the stylish gold Gotoh 510s.

Brook Bubinga Head Veneer News Archive 2016-2015

Another cutaway here, this time a Florentine style on a walnut and German Spruce Tamar for Celtic Chords in Stonehaven.

Brook Tamar For Celtic Chords News Archive 2016-2015

Another new model on the go – this time an even smaller short scale parlour.

Brook Parlour For I.A. News Archive 2016-2015

We built this much travelled, jazz influenced Taw nearly twenty years ago, it came back for a neck reset and we returned it to the customer playing like a dream.

Brook Jazz Style Taw News Archive 2016-2015

Unfortunately, in this case, it was followed by a nightmare! – on the way out to New Zealand it suffered a broken neck in the hands of a rather too casual baggage handler – looks like we’ll be seeing it again when it returns to the U.K.

Mr Bird’s guitar has been in the wars again, Phil and Anna were in Cyprus playing a concert and sometime later SOMEONE sat on the guitar.

Mr Birds Brook Didn't Fly News Archive 2016-2015

For the perpetrator’s future reference this illustration might be of use, to the left is a guitar, to the right is a chair.

Guitar And Chair News Archive 2016-2015

Norman visited the workshop and picked out the woods for a Torridge,

Norman And His Chosen Wood News Archive 2016-2015

He’s had first pick of this stunning spalted sycamore we found a year back and is now ready to use.

Brook Guitars Spalted Sycamore News Archive 2016-2015

I went along to the annual RMMGA meeting in a wonderful old mansion in Gloucestershire, alongside a display of Brooks there were also fine guitars on show by Adrian Lucas, Tony Thompson and Alan Marshall, guests included Amrit Sond and Clive Carroll but the highlight was probably watching Dave Wood and Louise Loft working up an obscure Sandy Denny song together!

RMMGA March 2016 News Archive 2016-2015

Stephen Kenyon called in and we fitted a Fishman Rare Earth Blend system in his Tamar.

Stephen And His Tamar News Archive 2016-2015

Marc came up from Plymouth for us to fit a couple of pickups on his two guitars, Many years ago we made a Tamar for his older brother, since then Marc’s become a fine blues guitarist in his own right, hopefully he’ll be a future Brook owner himself!

Marc And His Guitar News Archive 2016-2015

We had a couple of nice messages from the U.S. this month: First of all Tulley, who we made the recent left handed classical guitar for, sent us this photo taken at Peak Recording in Bozeman, Montana. He added “Thank you, again for such a beautiful and inspiring work of art”.

Tully In The Studio With His Brook Classical News Archive 2016-2015

We had the pleasure of making two guitars for Woody Mann about twenty years ago, we’ve met up with Woody a few times since and we still hear from him, earlier this month he got in touch to say:

Woody News Archive 2016-2015

Hi Simon and Andy,
Long time… Hope you both are well. Just wanted to let you know I’ve been playing the guitar you made and it is sounding and feeling great. Time has opened the guitar up and it has found its voice – a beautifully even and rich tone from the highs to the lows. It’s just fun to play …. Just wanted to let you know. Great work.
All the best from New York. Woody

February News 2016

We’re featured in the March issue of Guitarist with a double workshop spread, thanks again to David and Joby for that!

Brook Guitars Article in Guitarist Magazine News Archive 2016-2015

We’d like to announce another new model, this time the OOO size Aune, here’s a full length shot of it,

Brook Guitars 000 Aune News Archive 2016-2015

Mark commissioned it and here he is picking it up.

Mark and his new Brook Aune model News Archive 2016-2015

It’ll be our biggest body 12 fretter, with a 650 mm scale length,

Brook Guitars Aune News Archive 2016-2015

Here’s the rosewood back

Brook Guitars Aune Rosewood Back News Archive 2016-2015

With the attractive pomelle binding.

Brook Guitars Aune Binding Detail News Archive 2016-2015

And here’s Mike picking up his Torridge,

Mike Picking Up His Brook Torridge News Archive 2016-2015

He chose Jack’s eagle inlay for the headstock.

Brook Guitars Eagle Headstock Inlay News Archive 2016-2015

Nick here recently bought this Lyn. He said “over the last 45 years I’ve played all the very best makes of guitar, and have to say this Brook Lyn is one of the very best, if not the best”. Nick’s impressed enough with his purchase that he’s already contemplating his next Brook!

Nick ASnd His New Brook Lyn News Archive 2016-2015

Tony Hazzard has a new album out – The Hallicombe Sessions, we thoroughly recommend it, it’s recorded, mainly live, by Tony at home, accompanied by Utah musician Matt Harding, check out ‘Loving On The Run’ from it on the Brook YouTube channel.

Tony Hazzard - The Hallicombe Sessions News Archive 2016-2015

The video was shot at the album launch at the Green Note Cafe in London.

Tony Hazzard Poster News Archive 2016-2015

John Forrester recently bought his Tavy from Project Music in Exeter, he’s a musician friend of Robb Johnson and Tracey Curtis, both also Brook owners!

John Forrester And His Brook Tavy News Archive 2016-2015

His last album was released in 2014 so we’re looking forward to hearing the Tavy on the next album, check out John’s first video with it, shot at Venford Reservoir, on our YouTube channel.

John Forrester - Outsider News Archive 2016-2015

Here’s a shot of Jack with Andy’s new fixture in position, the rather complex piece of engineering ensures we cut a precise binding rebate.

Brook Guitars Binding Fixture News Archive 2016-2015

Here are a couple of photos of Pat Nestor’s cutaway Tamar before the guitar is packed up and sent off to Pat in Las Vegas,

Pat's Brook Tamar News Archive 2016-2015

It’s our more ornate 015 model with pau purfling and an Adirondack top.

Brook Tamar Cutaway News Archive 2016-2015

Alan, from St Ives brought his Taw from us sixteen years ago, back at the time Alan wanted a matt finish, he decided recently that he would like the full gloss treatment so we were happy to oblige!

Maple Brook Taw News Archive 2016-2015

Plenty of set-ups and repairs this month again, amongst them some fingerboard work and fretting on this Phil Davidson mandola for Phil Bird.

Mandola Repair at Brook Guitars News Archive 2016-2015

Here’s Rob from Model Folk along with Kate, also playing a Phil Davidson mandolin, and Robbie. We fitted a Headway pickup to Rob’s McIlroy tenor while Robbie looked over his, soon to be completed, acoustic bass.

Rob, Kate And Robbie At The Brook Guitars Workshop News Archive 2016-2015

Second in the series of photos to show why makers like ourselves sometimes are unable to put as much time to playing our guitars as we do making them!

Brook Guitars Skin Damage News Archive 2016-2015

Hopefully everything will heal up and we’ll be playing together again next month!

January News 2016

We start the year with John picking up his Kew walnut Torridge, just one more set of this coming along on a guitar next month.

Brook walnut Torridge News Archive 2016-2015

Dave Rich is a local musician who runs open mic sessions most days of the week around Devon and Cornwall as well as gigging in his own right, he came over to collect his new Taw,

Dave Rich with his Brook Taw News Archive 2016-2015

He provided the Rare Earth single coil, one of the most reliable pickups around,

Brook Taw Fishman Rare Earth Pickup News Archive 2016-2015
Here’s the walnut back.

Walnut Brook Taw News Archive 2016-2015

Bernard came down from London for his Clyst,

14 fret Brook Clyst News Archive 2016-2015

Normally this would be a 12 fret model but we re-designed the strutting and sound-hole position to make it our first 14 fret Clyst,

Bubinga Brook Clyst News Archive 2016-2015

Here’s the bubinga back with contrasting maple binding, along with a maple neck

Bubinga back of Brook Clyst News Archive 2016-2015
And gold Waverly machine heads.

Brook Clyst Maple Headstock News Archive 2016-2015

Another Carey classical guitar here – this one, a left-hander, for Tulley in Montana.

Brook Carey Classical Guitar News Archive 2016-2015

This is Tulley’s second Brook, the guitar is winging its way over to him as I’m writing this so hopefully we’ll get a photo for next month’s news!

Close Up of Brook Carey Classical News Archive 2016-2015

Talking of classical guitars – here’s Bob with the very first classical we made twenty years ago, Bob came over with that common problem – the lid fell on the guitar and dinked the top when he was getting it out of the case, luckily this time it didn’t do much damage and we were able to do a quick spot repair.

20 year old Brook classical guitar News Archive 2016-2015

Leading on to repairs – as you can see they’ve started building up again:

Brook Guitars Repairs News Archive 2016-2015

Some of our Brook owners may have been slightly less conscientious about guitar safety over the winter break (pun intended) whether alcohol had been consumed or not we don’t know. Names have been withheld to protect the guilty parties! This Tavy slipped over on a wooden floor.

Brook Guitars Broken Tavy News Archive 2016-2015

Above we have the before shot and below its back together again.

Brook Tavy Heel Repair News Archive 2016-2015

Here are stages of a Bovey headstock repair – this involved gluing the break and re-spraying the neck. In the lower photo you can see part of a fine hand-made case the customer had made for the instrument.

Brook Guitars Bovey Repair News Archive 2016-2015

This Torridge suffered its injuries when the hanger came off the wall and shattered the tail block and ribs,

Broken Brook Torridge News Archive 2016-2015

Here it is back together again.

Brook Torridge Repair News Archive 2016-2015

Andy did quite a bit of work on this lovely old Keech Banjo-uke, now it’s been set-up properly it’s become a really playable instrument.

Keech Banjo Uke News Archive 2016-2015

Amongst the other repairs and set-ups this month we had a re-fret of this Martin D41, complicating matters we found the celluloid binding had shrunk and was falling off so we had to deal with that before getting to the re-fret.

D41 Binding News Archive 2016-2015

Anyway – here it is back in all its glory.

D41 Re-Fret News Archive 2016-2015

That’s it for this month, we also sent a few guitars up to Intersound in Dursley, unfortunately we forgot to photograph them!

News 2015

News Archive 2015

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December News 2015

Another year coming to a close, keep an eye out for a feature on our workshop in the winter issue of Guitarist’s Acoustic quarterly.

Guitarist Acoustic Brook Guitars Article News Archive 2016-2015

Jake here picked up his latest fan fretted guitar – this time our new Okement shape based on the J200.

Jake and his Fan Fret Brook Okement News Archive 2016-2015

This time we went for a 650/680mm scale length, a reasonably wide fingerboard and a general black and white theme with the guitar made of maple and ebony,

Brook Fan Fretted Okement News Archive 2016-2015

The guitar has a Florentine cutaway, the rosette is a patchwork of pieces of variegated ebony. Jake was really pleased with the way it turned out, very different from his other two, with the big body size it has a really powerful bass with singing top end.

Brook Okement Rosette News Archive 2016-2015

Another new model – The Culm, we can make this as a standard flat top or as the small resonator we have here:

Brook Guitars Culm Resonator News Archive 2016-2015

It’s David’s second Brook, Bryony’s taken a particular shine to it so it looks like she’s going to be playing it at much as he is!

David and Bryony with Brook Reso News Archive 2016-2015

Here’s a close up of the rosewood top, we’ve used a Beard spun cone with a biscuit bridge which allowed us to keep the body size down. The pickup is an excellent Bare Knuckle ‘Stormy Monday’.

Brook Guitars Reso Close Up News Archive 2016-2015

And now a third new model – it’s the redesigned Little Silver, we adapted it slightly to fit a Gator hard case for the Baby Taylor.

Brook Guitars Little Silver In Case News Archive 2016-2015

Just to give an idea of the size, here it is with the fan fretted Okement partially in view above it.

Okement and Brook Guitars Little Silver News Archive 2016-2015

This one went up to Richard in Nottingham, Richard chose a bog oak, back and sides, fingerboard, bridge and head veneer

Brook Bog Oak Little Silver News Archive 2016-2015

And a fingerboard inlay of his own design – similar to the one we inlaid on the guitar we made for him last year.

Little Silver Fingerboard Inlay News Archive 2016-2015

Martin, who puts ‘Babbling Brook‘ together for us came down with his Okement to play a fine set at the acoustic club at the Okement Centre in Okehampton,

Martin and his Brook Okement News Archive 2016-2015

He also picked up his new guitar – the nylon strung Cary we featured in the September news, he’s been too busy to get down until now but Martin’s assured us it was well worth the wait!

Martin and his Brook Cary News Archive 2016-2015

Peter first came across our guitars at Robbie and Dave Smith’s CD launch in Bradford on Avon,

Peter and his Brook Taw News Archive 2016-2015

He came down to try some guitars and put in a custom order for this Taw with a deeper body.

Deeper Bodied Brook Taw News Archive 2016-2015

Here’s Tony Hazzard again, this time performing in Bilbao with his Brooks!

Tony Hazzard and Two Brooks News Archive 2016-2015

There’s a new Torridge for sale we’ve just added to the Shop,

Brook Torridge Cherry Back News Archive 2016-2015

Andy has just made up a new mechanism to help with the binding process, it temporarily mounted to the drill press while Jack tries it out!

Brook Guitars New Routing Mechanism News Archive 2016-2015

November News 2015

Anne runs the Acoustic Folk & Blues Night at the Blues Cafe in Teignmouth on the last Friday of every month.

Ann and her new Brook Torridge News Archive 2016-2015

She ordered this left handed Torridge with bubinga back and sides and a European spruce top.

Brook Torridge with a bubinga back News Archive 2016-2015

These three went up to Ivor Mairants in London –

Three Brooks for Ivor Mairants News Archive 2016-2015

A walnut Tamar and Clyst, along with a rosewood Torridge.

Three Brooks for Ivor Mairants backs News Archive 2016-2015

This Ian Anderson model, our first with a cutaway, is on its way to Tom in Colorado,

Ian Anderson Model News Archive 2016-2015
Jack inlaid the fingerboard with an iris design based on one of Tom’s mother’s watercolours.

Ian Anderson model Iris Inlay News Archive 2016-2015

We managed to find some local walnut on a farm in mid-Devon, here are Jack and Kev selecting and cutting it into sets,

Selecting Walnut for Brook Guitars News Archive 2016-2015

And here are the results ready to store and dry thoroughly.

Walnut Sets for Brook Guitars News Archive 2016-2015

Joby and David from ‘Guitarist’ came to take some photos and interview us for the magazine.

Joby and David ouside Brook Guitars News Archive 2016-2015

Tony Hazzard came over to have a Fishman Infinity fitted to his Martin, the same pickup as we put on his Taw,

Tony Hazzard and his Martin outside Brook Guitars News Archive 2016-2015

Tim Broadbent down on the Côtes du Rhône just bought this rosewood Lyn and kindly sent us these photos.

Tim and his Brook Lyn News Archive 2016-2015

Phil Taylor sent us this one of his Torridge in the room in Fowey where he wrote his latest composition ‘From Covington Wood’. Check out both our and their own YouTube channels for Phil and Tim’s latest videos.

Phil Taylor Torridge News Archive 2016-2015

Amongst the other work this month we repaired and re-fretted this vintage Antoria and made up a new bridge for it.

Antoria Repair News Archive 2016-2015

We’ll leave you with three photos of our collection of various stringed instruments we’ve built up over the years!

Brook Guitars Collection News Archive 2016-2015

We’ve some interesting new guitars to show you next month for the final Brook News of 2015!

October News 2015

The weather’s getting a bit chillier now and when I arrived at the workshop the other morning and looked across the orchard and thought the spider silk between the trees was worth a photo!

Brook Workshop Autumn Morning News Archive 2016-2015
Mike, from Gloucester, has expensive tastes, this is his fourth high end 015 Brook – this time an OM.

015 Spec Brook OM News Archive 2016-2015

Adirondack spruce and rosewood on this beauty with pau shell Celtic knot position markers to match the purfling

Brook OM Celtic Position Markers News Archive 2016-2015
And Jack designed this inlay for the headstock.

Brook OM Cletic Headstock Inlay News Archive 2016-2015
We sent these two Brooks up to Forsyth’s earlier in the month –

Brook Tamar and Lyn News Archive 2016-2015
A Lyn in figured mahogany with a bear-claw Engelmann top and rosewood and European spruce Tamar.

Mahogany Lyn and Rosewood Tamar News Archive 2016-2015
Here’s the first Cherry we’ve made for a while, this one’s for a customer up near Aberdeen, it’s a short scale travel guitar, there’s a Torridge behind to give you a size comparison.

Brook Travel Guitar News Archive 2016-2015
This one has a cedar top and very old and dark mahogany sides we’ve had tucked away for many years!

Brook Cherry Travel Guitar News Archive 2016-2015
It seems apt that we can show you Jack’s latest inlay of an octopus in the month of October,

Jack S Octopus Inlay Brook Guitars News Archive 2016-2015
Gavin commissioned Jack to decorate the headstock of his banjo with the octopus triggered by his interest in the stories of H.P.Lovecraft!

Jack and Gavin News Archive 2016-2015
As for the repairs this month:
This little nylon strung Bovey had come a cropper somewhere along the line, we made it for a customer back in 2001.

Broken Brook Bovey News Archive 2016-2015
We soon put it back together and it was shortly reunited with its owner.

Fifteen Year Old Brook Bovey News Archive 2016-2015
We completed the work on this nice old 1953 Gibson LG1. Quite a lot involved here with a neck re-set, new bridge along with bracing and splits to repair.

Gibson LG1 News Archive 2016-2015
Julian from Delta 88 came to us to have a new bridge fitted on his old Boosey and Hawkes double bass.

Brook Guitars Double Bass Repair News Archive 2016-2015
Andy weaved some magic on blues queen Josie Lloyd’s two Nationals.

Josie's National News Archive 2016-2015
We asked Kevin Aram over to look over the latest classical guitar we built and he bought over three of his latest range of instruments – beautifully made cigar box guitars, a little more expensive that the run of the mill ones but c’mon – this bloke’s made guitars for Julian Bream!

Aram Cigar Box Guitars News Archive 2016-2015
Oh – apologies for this – that reminded me of this old Cluff cartoon from Private Eye I’ve had above my workbench for years……

Julian Bream Cartoon News Archive 2016-2015

September News 2015

First of all we’d like to let you know that the latest issue of Babbling Brook is now available to read or download from our homepage. This issue includes in-depth articles on TV Smith, Tony Hazzard, Andy Lale, information on home recording, more Brook collectors and a tab of one of Robbie’s compositions. As usual many thanks to Martin and Robbie for all their hard work.

You can get it here

Babbling Brook News Archive 2016-2015
The following three new guitars are waiting to wing their way to their owners:
The first classical of the year –

Brook Cary News Archive 2016-2015
This time we used a Torres design with a few modern features, a nice bubinga rosette and bridge decoration

Brook Cary Rosette News Archive 2016-2015
To match the back and sides of the Cary.

Bubinga Brook Cary News Archive 2016-2015
We used these fine Irving Sloane classical tuners with black barrels on headstock.

Brook Cary Headstock News Archive 2016-2015
Next up we have Simon from Lancaster’s new OM, a nice European spruce top with red gum purfling

Cutaway Brook OM News Archive 2016-2015

To match the red gum back, Simon asked for Venetian cutaway with a return, rather than our standard drop cutaway – more access to the dusty end!

Red Gum Brook OM News Archive 2016-2015
John will be coming down from Pembrokeshire in the next couple of weeks to collect his new Torridge,

John's Brook Torridge News Archive 2016-2015
Adirondack spruce for the top.

Adirondack Brook OM News Archive 2016-2015
John sourced this old growth Rio for the back and sides himself.

Brook Torridge News Archive 2016-2015
Andy delivered these three guitars, two Taws and a Torridge, to Project Music a couple of weeks ago,

Three Brooks for Project Music News Archive 2016-2015
From top to bottom – English Walnut, Indian Rosewood and Bubinga.

Walnut, Rosewood and Bubinga Brooks News Archive 2016-2015
Richard has amused us with some of our favourite customer photos over the years, he sent this delightful ‘thank you’ for the latest work on his Gibson and Gretsch.

Richard James Thank You News Archive 2016-2015
Andy did a fine job completely rewiring Richard’s Gibson with new hardware along with a couple of superb Bare Knuckle pickups.Gibson Rewire News Archive 2016-2015

I slimmed down and reshaped Richard’s Gretsch resonator neck

Reso Re-shape News Archive 2016-2015

Then we gave it a sunburst and re-lacquered it.

reso re-lacquer News Archive 2016-2015

Talking of resos – here’s a sneak preview of a new biscuit bridge addition to our range, this one is going to be named after the river Culm.

New Brook resonator News Archive 2016-2015
We were very pleased when Forsyths in Manchester featured the Torridge we recently sent up to them in their latest half page ad in Acoustic magazine.

Forsythes Ad News Archive 2016-2015
Johnny Butten, banjo player extraordinaire from Hayseed Dixie, was keen to show us his initial reaction to EasyJet trashing his much loved instrument of choice!

Johnny Butten at Brook Guitars News Archive 2016-2015
We glued the headstock back on and refinished the neck – go to Johnny’s site for some expert tuition videos and info about him.

Johnny Butten's Card News Archive 2016-2015
Dave from Cumbria sent his Tamar down for repair, it’d been knocked off a stand and split the neck, here’s Dave with the newly repaired guitar – a decent set-up and it’s playing like new again!

Brook Tamar Repair News Archive 2016-2015
Looks like things come in twos – this little Bovey lost its neck in an accident as well.

Brook Bovey Repair News Archive 2016-2015

Tommy sent another photo of his new Taw, this time taken from his balcony on the Swedish island!

Swerdish Balcony Photo News Archive 2016-2015

We’ve just done a neck re-set on this nice old vintage Gibson, still got loose struts to repair as well as some major splits and make up a more sympathetic bridge to replace someone’s previous attempt.

Gibson Neck Re-set News Archive 2016-2015
Well here’s an interesting repair – we had this Martin in with the neck parting from the body, when we prised the cover off the heel block inside we could see the bolt insert in the heel but no bolt! Someone asleep on the factory line gentleman?

Martin Neck Bolt News Archive 2016-2015
Don’t forget to download the latest Babbling Brook for additional information about our hand-crafted guitars!

August News 2015

Carol and Simon called in after their holiday in Cornwall to pick up Carol’s new tenor uke, here they are with Andy and myself.

Si, Si, Carol and Andy at Brook Guitars News Archive 2016-2015

Here’s a close up of the highly figured mahogany top

Mahogany Brook Tenor Uke News Archive 2016-2015

And a full length photo.

Brook Guitars Tenor Uke News Archive 2016-2015

We made this Tavy for Simon last year,

Cedar Topped Brook Tavy News Archive 2016-2015

We were amused when we saw the cake that Carol made for his 50th birthday!

Birthday Tavy Cake News Archive 2016-2015

Derek collected his new Lyn 015,

Dererk and his Brook Lyn News Archive 2016-2015

There were some interesting features in this custom guitar: the curly Douglas Fir top,

Douglas Fir Brook Lyn  News Archive 2016-2015

An interesting profile on the slotted headstock as an alternative to our standard shape

Alternative Brook Headstock News Archive 2016-2015

And this red gum back.

Red Gum Brook Lyn News Archive 2016-2015

This cutaway Torridge went off to Forsythes in Manchester

Cutaway brook Torridge News Archive 2016-2015

And these two, a Lyn and a Torridge went to Intersound in Dursley.

Two Brooks for Intersound News Archive 2016-2015

Bryan in Arizona sent us this photo of his new Ian Anderson model with a very suitable local backdrop!

Brook on Cactus News Archive 2016-2015

Tommy’s backdrop, taken on an island off the Swedish west coast, is a little less inspiring, however – the guitar is! He says ” My Taw is so alluring that I have to lock the case in order to get to the office. Amazingly easy to play – and a beauty”

Thanks Tommy!

Tommy and his Brook Taw News Archive 2016-2015

Phil Taylor went down to Robbie’s to record some tracks for a CD,

Phil Taylor News Archive 2016-2015

They gathered up a fine bevy of Brooks between them, we’ll look forward to hearing the results.

A bevy of Brook Guitars News Archive 2016-2015

Well we got TV’s guitar back together after the EasyJet disaster, all in time for his appearance at the Rebellion festival, here’s the first appearance with the newly repaired Taw (including guest uke player for one number!)

TV Brook Taw News Archive 2016-2015

Another outing that weekend, albeit with necessarily limited audience numbers, was the gig on this lovely Blackpool tram!

Brook Blackpool Tram News Archive 2016-2015

Another EasyJet casualty here – be warned musicians – this is Johnny Butten from Hayseed Dixie’s banjo, the budget airline managed to break the neck of his expensive signature model instrument in two places, you should see the results next month….

Broken Banjo News Archive 2016-2015

Other repairs completed were: This Guild neck re-set

Guild Repair News Archive 2016-2015

And the 1920’s Oscar Schmidt tenor guitar neck re-set. This little beauty required a new fingerboard and bridge as well as dealing with other splits and cracks.

Tenor Guitar News Archive 2016-2015

We’ll finish off the August News with this black & white shot of my workbench.

VBrook Guitars Workbench News Archive 2016-2015

Enjoy your summer holidays, see you next month!

July News 2015

These three beauties: a Taw, a Torridge and a Weaver, were collected by Steve from Intersound. We’ll be going up to their anniversary show in November.

Brook Taw, Torridge and Weaver News Archive 2016-2015

Amongst the three there was this rather nice four piece back yew Torridge

Yew Brook Torridge News Archive 2016-2015

And this Taw with an unusual curly Douglas Fir top.

Curly Douglas Fir Top News Archive 2016-2015

Jack’s inlay work was chosen for the first issue of Devon Artisan, the magazine included a two page article on him and his work.

Jack Smidmore Devon Artisan News Archive 2016-2015
Toby acquired his ovangkol Taw from us four years ago, he bought it in this month for its first set up. Phoebe and Imogen couldn’t resist picking up a couple of our ukes and joining Toby for the photo!

Toby, Phoebe and Imogen with Brooks News Archive 2016-2015

Martin, who puts together our Babbling Brook magazine was seen out at his local club playing his Tamar for a change instead of his beloved Okement!

Martin and his Brook Tamar News Archive 2016-2015

We thought we’d take this opportunity to give you a preview of Martin’s latest Carey nylon strung guitar getting its first coats of lacquer.

Andy Spraying Brook Classical Guitar News Archive 2016-2015

We’ve been drawing up a couple of new plans for additions to our range,

Brook Guitar Plans News Archive 2016-2015

Each new design requires a new mould so I’ve been making up two – one for a small wooden resonator with a biscuit bridge and also a redesign of the Little Silver to go in an SKB hard case designed originally for the Baby Taylor.

Two Brook Guitar Moulds News Archive 2016-2015

We had a visit from New Zealand guitar maker Ray Mercer, many years ago Ray moved over to the UK, he took part in a guitar-making workshop with Kevin Aram and worked for a while with Roger Bucknell at Fylde’s and also at Andy’s in Denmark Street before moving back home. Ray came over to visit some of his old mates and Kev brought him over to the workshop for a visit.

Band of Luthiers News Archive 2016-2015

This beautifully decorated little parlour guitar was found in an attic in North Devon and was brought in for appraisal.

Victorian Parlour Guitar News Archive 2016-2015

Graham, one of our customers, found these old mahogany snooker table legs about to be skipped and thought it’d be a waste of good timber so bought them down for us to use. In some ways it seems a pity to re-saw them, legs or necks – we’ll see……

Legs or Necks News Archive 2016-2015

Breaking News!! TV’s old familiar Taw is in again for repair, this time easyJet insisted it went in the hold and managed to break it despite it being in the Hiscox case.

T.V.Smith's Broken and Battered Brook Taw News Archive 2016-2015

It’s going to have to be a quick repair – he’s playing at the Rebellion Festival next week.

June News 2015

Well June’s come round again, the old computer ground to a halt so with the new one up and running at last and a new photo editing program to contend with we’ll start this month’s news:

We completed several overseas orders, let’s start off with this one going to David in North Carolina,

Walnut Brook Taw Full Length News Archive 2016-2015
He came over last year and chose an Adirondack top for his Taw along with this set of English walnut,

Brook Taw English Walnut News Archive 2016-2015
David sent Jack a design to use as inspiration for this eagle inlay in walnut, ebony, maple and yew.

Brook Taw Eagle Inlay News Archive 2016-2015
This cutaway Tavy has just been sent out to Aaron in Australia,

Cutaway Brook Tavy News Archive 2016-2015
It has a wide yew rosette, yew purfling

Brook Tavy Yew Rosette News Archive 2016-2015
And this four-piece yew back.

Brook Tavy Yew Back News Archive 2016-2015
Here’s a close-up of a pretty little Weaver in European spruce and rosewood, this went out last week to Tinker in Norway,

Brook Weaver Close Up News Archive 2016-2015
A couple of days ago Tinker sent us this photo of himself with his new guitar taken at midnight on midsummer’s eve. The tradition is, in Southern Norway, to go out in their boats, burn huge bonfires and have a drink or three – a very fine tradition too, if I might say so!

Brook Weaver Midsummer Eve News Archive 2016-2015
This Taw is about to be boxed up and go off to Tommy in Sweden,

Brook Taw Full Length News Archive 2016-2015
Another yew four-piece back

Brook Taw Another Yew Back News Archive 2016-2015
And a cat inlay in pearl on the twelfth fret.

Brook Taw Cat Inlay News Archive 2016-2015
Another Ian Anderson model completed this month, this one’s going off to Brian in Arizona.

Ian Anderson Parlour Model News Archive 2016-2015
Now – customer time:
Mike bought the beautiful sunburst Torridge we had in the shop and ordered another Torridge in the last of the Kew walnut.

Mike With brook Torridge News Archive 2016-2015
Hilary, from Cornwall, picked up this second-hand 12 fret Torridge locally and came up to have a look around the workshop and show us her new acquisition.

Hillary And Her Brook Lyn News Archive 2016-2015
Andrew brought over his Clyst for a set-up.

Andrew And Brook Clyst News Archive 2016-2015
John Middleton, from Somerset, picked up this second-hand O.M. as he felt his Taw needed a companion!

John and His Brook O.M. News Archive 2016-2015
Liam bought this new walnut Tamar from Celtic Chords in Stonehaven.

Liam at Celtic Chords News Archive 2016-2015
Colin was happy with the repairs to his Lowden and Hermanos guitars, both had suffered fairly major damage and required several struts to be re-glued amongst other problems.

Two Repairs at Brook Guitars News Archive 2016-2015
These two Kalamazoos needed major restoration as well, we recently completed the work and sent them back to our old mate Roger in South Wales who was very pleased with the results!

Two Kalamazoos News Archive 2016-2015
More international orders next month – and more yew….

May News 2015

We’d like to thank Julian Piper and his daughter Lucy for their work on the article about us in the latest ‘Acoustic’!

Acoustic Article on Brook Guitars News Archive 2016-2015

Jamie came down from Wiltshire for the cutaway Tavy we featured in the previous month’s news

Jamie and his Brook Tavy News Archive 2016-2015

And Darren came down from Nottingham for his Weaver,

Darren and his Brook Weaver News Archive 2016-2015

Here’s a close up showing the tortoiseshell style purfling and the pyramid bridge.

Brook Weaver Pyramid Bridge News Archive 2016-2015

Eric didn’t have as far to travel, he only lives a couple of miles up the road and came over to collect his Teign.

Eric and his Brook Teign News Archive 2016-2015

He ordered this sunburst, 12 fret slope shouldered model,

Slope Shouldered Brook Teign News Archive 2016-2015

Andy got to grips with a complex pickup system combining a L.R. Baggs Lyric and a K&K Pure Mini.

Brook Workshop Bench News Archive 2016-2015

You may remember last September we put up a photo of Peter with some walnut he’d just acquired from Letheringsett churchyard.

Peter and his Walnut News Archive 2016-2015

Here’s that same walnut on the O.M. model we made for him,

Brook O.M. Walnut News Archive 2016-2015

He came down from Norwich to pick up his new instrument and was delighted with the result!

Peter and his Brook O.M. News Archive 2016-2015

You may also remember this badly damaged Taw, we re-topped it and Phill’s obviously very happy to see his favourite guitar back in one piece!

Phil and his Broken Brook Taw News Archive 2016-2015

This Ian Anderson model went off to Wolfgang in Germany, the first of a batch of international orders – more of that next month….

Ian Anderson Model News Archive 2016-2015

On to the repairs:
Three Lowdens in for various things from a rebuild to a set-up.

3 Lowdens for Repair News Archive 2016-2015

This old Framus bass for renovation, also a fine old Yamaha.

Framus Bass and Yamaha News Archive 2016-2015

This Jerry Bix Tele was brought in, the customer wanted us to make up a pick guard to imitate George Harrison’s famous Tele.

Jerry Bix Tele News Archive 2016-2015

Talking of pick guards – we were resetting a neck on a 1930’s Kalamazoo and we removed this, supposedly, original one – it turned out to be fashioned out of a piece of 1960’s vinyl!

vinyl pick guard News Archive 2016-2015

Lastly – Jack and I sent some work over to the Shady Grove Gallery for an exhibition in Ringwood,

Brook Drawings and Inlays News Archive 2016-2015

Here are some photos of the gallery with Robbie playing centre stage.

Shady Grove Gallery News Archive 2016-2015
See you next month.

April News 2015

This Taw is for Dave from Shady Grove,

Curly Redwood Taw News Archive 2016-2015
How about this stunning figured redwood top!

Figured Redwood Top Brook Taw News Archive 2016-2015
Anne came up from Cornwall for her Taw,

Brook Taw in Fruit and Nut News Archive 2016-2015

Another ‘fruit & nut’ with cherry and walnut back

Cherry and Walnut Taw News Archive 2016-2015

With a European spruce top.

European Spruce Top News Archive 2016-2015

Here’s the heelcap, with her initials inlaid in the corners

Brook Taw Heelcap Inlay News Archive 2016-2015

And Jack inlaid a Celtic Knot in the headstock.

headstock inlay News Archive 2016-2015

Another three piece back this month in cherry and walnut for Jamie in Wiltshire –

Maple and Walnut Tavy News Archive 2016-2015

And the Tavy full frontal. Hope to get a photo of Jamie picking it up next month.

Tavy Full Length News Archive 2016-2015

Vince picked up his little mahogany Clyst.

Vince and his Clyst News Archive 2016-2015

We’ve managed to find some more of the beautifully figured mahogany which we cut into sets a couple of weeks ago!

Pomelle News Archive 2016-2015

We’ve got this Lowden in to repair – it’s taken quite a battering.

Smashed Lowden News Archive 2016-2015

Amongst many other repairs we worked on this unusual hand-built guitar.

hand built guitar News Archive 2016-2015

We say a sad farewell to John Renbourn who passed away a few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to see John play with Wizz Jones at Wadebridge last year and Topsham last month. Our friends Dave Wood and Michael Dunnigan also enjoyed their company and got to play with them at the last RMMGA meeting the weekend before he died.

John Renbourn News Archive 2016-2015
8 August 1944 – 26 March 2015

March News 2015

We all took turns watching the eclipse through Andy’s welding mask the other
morning in the orchard! the photo doesn’t capture the full effect unfortunately but
gives you an idea of the atmosphere as the moon passed in front of the sun.

Eclipse At Brook Guitars News Archive 2016-2015

Back to guitars: This walnut Taw went off to Project Music in Exeter

Walnut Brook Taw News Archive 2016-2015

And these three, two Taws and a Tamar were picked up by Denver for Intersound.

Three Brooks for Intersound News Archive 2016-2015

A while back we came across some interesting spalted sycamore from a local farm,
we recently cut it up and are in the process of converting
some really interesting sets for future use.

Spalted Maple News Archive 2016-2015

To give you an idea what it is likely to look like here’s a set in our Tavy mould.

Brook Tavy And Spalted Maple News Archive 2016-2015

We’re pleased to announce the arrival of a new model in the Brook stable,
it’s J200 size, we’re not sure yet if it will join the Okement
or replace it in our super jumbo range.

Brook New Model News Archive 2016-2015

We completed that David Oddy tenor guitar conversion, here’s the new neck going on

David Oddy Guitar News Archive 2016-2015

And here’s the finished guitar.

Oddy Tenor Brook Neck News Archive 2016-2015

Along with other repairs and refinishes this month we had a couple
of necks with the headstocks broken off, firstly this Duesenberg,

Duesenberg News Archive 2016-2015

Then this lefty Les Paul, here’s a montage showing some of the stages including someone’s previous rather inelegant attempt to repair it with a couple of nuts and bolts!

Brook Les Paul Repair News Archive 2016-2015

Note to Roy – now we’ve done all that work on it put some decent tuners on it!

February News 2015

Richard, from South Devon, picked up his new cutaway Lyn,

Brook Yew Lyn News Archive 2016-2015

So we’ll proceed with some shots of that. Firstly the full length portrait,

One of the yew back

Yew Back Brook Torridge News Archive 2016-2015

And one of the yew head veneer provided by Richard’s father.

Yew Headstock Veneer News Archive 2016-2015

Richard also asked Jack to inlay a small harp on the 12th fret,
Jack cut this by hand from a single piece of pearl!

Brook Harp Inlay News Archive 2016-2015

Andrew and Gracie are holding the two guitars we made for them
a couple of years ago, Andrew’s father David, a fine player,
was impressed with the quality and coordinated a family visit
with coming down and ordering a Brook for himself!

Choosing Wood News Archive 2016-2015

Here are the covers of Robbie and Dave Smith’s fine new albums

Robbie J and Dave Smith News Archive 2016-2015

Along with the reverse sides. More information on http://chalkhillsmusic.co.uk/

Chalkhills Music News Archive 2016-2015

Julie came down from Gloucestershire with two of her trio of Brooks for set-ups

Julie News Archive 2016-2015

And Steve and Denver from Intersound picked up their latest two guitars

Steve and Denver News Archive 2016-2015

A rosewood Taw and a red gum Tamar, then promptly ordered some more!

Two Brooks for Intersound News Archive 2016-2015

Stephen picked up the Lyn he’d ordered
and brought along his Taw for us to check over.

Brook Walnut Cutaway Lyn News Archive 2016-2015

Alpine spruce top with a pyramid bridge,

Alpine Spruce News Archive 2016-2015

One of the last sets of Kew walnut

Kew Walnut News Archive 2016-2015

And the increasingly popular slotted headstock with a rounded top and Waverly tuners.

Slotted Headstock with Waverly Tuners News Archive 2016-2015

Phil Jones popped down from Porthcawl to have a pickup fitted in the
bubinga Torridge he bought from Oasis in Ringwood last year.

Phil with his Torridge News Archive 2016-2015

Oh dear –
The more repairs we complete, the more come in it seems
– as you can see by the ever-increasing pile of cases!

Repair Cases News Archive 2016-2015

Amongst them this nice old Guild for a neck re-set
and replacement for the broken truss-rod,

Guild Repair News Archive 2016-2015

This PRS we’ve just put back together with a neck break – both ends of the neck!

PRS Repair News Archive 2016-2015

It was good to see this lovely lacewood, narrow bodied Tavy of Lucy’s again.

Lacewood Brook Tavy News Archive 2016-2015

Now – just to let you see how we suffer for our art,
I recently took a photo of my picking hand – not a pretty sight,
it’s a bit ironic that working on these guitars
make it rather painful experience playing the finished product!

Painful Fingers News Archive 2016-2015

Hopefully things will heal up by next month.

January News 2015

A quick mention of Robbie J’s CD launch –
If anyone would like to attend the event come along to
Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford on Avon, Wednesday 28th January,
you can expect an evening of fine guitar playing by Robbie and Dave Smith
and try a selection of Brook Guitars brought to you by the Shady Grove guys.

Robbie J News Archive 2016-2015

This little Clyst is going up to Soundpad in Barnstaple.

Brook Clyst News Archive 2016-2015

We’ve had a few of our older instruments in for set ups this month:
This fourteen year old distinctive narrow bodied lacewood
Tavy of Lucy’s which needed a tweak of the trussrod,

Lucy's Brook Tavy Inlay News Archive 2016-2015

And this lovely little English walnut Bovey of Phil Bird’s we made fifteen
years ago which suffered some damage to the top when he lent it out!

Englis Walnut Brook Bovey News Archive 2016-2015

Oops! – Phil Ecclestone also had an unwelcome accident with his Taw,
we can’t expect to carry out an invisible repair this time without replacing the top,

Broken Brook Taw News Archive 2016-2015

Here’s stage one! More to come as we proceed.

Re-top of Brook Taw News Archive 2016-2015

Fabrice’s daughter took this photo of him playing his new Lyn
on this sunny day in Lavande, Provence.

Fabrice in Provence News Archive 2016-2015

Quite a few repairs again this month,
one interesting one was a refret on this immaculate Hofner Verithin,

Hofner Verithin News Archive 2016-2015

And here’s Andy doing a neck reset on a resonator.

Reso Neck Set at Brook Guitars News Archive 2016-2015

Back to that David Oddy tenor guitar re-neck,
Marc thought it would look great with a black top,
rather like the vintage Gibsons so we were happy to oblige,
here’s Andy spraying the first coats,

Spraying at Brook Guitars News Archive 2016-2015

And the neck and body hanging to dry in the spray room.

Re-spray at Brook Guitars News Archive 2016-2015

Next month we’ll be able to show you some of the new guitars
for Intersound and Project Music along with some other interesting
instruments which are nearly ready to leave the workshop,
also hopefully an update on Robbie’s event at the Wiltshire Music Centre.

News Archive 2014-2012

December News 2014

It’s been a busy month again. We got couple of batches of guitars out to the shops We completed these three for Ivor Mairants in London,

Three Brook Guitars for Ivor Mairants News Archive 2014-2012

Then we delivered these five to Project Music in Exeter.

Five Brooks for Project Music News Archive 2014-2012

Dave Smith came down for the mahogany Torridge he’d ordered, Dave asked for a rosewood fingerboard, bridge and head veneer.

Dave Smith and his mahogany Brook Torridge News Archive 2014-2012

Here’s a full length photo,

Mahogany Brook Torridge News Archive 2014-2012

And a close up. It turned out a really nicely balanced, lively guitar!

Mahogany Torridge close up News Archive 2014-2012

While our weather is getting cooler Marcus headed out to India again for a gig in Mumbai!

Marcus off to India News Archive 2014-2012

Simon Boulter came down from Bristol for a set up and a pickup on his twelve year old Taw.

Simon Boulter and his Brook Taw News Archive 2014-2012

We also did a set up on this beautiful 015 maple Torridge we made back in 2003.

Sunburst Brook Torridge News Archive 2014-2012

This is one of our favourite sunbursts of all the guitars we’ve made over the years.

Sunburst Brook Torridge close up News Archive 2014-2012
Steve had a fairly drastic headstock break on this Taw,

Broken Headstock News Archive 2014-2012

We got it back together, you can’t see the damage and it’s playing like new again, Steve was really pleased with the result!

Headstock Repair News Archive 2014-2012

Here’s an interesting project – Marc sent us this fine David Oddy tenor guitar over from Switzerland. He found he wasn’t using it as a tenor and asked us if we’d make up and fit a short scale six string replacement – more of this next month….

David Oddy Tenor Guitar News Archive 2014-2012

Season’s Greetings to all our readers and see you next year!

November News 2014

We’ve just seen the first frost of the year and the orchard was white when we arrived this morning.

A couple of weeks ago we sent this custom Torridge up to Richard in Nottingham,

Richard's Brook Torridge News Archive 2014-2012

Richard had sent us this design to inlay in the fingerboard.

Brook Torridge inlay News Archive 2014-2012

We’d found enough of this very old yew to make up a three piece back.

Brook Torridge yew three piece back

These four Brooks, an OM, Teign, Taw and Lyn, were collected by Mike from Project Music in Exeter,

Brook OM, Teign, Taw and Lyn

Amongst them was this left-handed rosewood Lyn custom ordered through the shop.

Left Handed Brook Lyn

Here’s the Lyn along with another standard one an early stage of the build, showing the different bracing for the left-handed model.

Brook Lyn bracing

The customer wanted a rosewood head veneer and Waverly tuners.

Brook Lyn headstock with Waverly tuners

John here has a busy touring schedule as lead guitarist and singer with Dire Straits tribute band Dire Streets, He popped in to see us on the way down to their gig at St Ives Guildhall with the intention of ordering a walnut and cedar Taw – but couldn’t resist this Tamar.

John with Brook Tamar

Looking at the unusual figured oak back it’s not hard to see why!

Oak Brook Tamar

This red gum Tamar is going off to Julie in Gloucestershire who custom ordered it through Intersound in Dursley.

Red gum Brook Tamar

Here’s a photo of Roseanne Ball playing her Lyn and in character for her Halloween gig at Tapeley Park in North Devon!

Roseanne Halloween gig with Brook Lyn

This month we saw a couple of our older instruments: Cams dropped in the Bovey we’d made for him back in 2003 for a set-up and some remedial work on the way down from Arran for a short holiday in Cornwall with his family.

Cam's Bovey

We built this cherry Tavy for Rhyd in Whitstable in 2004, we’ve just had it back to give it a complimentary set up, the tone has developed over the years and it’s playing and sounding even better now than when it left the workshop!

Rhyd Brook Tavy cherry cutaway

A new guitar still thinks it’s a tree … but a played one knows it’s an instrument!

October News 2014

To start off the October news I’d like to point you towards two new galleries we’ve just added. We thought it would be nice to use just black and white photos for these. Hope you like them!

Brook Black and White Gallery

Tony came over from the Isle of Wight earlier in the year to choose woods for this sitka spruce 015 Taw,

Sitka Spruce Taw

He chose Kew walnut for the back and sides,

Kew Walnut Taw

He went for a sound-port and of course it’s obligatory to take photos of the inside workings through it!

Inside Brook Taw

Tony couldn’t come over to collect his Taw but sent us this photo. We try not to blow our own trumpet too much on the site but he sent us a message to say it was the easiest, nicest guitar he’s ever played!

Tony's Brook Taw

We’ve had a few international visitors and customers this month: We had Tommy over from Sweden specifically to see us and order a Taw, We had a Tavy order from Aaron in Australia and Tinker here came across from Norway with his family, he’d been keeping an eye on the site for many years and came over to order a Weaver.

In the Brook Workshop

Stephen came over from Switzerland to visit and bring along the Taw he’d bought from Ivor Mairants back in 2008, we were impressed that the action and set-up was still perfect after all those years.

Swiss Brook Taw

This has to be one of the grubbiest Brooks we’ve seen on our workshop benches, It’s a Tamar that came in for a set-up. I’m not naming names but the guilty party has been made aware that an occasional clean wouldn’t go amiss! To be fair the guitar has spent a long time in hot and humid conditions in India where the unamed owner has been busy working on recordings with local musicians.

Grubby Brook Taw

Here’s the latest bubinga tenor uke, the owner’s well into double figures with his collection of Brooks, hopefully a photo of Steve and some more information when he collects it next month.

Brook Ukulele

Dave came down from Wiltshire to collect the latest two guitars for Shady Grove.

Shady Grove Brook Guitars

A walnut and Engelmann Taw along with a mahogany and cedar Lyn, if anyone’s interested in these head off to Shady Grove via our Links page.

Waltut Brook Taw and Mahogany Lyn

Now for a few of the many repairs we’ve been working on: This battered Taw came down from Brighton with a broken headstock and various dinks and damage, it’s now back together, looking a lot better and back with its happy owner!

Battered Brook Taw

We also worked on these two fine vintage Nationals.

Two Vintage Nationals

See you next month.

September News 2014

Roseanna Ball is a fine singer/songwriter from North Devon, she picked up her new Lyn earlier in the month, here she is playing the first few tunes on it!

Rose and her Lyn

It has a beautiful figured bubinga back

Rose and her Lyn Rosebud Inlay
And a rosebud inlay on the 12th fret.

Rose and her lyn rosebud inlay fretboard

Rose asked us to soften the end of our standard slotted headstock shape with a gentle curve. We’ll look forward to some photos and YouTube clips of Rose and her Lyn in action in future months!

Rose and her Lyn Rosebud Inlay

Peter was interested in having a guitar made using some wood from his area. He drove down the other day to spec out an O.M. from this English walnut he’d sourced that came from Letheringsett churchyard in Norfolk.

Peter and his walnut

Andy’s sawing the walnut into sets.

Andy On his bandsaw

These two Brooks went out to Urs’ shop in Switzerland,

Two Brooks went out to Urs

The twelve string Tamar has English walnut back and sides and the six string Taw has walnut with a cherry book-matched centre stripe.

Urs with walnut backs

Urs asked for a cherry blossom inlay and Jack designed this for the headstock.

Urs cherry blossom inlay

We had a couple of nice ukes in for repair – a koa Kamaka to sort out some intonation problems and fit a pickup, and a vintage Regal for a neck set and new bridge.

two Ukes for repair

Talking of ukes here’s Tony Hazzard live in concert with his much travelled Brook in Hondarrabia, Northern Spain, not far from San Sebastian.

Tony Hazard in concert

Phil and Anna were also gigging in Spain this month, Phil was using his recently repaired Tamar. Here are the before and after shots!

before and after

And here are some photos of Phil and Anna playing at the festival in Catalonia.

Phil and Anna

The tall lime tree outside the workshop was trimmed the other week,

outside Brooks trees

That reminded us – it was planted in the early days of Brook Guitars, here’s a photo of Andy and me in front of it when it was a little sapling, twenty years ago.

Andy and Simon twenty years ago

And another of us in front of it now!

Andy and Simon Now

We made this Taw for Paul about five years ago, he came back this month and we upgraded the tuners to gold Gotohs.

Paul and his Taw

Pete from Celtic Chords in Stonehaven paid us a visit and picked up the latest maple Clyst for the shop.

Celtic Chords

Lastly – a couple of photos from the ‘Guitars on the Beach’ event at Lyme Regis which I went along to with my guitar,

Guitars On The Beach

Three and a half thousand of us got together with Ian Gillan to play ‘Smoke on the Water’ in the hot sun,

Lyme Regis Guitars on the beach

All of which was rather good fun!

August News 2014

We’ll start the August news with a fine photo of Roger and his new Lyn 015 on the quayside in the Moray Firth village of Cullen. Roger’s a songwriter and plays guitar with local band Heatherstay.

Roger and Lyn

Here’s a full length shot of the guitar

lyn full length
And a close up of the Adirondack top,

Adirondack top

The reclaimed figured mahogany back

Mahogony back

And the 015 trim headstock with Waverly tuners.

headstock waverly tuners

Stuart from North Devon came to pick up his new Torridge, living in Westward Ho on the Torridge estuary it was the obvious choice! We laminated the neck from mahogany boards that Stuart had acquired from a friend of his.

Stuart with his Lyn

We inlaid two very personal designs on the guitar – A rose on the headstock for his daughter

rose inlay headstock

And a monkey on the twelfth fret in memory of his son.

monkey inlay

Here’s Jack’s drawing with the woods chosen for the design

monkey design

Full length shot.

Torridge

Rich came down from Bridgewater and bought the mahogany Torridge we had in the shop, we were very envious of his VW camper!

Richard with Torridge

This Clyst has also just gone up to Scotland,

clyst guitar

The second Adirondack top this month, it’s probably the finest tonewood we know of. Hopefully we’ll get a photo of Tim to add to next month’s news.

clyst close up

The final guitar taking the trip up to Scotland this month is this sunburst twelve fret Teign.

sunburst tein

I’ve just found this photo from a few month’s ago – Martin Bell, the editor of our Babbling Brook magazine, came all the way down from Staffordshire to play a fine set at Okehampton Acoustic Club. Coincidentally – the club is situated right beside the Okement, the river we named Martin’s guitar after!

Martin Oakhampton acoustic

As well as completing these guitars we’ve been fitting pickups and taking on some tricky repairs: We repaired rib damage to this Martin earlier in the month

martin repair

But that was a fairly minor problem compared to what happened to Phil Bird’s guitar,

Tamar repair

A monitor fell on the cutaway side of Phil’s beloved yew Tamar. Here’s an unexpected view of the label! Check out next month to see how we fare with the repair!

Tamar repair

A few months ago it seemed to be all Telecaster repairs, this month it appeared to be to be all Strats!

Strats

Here’s a link to Steve Benford’s website. He has some beautiful recordings of Carolan tunes, give them a listen here!

Steve Benford

Steve Benford

Over the last month we’ve been gathering a collection of Brook YouTube clips for our own channel. We hope the customers featured won’t mind. Please get in touch if you’d rather not be included and let us know if you’d like us to add a clip featuring your Brook.

Brook YouTube Channel

July News 2014

First of the mark in July is Shaun from Cheltenham who picked up the Tavy featured in last month’s news.

ShaunAndTed

Melvyn, from South London, came down and couldn’t resist the cherry Torridge we had in stock.

MelvynTorridge

John Stearn, another avid Brook collector and regular visitor, picked up his second rosewood Bovey. Here he is, making himself comfortable, in front of the workshop!

JohnBovey

This Ian Anderson model has just gone off to James in Odessa, Florida.

IAModel

These three Brooks are ready to go up to Intersound in Dursley,

ThreeForIntersound

From the left: an ovangkol Tamar, a bubinga Taw and a Yew Weaver.

TamarTawWeaver

Here’s the latest Teign and Lyn for Promenade Music in Morecombe.

TeignLyn

We made this Tamar as a bouzouki five years ago, the customer asked us recently to convert it to a guitar, here it is with the old neck!

TamarBouzouki

We carried out some repair work on this fine Sobell cittern and a Harmony Sovereign for Jiggerypipery’s Tony Bayliss.

HarmonySobell

That’s it for the July news, for all of you preparing for a summer break, enjoy the sun!

June News 2014

We hope you’re enjoying the new website; we’re still working on it, please let us know if there are any problems and we’ll try to sort them out as soon as possible. So far we’ve had lots of positive feedback from our customers.

We had a feature on Brook collectors in the latest Babbling Brook. Tony here is vying for pole position amongst them and is heading for double figures. His latest is thisTaw

Tony's Taw

He asked Jack to design a kingfisher inlay for the headstock

Kingfisher Inlay for Brook Taw

Diving for a stickleback on the twelfth fret.

Stickleback Inlay

The back was a stunning set of English cherry along with Brazilian chestnut using the same woods to laminate the neck.

Brook Guitar back Cherry With Brazilian Chestnut

We used this subtle red and black inlay for the rosette and purfling.

Brook Taw Red and black purfling

Talking of collections here’s a photo of David Hornsby’s family of Brooks up in Lincolnshire with his latest rosewood Lyn second from the left.

David Hornsby family of Brook Guitars

Shaun ordered a Tavy with this pearl inlay based on a pendant of his.

Shaun Inlay

Here the inlay in situ showing the sitka top

Shaun inlay With Sitka top

And here’s the red gum back.

Shaun guitar red gum back

John, a friend of ours, snapped up this second-hand Okement when it came up for sale,
he wanted a sunburst finish so we re-topped it and made up a new bridge.

sunburst Brook Okement

Along with all the other custom work this month Jack also inlaid another
oak twig out of yew on a rosewood Tavy for Michael from Redruth.

M inlay

OK – here we have two photos of two thirds of the ‘Shady Grove’ team. Freddie and Colin have set up a small arts cooperative in Hampshire combining artwork, recording, photography as well as planning to sell some high end guitars, including a few of ours. Freddie and Colin don’t quite know if they should be serious musicians (left) or hedonistic rock stars (right) Any votes?

News Archive 2014-2012

For those of you who have seen the interview in the latest Babbling Brook, Rosa Rebecka has a special concert coming up at the Phoenix in Exeter on 13th July. She’ll be introducing the Levin we rebuilt that belonged to her grandmother, she’ll be supported by The Resonance, a talented band of young local singers.

Rosa Rebecka

We completed this Tele style electric using superb Bare Knuckle pickups and parts, very cool!

Black Telecaster

Amongst the repairs this month we re-fretted this Les Paul copy and a Strat

Les Paul Copy of Strat repair

And glued the bridge back on this highly decorated Tanglewood, then gave it a good set up.

Tanglewood bridge repair

See you next month!

May 2014

We’d like to let you know that issue 3 of Babbling Brook Issue 3 is now available to download from the homepage, we go into more detail about our customers,
collectors and some of the instruments we’ve made over the years, hopefully this will be of interest to you – let us know! Many thanks to all the contributors and particularly to Martin Bell who puts it all together.

Brook Guitars babbleing brook

Clive works in Luxemburg and came over to pick up these two beauties earlier in the month,

Brook Guitars image

A sunburst Torridge and a Creedy,

Brook Creedy Guitar image

The Torridge was made of exotic walnut and the little Creedy was made of the old favourite – the walnut from the tree that came down in Kew Gardens.

Brook Guitars Creedy

I’ve mentioned that we’ve been busy working on the new website
– here’s a preview of the homepage, we’re going to try and upload it in a couple of weeks so apologies in advance if we have any teething troubles!
Please let us know if there are any problems.

Brook Guitars New Homepage image

Another preview here, this Lyn is for David from Lincolnshire,

he’ll be down for it next month and we’ll get a photo of him then, but in the meantime here a shot of the figured rosewood back

Brook Guitars image

And a full length picture.

Brook Guitars image

Sandy took a 290 mile round trip to Celtic Chords to come back for this walnut Tamar,
Pete took this for us before Sandy left the shop for the long journey home.

Brook Guitars Sandy

Here’s Tony Hazzard playing his Brook uke at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, He assures us that he didn’t play a single Beatles number, Come on Tony you’d have to wouldn’t you!

Brook Guitars Tony at the Cavern Club Liverpool

As for repairs – This month we were mostly working on Telecasters.

Brook Guitars image

Finally – a photo of the orchard in blossom.

Brook Guitars workshop

See you next month on the new site with a bit of luck!

Brook Guitars alabone image

April 2014

We’ve had a busy month getting the new Babbling Brook ready and also working
on the new website which should be a lot more accessible on tablets and phones.

We completed a Taw for Shoreline in the States and we’ve just sent that one out.

Chris saw the Teign we featured in the March news and couldn’t resist it!

Brook Guitars Chris

Another guitar we’d just made for stock, a Taw,

was snapped up as soon as we added it to the shop. Jamie, a fine player from Wiltshire, came over and went away with this one up.

Brook Guitars Jamie

Here’s a full frontal,

Brook Guitars Taw image

A close up of the European spruce top

Brook Guitars Taw close up

And a one of the English walnut back.

Brook Guitars Taw english walnut

Two more guitars we’ve added to the shop are this mahogany Torridge

Brook Guitars Torridge image

With a sitka top

Brook Guitars Torridge

And this Bovey.

Brook Guitars Bovey image

We don’t make many of these so we thought it was about time we bought this
ittle travel guitar to people’s attention. Go to the shop for details.

Brook bovey close up

Jack is on fine form as usual with this inlay as a memorial to Joan and John Middleton’s spaniel on John’s Lowden.

Brook Guitars spaniel

Leon and Rob came down to the workshop for a quick set-up, here they are with their two fine Tavys.

Brook Guitars Leone and Rob

Gareth Hedges brought his vintage Hofner in for some repair work, we gathered some other arch-tops we have here together for a family shot!

Brook Guitars Archtops

We also reset the necks of these two vintage ukes for Gareth – an Alvarez from Spain and a koa Hawaiian soprano.

Brook Guitars ukes

The finishing shop was given over briefly to spraying Andy’s self-built
350 B40 BSA replacement frame before he put it back together.

Brook Guitars bike image

Here he is on the 350 mile MCC Lands End trial over the Easter weekend.
Both Andy and the bike survived intact and Andy got a gold medal,

Brook Guitars Andy with BSA bike

And here he is at the end of the trial at St Agnes with his daughter Xanthia who also got a gold.

Brook Guitars Andy

We can’t all be award winners but we’d like to thank all of you
who’ve chosen our award winning guitars!

See you next month.

March 2014

This month we’ve four rather special custom guitars to show you:

Simon came down from Nottinghamshire to pick up his drop cutaway Tavy,

Brook Guitars image

Simon chose this dramatic cedar top

Brook Guitars Tavyimage

And matched it with the five thousand year old bog oak for the back and sides.

Brook Guitars Tavy image

There’s a walnut laminated neck with a heel-cap inlay relating to the carbon dating of the oak,

Brook Guitars Tavy image

We used Jack’s skills again with an oak leaf and acorn inlay in the fingerboard,

Brook Guitars Tavy inlay

Here’s a close up,

Brook Guitars Tavy inlay

And one of the headstock with Gotoh antique gold 510 tuners.

Brook Guitars Tavy image

A couple of years ago we made a fan fretted Tavy for Jake Moutarde, a fine young guitarist and songwriter from East Devon.

Here’s a photo of him playing it recently at Mama Stone’s in Exeter,

Jake Moutarde at Mama Stones

Here’s Jake picking up his latest Tamar fan fret,

Brook Guitars Tamar

This time he went for a more extreme 630 mm / 660 mm scale length
with an offset oval sound-hole and textured percussive scratch-plate.

Brook Guitars image

Here’s a full length shot

Brook Guitars full length image

And a close up of the back with the three piece ziricote and padouk back.
We continued the red theme with coloured purfling strips along with red saddle, nut and pearl markers.

Brook Guitars Jeff back

Bob, as always, came up with a challenging design of his own:

Brook Guitars

His BC-1 model here had a sunburst Alpine spruce top with gold mother of pearl purfling, rosette and position markers.

Brook Guitars image

Bob supplied the stunning Macassar ebony back and sides,

Brook Guitars Bob back

The maple bound slotted headstock is fitted with Waverly tuners.

Brook Guitars Bob Headstock

Our fourth guitar is a Teign we’ve just built for stock using our one remaining set of, fairly plain, reclaimed Brazilian rosewood. This is likely to be the last Brook we make out of Rio because of the restrictions.

Brook Guitars Teign

Jack inlaid this Harris Hawk on the headstock.

Brook Guitars inlay

In addition to these four fine guitars this Taw and Tavy went up to Project Music.
Lee came to pick them up so we took a quick photo outside the workshop.

Brook Guitars Andy Lee

Steve came over from Somerset for his cutaway rosewood Lyn

Brook Guitars Stephen lyn.

We set up these two fifteen year old Brooks which are standing the test of time well and sounding great!

Brook Guitars Two Oldies

Tony Hazzard came to have a pickup fitted in his Brook uke.

Brook Guitars Tony

This photo of Tom Cutler and his son Jed was taken on the South Downs by James Clarke,
Jed’s playing the banjo and Tom’s playing the custom parlour guitar we made for him a while back.

Brook Guitars Tom and Jed

We haven’t had much time to sit and strum though, As you can see it’s been a busy month, We’ll round it off very nicely with two of Phil Taylor’s latest videos,
The first with his Torridge and the second with his Lyn:

One Year On

The Week Before Easter

February 2014

Bendigo braved the floods to pick up his new Lyn Here he is amongst the snowdrops in the orchard. Note the Brooklyn tee shirt!

Brook Guitars Brooklynimage

Here’s the ziricote back

Brook Guitars Ziricote image

And the ‘V’ decoration at the tail end shows off the great combination
of the ziricote framed by the koa binding.

Brook Guitars image

Laine brought us down this excellent fruit cake designed for the occasion,
not forgetting some very welcome fine wine to toast the new baby!

Brook Guitars image

Here’s a full length shot showing the torch inlay and abalone purfling which also surrounded the fingerboard.

Brook Guitars image

This Tamar has just gone out to Urs, our Swiss distributor,

Brook Guitars tamar

Urs supplied the renowned and rare Alpine ‘moon’ spruce,

Brook Guitars Bog oak

The headstock sported the fancy Roberts tuners. The fingerboard, bridge and head veneer were bog oak

Brook Guitars Roberts Tuners

Along with the back.

Brook Guitars oak tamar

As you can see from the headstock of this little Creedy,
it’s another guitar we’ve completed this month with a bog oak fingerboard, bridge and head veneer,

Brook Guitars Creedy image

We’ve used the ‘fruit & nut’ combination again with a mix of Kew walnut and cherry,

Brook Guitars creedy image

Chris from Oxfordshire asked for his name on the heel cap to match to his last Brook, a Taw.

Brook Guitars creedy

We had to fill the old saddle slot and cut a fresh one on this
1970 Zemaitas to improve the intonation.
This is just one of a number of vintage guitars owned by guitarist Gareth Hedges
who’s plan is to record his next album using as many of his collection as possible.

Brook Guitars image

This collector’s instrument has the shallowest neck profile we’ve ever come across on an acoustic.

Brook Guitars image

Here’s that re-spray we showed on the bench last month. We have here a Manson body based on a Strat with a Jerry Bix neck, Burns Brian May pickups,
resprayed black by us. That makes it a Mansobixoburnsobrookocaster doesn’t it? Lucky we didn’t have to inlay it on the headstock!

Brook Guitars strat    image

We haven’t suffered as much as Somerset with the floods, it has come up over our bridge a few times though, here are a few photos of the brook in full flood!

Brook Guitars floods

As you can see it made access to the workshop a little tricky

Brook Guitars floods image

And we lost a couple of mature trees which ended up mid-stream

Brook Guitars floods

Over in the States bad weather was the culprit when Julie Watson’s Taw survived being filled with water when a pipe burst due to severe freezing, luckily, with some careful drying out, the only sign of damage was a little discolouration down near the tail end – it definitely puts a good case for modern glues and finishes!

Brook Guitars taw image

Some more fine playing from Robbie to end the February
news –
a hurdy gurdy tune

Halsway Schottische

January 2014

We had a welcome winter break and came back in the New Year with the resolution of getting the bulk of repairs that had been building up out of the way.
First of all though we had to complete these three instruments for Forsyth’s in Manchester,

Brook Guitars image

And these two, a walnut Tamar and a bubinga Torridge for Celtic Chords,

Brook Guitars walnut

They’ll be going up to Stonehaven in the next couple of days.

Brook Guitars celtic chords image

I thought I’d start off this year’s news by giving you a quick trip around the workshop and give you a snapshot view of what we’re up to right now.

No artificial tastefully arranged wood shavings,polished chisels or expensive miniature planes, just simple photos of what’s going on.

Jack’s working on the next batch of Brooks, here are the sides on his shelf,

Brook Guitars Jack Shelf

The tops and backs are in the drying room

Brook Guitars backs and tops

And he’s preparing the bracing on his bench.

Brook Guitars Struts

Kevin’s cutting out neck blanks and sanding the bodies ready for dovetailing.

Brook Guitars Kevs Bench

He’s clamped the head veneers onto these necks

Brook Guitars clamps

And here are more bodies in the process of being sanded.

Brook Guitar bodies

Upstairs in the spray room Andy’s getting ready to spray. I’ve just carved the necks and given the guitars a final sanding,

Brook Guitars spray room

He’s just taken out a midi pickup, resprayed and polished this Manson electric.

Brook Guitars Andys Bench

Andy’s also working on resetting the neck angle on this Dobro

Brook Guitars dobro image

While I’ve been setting up this ornate banjo.

Brook Guitars bench image

In our display room we’re currently working on two sets of plans for a new guitar shaped mandolin and an octave mandolin.

Brook Guitars image plans

Back to those repairs: We glued the bridge back on and re-fretted this Gibson, and fixed a broken headstock on this Lowden,

Brook Guitars gibson lowdon image

This old Guild 12 string received a well deserved neck re-set and is now a good deal more comfortable to play!

Brook Guitars Guild Guitar

Well that’s most of the repairs out of the way, with a bit of luck we’ll be able to concentrate on building Brooks next month!

This month’s links include two videos with a theme: Robbie starts us off with the seasonally apt
The Month of January

Next Phil Taylor takes us back to A Week in September inspired by a trip to Cornwall last year which coincided with him picking up his custom Lyn.

Paul Rogers sent us a link to this fine song of his

Come Over To Me played on his Tamar

Steve Moutarde sent us this link to his son Jake’s site, Steve’s been working on this animation of Jake’s fan fretted Tavy.

See you next month

20013

December 2013

Here are the latest four Brooks for Project Music in Exeter – front to back – a rosewood Taw,a cedar and mahogany Torridge, a rosewood OM and a walnut Tamar.

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This might be a good opportunity to remind you of our take on the OM model for the American guitar enthusiasts out there, this one has rosewood back and sides with a sitka top along with the standard belly bridge and the traditional 640 mm scale.

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This figured mahogany, sunburst topped Taw went up to Steve in Manchester.

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We asked for a photo of course –

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By the way – we’re not far off completing three guitars for Forsythe’s in Manchester.

Good to see our bog oak Taw made it into the top 20 guitars over £1000 in ‘Acoustic’!

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We were also featured in a couple of books this year, the latest was ‘365 Guitars, Amps and Effects You Must Try’ by Dave Hunter which featured the Clyst.

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We’ve just completed this Ian Anderson model for a customer in Italy.

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We reset the neck, made a new bridge and repaired splits on this Fairbanks made in Boston, Massachusetts in the late 1800s.

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Another Les Paul headstock repair completed, this one was tricky as someone had previously had a go at it

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John, our American distributor at ‘Shoreline’, put up a couple of reviews of our guitars

A mahogany Torridge

A walnut Torridge

We’ll end the year in traditional style with these two carols beautifully arranged and played by Robbie.

Oh Little Town of Bethlehem

Sans Day Carol

We’d like to wish all of you who check out our news every month a very happy Christmas, winter solstice or whatever you celebrate the end of the old year by. We’ll see you in the New Year with the latest Brook news.

November 2013

It’s November and getting colder again out here hidden away in the wilds of the Westcountry.
It’s been a busy month with some interesting guitars to show for it.

Here’s another of Jack’s fine inlays of a Kestrel for Iain’s Teign,

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Iain came down from Hampshire to pick it up earlier in the month.

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This black beauty was ordered by Louise Loft,

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As you can see by the fingerboard inlay.

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Jack’s inlay of a tiger takes care of the Tamar headstock.

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Louise is a singer songwriter from New Zealand livingin London

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We took Louise up on Dartmoor one misty Saturday afternoona couple of weekends ago to take a few photos with the new guitar.

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Thanks to Melissa for the photos Melissa Till Photography

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A couple of years ago we made a nylon strung Lyn for Rosa Rebecka, she used it on her last album ‘Mrs Beautiful’s Guitar’.
The title track is about her great grandmother’s guitar which has been passed down through the family. The guitar is one of the very first Levin parlour guitars built in 1902. It had suffered from wear and tear through the years.
We had to rebuild it, re-set the neck, re-fret it and make up a new bridge.

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Here’s a photo of the inside after some of the repair work!

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Rosa Rebecka recently presented a concert at the Cygnet Theatre in Exeter introducing the newly restored Levin and guested on local radio to talking about and playing the guitar.

You can get a free download of the title track of her album here

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John here came down from the Yorkshire Dales to collect his Torridge.
When he originally came down to place the order he was inspired by the snowdrops in the orchard for the theme of the inlays.

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Here’s a close up of the headstock

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And a top to tail shot of the guitar showing the fingerboard inlays,

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He picked out this great set of figured Indian rosewood for the back and sides.

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We shipped this short scale Torridge out to Marc in Australia.

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It has very nice figured walnut back and sides

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To help keep the average age of our customers on our newspages down a little
Marc sent us this photo of his son Claude in their backyard with the guitar!

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Who’s this scruffy so and so picking his new guitar?

Oh – it me, with our new Weaver model!

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The Weaver fits a small parlour size case, it has a standard 630 mm scale length and sits between the Creedy and the Clyst in size. Oh – unfortunately that’s bought the average age back up again!

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Now for an extremely well executed project by Andy:

We’ve have some strange requests over the years but this is one of the more unusual ones – Rich Hamer, a fine young guitarist from South Devon, was having shoulder problems due to the depth his seven string Eastman jazz guitar. He asked us if we could make it narrower. Here’s a compilation of some of the photos we took of the job and the result.

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A quick round up of some of the Brooks seen out and about this month,
clockwise from top left – Robbie, Colin Shaddick, Martin Bell and John Hegley with Colin.

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Well I have to apologise for the length of this month’s news, there was rather a lot to fit in!

To round it all off –

Here’s a late afternoon Autumn photo taken a couple of days ago
of the view of Nymph Woods from the window of our workshop.

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See you next month.

October 2013

You may remember the black Tavy we recently completed. Ben Maggs already has a standard Tavy but was particularly interested in one with a cutaway, We tweaked it for his favourite open tuning and he took it away with him!

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Here’s Ben with his new guitar recording at Rockfield Studios, check Ben’s site for news on release dates, we’ll let you know as soon as we hear.

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Julie Watson from Baltimore flew over to visit her mother in Wales
and came down to the workshop to see where her Torridge started life. She was so taken by the yew Taw we had for sale that we had to send it out to her!

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This is the latest instrument for Mike Selley. As Mike’s M.S. progresses it’s getting more difficult and painful for him to play standard guitars so he asked us to build him a nylon strung tenor guitar.

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We adapted Mike’s original ideas and came out with this Art Deco inspired instrument.

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Keeping to a black and white theme, we built the entire instrument with ebony, maple and European spruce and decorated it with a suitable fingerboard inlay.

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Mike came down to pick it up and got in touch the other day to tell us how much he’s
enjoying playing it, he’s had a great response from everyone who’s seen it. We’ll go into more depth about the building of this and other instruments we’ve made for Mike’s collection in the next Babbling Brook.

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Paul and his wife run the beautiful Wensleydale Farmhouse as a B&B in North Yorkshire. Paul has named all the rooms after his favourite guitars, he told us he’d reserved Brook for the best room!

Paul!

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Colin sent us these photos of the latest two guitars we sent up to Intersound.

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Songwriter Paul Rogers came down from Wiltshire for a set-up on his Tamar.

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We sent this mahogany Torridge out to Shoreline in the States.

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Here’s TV’s latest offering – a live studio recording of some of his best songs with just his Taw and vocal.

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It’s available through his website, at live gigs or you can listen and download it through Bandcamp
Acoustic Sessions Volume 1

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Now for a couple of videos:

Here’s Donald Simone in Dubai showing that his Lyn can cope with the high temperatures

Donald Simone

Every Time I See You

And Symon Paul with his tale of the Wheal Eliza Mine showing his Clyst can cope with some inclement Exmoor weather!

Wheal Eliza Mine

September 2013

Phil Taylor is a regular YouTube contributor with his Torridge, he came down from Oldham to pick up his new Lyn,

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Phil went for a cutaway this time with a sound-port, we found a particularly fine set of figured mahogany with snakewood binding,

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A tasteful simple abalone inlay on the 12th fret

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And snakewood Waverly tuners to set off the slotted headstock.

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Carol came down from the Midlands for her new Little Silver, she wanted a small guitar she could travel with and sent us this photo from the Cornish coast!

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Here’s the stunning English walnut back.

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Next this month we have three guitars that have just gone out to Urs’ shop in Switzerland. Urs asks us to construct the guitars with non-tropical woods so first off to him was this yew Creedy,

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With this beautiful yew back with grain which follows the body contour.

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The next two to go were the Clyst and the Lyn,

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Kew walnut with a walnut neck and yew with a maple laminated neck.

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The three guitars had bog oak fingerboards, bridges and head veneers and were equipped with the exclusive Robson tuners.

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Urs sent us these photos when they arrived,

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From the rolling hills of Dartmoor to the dramatic backdrop of the Alps!

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Tony was up from Bridport to pick up his cherry Torridge,

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A little personal touch – his name inlaid on the 12th fret

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And this Hipshot D-Tuner.

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Now for some YouTube videos –

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Pete’s playing his custom Tamar, Here are three excellent new recordings

Quiet Days

Conquistador

Sailor’s Farewell

We recently refretted Shaun Reeder’s Ibanez Les Paul Recording model, he sent us the link to his own composition here using the guitar

Antique

To round of this batch of videos, I’ve just come across this really nice version of Dylan’s ‘Buckets of Rain’ arranged by Dave Thorpe playing his Clyst.

Buckets of Rain

“My biggest fear is when I die my wife will sell my guitars for what I told her I paid for them” Ring any bells boys!

August 2013

For the first time in several years we’ve been enjoying a sunny August, It’s brought down a steady stream of visitors to the workshop. Andrew came down from Gloucestershire to pick up this fine Tamar, Here his is enjoying a moment with his new guitar accompanied by his son Rory!

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We kept the decoration on this instrument quite understated. With Rio back and sides and the same for the rosette, binding and purfling,

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Topping it off with a bound Rio head veneer, sporting Waverly tuners.

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Al runs a bespoke carpentry firm and came to us to make him his first 12 string, A rosewood and sitka spruce Tavy,

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He asked Jack to inlay this skull and crossbones on the headstock.

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This beautiful bubinga Torridge had a red theme throughout; We used a mixture of red and black purfling

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Along with bubinga for the rosette and the top border.

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Colin works in a music shop so he knows his guitars, He came down a while back and ordered this rosewood and sitka Taw.

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Julian came over from the Isle of Wight for a set-up on his Taw and Bovey.

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Jim turned up with the very first Manson Traveller we made many years ago, We were pleased to see it was in immaculate condition and was still extremely comfortable to play.

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Keith and Richard here can be seen gigging in North Devon with their Teign and Tamar respectively!

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Don Brooklyn was so pleased with the guitar we made for him he took his stage name from his Brook Lyn! He sent us three of his latest songs
‘This is my Life’, ‘Come on Home in a While’ and ‘Craigbuie Hill’. Very good they are too!

Don Brooklyn

Mike Wilkins plays this Martin Simpson tune on his Torridge.

Bob’s Song

Lastly –
A little Summer madness with Ryan Hamilton playing his Taw with our favourites, Bert Miller and the Animal Folk

Don’t Eat Your Friends

See you next month with the latest about Mike Selley’s unique angular tenor guitar which has just come out of the spray room!

July 2013

With the hottest spell for many years it’s certainly been warm here in the workshop. Steve picked up his mahogany Little Silver; it puts Steve’s collection of Brooks into double figures!

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Richard is only on his first – this bubinga Taw with a maple neck, but he’s already expressed interest in another!

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Mike bought his Lyn from Oasis, he came down with it to collect the Gibson and Bell-Tone we’d repaired.

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Earl also got his Taw from Oasis and came down to have a pick-guard fitted, we were happy to make one up for him.

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Dave came over for a set up on this Manson we’d made many years ago,
it was one we’d built in the first couple of years of starting Brook Guitars, I’m glad to say after a good set up it was playing beautifully,

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Here’s Dave showing off the Magpie’s rather spectacular Rio back.

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I’ve previously mentioned Mike Selley’s latest instrument, here’s a batch of photos of the latest progress!

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Ian Anderson uses the guitar we made for him in huge auditoriums all over the world.
Surely just as worthy of a photo though is Pat here with his replica of Ian’s guitar accompanied by his son Brandon on percussion when he was asked to play in a Las Vegas furnishing store!

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Here’s James in the last stages of building his guitar
with us,
he chose to build a Lyn with a sequoia
top, a solid headstock and a pyramid bridge.

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James came to us with the benefit of having very good hand-skills having joinery experience and has produced a superb instrument. He’s also a very fine guitarist – we hate him!!

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We fitted a Benedetto pickup with discrete tone and volume controls and jack socket to this unusual Roger arch-top,

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It was quite a tricky job to get all this in neatly and sit correctly but it worked very well indeed.

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Paul Downing got in touch to tell us he’s put up a short video of his fretless Otter
bass in action

Bb Blues Improvisation

Robbie recorded this Scottish piece on his 12 fret bubinga Tavy

Mo Mhaili Beag Og

Robbie has offered to tab this out for the next of our issues of Babbling Brook

On a sadder note here’s a stunning composition written by Robbie as a tribute to Eric, a friend of his, who died recently.

Summer Rain

June 2013

We’ve a few guitars recently completed awaiting collection, hopefully we’ll be able to include the new owners in next month’s news!

Here’s the latest instrument for our old friend Steve Bennett, Steve’s had about ten guitars made by us over the years!

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He wanted a vintage look to this all mahogany Little Silver, we used ‘Golden Age’ tuners on the slotted headstock.

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This bubinga Taw with a maple laminated neck is waiting for Richard from South Wales.

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Here’s an interesting monochrome cherry Tavy,

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Dove inlays on the fingerboard

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And ebony tuner buttons.

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Next we thought we’d give you an idea of the variety of other things we’ve been working on recently: As I mentioned last month – we were replacing the injection moulded plastic bridges with appropriate ebony and rosewood replacements we’d made up – Here they are –

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We’ve also had this rather worse for wear Gibson 160E in for a bridge repair.

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These three photos are of a Japanese ‘Foto-Flame’ Fender Strat,
the finish had started to detach from the body and was split in a number of places, it’s being prepared for a solid black gloss finish.

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We carried out some essential repair-work on this Bell-Tone and it’s now playing really sweetly again.

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Here’s an interesting commission from another of our friends, Mike Selley,

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This design is a combination of Mike’s original ideas for a nylon strung
tenor guitar and our own. We’re using maple and ebony to create a strong contrast for this unique asymmetrical, angular instrument.

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From plan to inception!

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Here’s the first showing of a new addition to our range, another parlour guitar.
It fills the small gap between the Clyst and the Creedy, It’ll have a 12
fret, 630mm scale length and will come with a perfectly fitting small parlour case.

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Thanks to Bernard and Dale for their photos with their recently acquired Brooks to add the this month’s news.

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Rich and his Ian Anderson guitar continue touring the cities of North America with The Madow Brothers, here he is with Dave outside the PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC

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We’ve featured Ewan D.Rodgers before with his Lyn,

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Here’s a video of him playing ‘East Virginia Blues’ from his last album
Tomorrow Might Be Monday’

East Virginia Blues

May 2013

Well – one or two days at last to remind us of summer weather! Alan came down from Derbyshire to pick up this little Creedy

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With a pyramid bridge and 623mm scale length

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And this pretty yew for the back and sides.

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This rather special Torridge went up to Lizzie in Hampshire, lots of custom work on this one,

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Pearl and ebony rosette, custom bridge,

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English walnut back and sides, walnut laminated neck

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And custom headstock shape with pearl inlay.

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Simon from North Devon bought this Torridge we had in stock and is finding it ideal for his gigs.

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Our mate Roger came down to pick up his Martin we’d been repairing and brought one of the first 12 strings we ever made down for a set up.

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Here are some of the other repairs we’ve been working on recently: We reshaped the neck on this Brian May guitar, reset the neck on a 1929 Martin tenor,
He-fixed a broken headstock on a Gibson Flying V, refinished this Harmony Stratotone in the original colour – and – whatever were they thinking of when they came up with this plastic bridge for their ’60’s B25?? perhaps not Gibson’s brightest idea! We’re making up a replacement ebony bridge for it.

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I’d like to introduce to you a new release I’ve very much enjoyed playing recently by Marcus Corbett, an extraordinary guitarist who’s recorded in India with two of India’s finest tabla players.

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Here’s one of the many reviews: ‘ with his deep affinity with Indian classical music and his expertise in soulfully conveying its essence on the humble acoustic guitar. … where other guitar maestros have dipped their toes…. he’s taken the integration a stage further and his collaboration with tabla virtuosos Nitin Gaikwad and Sharanappa Guttaragi on this disc is both fiery and rewarding.’

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We made his Tamar from rosewood he brought back from one of his many visits to the country.

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Checkout video of Marcus here

Listen or buy on Bandcamp here

~~~~~~~~~~

Here’s a photo of Ben Maggs performing with his Tavy at the Stroud Fringe Festival

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And check out this video from a show he headlined recently in Cirencester.

Man in The Moon

~~~~~~~~~~

Lastly – a sad farewell to the master guitarist and ethnomusicologist Bob Brozman

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He always was and always will be an inspiration.

April 2013

We’re really pleased to present our latest issue of ‘Babbling Brook’

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This issue has twenty pages and includes in-depth articles on the art of inlaying, Interviews with two superb guitarists – Steve Yates and Phil Bird. We also give advice on how to keep your Brook playing as well as when it left the workshop!

We’d like to thank Martin Bell and Robbie for all thetime and effort they put into getting Issue 2 together.

You can download it here or on our homepage

Babbling
Brook Issue 2

And now for the rest of the April news…….

Richard, one of earliest customers, came down to pick up his latest order, this time a trio of instruments with matching woods.

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The three had finely figured mahogany back and sides,

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With Adirondack spruce tops

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And Jack cut these Celtic knot inlays for the two cutaway Lyns.

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Rob came to see us to have a Fishman Infinity fitted in his cutaway Lyn,

here he is in the orchard with his two daughters Gwen and Jess.

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David from South Wales picked up his cherry Tamar.

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Trevor, a local singer with the Wren Trust, came over for his new baritone Tamar,

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Coincidentally Rebecca, who also works with the Trust,

popped over with her nylon strung Torridge.

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class=”RofMill”>We compared Rebecca and Trevor’s hand sizes in this photo and I guess it helps explain why ‘off the shelf’ guitars aren’t always the best choice for individual musicians!

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We built this Tamar for Paul Keeton back in 2001,
here he is playing at the Victoria Club in Mexborough. He wrote to us saying “This guitar has to be one of the best things I have ever bought, 12 years of pure enjoyment. Many thanks for your craftsmanship and dedication to making fine guitars”. Thank you for your kind comments Paul!

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We repaired Steve Tyler’s cittern. Steve’s band Woodwose play a mixture of medieval and original music using a range of traditional instruments.

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See you next month!

March 2013

More floods brought the level of our little brook up again,

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We’re looking forward to the real start of Spring.

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Here’s Jack’s latest inlay of a Harris hawk on the headstock of a Taw,

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It has a nicely figured Indian rosewood back

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Along with a fine grained sitka top, the guitar is going for £2450, if anyone is tempted just get in touch!

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James bought a Rosewood Teign from Soundpad.

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He’s also spending some time in the workshop learning some guitar making skills.

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Steve Broom traded his Gibson J45 for this walnut Lyn.

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Bob came came over to collect his Okement which we made for him some years ago, he fancied giving it a face-lift and asked us to re-spray the top a dark aubergine colour.

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Here are Chris and Matt Miles in Thunderbird Park in Victoria, Canada with their collection of Brooks.

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Matt put together the short film on our home page when he was in college
and has since gone on to make a name for himself in the music world over in Canada and the States as a film maker!

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They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, hmm…We were informed that there are these counterfeit Brooks being made in China.

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Just a warning – although the name’s the same and the logo and website address are similar
– a quick glance should tell that these guitars are nothing whatsoever to do with us.

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Melissa and I had another great weekend at the RMMGA annual meeting in
Chewton Mendip, here are just a few of her photos of the occasion:

A small display of authentic Brooks!

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A wide range of guitars and playing styles,

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Michael Watts playing my old Radiotone uke,

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Adrian Lucas, John Buckley and Tom Doughty warming things up on a cold Sunday morning,

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The inevitable raffle…..

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I even found a quiet moment to have a play on my vintage Gretsch tenor guitar.

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Keep up the playing and see you next month!

February 2013

The majority of this month’s guitars have gone to our shops – These three – a Taw, Torridge and Tamar are now at Ivor Mairants,

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A rosewood Teign and cherry Little Silver were delivered to Guitar Classics,

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Freddie from Oasis came down with Dave Smith to take another batch back up to the shop.

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A mahogany Torridge went up to Manchester as our first order from Forsyths,

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And this mahogany Teign and a red gum Tamar went to Intersound,

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Here’s a close up of the rather spectacular red gum!

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Robbie’s back on the same tree as in his previous photos

when he was collecting his yew baritone Tavy and the cherry Tamar! This time he’s here for his new 12 fret, long scale Tavy.

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This beauty was built around a particularly fine set of figured bubinga back and sides,
we also used bubinga for the purfling and rosette. Robbie commissioned this one largely for DADGAD tuning.

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Don’t get us wrong – We’re not subscribers to the old banjo jokes but six banjo repairs in a month!! Too much for the sanest of us and we love the things! We’ve also worked on two vintage Gibsons, a couple of old Martins, an Antoria jazz guitar and this sweet little Manson Traveller we made many years ago.

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If anyone was tempted to buy a rather expensive magazine called ‘The Acoustic Guitar Bible’ recently you may have come across a very old article on our friend Roger’s guitar collection, two of Roger’s Brooks were included but his Lyn and Little Silver weren’t. If you weren’t aware of Davey Graham, Bert Jansch and John Martyn you might get the impression from the ‘Bible’ interviews that the three of them are still touring and recording, I fear I have to break the bad news – all three have unfortunately passed
on.

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On a more positive note we had a good review of the first guitar we’ve made with bog oak back and sides in this month’s ‘Acoustic’. We sent this Taw out to Urs, our distributor in Switzerland, it sold within three minutes of arriving at the shop!

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Out and about – here’s Colin Shaddick playing his Lyn with the excellent John Hegley.

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Bye for now!

January 2013

Well so far this year we’ve had floods, snow and ice, Hopefully that’s the worst of the bad weather over with now! Andrew Mountain Pike is the concert and artist technician for Steinway so knows fine quality when he comes across it; here he is admiring his new Taw,

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A few nice features on this one – ebony purfling and a pearl and ebony rosette

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With another fine set of English yew.

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John went to Ivor Mairants recently to buy a jazz guitar but came away instead with this beautiful walnut and cedar Torridge which took his fancy!

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Mike from Texas bought a Taw and a Torridge from Shoreline, our
distributor in the States. Mike plays a lot of English folk guitar so he’s delighted to use two English guitars! Here he is playing a medley of Irish tunes
Star of the County Down/Carolan’s Medley

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Some of our repair work this month included a comprehensive restoration of Dave’s vintage archtop,

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Sorting out the loose braces and a making up a new bridge on this rather worse for wear Gibson

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And reshaping the back of the neck on this Little Silver.

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And now we’d like to introduce you to the weird and wonderful world of Bert Miller and the Animal Folk,

We first met Ryan a couple of years when he bought a Taw to use with the band.

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The debut album is now out – check it out on here
Bert Miller and the Animal Folk

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We love these guys, if you get a chance go and see them play live,

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Last but not least – check out Ryan’s very fine solo album

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We’d like to thank John Ackroyd across the globe in Oz for these black and white shots of his custom Okement.

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John said he was cringing about the beer bottle photo
– I reassured him that for most of us beer is a helpful part of the music making process.

See you next month!

News 2012

guitars to get them to their owners before we take our winter break. Jamie, who’s at Exeter University, picked up his yew Taw.

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Frank came up from South Devon for his rosewood Taw

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And Shaun, a teacher at the local school, picked up his rosewood Tavy.

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Here’s an unusual one for us – an electric. It’s Bob’s Honeytone Special. Bob designed it around the Taw,

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It’s kitted out with a couple of Pete Biltoft’s very fine ‘Vintage Vibe’ Charlie Christian pickups,

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With Steinburger gearless tuners and ‘six in a line’ headstock, it’s an eye-catcher with a great sound.

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These two, a baritone rosewood Tavy and a mahogany Clyst, went up to Ivor Mairants earlier in the week

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And this yew Torridge went off to the shop Switzerland which has already sold two of the guitars we sent out a couple of weeks ago!

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We’d like to wish you Season’s Greetings and leave you with Robbie’s excellent version of Dave Wood’s sublime composition
May The Kindness

November 2012

Like the rest of Devon and Cornwall we’ve had our share of flooding this month and our little brook burst its banks several times and came up over the two wooden bridges. Luckily for us it happened out of working hours so we’ve still been able to get in to the workshop to bring you the November news –

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Mike made the trip down from Cambridge to pick up his cherry Clyst

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Here’s a photo Peter sent us from Sweden of his Lyn.

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We took on a thorough restoration of Robin Dransfield’s 1930’s Martin.
This is the guitar he taught a young John Martyn his version of ‘Spencer the Rover’ when he was touring with his brother Barry.

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Here’s Steve with the latest two guitars for Intersound,

A Clyst with Vietnamese rosewood and sequoia and a Lyn in golden walnut and sitka.

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These are the first three guitars we’ve made for Urs Winkler’s shop in Switzerland,

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Urs wanted all sustainable, non tropical woods for these three so we used
bog oak for the fingerboard, bridge and head veneer, we turned some bone for the position dots and used boxwood, stained black for the bridge pins.

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The Taw was cherry, the Creedy was yew and the Lyn was the walnut from Kew Gardens.

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Here are the three necks in the same woods to match the backs.

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Jamie came up from Falmouth College for a two week work placement,
the first week we had him doing the dusty work – a lot of sanding and preparing parts but during the second week he built himself a cigar box guitar.

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Here’s a close up, he’s got the makings of a fine craftsman and we wish him well in his career!

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I don’t know if anyone remembers the old brochure we had before the days of the internet?
We happened to have one of the guitars pictured back here again – so, just for fun,
we decided to do a re-creation of one of the pages brought startlingly up to date!
Here’s the original with Andy and his daughter Zoë…

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Here they are fifteen years on – some aging more gracefully than others!

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And we’re pleased to introduce a new generation with Lewis, Zoë and Phil’s lad, to model our guitars for the younger customer!

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Check out Phil Taylor’s version of Here, There and Everywhere

See you next month

October 2012

Our latest fan fretted Tavy is off to Paul on the Isle of Wight next week,

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Hopefully we’ll have a picture of Paul next month with the guitar!

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Colin picked up this Tavy for Intersound,

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Here’s a close up of some particularly fine ziricote we chose for the back and sides.

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This 015 Lyn will be winging its way off to Peter in Sweden in the next couple of days,

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It’s the first time we’ve been asked to build a guitar with a zero fret!

This cherry Little Silver is now up at Guitar Classics in Battersea,

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The top is a rather nice set of sitka

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Here’s Rich Madow with his Ian Anderson parlour guitar in front of the theatre
in Virginia where he saw Ian Anderson using his to perform ‘Thick as a Brick’,

Rich’s guitar has been played on slightly smaller stages all across North America –
Rich told us in the last two weeks he’s played: Seattle, Washington, Portland, Oregon, Sioux Falls, South Dakota and his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland!

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Back in the UK on a slightly smaller scale here’s a shot of Tim Wilkinson
playing his Torridge at the Oxjam Festival in Bury St. Edmunds.

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Just a little reminder of our Brook get together back
in July, here are Michael Dunnigan and Johnny Ramsay, joined by the inimitable Dave Wood on slide, in the early hours of the morning playing Michael’s arrangement of
The Highland Faery Lullaby

And Martin Bell has just recorded his first video with his Okement,
it’s an arrangement of David Qualey’s
Santa Cruz

See you next month!

September 2012

We went up to the Acoustic Guitar Show at Olympia last weekend, Ivor Mairants had three
of our guitars on display including Jack’s Nouveau Taw which drew a lot of attention.

This month we’ll concentrate on a couple of really interesting guitars

Here’s Robin with his Tamar fan-fret,

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It’s a 640mm/660mm scale length like our previous ones, this photo shows the bridge angle well.

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We fitted a Fishman Infinity Blend system,

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Here’s the yew back bookmatched on the white sapwood, it’s locally sourced, cut and dried here at the workshop.

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Jack cut the inlay out of pearl – it’s the initials of Robin, his wife and children.

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Some of you may remember from the news we’d found an unusual couple of small boards of English walnut back in October 2011, well here’s Leon who chose one of the sets from it for his long scale, heavily customised Tavy,

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To continue the English woods theme we used bog oak for the fingerboard, head veneer and bridge,

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Leon designed the rosette using this interesting elm burr veneer.

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We can’t leave you this month without showing you the stunning back

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With a close up of the mitred flamed sycamore bindings.

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See you next month with the latest from our workshop!

August 2012

We haven’t had great weather this August but the sun was out when Bruno picked
up his Tavy, here he is along with a Taw he bought from Intersound last year ,

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Here’s the fine sitka spruce top

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With reclaimed figured mahogany back and sides

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And his surname designed and inlaid by Jack on the twelfth fret.

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Andy came up from Cornwall for this long scale rosewood Lyn.

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Colin and Freddie from Oasis sent us this photo of the shop with
the latest Torridge, Taw and Tamar we’d made for them

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And Miek and Roel send us this photo of their duo performing at a festival in Ghent in July with Roel’s Tamar.

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Mike Selley’s old dulci-guitar came in for a change of strings and a new pick guard,

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It gave us another chance to check out this early otter inlay.

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We had a Brook get-together last month with sunshine, food, drink and the finest players we know –

Michael Dunnigan, Steve Yates, Robbie, Chris, Phil and, of course, our favourite player Dave Wood were amongst the musicians who played plenty of great music for us.

Wizz Jones turned up with Sandy on his way back from playing in Cornwall and played a set,
Thanks Wizz!

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Thanks to all for turning up making it such an enjoyable weekend and to Tom for arranging a very fine PA for the occasion.

Thanks also to Melissa for these photos, the pasties, the cream teas (and of course playing uke with our band)!

——–

Here’s a tune Phil Taylor wrote after coming down to visit us –

WhiddonDown

And here’s the latest from Dev, an evocative tune by Isato Nakagawa.

Natsuhiboshi

July 2012

Rob came up from Cornwall last week to pick up his Teign.

Rob sourced this stunning ziricote himself,

Here’s a close up of the back.

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Another nice feature is this Celtic dog inlay from Jack.

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Kevin from Liverpool ordered this Tavy earlier in the year and sent us this photo when he received it earlier in the month.

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Here’s an interesting request – Rob cut down this chestnut tree in his garden a couple of years ago,

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He planked it up and brought it along to the workshop to see if we could use some of the timber to build a Creedy for him.

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Here’s some of the wood – still too damp, but we cut it into a couple of sets
along with a few neck blanks and stored it until it was dry enough to use.

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Here’s the result –

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The neck, back and sides were all made from his chestnut, if anyone out there has a similar request just get in touch and we can discuss it!

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We’ve given you the odd taster of this Taw over the last couple of months, we’d like to show you completed instrument,

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Jack used an Alphonse Mucha painting and Art Nouveau design as inspiration as you can see from the headstock,

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The inlay is repeated on the beautiful figured bubinga back,

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With more bubinga and ebony laminated into the maple neck,

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Same again for the rosette.

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We gave Jack the first opportunity to play it as soon as we strung it up – needless to say it sounds as good as it looks!

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Here are two video links to end the July news: firstly a fine version of Maggie Cameron by Dev Patel,

And here’s Paul Rogers at the Village Pump Festival in Wiltshire proving you don’t need to mic up when you’ve a Brook and no-one’s put fifty pence in the electricity meter!

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Have a good Summer holiday!

June 2012

We’ve had a rainy June down here so far but it hasn’t stopped these
customers picking up their guitars:

Bill nipped over from Brighton to collect a cherry Tavy to match the baritone Tavy he ordered last year.

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Michael came up from Cornwall for this classy sycamore Tavy,

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Michael wanted us to make the guitar using home grown wood as far as possible,

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Here’s the sycamore back with walnut, bindings, heel cap and centre strip

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And bog oak for the fingerboard, bridge and head veneer, Andy turned position markers out of deer horn that Michael supplied.

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Freddie and Colin came down to pick up the latest Lyn for Oasis in Ringwood.

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Mark Waistell ordered a Taw from us back in 2010, it inspired him to start writing songs again,

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A chance encounter led to producer Mark Tucker wanting to record his CD,
Mark has produced Show of Hands, Ralph McTell and Chris Wood amongst others!

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‘Latecomer’ is the result of the collaboration, and very fine it is too! It’s been getting great reviews and the album launch in Exeter was a sell out. Some superb musicians lined up to help – Phil Beer, Gerry Conway, Barney Morse-Brown and Spencer Cozens. For more information check out Mark Waistell

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Amongst the repairs this month we’ve been working on these: this old Giannini, this rather nice Ibanez Stephan Grossman model and this 1930’s Gibson in need of a fair bit of attention.

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There was an hour long documentary about TV Smith, a regular of these pages, on BBC4 earlier this month and repeated throughout the week – ‘We Who Wait tells the story of the punk band The Adverts and the continuing career of their former frontman TV Smith, one of the most talented, literate and passionate – yet curiously overlooked – songwriters to emerge from London’s vibrant ’77 new wave scene.’

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Good to see some clips of TV with his Taw.

May 2012

Keith bought his Teign from Soundpad in Barnstaple, he popped down and we fitted a Fishman Infinity system for him.

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Mike ordered this lovely Rio Tavy 015 to complete a trio of similar spec guitars in his collection.

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Phil came down with his Torridge to look around and have a K&K system fitted.

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Tony came over from Somerset with the intention of ordering a parlour guitar but couldn’t resist the fan fretted Tavy that was reviewed last month.

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We completed this cedar Little Silver

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With figured walnut back and sides.

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Dave Smith asked us to make up this flight case for his two Boveys,

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A fine pair!

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Now – a few more pictures of this rather special Taw that Jack’s been working on

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Here’s the headstock after finishing and fretting

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And a shot of the bridge being clamped and glued on, hopefully next month we’ll be able to show you the finished guitar!

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Amongst the visitors this month were these two woodpeckers on the bird feeders.

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Lastly a shot of the orchard with the workshop in the distance now the trees are beginning to show signs of life,

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Looks like there should be a good crop of apples this year!

April 2012

‘Acoustic’ reviewed our yew fan fretted Tavy in this month’s issue, we were pleased to
see it received a full five stars in every category. To see the full review click here for page 1, page 2 and page3.

Chris Ayliffe added another Brook to his collection, our new OM model.

We managed to find a stunning matched set of koa for the top, back and sides,

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An abalone border and rosette with a pyramid bridge sets off the top nicely!

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Graham was next down this month for his Rio and Adirondack Taw, Graham made the drop top electric in the photo and we sprayed it for him recently,

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It’s always difficult to get a good picture of these dark woods due to the
reflection so I can only really give you an idea how beautiful this back is.

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Ben bought this Taw from Celtic Chords the same day it arrived at the shop!

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John came down so we could fit a Fishman Infinity to his Tamar.

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T.V’s just completed a six week European tour with the UK Subs,

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In that time TV and his battle scarred Taw visited Holland, France, Germany, Poland, The Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Italy and Switzerland.

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Matt and Dave are displaying an array of Brooks used to record Robbie in a small church in Wiltshire.

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The session went well, interspersed with the sound of thunder and a few other ambient additions! We’ll let you know when you can hear the results.

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Last month we showed you the dital harp we were working on,
Here’s a video of Sarah Deere-Jones playing the restored instrument
Ground With Variations

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We’ll leave you with Mike Lydiat and Mike Wild playing
Carolan’s Concerto

Oh – and an unashamed plug for Michael Hurley who I went to see in Bristol where he played one of his few UK dates of the last couple of years,

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He told me he still uses his little Bovey!

March 2012

We’d like to start this month by introducing our new occasional magazine ‘Babbling Brook; written, edited and designed by fellow Brook owners Martin Bell and Rob Jessep. The idea is that it will give us the opportunity to go into the stories behind our rather brief monthly news updates in more detail and also give our customers a chance to have a say themselves;
we welcome articles, ideas and letters for future issues.

You can download the first issue on our homepage or here.

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Now for the other news – Martin came down to add this twelve-string Creedy to his growing collection of Brooks,

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The back and sides were this striking set of local cherry,

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We used these new Golden Age tuners to keep the size of the headstock and weight down,

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We kept the bindings and purfling simple and added a bit of sparkle with the abalone ring in the rosette.

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Martin and Les brought their two Little Silver tenor guitars down with them as I’d not had a chance to photograph the instruments properly when they picked them up so here they are,

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Les’ tenor is darkened flamed maple and cedar, and Martin’s is flamed maple
and European spruce, here’s a close up of Martin’s maple laminate neck with a nice little additional decoration on the heel cap.

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You may remember last year we showed some pictures of us cutting up Bubinga and Sucipira we’d bought from a furniture maker in Somerset, here are the first guitars we’ve made from it – a Tamar and a Taw.

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Several repairs this month – we reshaped the neck of this thirty year old Manson classical,

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Carried out a neck re-set on this early ’90’s Manson Magpie

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And started a major repair on this 1820’s harp lute

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As you can see the previous repairs leave a little to be desired!

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We’ll finish up with a sneak preview of a rather special guitar we’re working on
featurin
g Jack’s stunning inlay work, keep an eye out here for the finished guitar.

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February 2012

Braving the bad weather Dave came down for his Bovey tenor guitar,

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We found some spectacular figured mahogany for the back and sides.

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Another rather special guitar this month was this Tavy for Steve from North Devon,

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The abalone and ebony rosette represents a clock face.

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Here’s a photo of the heel-cap inlay and the ebony bindings chosen to contrast the figured maple.

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Now we’d like to introduce a new model – it seems a lot of people out there still want American style guitars so here’s our tribute to the Martin OM,

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We’re following the American styling with a simple belly bridge, a squared off headstock shape and a 640mm scale length,

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Freddie snapped it up for Oasis in Ringwood and it
was sold within a couple of days of it being in the shop!

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Bruno came down with his Taw for his free first set-up and chose some woods for a new Tavy.

We had the pleasure of doing some repair work on the legendary Wizz Jones’ Epiphone Texan, Wizz has been performing regularly since the late ’50’s and has been mentioned by everyone from Clapton and Keith Richards to John Renbourn and Ralph McTell as an early influence.

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We re-finished the back of the neck

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And the old Texan’s back on the road (along with the old Croydon lad!)

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Another repair this month was Thierry’s Tasmanian blackwood Taw which had received rather a nasty break!

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When the neck came off part of the rosette pulled off with the end of the fingerboard.

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We got it all back together, playing as well as before!

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We sent this reclaimed mahogany Clyst and a cherry Little Silver to ‘Guitar Classics in Battersea,

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And this Lyn up to Liz in Lincolnshire.

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Gavin bought this 12 fret Torridge from Celtic Chords in Stonehaven and was kind enough to send us this photo.

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Leon came down to order a Tavy
and took these photos –

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This is one of the sets of walnut we cut up last year and have been looking forward to seeing it made into a guitar.

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There’s something rather special about choosing the wood for your guitar yourself and seeing your name on it!

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January 2012

Chris Woods came down for this rosewood baritone Tavy. Chris is a superb player and is often seen performing at the guitar shows, he also has a regular column in the Acoustic magazine.

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Stewart picked up his customised sunburst Lyn,

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Here’s a close up of the top showing the abalone border and rosette, and the pyramid bridge.

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This is our second fan-fretted Tavy,

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640mm / 660mm scale length, nice European spruce top,

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And local yew back and sides. This one’s just gone up for review in ‘Acoustic’.

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Two guitars on their way to Ivor Mairants – a rosewood sunburst Torridge and also a yew Torridge.

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And two on their way to Guitar Classics – a Clyst in reclaimed mahogany and a Little Silver in cherry.

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Chris Ayliffe popped in to see how his new all koa OM model was getting on.

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Here are a couple of very nice pictures we received from Ewan D. Rodgers

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Ewan’s originally from Yorkshire, currently living and playing in Brighton. Check out his website here

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Stuart picked up his lute guitar, we had to glue the bridge back on and repair the top.

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Two more fine videos from Robbie this month Cranborne Chase played on his Tamar And A Sunday Morning in January using his Tavy

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December 2011

So far, unlike the last couple of years, we’ve escaped the snow.
Martin made his way down from Staffordshire for his long scale Okement.

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He wanted to use home grown woods as far as possible so yew, bog oak, cherry, walnut and sycamore were all included along with a European spruce top.

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We used a mixture of English woods for the rosette and fitted a Fishman Rare Earth pickup,

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Some beautiful yew on the back, you can also see the laminated neck here,

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Let’s zoom in on that,

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This may look like ebony but we’ve used bog oak again for the head veneer, truss rod cover and fingerboard.

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And a bog oak veneer on the back of the headstock,

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Mike brought down his Taw and Tamar 015’s for us to make up a couple of pickguards and he picked out some wood for an 015 Tavy.

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Tony Hazzard brought us up a copy of his latest CD,
he played all the instruments and used his Taw and one of our ukes extensively!

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Tony’s written songs for everyone from the Yardbirds to Andy Williams and this is a collection of his latest.
You can can find out more and buy the album here

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Dev from India sent us this photo of himself with the Torridge he bought from Ivor Mairants.

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We made this Ash for Keith a while back,
He got in touch again recently to thank us. He wrote: “There’s a magic in the instrument, when played it sings and comes
alive.
People who hear it are amazed and enchanted and it certainly has the wow factor”

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Now for a bunch of repairs: A replacement end on the cittern headstock we mentioned last month, a set up on this little green
Bovey, a Martin refret and a pickup fitting on this reso.

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The most common repair we have in – another broken Gibson headstock.

Some repair work and an overhaul to Dave Davies’ old Vox Marauder.

This is the oldest instrument we’ve had in for a refret for a while – a harp guitar from the 1820’s!

Another interesting one here – a tricky side repair on a John Bailey guitar made for Robert Plant in 1970!

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Lastly this year we’d like to leave you with another beautiful rendition from Robbie playing

Have a good Christmas and see you next year. November 2011

It’s getting colder here at the workshop now but we still managed to find the occasional sunny day to take a picture or two of our latest customers

Russell came down for this little Clyst

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And Stephen for his reclaimed mahogany 015 Taw.

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Here’s a close up of the top

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And one of the 015 headstock with the gold Gotoh tuners.

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Graham came down for the Tavy he’d ordered,

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The custom features included a shallower body, one of our alternative bridge shapes, an abalone rosette and a light sunburst
on the top,

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This yin and yang inlay in bone and ebony on the heel cap

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And a rosewood fingerboard and head veneer with Waverly tuners.

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Three guitars went out to Oasis with another to follow this week, you can see why we prefer not to have our photos taken!

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Following the adventures of TV Smith’s well travelled Taw, here it is in Japan played by Eddie Legend – a great player who seems to be enjoying it!

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Eddie was in TV’s backing band ‘The Japanese Adverts’ for a short tour over there.

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Alan Stevenson came over to discuss guitar making,

Alan makes some fine instruments with interesting design features.

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We’re working on quite a few repairs at the moment,

the most interesting is this Manson cittern. The scroll headstock was knocked off and disappeared after a gig so we’re making up a copy from a photo,

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Hopefully we’ll be able to show you the finished repair next month

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We’ll end this month’s news with Richard Clough and his Tamar and Lucky
Suit

October 2011

We’ve spent the first part of this month sourcing some interesting timber, cutting it and finding places in the workshop to
store it. We picked up some very nice large planks of bubinga and sucupira, they were too large for our own bandsaw so we took them into our friends at National Bee Supplies to re-saw it for us.

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Here are some new sides ready for storage

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And some freshly waxed backs tucked away for further drying.

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Rob Garner brought along some boards from a chestnut tree that had been in his garden
with the intention of us using it for his second Brook, here’s Andy slicing it,

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And some potential necks, backs and sides.

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These two interesting English walnut boards took my fancy,

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There were lots of splits and shakes to negotiate but we ended up with three great looking sets!

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This Little Silver and a Lyn went up to Guitar Classics.

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Roger came down for a larger pickguard on his 12 string Little Silver.

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We love to see pictures of our guitars in action – Ken sent us this one of himself onstage, at The Village Pump Folk Club in Trowbridge.

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Lesli, from Stockholm, bought his baritone Tavy from Ivor Mairants last year,

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He was kind enough to send us this link to a video of him playing this instrumental
Eternal Hymn

I think we’ll use the rest of the October news to put up some of the new YouTube clips, we’re intending to update to site soon and have a section devoted to video.
Check out Marcus Corbett and Nitin Gaikwad playing live in Delmenhorst
here

Here are a couple of clips of Ian Anderson using the
guitar we made for him
Life
is a Long Song
& Wondering
Aloud

And one of Florian Ophale playing the little Creedy
we made for Ian about fifteen years ago!
Andantino

Some fine singing and playing by Paul R Rogers on Waters
Edge

Andy Lale has put up the first video now he’s getting
to grips with the 8 string,
nylon strung Taw we made for him
earlier in the year,
unfortunately the volume is a little low on God
Bless the Child

Thanks again to Robbie for this one – it includes photos
we took while we were building his baritone Tavy
Star
of the County Down

Lastly Robbie’s beautiful arrangement of Brigg
Fair

Keep an eye out for next month’s news – there are some rather nice guitars we’ve just completed we’d like to show you.

.

September 2011

We’d like to introduce an interesting new model in our range – it’s an ‘f’ hole flat top based on the Taw,

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We cross braced it with some additional fan braces, here’s a shot before it went together

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We thought a traditional sunburst suited it and also mounted a fingerboard mounted Kent Armstrong pickup, we’re really pleased with the results – what do you think of it?

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Earlier in the month we met up with a lot of old friends when we displayed on the Ivor Mairants stand at the Acoustic Guitar
Show at Olympia, we’d just sent up these guitars for them,

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Here’s Mak, Andy and myself in front of the stand.

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Later in the month we exhibited the guitars at the Bristol Guitar Show, with the help of Melissa, Robbie and Dave Smith
along with a few of their guitars and ukes we were able to summon up a healthy display of just over twenty instruments!
Me and Andy again, in front of the stand before the show kicked off,

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Dave King, Pete Beer, Robbie and Andy talking guitars and motorbikes,

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Stuart Ryan enjoying the Little Silver we’ve just made,

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Jim Moray turned up and seemed quite struck with Robbie’s yew baritone!

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Another shot of the guitars on offer! If anyone likes the look of anything just get in touch, you’re welcome to come down and try them.

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I’ll lump all this month’s repairs together as there are quite a lot of them –
An unknown, rather well made European folk guitar, a Hofner Congress for a neck reset, a refret on a very nice Gilchrist mandolin, a horrible Martin composite thing that had fallen apart, an impressive Tokai Cat’s Eyes and somebody’s pride and joy this ‘snakeskin’ Jackson!

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Duncan, from the local college, came in earlier in the year to discuss his plans for a small travel guitar he was making
for his course work, he’d thought it out well and did a really professional job, he’s just sent us this picture of the finished instrument.

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What do you need to while away the time on a romantic beach resort with your new wife on your honeymoon – well Richard thought it was his little Bovey…..hmmm….

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Look out for some new YouTube videos we have lined up for next month’s news!

August 2011

We’ll start the August News with Nick in sunny Yorkshire playing his new baritone Tavy in front of his Buddleia,

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Here’s the European Spruce top.

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Next up we have Jake with his fan fretted Tavy, the first we’ve made so it was an interesting challenge for us!

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A nice veneer of burl walnut for the head veneer

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And the rosette along with a small inlay on the twelfth.

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We sorted out a bent neck and some other issues on this 1935 National Electro Spanish
for Bob,

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Looks like Bob’s taken that prize for the fanciest chord on the site from Laurie!

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TV’s Taw was back in for some more repair work to the finish and a re-fret,

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Let this picture be a warning to anyone with a belt buckle!

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We always ask Brook owners to send in their photos and singer/songwriter Paul Rogers sent us these taken at a garden party in Wiltshire –

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Here’s Jacqui Sharp also playing Paul’s Tamar

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This is a shot of the display earlier in the month before we sent the latest batch of guitars out to Ivor Mairants and TAMCO.

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We’ll leave you with two more YouTube videos from Rob

Si
Beg Si Mor and Sleeping
Tune

July 2011

First off the mark for July is Rob Jessep’s Tavy baritone.
Rob went for a native woods theme and apart from the European spruce top,
the Schertler tuners and the Elixir strings all the other materials are sourced from the UK,

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The yew back and sides came from North Devon, we cut and dried these ourselves, the neck’s a laminate of sycamore, cherry and walnut,

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The fingerboard and bridge were ancient bog oak,

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As was the head veneer and the truss rod cover, the final product is a rather beautiful guitar built for a low C tuning.

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Next up is a renovation of a 1950 National Californian for Bob.
Bob’s always wanted one of the very rare Memphis Minnie models so he asked us to refurbish his Californian in the style of the older guitar,

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We double bound the body and sunburst it, added a couple of Pete Biltoft’s ‘Vintage Vibe’ Charlie Christian style pickups, an authentic pickguard and tone controls,

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Bound the headstock and added the logo for a stunning recreation of that famous Memphis Minnie guitar.

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Mark here sourced the wood for the back and sides of his new Tamar,

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It’s a rather spectacular set of bocote, Mark went for a cutaway and a soundport,

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A European spruce top with a walnut burl rosette

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And a bocote veneer on the back of the headstock with gold 510’s.

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A couple of pictures now from across the pond – Here’s James with his new Taw in his garden over in Michigan,

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And one of Tom with his Creedy at Taughannock Falls, the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi, Trumansburg, NY. It’s good to see the Brooks finding their way around the world!

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To end the July news here are three of the latest YouTube clips:

Here’s a video of Rob getting to grips with his new Tavy baritone! Jock O’Hazeldean

And two tunes from Chris Whitfield on his new Lyn
The Orphan and Dr
MacPhail’s Reel

If you are holidaying down in the Westcountry this summer and would like to visit the workshop just get in touch.

June 2011

Firstly this month we’d like to show you a rather special Taw which has just been sent over to James in Michigan, lots of custom features on this one

Here’s a close up of the cedar top with the unusual rosette and the coral position markers,

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The back is made up of a bookmatched centre section of Tasmanian blackwood surrounded by Vietnamese rosewood for the outer
wings and the sides,

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Finally a photo of the headstock with a dragon inlay, a Tasmanian blackwood truss rod cover and Gotoh 510’s with ebony buttons.

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Gary, who couldn’t make it down to the workshop to collect the Clyst we featured last month, sent us this photo. He wrote to us:
“It’s my dream guitar & has exceeded all my expectations”

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Richard, from Bristol, picked up his walnut Tamar

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This shows the fine European spruce top he picked out earlier in the year

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And some highly flamed walnut for the back and sides.

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We’ve just sent two more guitars, a Lyn and a Taw, up to ‘Celtic Chords’ in Stonehaven,

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Pete sent us these shots, if anyone would like to try the guitars out in the intimate surroundings of this well stocked shop
please pay them a visit!

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Chris ordered this Kit last year, we’re always happy to see photos with the guitars with unusual backdrops and Chris has chosen to show off his Kit in front of the rather spectacular Brighton Pavilions.

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Michael, who set up our website, was on a photo and video shoot on Primrose Hill with Louise Loft, see a short video here

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Mike, who picked up his Okement last month, has wasted no time getting his first clip using it on Youtube – Carolan’s
Cottage

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Jordan Humber has recorded a fine video to show the wide range of possibilities and differences between his Torridge
and his Teign, see it here.

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We’d be delighted to hear of any other videos featuring our guitars.

May 2011

We’ll start this month with Dave who picked up his new 12 fret Tamar. Dave supplied the cocobolo and Adirondack spruce for his sixth Brook!

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Here’s the cocobolo three-piece back.

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With the long scale, the 12 fret body and this great quality Adirondack top this guitar sounded stunning from the moment we strung it up.

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This beautiful Clyst had a flamed mahogany top, back and sides, it went up to Gary in the West Midlands,

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The headstock had squared off slots to match Gary’s other Brook.

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Mike’s another collector of Brooks and Mansons, this cutaway Okement though is the first he’s custom ordered.

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It’s in sitka spruce with local cherry back and sides and an oval soundport.
Mike has a great site with plenty of O’Carolan tabs amongst other things of interest
Doc’s
Workshop

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I came in one weekend this month to show Corinne and Thierry our guitars, Thierry couldn’t resist this Tasmanian blackwoodTamar and they took it back to London with them!

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Steve from Intersound picked up this pretty little mahogany Clyst for the shop.

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We made this Ian Anderson model for Rich in Baltimore last year, he just emailed to tell us how well he’s getting on with it and sent us this picture.

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Lastly – a quick shot of three of the many repairs we’ve been working on recently.

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Let’s see what our customers bring in for us next month!

April 2011

This should be an April fool item but it isn’t – Gentlemen, do you really need this latest Gucci Messenger bag which will probably be out of fashion in six month’s time?

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Or do you need this handmade Brook Guitar for considerably less which will last you a lifetime?

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Hopefully no competition!

Several people this month didn’t go for the Gucci option – Gavin popped over for his new Taw

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With this nice set of Kew walnut on the back and sides.

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We made this 12 fret Taw with a longer scale for Laurie, he bought this fine sinker redwood top for us to use. The guitar was fairly heavily customised with our alternative bridge style,

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A side sound-port in this stunning set of Rio,

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And a plain headstock with Shertler tuners along with a black bone nut and saddle.

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Here’s Laurie going for the ‘Fanciest Chord on the Site’ award

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Here’s Tulley in Montana with the left-handed Ash we’ve recently sent out to him. He wrote –

” Hands down the easiest and most well balanced guitar I’ve ever owned right from the start. Very precise action. Subtle
… nuanced … detailed … perfect!”

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Tulley wanted a photo of the four of us with the Ash before we sent it to the States

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We didn’t mean to look quite so surly, come on lads – It’s Spring!

March 2011

One of the first visitors this month was luthier John Buckam from Australia, he was in the area and dropped in to have a chat and show us a couple of his guitars.

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We’ve had a couple of unusual commissions recently, the first was for Andy Lale – it’s an eight string nylon strung instrument on a cutaway Taw body,

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We used the new Schertler tuners on the headstock,

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The back was reclaimed Rio rosewood,

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Andy tuned the eighth string way down to an A; the guitar also had individual brass midi pickups.

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Kevin Aram is probably the UK’s most highly regarded classical guitar maker, he’s made guitars for Julian Bream, Carlos Bonell and many other high profile players. He asked us to build him this Torridge,

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The inlay work is loosely based on the 1930’s Regal ‘La Domino’. We made up a full set of bone dominos and inlaid the majority in the rosette,

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The remainder were used as the appropriate position markers, the numbers adding up to the fret positions!

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Arlen bought his Taw in for a set-up; this was the one using largely home grown timbers including the Kew walnut and the bog oak for the fingerboard, bridge and head veneer.

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Graham was down from Bristol for this 015 Torridge, his third Brook, also with Kew walnut back and sides. Graham’s also
an amateur luthier himself, adding to our substantial list of makers who’ve been impressed enough with our instruments to order one!

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Rob Jessep has become a regular in the News recently; he came down with Catherine to pick out this yew for a baritone Tavy.

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Here’s Rob’s latest video The
Road to Easterbrook

And the tab here for anyone who might like a crack at it! February 2011

Hopefully these snowdrops in the orchard herald the first days of Spring!

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It’s still looking a little bleak outside but it didn’t deter our customers:

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Ken came down for his new Tamar,

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His wife designed this tree which Jack inlaid in the headstock,

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Here’s the claro walnut back.

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Andy popped over from South Devon for his second Brook – a shallow body baritone Tavy in cherry and European spruce.

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And Richard, who’s on his third Brook, came up from St Ives, for his latest – a beautiful understated Lyn,

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Richard wanted a custom neck and fingerboard and visited when I carved the neck to see he got what he wanted! I’m roughing out the neck on the band-saw in this shot,

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And in the early stages of shaping the neck here, thanks for the photos Richard!

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And thanks to the Acoustic magazine for including us in their ’50 Favourite Guitars’ feature,

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We were in the ’20 Dream Guitars’ section with a fine write-up, we would like to point out though that we’ve been here since
1993 now rather than 2001!

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We’ll finish up for February with a couple of shots of the rack with the guitars that have just come out of the spray-shop,

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If you’re interested in seeing quite a few of these again keep an eye out for next month’s news!

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Here’s Rob Jessop’s latest composition inspired by his Tamar
Love
Me For What I Am

January 2011

Firstly we’d like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and we’ll start with a snapshot of the workshop when we eventually got back after the snow.

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Adrian made the short trip from Exeter for this Creedy we had in stock.

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Freddie made the longer trek up from Ringwood to pick up these three guitars for Oasis.

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Just after Christmas we sent this Ian Anderson model out to Paul in Canada, he’s sent us a snowy recreation of the Steven Stills album cover taken in his garden!

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Richard’s an old friend of ours, here he is in an unusually coy pose with his new Clyst!

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He wanted a similar cat on the fingerboard to the one we’d previously inlaid on his Lyn.

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Here’s a shot of the figured mahogany sides

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And one of the back.

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in the band.

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Rob bought a cherry Tamar from Oasis and came down in November for us to fit a K&K for him. Here’s a YouTube video of him playing his own composition.
Tashulee

News 2010

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To scroll use the right scroll bar

December 2010

First item for the last month of 2010 – Sam came down from London for his left-handed Tamar,

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Here’s the Rio back.

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Tony here is still aiming to own more Brooks than any of our other customers; he couldn’t resist this Little
Silver
we had in stock!

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We finished this left handed Ash model for Tulley in the States – he’s taking delivery in the Spring,

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Here’s some more of our local English cherry,

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And a shot of the dragon inlay.

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This rosewood Teign went off to Guitar Classics in Battersea.

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Another month, another Les Paul with a broken headstock!

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Chris came down from Swindon because he’d heard we regularly carry out this common repair,

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He wrote –

“Hi Andy & Simon,The Gibson Les Paul you
carried out the excellent repair on had it’s first outing since the headstock break this weekend with my band ‘The Lucky Generals’. It played like a dream. People who have viewed the job are blown away by the result. Thanks again, Chris”

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I was going to start up this month’s news with a picture of the frosty orchard but that has been rather superseded by the recent snowfall. Andy, always up for the challenge, just managed to get out here on his trials bike.

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Here are some great shots of the trip and the workshop taken by Andy’s daughter Yasmin, his sidecar passenger, first of all a shot of the brook,

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followed by our lane

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one of the workshop

still apples on these trees last month!

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We normally all get in to the workshop whatever the
weather but decided for once we just couldn’t make it.

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To end 2010 we’d like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and leave you with this seasonal clip of Pete Berryman playing
his Tamar.

Silent
Night

November 2010

Rob came down from Southampton so we could fit a K&K pickup in this cherry Tamar he’d
just bought from Oasis Music

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Here’s Bob in front of his Honeytones pickup showing off his new Tavy,

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Bob’s had a few guitars from us before, this time he was after a gothic theme with a pentagram with a tiny skull inside on
the pick-guard,

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Jack cut out and inlaid this gargoyle for the headstock

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And this small dragon for the heel cap,

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We ought to let you see this fine set of cocobolo on the back, in the background you can see Bob’s beautiful old Silvertone
electric.

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Michael came down for his Taw, we tried to keep a home grown theme here –

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We used the Kew walnut again,

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Here’s the bog oak fingerboard and headstock veneer

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And here’s the bog oak bridge, for any creationists out there – yes it is 7,000 years old!

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Our old mate Roger popped down for his latest guitar – a short scale 12 string Little Silver,

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We used figured walnut for the back and some of our old stock of redwood that’s been stored for the last fifty years for
the top,

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We were able to keep the headstock fairly small by designing it around this set of Golden Age tuners.

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Repairs this month included a re-top on this old Rob Armstrong guitar,

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Chris from Spin 2 has owned this from new and was really pleased we were able to bring it back to life!

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If you’ve any old instruments out there that you think might benefit from some attention feel free to give us a call.

October 2010

We’ve been busy this month with custom orders and repairs. Bob here was the first customer to arrive for his Torridge

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The back and sides are a really unusually grained set of old Vietnamese rosewood we found.

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Graham came down from Bristol to order a Torridge to add to this Tavy and Lyn in his collection!

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Mark only had to come up from Otterton for his Taw

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And Robert only had a short jaunt up from Paignton for his Torridge,

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Robert chose this tastefully figured set of local cherry for the back of his guitar.

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David had further to come, he was down from London to pick up this Little Silver 12 string in cedar and flamed mahogany.

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We also have been working on various repairs for customers and shops so here’s a quick round up of some of them – Alan came down to pick up these two that needed neck resets and refinishing amongst other things,

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The top one’s a 1960 Hofner and the lower one a bit of a mixture that Alan put together himself out of vintage parts.

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Then we had this Tamar in for repair, it had been knocked off a guitar stand and ended up with a split along one of the sides, we managed to glue it back together and you can’t see the damage at all now to the customer’s relief!

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Then a double bass came in with a broken neck

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And a cello for some finishing work.

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We try to tackle the jobs other people turn down so if you have an instrument that could benefit from a good set up, fretwork or general overhaul why not get in touch with us.

September 2010

We’ll start the September news with Tim – he came down from Lincolnshire for his Torridge

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He’d chosen this stunning English yew back and sides

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And to continue the local wood theme chose this 7,000 year old bog oak fingerboard and through bridge.

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Andy here came up from South Devon for this Clyst we had in stock

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And also chose this local cherry and European spruce for a baritone Tavy, keep an eye out early next year for the finished guitar!

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We’ve just finished this 12 string Tavy for John in Australia to add to his collection of three other Brooks

The back and sides are Swarzia, a great sounding South American wood.

I sold my last Taw recently so I could replace it with another Taw with the new logo, here’s the new one.

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Andy and I attended the Bristol Guitar Show last weekend,

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We took up fourteen instruments which received a lot of attention,

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Met up with some old friends and hopefully made some new ones!

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Andy and I also went down to St Austell to see Pete Berryman and Wizz Jones, Pete was promoting his latest CD of Cornish tunes shown here

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Jack’s been busy on his latest inlay

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Here he is working on a fingerboard inlay of a dragon for Tulley in the States.

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Well that’s all for September, the weather’s getting colder now but we’ll try and keep warm and busy getting the guitars
out to you.

August 2010

It’s August again, as well as taking the odd week off for our summer break, it’s been work as usual – Freddie came down to
pick up these three – a Torridge, Taw and a Tamar for Oasis in Ringwood, the Taw was sold within a few days of being on display!

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John came over from Sidmouth for his fifth Brook! This time a cherry Torridge.

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Beth, from Portugal, popped in with her Lyn on her way to Blues Week in Northampton.

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We completed a batch of guitars for the Cheltenham Guitar Show which unfortunately was cancelled, here’s a picture of the five of us with them

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The guitars will be coming along with us to the Bristol Guitar Show next month if they’re still around. Amongst them is this
Little Silver short scale, it’s built to fit a tenor guitar case

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Check out the beautiful Tasmanian blackwood back.

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We thought you might like to see some pictures of a left handed Ash we’re making for
Tulley in the States, here are the soundboard, back and sides before we put them together

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And the cherry back and neck Along with early stages of the neck carving. Here’s a meeting of old and new tradition – John Lambert
is the developer of the very beautiful Eigenharp, one of the most unusual and impressive instruments you’re ever likely to see, it’s good to know John still really appreciates the Clyst we built for him some years ago!

July 2010

We’ll start off this month by introducing you to our new logo. We’d like to thank Justin, a Brook owner, who showed great patience working with us coming up with the final design!

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First out with the new logo was this Lyn, David Rose and his daughter Bryony came down to pick up the guitar which was a birthday present from his wife Helen.

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Here’s a close up of the inlay, the rose stem incorporates David and Bryony’s initials,

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And a shot of the red gum back.

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The second with the new logo was this little Kit travel guitar for Chris from South Devon,

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His brother supplied the stunning highly figured Pomelle for the back and sides.

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Ralf, from Bremen in Germany, just received delivery of this unusual 13 fret Taw,

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We chose this lovely figured walnut back and sides

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And Ralf asked for this through bridge rather than our standard pin bridge design.

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Talking of which – Martin from Staffordshire also asked for another of our alternate bridge shapes, this was one we first used
last year.

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We took the opportunity to photograph Martin’s cherry and walnut Tamar with an older one we’d been working on with the woods laid out in reverse, we nickname these our ‘fruit & nut’ guitars

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Simon and Becky came down from Sheffield for Simon’s cutaway Taw

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And Frank from Worcester for his 12 fret Torridge.

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Well that’s it for July; we’re looking forward to August as the weather is so good and taking a week off for our summer holidays!

June 2010

I thought we’d start off this month with a couple of shots of the workshop and surrounding countryside. We came in early one morning last week to the first real signs of summer

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The apple trees in the orchard are in blossom and in this picture you can see the ancient Nymph Woods in the background.

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Back to the guitars now –

Iain came down from Yorkshire for this five year old Taw that was up for sale

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He helped us out by taking a Lyn up to Rob who lived nearby.

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Adrian didn’t have as far to travel, he came down from North Devon and bought this Tavy we had in stock

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It was the one with the stunning myrtle back.

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This beautiful sunburst Taw is ready for delivery to Jon in Buckinghamshire

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Pete made the long journey down from Stonehaven to pick up this Tamar, Torridge and a Lyn he’d ordered for his shop
– Celtic Chords. It’s our first outlet in Scotland and we look forward to working with him in the future

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We bought a large, new bandsaw to allow us to resaw more of our own woods on site

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Here are Andy, Kevin and myself trying it out on some figured mahogany.

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Repairs this month included these two lovely old Hofners

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Lastly – We found this video of Robb Johnson playing the Tamar we made for him a couple of years ago, check it out here

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May 2010

Robin popped down from Exeter the other day to pick up his Torridge

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The back was from a walnut tree planted in Kew Gardens in the late 1800’s, apparently by Queen Victoria!

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The neck and tuner buttons are also walnut and the headstock veneer is this beautiful walnut burl.

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Another guitar we finished this month using mainly UK woods was this Taw for Arlen up in Falkirk, again we used walnut for the neck, back and sides and sycamore for the binding.

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We used English bog oak as a substitute for ebony for the fingerboard, bridge and head veneer, for the top we had to widen our field a little and use European spruce. Our native spruce is too fast grown to give the tight grain needed for a good tone wood.

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We sent this rosewood, short scale, nylon strung, cutaway Cary up to Dave in Coventry, he was really pleased with the result.

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This rosewood 12 fret Torridge went up to David in Yorkshire

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And this rosewood Taw went up to Mark in the Midlands

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One of my all time favourite American songwriters Michael Hurley has a new CD out – ‘Ida Con Snock’ Michael used the little Bovey we made for him throughout the album

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If you like your Americana a little off centre I’d suggest you give it a listen

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Michael recorded his first album for the famous Folkways label in 1964, this latest one, his 21st, was recorded at Levon Helm’s
studio in Woodstock and he revisits some of his old material as well giving us some great versions of newer songs.

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Well that’s all folks, keep an eye out here for the latest Brook news

April 2010

As you’ve probably heard the EU Commission are bringing in their new statute in two years time requiring all new stringed musical
instruments built within the EU to have a regulatory decimal system of ten frets to the octave rather than the previous standard of twelve.

Rather than wait until the forthcoming law comes into effect, over the last six months we’ve been working on this first prototype based on our standard Clyst model.

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It does sound a little different at first – but I’m sure we’ll all get used to it after a while. Magnus came down from Winchester for his new Torridge

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John, from Western Australia, collected the Okement and Cherry he’d ordered and decided
he had to have the black Cary we’d made for stock last year

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Here’s the maple back of the Okement

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And the ziricote on the Cherry

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Along with a shot to show the size difference

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Rebecka’s a local singer songwriter, she ordered this nylon strung Lyn

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We strutted this classical fairly traditionally

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Here’s a close up of the top

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And the back.

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Martin’s had several guitars of ours before, this time he was down to pick up his Little Silver tenor guitar

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He’d asked us to choose the specs this time so we picked out some spectacular maple for the back and the neck

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Here’s a shot of the top

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Our friend Bob just bought a lovely Duesenberg to use with the Honeytones, he wanted to personalise it so we had a chrome transfer made up in the style of the overall design of the guitar

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Looks in keeping doesn’t it!

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I know we mentioned these repairs last month but we thought you might like to see the Framus before we got it back together

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And here’s Alan from The Foundations picking up his late fifties Les Paul Junior , we’d had to do quite an extensive repair to an old injury!

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OK – I promise – here’s last of TV playing his guitar now it’s back together.

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By the way, in case you’re in any doubt – yes the first item was an April fool, a number of people fell for it, I could name names but you know who you are!!

March 2010

We thought we’d concentrate this month on getting some of the repairs out of the door. This month’s news will hopefully give you an idea of some of the range of work we tackle as well as making our Brooks!

First of all this vintage Gretsch Chet Atkins model arrived for a re-fret and some TLC.

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As did this old battered Framus

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Then we had a couple of Strats in, one for a re-fret

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And the other for a surface repair

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Shortly followed by two neck repairs, one on a Faith

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The other a ’70’s Yamaha.

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Then we had to patch up some lacquer damage on our friend’s lovely old Gretsch bass drum

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I was delighted when this beautiful little Radiotone uke came in for some repair work, you don’t see these very often and it was a pleasure to get a chance to play it for a while!

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This rare Les Paul Junior was a fairly major job with a badly damaged top from a previous ‘repair’ , we had get it back as close to its original specifications as possible

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We also of course continued with our normal work, we finished two new guitars to add to our Shop page, Steve came down from Intersound for his latest Taw

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And TV was back on stage the day after he got his guitar back!

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Keep an eye out next month – we’ve some interesting new Brooks to show you –

Feb 2010

First of all I’d like to mention that Michael who normally updates our website is off for a couple of months travelling the globe
so we’ll wish him good luck and keep our fingers crossed as we attempt this technical stuff ourselves!

We sent this lovely little cherry Clyst up to John in Wales.

David came down for his second Brook, this time a claro walnut and cedar Taw

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He brought along his Brook themed boots he’d had made to show us!

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Jeff picked up a used Taw we’d built in 1998 and bought it to us to fit a K&K pickup.

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We didn’t think we were going to see TV Smith’s guitar back in the workshop so soon but a sound engineer in Germany knocked
it over and did some fairly drastic damage!

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The heel broke off completely, pulling off the fingerboard extension along with bits of the front

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TV got it straight down to us and had to take his Tele off to Finland for a few gigs instead of his trusty Taw, while we had four working days to get it back together

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We glued and clamped the neck back together and gradually got all those broken bits back in the right places

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And successfully managed to get the neck back on in
he correct position

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A fresh set of strings on and a set up and it was ready to go back up to TV in time for an acoustic gig in London the following
day.

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Jan 2010

Just before Christmas Trudi from North Devon picked up her short scale Clyst

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She’d picked out this nice flamed local cherry for the back and sides…

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…And asked Jack to make up this fingerboard inlay for her in a dark pearl

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Here’s a close up of the hare on the 12th fret

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Next comes our first Little Silver twelve string for Chris in South Devon Chris has a couple of our guitars and wrote us and said “The thing about your guitars is that they are in every detail what I would create if I could” Sounds like he liked it then…

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Interesting grain on this set of cherry!

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Here’s Henry with his three Brooks – A Lyn a Bovey and a Taw

He was down our way on holiday so he popped over to see us so we could cast an eye over them

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Here’s Stan with the second of his Brooks, this time a custom cutaway Taw

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This odd shot shows the cedar top, twelve frets to the body and a fancy diamond inlay on the fingerboard…

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…A pic of the Rio back

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Jeff was our first customer after the Christmas break and came up from Cornwall to collect his cutaway rosewood Taw Jeff also has a Tavy at home

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Here’s a seasonal photo of our workshop taken earlier this week

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Now most people who know how far off the beaten track we are may be wondering how we got in through the snow so we’re
proud to present the hero of the month…
Andy’s motorbike and sidecar

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He made up some makeshift chains with some rope and ferried us all up and down the hills to the nearest village

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Here are Andy, Kevin and Jack setting off back home after work

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And this is the four of us arriving again the following morning

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Lastly, a couple of pictures Andy’s daughter Xanthia took, the first shows the brook we took our name from…

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And this shows the entrance to the Easterbrook track after its first powdering of snow

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All the best for 2010 from the team at Brook Guitars

News 2009

December 2009

Here’s Andrew with his second rather special
Taw

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Jack inlaid this tiger for him in the headstock

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Nice flame in this Tasmanian blackwood!

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And some fifty year old sequoia for the top

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Pete here has been making guitars himself for a while and sent down the woods for this Tamar we made
for him

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The back is a South American rosewood, very similar to Rio

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Pete asked for this light sunburst

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Along with this zebrano head veneer

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We attended the Intersound Guitar Show: here’s Andy in front of our stand

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While we were up there we delivered Vo’s guitar. We first saw him a couple of years ago gigging with Rick Saunders and John Ethridge. We didn’t get a decent picture of him at the show so he was kind enough to send this

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Along with one showing off the back…

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Phil came down from Stroud for his Taw in Mediterranean walnut and sitka

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Lastly – the final picture this year from our workshop. We’d like to wish you the finest Season’s Greetings and remember the moral…

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‘He who dies with the most guitars wins!’

Nov 2009

Firstly this month Ben came up from Plymouth for this
Torridge we had in stock

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Norman, also from Plymouth, came up for this bouzouki guitar he ordered to go with his Sobell guitar

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Here’s a close up of the European spruce top.

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The latest Cherry travel guitar went up to Phil in Scotland,

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Phil goes abroad regularly climbing and was after a small guitar to take with him,

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Here’s a shot of the beautiful ziricote back.

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Another first for us – a twelve fret Tavy for Vo Fletcher

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How about this for a Rio back!

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It’s just been pointed out to us that the excellent David Kilpatrick has a couple of You Tube clips using his Bovey, check this out
Click Here

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We also found this clip of Cams with his Bovey playing Blackwaterside
Click Here

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Iban and Sergio came over from The Basque Country with three guitars for us to set up, Iban’s watching while Simon works on the frets of his Greven

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Simon, Sergio and Iban pose with the Greven, Gibson and Martin

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And here’s Iban with his 1920’s Gibson.

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TV Smith’s Taw came in again for some T.L.C. Every so often we fill the damage he does with his pick to keep it going another year or so

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This time we added a larger pickguard! TV will be using it for thirty gigs over Europe in the two months before Christmas!

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And that should hopefully prop it up for a while… until the next time…

Oct 2009

It’s again been a month when we’ve had a lot of interest in our Little Silver model, first of all these two went off to their new owners

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This inlay was for David in Dallas, Texas. We also inlaid bones of black oyster shell in the fingerboard as position markers!

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This back, for our friend John, was another from our locally sourced walnut

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The third Little Silver this month went off to Graham in Alderney, here’s the sequoia top with a pyramid bridge…

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And here’s a picture of the beautiful quilted four piece maple back…

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With a slotted headstock and Waverly tuners

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Next is a new model for Daniel from Sweden, he sent us a rough drawing of what he was after so we came up with this, we’ve named it after a river at the end of his garden – the Tidan

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He wanted a simple bridge

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The small extra soundhole in the ribs

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And this inlay of Tranors on the back of the headstock

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To finish up this month we’d like to introduce Paolo, he dropped in to the workshop for a set up on his Lyn

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This must be the most widely travelled guitar we’ve made, Paolo works for a major aid agency and he has taken his guitar to …

Angola,
Kenya,
Zimbabwe,
Mozambique,
Malawi,
Botswana,
South Africa,
Iraq, Kurdistan,
Jordan,
Lebanon,
Beirut,
Damascus,
Syria,
Sri Lanka,
Darfur,
Hong Kong,
Singapore
and…..Milton Keynes!

Sept 2009

Here’s Steve Yates with his new cutaway Taw

Steve’s a phenomenal guitarist and composer and a past winner of the ‘Guitarist of the Year’ competition. Check out some of his videos on his You Tube site https://www.youtube.com/user/stephenyatesacoustic

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Steve & Jude were down for the latest batch of guitars for Intersound

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Paula couldn’t make it down to pick up her short scale Creedy so we had to ship it off to her

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Here’s a close up of the top

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And another of the fine cocobolo back

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Roger came down again for us to fit a pick guard on the Lyn we made for him recently

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Here’s another of our regular repair jobs, almost every month we have a fresh Gibson Les Paul in with a broken headstock, here’s the before shot…

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… And the successful repair

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It was great to see Michael Chapman in concert last weekend at a local venue; he was a real influence on my playing in the early ‘70’s

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Thanks to our friend Johnny for sending this shot of Michael playing his Brook after another recent gig


Aug 2009

Ryan bought his gum Taw from Project Music recently and brought it over to us to fit a pickup. Ryan’s in our favourite unsigned band ‘Bert Miller and The Animal Folk’. Check out their My Space site https://www.myspace.com/animalfolkmusic

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Here are Les and Martin in my kitchen playing their latest two instruments, Les ordered a Little Silver maple tenor and Martin a Little Silver koa six string

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Steve came to pick up his Rio Taw

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Here’s a shot of the top with its Rio purfling and binding

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And another of Jack’s inlay work from Steve’s design

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Craig couldn’t get down to pick up his gum Torridge because of an ankle injury so we had to send it off to him. He sent us this photo of himself and his son Freddie. They both look happy with the guitar!

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It was good to see a couple of our customers again this month – Keith came down for a pickup for his Ash

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And Andrew came down for a set up on his Tamar

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Here’s our latest stock guitar, our nylon strung model – the Carey

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Here’s a shot of the chamfers and the oval sound-port

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Finally – it’d be silly not to take a picture of the inside through the sound-port so here it is!

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Now that’s not something you see every day! Enjoy!



July 2009

Firstly this month we have Phil Bird, Phil’s a wonderful musician and an old friend of ours, he has three of our guitars and was over from Cyprus visiting friends and gigging

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Another old friend of ours, Roger from South Wales picked up his fourth Brook

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This time he went for a spectacular sunburst Lyn

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Here’s a shot of the Waverly tuners with snakewood buttons

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Mike came up from Cornwall for his 12 fret rosewood Taw

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Phil from South Devon for his cherry Taw with a slotted headstock

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And Paul came down from Cambridge for his cherry Taw

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We were pleased to find this picture of the late great Eric Roche trying out one of our Creedys on the TAMCO website

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If any one is interested in a cutaway rosewood Taw this is our latest for sale directly from the workshop

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If it looks like the guitar for you call us on Tel +44 (0)1647 24139

June 2009

If by any chance you saw ‘Acoustic’this month with Ian Anderson on the cover, there were half a dozen photos of Ian with his favourite guitar. As there was no mention of who made it we thought we’d like to point out …

We did!

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Jay here has a recording studio in London, he ordered a red gum Tamar

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He also preferred this wider version of our standard headstock

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George ordered up a 12 fret Taw

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Here’s a shot of the laminated neck and Rio back

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And another of the Sitka top with Rio purfling and binding

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This Tamar tucked up securely in a burgundy Calton case went off to David in Middlesbrough

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Here’s a close up of the rippled walnut

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And one of the ‘Tamar’ inlay

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Lastly – we’re always pleased when our customers send us slightly more unusual photos, here’s one Bob sent us of
himself with his Creedy along with Stephanie, his wife, and Dave on mandola. Not sure if the shades are in keeping with the Tudor theme!

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If you have any shots of you and your Brook in unusual circumstances please send them in to us. We’d love to see them and they might even end up here on the news page

May 2009

Here are Becky and Gary in North Wales with the latest two new additions to accompany Gary’s Taw

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They ordered a Holly uke and a Little Silver tenor guitar

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The inlay is a Welsh daffodil entwined with an English rose!

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Red Gum guitars were the order of the month with these three all strung up and ready to go

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Here’s another close up showing the grain

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We just sent out this red gum Tamar 015 to Roel in Belgium, he was really pleased with the result and sent us this picture

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Finally here’s Glen with an old Hofner that belonged to his father, we’ve just done some renovation work on it and hopefully
it’ll keep playing well for another generation!

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Also…

…we’re in this month’s ‘Acoustic’
Magazine
Read all about it here

Part
1

Part
2

For any of our customers reading this who’ve been down here to see us – don’t worry – we haven’t moved, we’re still in the barn (not the converted bungalow the columnist mentioned)!

April 2009

We’ll kick off this month with Wendy and Colin who came down from Intersound for their latest three Brooks for the shop.

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And Grant came down last month for his cherry Torridge

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Mark here wanted us to replicate some of the nicer features of the earlier Martins on his new Clyst

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…. Such as the torch inlay on the headstock and snowflake inlay on the fingerboard

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….And the abalone top border and fingerboard surround

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Here’s a shot of the Rio back

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Another nod to the classic American guitar here with a new option for the Teign model. This one’s a short scale dreadnought based on the Gibson J45

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Here’s a picture of Jim with the Teign and Simon with Jim’s lacewood uke

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..And a shot of Andy and Jim outside the workshop

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This is the Rio back of the new Teign

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Finally – Justin Starck bought his Taw into us for repair and a set-up after an accident

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Here’s Justin with the Taw when he was playing at the 12 Bar Club recently

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If you have any pics of you and your Brook send them in to us and they could find their way onto this page


March 2009


We braved the snow earlier in the month to get to the workshop to work on the latest batch of instruments

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This month we’ve been occupied with our smaller instruments so here goes with March’s News which is alternatively titled …

‘Honey, I shrunk the Guitars…!’

Here’s our old friend Colin, aka ‘Uke Stanza’, with his latest pair – a Holly tenor uke and a Holly guitar

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This close up of the two shows off the beautiful koa

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Julian in Gloucester is playing his new maple and cedar Bovey

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Here’s a close up of the cowboy inlay expertly cut out by Jack again

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This slotted headstock Bovey went up to Alan in London

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And this rosewood one went out to Vasilis in Greece

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Here’s another new model, another small one, we’ve called the Cherry, this sunburst one is going to Julian in Hertforshire

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We’ll sign off this month with the latest picture of our ever-expanding ‘uke corner’!

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We’ll probably be back up to full scale next month!




February 2009


This month a couple of guitars we recently finished had to travel a few miles to get to their new owners: This
Tamar went up to join Jeremy in Edinburgh with his other Brooks

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This Taw has even further to go – it’s off to join Jim in California, hopefully we’ll have pictures with their new owners shortly!

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Paul here heard that we were making a Taw for stock and came down and bought it as soon as it was strung up!

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It’s been a month for seeing old friends returning for another guitar. Richard here is showing off three of his Brooks and sorting out the specs for a new 12 string

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Roger here is showing off his 12 string, one of the first we built and finalising the specs of his new Lyn

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John bought the exhibition guitar to add to his collection and ordered up one of our new Little Silver, models

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Roger picked up his third Brook, a beautiful oil finished, sequoia topped Taw

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Here’s a shot of the cocobolo back

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And finally – a quick snap for all you uke lovers out there – here’s a collection in the corner of the workshop of some of our own ukes, old and new!

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Sometimes you just don’t know where to start!

January 2009

Happy New Year to all, from all of us here at the workshop. We came back to a cold start, here’s a picture of the frozen ford at the bottom of our lane

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Pete here picked up his left handed, 12 string Dart just before Christmas. He braved the cold to show us the inspiration for the fingerboard inlay

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Here’s a close up of the latest of Jack’s fine handiwork!

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This is Doug McCarthey’s latest Brook, his fifth! – a baritone Tavy this time!

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We’ve all been working in our spare time on our own projects and trying to finish them before the end of the year. Kev made this walnut Torridge and Andy made a cherry Taw

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Melissa and I made a resonator uke each

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We actually strung them up at 8 o’clock on New Years Eve, here’s a picture of the backs of them

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So a very Happy New Year from us!

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News Archive 2008-2006

December 2008
We’ll start off this month with a few more shots of the ‘Guitars’
exhibition guitar: here’s the black pearl flower inlay on the fingerboard

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And here’s one of the Rio back and laminated neck. This
rather special instrument is for sale at the Hub for £4,700

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Now for some of our customers this month – Here are Martin and
Les for their second Brooks, Martin’s is a cutaway Clyst
and Les’ is a twelve string Creedy

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David, here, came down for his rosewood Tamar

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John picked up his cherry Torridge,
beside him you can see a superb Les Paul replica he made himself with
woods he got from us when he ordered the Torridge!

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And Michael came all the way over from Germany to pick up his Rio Lyn

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We’re really pleased to announce we’re now supplying the finest
guitar shop in Exeter – Project Music. Here are Mike and Lee trying
out the first batch of five guitars we delivered to them last week

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Finally, here are some pictures of a seven string guitar we built for
Yuriy from the Ukraine about ten years ago

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Unfortunately Yuriy managed to break off the headstock but we managed
to do a successful invisible repair on it

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Whilst it was back at the workshop we thought we’d take the opportunity
to show you this spectacular Devon walnut back

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Now that’s a lovely piece of wood!

We do like to use local woods wherever we get the chance so if you like
what you see here then it’s worth considering these fine English woods
as an alternative to the Rosewoods and other tropical options




November 2008


For this month’s news we’ll show you a few pictures of this
mandola shaped seven string guitar we made for Mike Selley

Here’s Mike, Jocinta and Ben outside the workshop playing the new
creation

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Mike wanted a very personal instrument and we inlaid this dove in the
headstock along with a gold ingot in the truss rod cover…

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…this adder on the fingerboard…

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….and a pierced sound-hole with his initials

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Here’s a shot of the quilted maple and Rio three piece back

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We also had time to complete a couple of Boveys,
here’s Neil showing off his new one alongside his
Torridge

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…and this beautiful koa one with a Lancashire rose inlay for Nizam

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Lastly, we’ve been invited to take part in an exhibition to celebrate
the work of UK luthiers hosted by Gordon Giltrap at…

the National Centre for Craft and
Design – The Hub
in Lincolnshire

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Here’s a taster of the guitar we’re showing

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The exhibition opens on the 22nd November and goes on until the 17th
January

More of this next month…….

October 2008

We’ll start off with a quick return to last month’s
news with the
Otter
acoustic bass again, Gareth wasn’t able to pick it up from the workshop
at the time so he sent a couple of pictures down to us

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One here of the stunning myrtle four piece back

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Freddie here came down to pick up his mahogany and cedar Lyn

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And Graham, his Torridge

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Here’s a close up of the lacewood back

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Richard’s got several of our guitars already and ordered this beautiful
little koa uke

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Here’s a shot of the koa top along with the pearl rosette and purfling

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Finally a quick shot of Andy delivering the latest couple of Brooks
to Colin at Intersound

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If you like the look of these then drop into Intersound in Dursley in
Gloucestershire and try one out.
Better be quick though as they don’t hang around for long!

September 2008

Some years ago we were offering guitar making
courses at the workshop, Angela has been coming up to work on this
Tamar
occasionally over the years and is shown here playing her finished guitar

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Here’s an unusual shot of our first 5 string Otter
bass

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We found a stunning set of myrtle for the back and
sides…

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… and we also designed this asymmetrical headstock to deal with the
fifth string

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Below is a shot of the inside of the Ash,
a rather unusual instrument

We made the original of this some years ago for Billy Connolly – a five
string banjo with a wooden body

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Keith is really pleased with his one

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Here’s a close up of the sequoia front

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And another of the figured cherry back

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And finally…

We’re really pleased to be able to put on The
Honeytones
for another gig in the barn this year on Friday the
19th of Sept

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We had a great time last year and we’re looking forward
to more fun this time around

August 2008

Maria here came over to our workshop with the intention
of ordering a custom made guitar but went away with this koa Taw
we had in stock

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Brian’s the lead guitarist in the Dave Rich Band and has just collected
his cutaway cherry Tavy to concentrate
on some acoustic playing

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Alan here has quite a collection of our guitars now and owns the first
12 string we ever made

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The beautiful back on this Lyn is
reclaimed Brazilian rosewood

News Archive 2008-2006

This guitar was a 50th birthday present from his wife Marion who asked
for this inlay on the 12th fret…

News Archive 2008-2006

and we designed this extra label for the inside!

News Archive 2008-2006


That gives it a nice personal touch don’t you think?

July 2008

Again, quite a few cherry guitars went out this month
– here’s Dave Smith with his third Brook, this time a Torridge

News Archive 2008-2006

… and Chris came down for his cherry Taw

News Archive 2008-2006

Take a look at the figuring on this slab-sawn back!

News Archive 2008-2006

Then Steve and Norm from Intersound popped in for their
latest batch

News Archive 2008-2006

Norman ordered this ‘fruit and nut’ Torridge
{cherry and walnut) for himself

News Archive 2008-2006

Phil Simons came down from Surrey to pick up his rosewood
Tamar and enjoyed an overnight
stay at the ‘Tom Cobley’ in Spreyton before heading back in the morning

News Archive 2008-2006

Here are a couple of close-ups of a spectacular 12
fret Rio Teign for Tom Brookes….

News Archive 2008-2006

News Archive 2008-2006

And one of the proud owner

News Archive 2008-2006

Every month we get a fresh bunch of challenging repair
jobs. A tricky bit of clamping on a double bass here….

News Archive 2008-2006

And here’s one of the many Martin refinishes we’ve
had in over the years, look how easily the top coats of lacquer separate
from the wash coat

News Archive 2008-2006

As you can see, we have been busy this summer

But that’s the way we like it!

June 2008


We recently received a 5-Star review for one of our guitars in

‘Guitarist’
magazine.

Read all about it right

Also this month, Rhyd Lewis came down here to collect his new cherry
Tavy

News Archive 2008-2006

and James Murphy picked up his second Brook – a slope
shouldered Teign

News Archive 2008-2006

An old friend of ours, Nick Bassett turned up for his
for his custom American Red gum Tamar

News Archive 2008-2006

Here are two close-ups of a beautiful matt finish walnut
Tamar we made for Roger King

News Archive 2008-2006

And this one shows off the heel

News Archive 2008-2006

Finally – a quick picture of a 1930’s Columbia
guitar we recently had in for a neck re-set and fingerboard replacement.
It’s for a customer in Spain

News Archive 2008-2006

Some people will travel far to get the Brook workmanship

May 2008

First this month is the model we’ve just made
for Ian Anderson, it’s a replica of the one we originally made for him
when we were working with Andy Manson many years ago

News Archive 2008-2006

Ian regularly uses this one on stage

News Archive 2008-2006

And Kevin here, came down from Edinburgh to pick up his 12 string cherry
Tamar,
he asked us to build it with reversed octave strings on the lower three
courses to suit his playing style

News Archive 2008-2006

Mark here didn’t have to travel quite so far but still had a three hundred
mile round trip to collect his rosewood and European spruce Tamar

News Archive 2008-2006

Here are the latest batch of guitars we’ve just sent up to Ivor Mairants’
shop in London

News Archive 2008-2006

Here’s our friend Mike Selley who came to visit us the other day to
see how we were getting on with his latest instrument – a seven string
mandola shaped guitar! To find out a bit more about Mike please click
here

News Archive 2008-2006

We’re working on this new instrument for Mike at the moment so watch
this space for developments


April 2008

April sees us hard at work keeping up with the order book
Here’s Michael Lockwood with before and after pictures of his red gum
Lyn

Before…

News Archive 2008-2006

and After…

News Archive 2008-2006

This battered Brook Taw belongs
to TV Smith, this guitar has seen more action than any other we’ve made,
at the last reckoning it was about 1000 hours just on stage!

News Archive 2008-2006

And now for another one-off: Tom here wanted us to build a baroque type
guitar and fashion a bridge in the shape of his moustache…

News Archive 2008-2006

Here are a couple of close ups of the result…

News Archive 2008-2006

and the headstock…

Finally, Stephen here lives in Switzerland and bought his Torridge
from Ivor Mairants, in London.

News Archive 2008-2006

He got in touch to thank us and sent us this excellent picture

We’d love to see any unusual pictures of customers with their Brooks
in interesting locations and we’d love to add them to the site so please
send them in to us

March 2008

Matt here is a fine guitarist and singer, he’s been using our guitars
for several years now, he came down this month to pick up this lovely
Rio Lyn

News Archive 2008-2006

Here’s Bev with our farm dog Polo listening closely. Bev ordered this
walnut Bovey to use with a really
interesting tuning and string selection she’s developed for her songwriting

News Archive 2008-2006

The first left handed guitar of the year is for Richard Vanstone, here’s
a close up of his cherry and European spruce Tamar

News Archive 2008-2006

and here’s an action shot

News Archive 2008-2006

Martin and Les came down from London last year to order these two Lyns

News Archive 2008-2006

They both chose our finest Indian rosewood for the bindings and purfling
as well the back and sides, Les chose a European spruce top for his…

News Archive 2008-2006

…and Martin chose cedar

And lastly, here’s Colin collecting the latest three for Intersound

News Archive 2008-2006

They are… a rosewood Taw and Torridge
along with a splendid Koa Tamar

Pop into Intersound if you’re near Dursley (between Gloucester
and Bristol) and get them while they’re hot…



February 2008

Many thanks to Adrian Legg for the namecheck in this month’s
Acoustic
magazine

Adrian Legg News Archive 2008-2006

Adrian said:
“The only people who make a good parlour size at this time are
a bunch in Devon who were taught the dark arts by Andy Manson …

The Brook Creedy is one of the most
delightful guitars ever made. It sits small and docile in your arms,
doesn’t twist your back over or your shoulder out of joint, and focuses
exactly on the sound you need to come out when you fingerpick….”

Acoustic – Feb/March 2008

Iain Clyst News Archive 2008-2006

Iain (above) also came down to pick up his new mahogany Clyst

Slotted Head Waverlys News Archive 2008-2006

Here’s a shot of the headstock with our favourite Waverly tuners

John Lyn News Archive 2008-2006

Here’s a picture of John who came down with his brother and spent an
enjoyable evening at the Tom Cobley in Spreyton before venturing over
to the workshop to collect his walnut Lyn
015

Inlay News Archive 2008-2006

We inlaid his initials in the slotted headstock

Stans Sequoia top News Archive 2008-2006

Apologies to Stan from North Devon for not getting a photo when he came
for this beautiful sequoia topped Lyn

Malcolm Dobson News Archive 2008-2006

Finally – here’s a picture of Malcolm Dobson and us in the orchard with
his custom Madagascan rosewood Tamar

Deep Cutaway News Archive 2008-2006

Malcolm wanted a really deep cutaway, a 24 fret fingerboard extension
and an Ellipse pickup system along with fairly light strings

We made sure that he got what he wanted!


January 2008

Happy New Year to everyone!

We saw a few more guitars leave the workshop before our Christmas break.

Howard here came down for his cherry 12 fret Torridge

Howard Torridge News Archive 2008-2006

Thea, a classical guitar player, came to visit, fell in love with this
Taw and couldn’t resist taking it
away

Thea Hughes News Archive 2008-2006

Arthur picked his guitar up from us a couple of years ago and we didn’t
get a photo at the time so when he was passing by last month we took
the opportunity to get a shot of him and his Torridge

Arthur Torridge News Archive 2008-2006

We hope Pat won’t mind us including a couple of pictures his wife April
took on Christmas Day

Pat Xmas 1 News Archive 2008-2006

Pat lives in Las Vegas and we’ve got to know him pretty well over the
nine months we’ve been making these two Ian Anderson models for him

Pat Xmas 2 News Archive 2008-2006

We were going to send them after the holiday but April thought it’d
be a real surprise for him to get them on Christmas morning.

Pat Xmas 3 News Archive 2008-2006

We just managed to get them shipped out on time…

Pat Xmas 4 News Archive 2008-2006

…and Pat was quite overwhelmed to open the case and see them!

We hope the new year is good to you and we look forward to making more
fantastic guitars in 2008

News 2007

December 2007

The December News is in two sections:

Firstly here’s our friend Bob with the new Lyn
12 string we’ve just made for him

Bob and Lyn News Archive 2008-2006

It’s a spectacular koa custom 015

12 body News Archive 2008-2006

and features a lot of hand-cut inlay work…

12 close

plus a custom headstock

12 strin head News Archive 2008-2006

Needless to say, it sounds terrific!

***

Next we have an unashamed plug for Pete Berryman’s latest CD along with
some of the reviews it has earned

Berryman CD News Archive 2008-2006

Pete was playing his Tavy on all
the tracks and we really like the result; hope you do too!

Pete Berryman News Archive 2008-2006

“Pete explores various moods and influences with equal respect
for folk jazz and celtic roots with his delicate fingerstyle technique.
His love for the acoustic guitar and its ability for nuance and subtlety
is showcased in this album of fresh and highly original compositions.
Enjoy”
Ralph McTell

“Pete Berryman, and his contemporary Bert Jansch, still have plenty
to offer us in the 21st century, it’s hard to believe that a period
of thirty years lies between some of these compositions when they all
sound so vibrant and new. .” Acoustic
Magazine

“Pete is one of the unsung heroes of the British acoustic guitar
movement.”
John Renbourn

“Pete Berryman is one of the UK’s hidden jewels.”
Guitarist Magazine

https://www.peteberryman.com

November 2007

We’ve had more folks down this month picking up their guitars:

Norman and Nelson here picked their Taw
from Andy’s house: that’s Nelson on the left

Norman and Nelson News Archive 2008-2006

while George picked up his Tamar
from Simon’s

George Tamar News Archive 2008-2006

Richard came up from Cornwall for his second Taw

Richard from Cornwall News Archive 2008-2006

and Angel even came across from Spain for his one!

Angel from Spain News Archive 2008-2006

Jonathan came down for this sweet sounding Tamar
baritone set up for the Pat Metheny tuning.

Jonathan Tamar News Archive 2008-2006

And here’s Peter with his new Tavy

Peter Tavy News Archive 2008-2006

he found this fantastic set of Madagascan rosewood for us to use on
the guitar

Madagascan RW News Archive 2008-2006

and as if that wasn’t enough, Jack finished it off with a fine job on
this spectacular hummingbird and vine inlay

Inlay work News Archive 2008-2006

Very fetching indeed!

October 2007

We’d like to thank Melissa for this month’s classy black and white photos
from the recent Acoustic Guitar Show
in Cheltenham

We met up with friends, other guitar makers and past customers and had
a great weekend in the grand settings of the Cheltenham Town Hall.

So here are some of the highlights…

Alister Atkin and Simon sharing a joke before the show opened

Display News Archive 2008-2006

Here’s Andy, Simon and Graham Coxon. Graham had seen this koa Taw
on our site, bought it and came along to the show to pick it up

Graham Coxon News Archive 2008-2006

While he was here he couldn’t resist trying out Simon’s uke

Blur fella News Archive 2008-2006

Here’s Amrit Sond trying out a baritone of ours. Amrit’s a terrific
player, check out his stunning clips on You Tube

Amrit Sond News Archive 2008-2006

Hopefully the show gave some people the chance to try out a range of
our guitars for the first time

Alister News Archive 2008-2006

Here are some of Alister’s guitars with Andy Manson’s mermaid guitar
in the background

Mermaid News Archive 2008-2006

Here’s our favourite player and good friend Dave Wood playing for us
out in the corridor

Dave Wood News Archive 2008-2006

Lastly – how the hell did we get all these in the one car?
The answer, of course, is to put the uke in last !

Cases for Cheltenham

PS. Mustn’t forget – thanks to Dave Smith for the excellent Dorset fruit
cake he bought up for us
We’ll look forward to exhibiting at the show again next year

September 2007

First we should mention that we are going to be on the road this month…

On Sat and Sun the 8th and 9th of September we’ll be attending

“The Acoustic Guitar Show”
Town Hall
Cheltenham
Gloucestershire

We hope you can make it along. There will be lots of
gorgeous guitars and some great players around to demo them. We’ll be
sure to bring a fine selection of our best loved models and maybe a
few surprises…

***

This month we’re also making the most of the late summer light to get
some fetching shots of our customers in the orchard with their new guitars

John Golding

Here’s John Golding from South Devon with his lacewood Tavy

John Golding Lacewood

While John was waiting for us to complete this guitar he managed to
get hold of a second hand Brook to keep him going…

Some people just can’t wait to get their hands an a Brook!

Pete Johnson (below) picked out out a spectacular set of Rio for his
top-of-the-range 015 Teign which
he enjoyed playing in front of one of our plum trees!

Pete Johnson Teign

And Rory King also seems very happy with his own new Rio Tamar

Rory King Tamar

He has a Strat neck he particularly likes and he bought it down for
us to replicate when we carved the neck – this is just one of the many
options on a custom-made instrument like this.



August 2007

First off for August, here’s Tony Kerry, Simon and Andy, along with
Polo, making the most of the sunshine and playing part of Tony’s increasing
collection of Brooks!

Tony Kerry Dejeuner sur L'Herbe

Tony wanted something to remind him of the Brook workshop on his latest
Rio Tavy so Jack inlaid a buzzard
and a sparrowhawk on the headstock.

Buzzard and Sparrowhawk

Marcus here is a superb guitarist with a really distinctive style

Marcus Taw

He came to us last year with some top grade rosewood he’d bought on
his travels in India and asked us to build a guitar for him out of it.

This beautiful Taw is the result!

Now wasn’t that worth going the distance for?


July 2007

We’ve been dodging the rain this month to take some photos of our customers
out in our orchard

First up is Tracey Curtis who’s a great young singer songwriter and
releases her CDs on Robb Johnson’s ‘Irregular Records’. Robb pointed
her in our direction and she fell for the red gum Taw
we had in stock

Tracey Curtis

Here’s Garry Wall from Oldham with his own new red gum Tamar,
Garry’s a regular at the RMMGA meetings that we try and get along to
every year in Buxton

Garry Wall Tamar

Here’s a photo of the gorgeous wood on the back

Garry Wall Red Gum

Last but not least we have Mark Walters from Grimsby

Mark Walters

Mark ordered this cutaway Torridge
in Walnut after seeing Stuart Ryan perform with his

Mark Walters Walnut

That’s a nice reverse view showing off the Walnut in all its glory

June 2007

Our Lyn models have been popular
this month – here’s John Gourlay from Plymouth picking up his rosewood
& sitka 010

John Gourlay Lyn

John Scoble also dropped by and intercepted this beautiful reclaimed
Rio 015 Lyn on its way to the online
Shop

John Scoble

This one came with a custom Headstock inlay

And some top quality Rio on the back which
justifies another view

Back

Woody Mann invited us to bring along some guitars to
his blues workshop weekend at Totnes recently and liked this Tamar
so much he played it throughout the course

Woody Crew

Brook owners were well represented there and you may see some familiar
faces in the crowd.

Woody and Simon

And here’s one of Woody suggesting that Simon lets him keep the Tamar

Of course we had to politely decline. That Tamar is now in the Shop
as well




May 2007

This is a close up of a custom 12th fret inlay we’ve just finished for
Jud who comes from Ireland

12 fret Jud

Take a step back and you can see that it’s
a beautiful birds eye maple
Taw

Juds Maple Taw

The 12th fret job wasn’t the only inlay Jud requested…

He also wanted this Celtic knot inlaid on the headstock
Headstock Inlay

We like putting these individual touches on our guitars to personalise
them for players and make them stand out even further from the crowd

But if you are the kind of player who simply can’t wait while we do
the tricky fiddly inlay stuff and you want to get your hands on a Brook
TODAY!…

… then you could do a lot worse than make your way to Intersound
in Dursley…

Teign Torridge Tamar

…That’s where these three are destined for. From the top that’s a
Teign
(dreadnought) a
Torridge
and a
Tamar.
You’d best be quick because they tend not to stay there for long.

Good luck

April 2007

Here’s Stephen Singleton’s beautiful new Clyst
made out of local walnut

Stephen Singleton Clyst

And here’s a closer look at that bridge

Bridge

Stephen decided quite a few years ago he was going to get a Brook and
ordered these splendid Rodgers tuners to compliment the walnut burl
veneer on the slotted headstock

Slotted Headstock

And this is a little Creedy
which went out to Tom Whitlow in New York a couple of weeks ago

Creedy

Tom wrote – “What a pleasant homecoming surprise! The Creedy
is a marvel and I am enjoying it immensely. It looks like a Brook, not
a something else wanna be. In other words, precisely what I wanted”

We also get asked to take on a lot of the more unusual
repair jobs that other people prefer not to tackle. Here’s an example…

Two Shiny Resonators

These are a couple of resonators which we were asked to fit new necks
for and upgrade the cones on

They turned out pretty nicely!


March 2007

We’ve just finished this wonderful guitar which we’d like to share with
you

Cutaway

It’s a rather exotic Rio Tamar 015
with quite a few custom additions – among them a laminated neck, veneered
back of the headstock and abalone logo, snakewood bindings and Waverly
tuners as well as a stunning set of reclaimed Rio Rosewood

The guitar now resides with James Boon, shown here on the day when he
came to pick it up.

Rio Tamar

Also here this month was Matthew Miles who was happy to be photographed
showing off this fetching Teign
dreadnought

Matthew came down to the workshop earlier in the year to make a short
film for his college project, we’re hoping to stream it on the site
when it’s completed

Matthew Miles

We’re also about to put a couple of new guitars up for sale in the SHOP
so watch this space…

February 2007

We’ve had a few visitors at the workshop this month as we’ve just finished
a rather lovely collection of new instruments

First up is Björn who came all the way from Sweden especially to
pick up his second Brook (he ordered this one when he came to collect
the previous one!)

Bjorn

His stunning new Clyst
is made from Grand Palisander

Grand Palisander Clyst

This view shows the exotic lines of this wood. We’d used this wood once
or twice before but it is extremely rare.

Palisander Close up

Here is a shot of the Clyst
(above) next to a Cedar and Rio
Lyn
(below)

Parlours

Next along was Ben Lewis who came to pick up his new Taw

Bens Taw

You can’t tell from the outside but Ben’s Taw
has double interlocking cross braces inside as Ben was looking for a
silky, archtop type sound. this is something we’ve been using on our
Dart
model but this was the first time we tried it on a
Taw.

Ben loved the results, which made the top a bit
more rigid and produced a jazzy, top-end flavour to the sound

As well as these indoor types we also had a couple of hardy souls who
chose to brave the Devon weather to get these daylight shots of their
new guitars

Julian Rowe outside

Julian Rowe (above) has been round to pick up his new Bovey
to go with the
Taw
he already has. The
Bovey
is in Yew and the
Taw
is Walnut

And next up is a friend who goes by the name of ‘Uke Stanza’. Uke is
playing his new Rio Lyn
(as seen with the
Clyst
above) As you can see, he already has one of our resonators so his collection
is expanding.

Uke Stanza

He will also be performing at the Anti-Folk weekend at the
12 Bar Club in London next weekend (Fri 16th and Sat 17th Feb)

January 2007

We’re just about to finish a fresh batch of guitars so we thought
we’d take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year and to give

you a quick snapshot of what’s happening in the workshop right now

Kev and Jack

Here are Kev & Jack in the groundfloor workshop

Andy and Andy

Meanwhile the two Andys
are upstairs in the sprayroom rubbing down and polishing

Melissa

and here’s Melissa working on a uke

We thought you might like to see a couple of stages in the Brook
building process so…

Bloodwood sets

…here are a few shots of a guitar we made for Gary in the States who
sent us this beautiful set of bloodwood to build his guitar from

Top and sides

here are the top and
sides ready to go together

along with the completed body

Tavy Body

Add a neck and a bit of magic and we have the finished guitar – this
one’s a Tavy

Tavy Finished

If yu have any exotic woods in mind for your own ideal guitar, let us
know what they are. We like to try new combinations. Especially when
they turn out like this one.

Happy New Year from the team at Brook
Guitars

News 2006

News Archive 2006

To scroll use the right scroll bar

Some people like things a wee bit different: amps that go up to 11 for
instance. Likewise for some acoustic guitar players, one soundhole just
isn’t enough…

Holy Moses

It doesn’t matter to us if you want half a dozen sound holes: just tell
us where you want them and we’ll see to the rest

One interesting feature this does afford us is the opportunity to take
some pictures from angles most people never see their guitars from

Don't see this every day

Nothing wrong with the conventional perspective either – this pic below
shows off the wedge-shaped contour on this truly unique cutaway Lyn
made for Kevin Hopper

These are two new custom options we are offering: whether it’s an extra
soundhole or the comfort of the wedge-shaped contour we are happy to
oblige. The wedge is tapered from a narrower upper side down to the
conventional width for the lower side. Playing this guitar in the workshop
has won us over to this new custom design feature

Wedgie

There’s nothing conventional about these beauties either, which are
on their way to the dealers. This Rio Taw
is on its way to Intersound in Dursley

red gum Lyn

And this cedar-topped Red Gum Lyn
is headed for Ivor Mairants in London

Cedar Top

The Red Gum has been popular this month and this Taw
shown below is also headed to Ivor Mairants

And this is yet another Red Gum guitar just off the presses. In this
case it’s a Torridge
featuring a pyramid bridge which has been built for Bob Harris

Wee Torridge

Get them while they’re hot!

October 2006

Season of mists and mellow tunefullness… Autumn has migrated here
and is turning the countryside various shades of reddish brown. Here
are a few of the latest inspirational arrivals and departures

First up: this lovely couple are worthy of an ode or two surely?

Lovely Pair

The Lacewood Torridge
in the foreground has flown off to Ivor Mairants music shop in London.
The
Lyn
in American Red Gum was last seen at Intersound in Dursley, Gloucestershire

David Perkins

David Perkins here is also taking advantage
of the mild spell to get out and play his guitars outdoors. He now has
added new walnut Tavy Baritone to
complement the Lyn he bought last
year.

We also noted the arrival of this nice little Creedy
in Rio Rosewood

Cutaway

It features a distictive cutaway and some quite
wonderful straight grained Rio

Straight Rio

It plays rather beautifully too – but you’ll have
to take our word for that

Whole view

They never seem to hang around though… one minute they’re here, next
they’ve fluttered off…

September 2006

English woods are becoming ever more popular and are showing up time
and again in our order book these days. It’s lucky we’ve got some good
sources down here in the westcountry.

Nick Kail Yew Taw

Nick Kail here has just collected his new Taw
in English Yew. This wood has become so popular that we’re rapidly running
out of stock. The last lot was top notch and came from an estate near
Exeter and we’d better try to find some more before we get down to the
last set

Mick Crook Walnut Torridge

Mick Crook is another who likes to keep it local. Here he can be seen
with his brand new custom Torridge
which is made from English Walnut which we got from North Devon and
cut up ourselves. Mick’s guitar features a lovely cutaway and his initials
inlaid at the 12th fret

Mick Crook Walnut Torridge2

This batch of Walnut has been particularly striking and our customers
have appreciated it too. So much so that we’re also going to have to
get hold of some more of that as well.

As well as the Walnut and Yew we’ve also been making quite a few guitars
from Cherry and Lacewood so it would be fair to say that the English
woods are performing pretty well this season.

We’ll let you know when we get some our
hands on some new stock,
so watch this space…

August 2006

This month’s most striking new arrivals are this pair of matching travel
guitars for our German friend, the inimitable ‘Robespierre’

Twin Travel gtrs

One 6 string, one 12 , both with moustachio bridges, this pair are positively
bristling with custom features, including Robespierre’s initial at the
12th fret…

Inlay

…not to mention his name on the headstock…

Robespierre has always been a colourful performer but he’ll be even
more unmistakable now he has these eye-catching beauties

twin heads

Other happy customers this month include Robert Spence and his lovely
Ovankol Taw
with cutaway

Robert Spence

Howard Bragen is also perched pretty happily in his tree with his new
Tamar

Howard Bragen

…And Doug McCarthey couldn’t wait to get out and climb trees so he
is shown here in the workshop making some wonderful sounds with his
new long scale Clyst
parlour model

Doug McCarthey

That’s quite a few satisfied customers this month and we just continue
to get busier and busier: and for that we thank you!

July 2006

We’ve got a lovely bunch of cutaways…

Glitzy Okement

This month we’ve had a few guitars featuring cutaways come to completion.
Above is Bob’s Rio Okement
which also features some fancy inlay work

Taw Cutaway

And this one is a nice drop cutaway on an Ovankol Taw
which belongs to local player Robert down here in the westcountry

Florentine Tamar

This is an American Red Gum Tamar
which is now on its way to Daniel in Sweden

We also do a nice Venetian style cutaway (which is more rounded than
the ‘sharp-looking’ Florentine cutaways seen here. Maybe we’ll have
one of those to show you next month

June 2006

This is our friend Chris Ayliffe who comes by regularly to our workshop
and sometimes walks off with a new guitar – but not before entertaining
us with his bluesy fingerstyle picking

Chris And his Lyn

On this occasion he was here to pick up his new 12 string Lyn
which is now part of a double act as Chris already has the 6 string
version (behind)
Proof positive that one good thing can lead to another

Dolphin Inlay

Talking about good things, Jack has just added this lovely inlaid dolphin
to a fine grand palisander Tamar
for Mike Keogh

Often it’s the little touches like these which make an instrument stand
out from the crowd

Also this month, we’re very proud to get a mention in the credits of
the new Scritti Politti CD which has just reached the shelves
Scritti Liner Notes

Green Gartside took one of our guitars into the studio at the start
of this project and it features quite a lot throughout the CD

It’s rewarding to hear our guitars play a part in the gorgeous Scritti
Politti sound

May 2006

This month has been hectic and we apologise to regular visitors for
the late posting of the monthly news bulletin

This has been due to time constraints forced on us by so many of you
who have been on the phone hoping that your guitars are ready

Richard James

All is now well in the Brook workshop now that these guys have their
new guitars in their hands and smiles upon their faces – Above is Richard
James sporting his brand new nylon strung Little
Silver
which he has just taken home

Richard Clough

And this is Richard Clough who now owns a lovely new Tamar
but couldn’t wait to get it home and began playing in the garden here!

Tony Burger

And Tony Burger here is now in possession of his new walnut Torridge
and he too felt the need to sit on the grass and get to grips with it

John Bell and Simon

You lot have certainly kept us busy this month but being great believers
in fine attention to detail, that’s the way we like it. We’re happy
to spend the time it takes to get you the guitar that you want and that
means we do a whole lot of listening

John Bell is seen here discussing wood choices and the finer details
of the guitar he wanted us to make for him

Yew Back

He decided to get himself a nice Clyst
in Yew and we think he’s pretty satisfied with the results. Yew is such
a strikingly coloured wood and more and more people are opting for this
as their own preference

We look forward to a busy summer and hope to see a lot more of you sitting
on the grass in our garden

April 2006

Seems we were a bit premature and optimistic with the last bulletin,
declaring winter to be over…

Snow

This was the scene here a couple of weeks ago… Brrrrrrrrr!

Rio Tavy

Still, come inside and warm your fingers on this nice bit of Rio which
we’ve turned into a lovely Tavy

Tavy 2

That’s quite heartwarming isn’t it?

Rio Closeup

It looks warm, it feels warm and guess what…

It sounds as warm as well

Hopefully in a couple of weeks we’ll be sitting outside on the grass
doing some ‘open air testing’

March 2006

Winter is drawing to a close and Spring will be with us shortly
We have not been in hibernation though and this shot of the business
end of the workshop is testimony to our application through the dark
months

Many Guitars


Just as the guitars are finished though, people tend to turn up and
take them away from us – like Nick McCooke here who initially bought
a
Tavy
from Ivor Mairants shop in London and then subsequently liked it so
much that he came to us directly for this
Lyn
in birds eye maple and
Bovey
in walnut

Nick McCooke

Then there was Paul Downing who came and relieved
us of this lovely fretless
Otter
bass

Paul Downing

And then one of the finest Taws
we’ve ever made (in Sequoia and Rio) was taken home by Marcus here,
who obviously appreciates the view from the back of this guitar

Marcus and his Taw

The Sequoia on the top is pretty nice too we thought…

Nice Grain

…And that’s not to mention the headstock veneer…

Headstock Veneer

…But we have to admit that the back is worth
another look…

Rio Back

It’s been a struggle getting to our isolated workshop
on some days this winter, what with all the snow down here recently
but I’m sure these pics willl help connoisseurs of fine guitars appreciate
that it’s all been worthwhile


February 2006

We’ve been having a ‘small is beautiful’ theme this month
Here are a few of the results…

Foursome

From the left that’s a steel string Holly,
a Holly
Tiple, a nylon string
Holly and
a slightly larger
Bovey

Holly Tiple

The Holly
Tiple here is going to be despatched to Greece to meet its new owner

We’re really happy with this little lot and I
think the clients will be too


January 2006

We would like to announce the arrival of a newcomer to the virtual high
street:

Brook Guitars: the virtual shop has landed and is open for business

Shop

Basically the thinking behind this is that we receive a lot of calls
from people who are in a hurry and want a guitar immediately – without
waiting for the 9 months it can take to build a custom instrument.

So we’ve begun to make some guitars without actually having a buyer
in mind.

This means that from now on we will usually have
a small number of completed guitars in the workshop at any time so that
clients can monitor this shop section and call us to see what we have
and what’s coming along shortly

First on the list is this custom Lyn
015

Lyn  News Archive 2008-2006

This model is in Spruce and Brazilian Rosewood and is a delight to play

Look in the shop for
more details

News Archives 2005-2003

December 2005

A very Merry Xmas to Yew…

News Archives 2005-2003 Tom Hardy

This is Tom Hardy braving the winter cold to pose outside the Brook workshop with his new Torridge in Spruce and Yew

We continue to use Yew as a tonewood even though it is often overlooked by other luthiers. Why? Because we like it!…

….And so does Tom. Which is more to the point!

News Archive Roger Cockram seen here collecting his brand new Tavy

Accompanying Tom this month are Roger Cockram seen here collecting his brand new Tavy

News Archives 2005-2003

…and Mathew Young, whose Brook Torridge was shipped all the way to the USA – so Mathew could enjoy it while sitting on his porch. Mathew came across our guitars from visiting the
Michael Hurley and Woody Mann websites.
Well that seems to have put a smile on all three of their faces… Job done?

So what shall we do next year? More of the same?

Call us with your suggestions!



November 2005

With Autumn upon us we’ve had to stop ‘road testing’ the guitars outside while sitting on the lawn and get down to some serious building – using some serious woods, as we love to do. First off the production line this month comes this wonderful ‘fruit ‘n’ nut’ creation

Cherry Walnut News Archive 2005

That’s Cherry / Walnut in case you hadn’t guessed and this particular Tavy is now available from Intersound in Dursley

News Archives 2005-2003

Then there’s this beatiful bit of Rio on this Lyn for local favourite Chris Ayliffe

Back view above, front view below. Nice bit of inlay round the fretboard on this one too

News Archives 2005-2003

We’ve also been working on this custom drop cutaway for Simon Othen who plays with ‘The Machine Breakers’

News Archives 2005-2003

…as well as this nice Blackwood and Maple neck (an attractive choice) on this Taw for Tom Brookes (No relation, although we deliberately mis-spelled our Logo on his guitar’s headstock)

News Archives 2005-2003

And just to sweeten things off we’ve done this sugarcube inlay for Gary Wallace

News Archives 2005-2003

It’s been a very busy month but I’m sure you’ll agree it’s all been worthwhile in the end. Sweet as…



October 2005

This is a lovely one-off semi acoustic instrument we have just completed
Our client wanted something a bit jazzy

News Archives 2005-2003

And that is exactly what he has got here. We don’t make many of these but we have to admit that this one is rather fetching with its ‘f’ holes, ebony scratch plate and volume / tone knobs and its tobacco sunburst finish

News Archives 2005-2003

We were so happy with this one and were on the point of thinking of ourselves as a jazz guitar workshop when Stuart Ryan showed up to remind us that what we do best is making top quality acoustic guitars

News Archives 2005-2003

This is Stuart’s new Lacewood and Sitka Baritone Tavy and just hearing him put it through its paces leaves us in no doubt that we’ll be concentrating mainly on the acoustic guitar in the future

News Archives 2005-2003

The strange thing was that just as we had taken these pics and reassured ourselves that we were out-and-out acoustic builders, Stuart sat down with the Tavy and started playing loads of those jazzy chords on it!

September 2005

Here is a lovely bunch of fives for you

News Archives 2005-2003

This is the Brook team taking a last chance to road test this little quintet of guitars which are ready to head up to London to Ivor Mairants music shop in Rathbone Place,
just off Oxford Street

There are some lovely instruments here and we don’t expect them to hang around at Mairants for too long – they usually get snapped up pretty quickly so if you want to give them a play you’d better be quick

Also we can’t let this month pass without noting the recent death of Eric Roche

News Archives 2005-2003

Eric was extremely well known and hugely repected in British guitar circles and further afield, both as an exemplary and exciting performer and also as a valued teacher. He will be missed

August 2005


This is part of a large shipment of recently acquired American Red Gum which is a wood we have had to seek out in order to keep up with the increasing demand from you lot

News Archives 2005-2003

We’ve made quite a few guitars with this wood recently: none more fetching than this Torridge  sported by Jordan Humber who recently paid us a visit

News Archives 2005-2003

Jordan was more than happy to do the familiar Brook photoshoot and sit on the lawn under one of the many trees outside our workshop and coax the first tunes out of his new guitar

News Archives 2005-2003

This Red Gum is a bit of a success story for us and we are constantly surprised that few other builders use it because it is so bright and strikingly featured as well. It’s definitely an option for players who like to stick out from the crowd…

… players like Jordan himself who is certainly one to watch out for in future

July 2005

These two guys are Peter Heredge and Dave Towers and they have a couple of things in common

News Archives 2005-2003

News Archives 2005-2003

As well as the fact that they have just taken ownership of their new Brook guitars, they both specified that they would like a bit of custom decor on the form of inlays

News Archives 2005-2003

Dave wanted a 12 fret inlay of his name and a headstock featuring a stag with some pretty impressive antlers

News Archives 2005-2003

Peter wanted a specific wave image on his 12th fret and we were happy to oblige

We are finding more and more customers want this kind of custom job done and we are dedicating more time to it as a result

If you have any imaginitive ideas for inlays, let us know them and we’ll be happy to put them on a guitar for you

June 2005

We have just sent 3 of our guitars off with Steve here from ‘Intersound Music’ in Dursley in Gloucestershire and if you happen to live near the area then you will have a special opportunity to try them out this Wednesday (15th of June)

News Archives 2005-2003

Place and time is: 7.30pm at the Prince of Wales on the A38 between Dursley and Berkley featuring an evening of music from Adrian Byron-Burns and a chance to try the Brook guitars and one lucky attendee will win a competition with a guita as a prize (Not a Brook)

Enjoy!

May 2005

A couple of things we are proud of at Brook Guitars are that our guitars travel across the globe through many time zones and that the people who buy one usually come back for more

News Archives 2005-2003

So while the shadows lengthen in the evening sun and Yves Pilon from Canada is looking through his impressive array of guitars, including a couple of Brooks and deciding to play this new slotted headstock Creedy…

News Archives 2005-2003

…Terence is in Holland playing a bit of Bach at lunchtime on his new nylon strung Bovey, again with a nice slotted headstock…

News Archives 2005-2003

…and Amy Smithard and her husband Ross are tucked up in bed in Australia (no we can’t provide any pictures) but before they hit the hay they did this duet on Ross’s Kit and Amy’s brand new mini bouzouki.

So we can probably assume that at any time on any day, somebody somewhere is playing a Brook! Feel free to join in.




April 2005

This lovely piece of walnut belongs to the very lucky Andrew Horth


News Archives 2005-2003

Andrew liked what we’d done with the walnut so much that he picked up a few stray offcuts, handed them to Jack and asked him to do some inlay wizardry on the headstock in the form of a howling wolf

News Archives 2005-2003

Jack was happy to oblige and went one better by offering to do a further custom job on the fretboard: this time featuring Andrew’s initials inlaid in abalone

News Archives 2005-2003

These are just some of the many ways we can customise new guitars, so that players can feel that they’ve got something truly unique and with a completely personal touch


March 2005

Doug McCarthey looks like a guitar player facing an enjoyable quandary: which lovely new walnut guitar to put down first in order to play the other one?

News Archives 2005-2003

Doug liked our batch of local English Walnut so much he had us salvage a few smaller pieces in order to make matching headstock veneers for this pair

News Archives 2005-2003

Doug decided that he’d like a Taw for playing in standard tuning but would prefer something a bit bigger for when he likes to play in dropped tunings like open ‘C’

News Archives 2005-2003

The larger guitar is a Tamar and is a size above the Taw.
Doug’s
Tamar also has a longer scale length because it’s to be used primarily in dropped tunings

News Archives 2005-2003

However you want to tune them, or whatever you care to play on them, that Walnut’s going to give you some nice tone. We think it’s quite easy on the eye as well

February 2005

This is Andy Guttry who has just picked up a couple of guitars he ordered: a Creedy with moustachio bridge and a Santos Rosewood Tamar

News Archives 2005-2003

Andy plays with local band ‘Drivin’ South’ and it looks like he’ll now have to expand his on-stage guitar rack to make room for the new additions

The fretboard of the Creedy shows off a nice snowflake inlay

News Archives 2005-2003

And this shot of the back shows the quality of the striking local walnut we used in making this guitar

News Archives 2005-2003

We’re looking forward to working with a lot more of this walnut as the year progresses as we have some very good quality sets in stock at the moment


January 2005

We’d like to wish you all a very Big Happy New Year from all at Brook Guitars

And while we’re talking ‘Big’ we’d like to kick off the year with a couple of Big Big guitars which we’ve just completed: starting with this Otter fretless bass

News Archives 2005-2003

This bass belongs to Rick Cook of ‘Dirty Money’: an Exeter-based band. Rick and his son both did a building course with us recently and they both built rather fetching ukuleles. Good to see that Rick likes the big instruments too though!

Another customer who came back for something a bit bigger is Lucy Monroe. We made a Tavy
for Lucy a couple of years ago and this time round she has chosen another
Tavy model but with a larger baritone scale length

News Archives 2005-2003

We particularly enjoyed making this attractive guitar because of the gorgeous Myrtle back and sides and the adventurous inlay which was designed by Lucy’s husband, Dave.

News Archives 2005-2003

We’re now looking forward to making some more guitars of all shapes and sizes in the months ahead: so all you have to do is to keep telling us what you want to be playing!

News 2004

News Archive 2004

To scroll use the right scroll bar

December 2004

We’re very proud to feature so prominently in this new CD by Stuart Ryan

News Archives 2005-2003

Stuart obviously doesn’t like to be far away from his Brook Torridge as we can see from the front and back pictures of his artwork – (he also uses it on the recordings which are a mix of his own compositions and a few standards)

The renowned Martin Taylor has described Stuart as “One of the finest guitarists of the younger generation” – so he’s well worth seeking out if you enjoy adventurous and exciting guitar music

News Archives 2005-2003

Stuart’s Torridge is a custom model in Rosewood and Sitka and he’s obviously pretty happywith it because we’re going to be working on a second instrument for him and also does many teaching sessions and clinics. He has also recently started writing articles for ‘Guitar Techniques’ magazine.

November 2004

For those of you who have been monitoring our love of small travel guitars and Ukuleles here is a real treat. Hot off the Brook Guitars production line comes the first ever Holly in an attractive cedar and rosewood combo

This is the newest addition to the stable and we are very proud of this particular fledgling: this is the smallest 6 string we have made

News Archives 2005-2003


This picture gives you an idea of scale as the
Holly sits on a small Jumbo.

The body is actually made from the same mould as a Concert size Ukulele so this is small even by travel guitar standards and yet is surprisingly playable with a 487mm scale length

News Archives 2005-2003


Watch out for 4 of our guitars at the
Ivor Mairants stall at this years’

Music Live Festival on the  13th – 15th November  at the Birmingham NEC



October 2004

Here are a couple of the more remarkable Brook Guitars which have rolled off the production line recently and are now off to their proud new owners including Mr Mark Robinson pictured here

News Archives 2005-2003

Mark is soon off to a convention in Aspen Colorado and his Tamar is suitably prepared for the trip as it features a mountain scene which was done by Jack (right)

News Archives 2005-2003

Jack’s prowess as an inlay artist can also be seen on the headstock of this cherry 12 string Tamar featuring a Red Kite

News Archives 2005-2003

We are happy to set new challenges in front of Jack so if you want a custom inlay done on your guitar then call us… and draw us a picture … or just describe it and we’ll put a few ideas together. Then we’ll leave Jack to get on with it.



September 2004

Those of you who have more than a passing interest in Brook Guitars will know that we build our instruments min an idyllic setting: in a converted barn in the beautiful Devon countryside on the edge of Dartmoor. We can’t just hang on to them all here though; there comes a time when we have to release them into the bigger wider world out there. Some of them end up in the outback of Australia or up in the Norwegian Fjords.

This lovely little Creedy with custom Moustachioed bridge has winged its way to the windy city in the USA: Chicago – ‘the Home of the Blues’

News Archives 2005-2003

Well, at least that’s what we can make out from Mike Jaron’s T-Shirt. He sent us this pic of himself with his new guitar in its new home.

We’ve been looking at this pic and wondering… ‘Is that the Sears Tower in the background? Answers to the usual address.

August 2004

With the Olympic Games going on at the moment there is an element of competition in the air. These two gentlemen seem to be fighting it out for the gold medal in the ‘Number of Brooks Accumulated’ category.

First up is Mr Tony Kerry who has recently taken delivery of a wonderful new Tamar with cutaway to add to his 5 other Brooks

News Archives 2005-2003

Displaying a wonderful aspect from both front and back (Bearclaw Sitka Spruce and Santos Rosewood) the judges will find it difficult to award anything other than a perfect 10 for style

News Archives 2005-2003

Pushing him all the way though is Mr Steve Bennett from Ely who has recently added this concert Ukulele to his own collection; and this little uke also deseves a perfect score for artistic impression for the attention to detail it exhibits.

News Archives 2005-2003

These two heavyeights are both currently sitting on a score of 6 Brooks each and spectators should realise that this is a Marathon and not a sprint so sit back and enjoy the show and we’ll let you know who prevails in this clash of the Titans!



July 2004

Something old and something new for this month’s updates. This battered old thing is one of the first ever Brook guitars we produced.

News Archives 2005-2003

It’s been about a bit, as it’s a hard-working, touring guitar which belongs to none other than TV Smith (see our Gallery of Brook artists) and has returned to base for a bit of TLC

It seems it recently had a disagreement with an unnamed airline and came off second best. Actually that’s nothing compared to some of the treatment TV Smith subjects it to in his stage performances!

News Archives 2005-2003

To alleviate the stress of viewers who were offended by the previous pictures, here are some new gleaming guitars and ukes straight off the production line.

News Archives 2005-2003

They’ll soon be in the hands of their new owners… And no, we don’t let TV Smith do any road testing!

June 2004

Do not adjust your monitor – this custom headstock is meant to be asymetrical

News Archives 2005-2003

Here is Kevin modelling the finished guitar – A Dart with Florentine cutaways

News Archives 2005-2003

And if that’s not enough to satisfy your appetite for the month of June then feast your eyes on the fancy Bridge and beautiful Walnut on board this lovely Creedy Parlour guitar.

News Archives 2005-2003

As well as the asymetrical headstocks, some of our customers have taken a liking to this moustachioed bridge which we first began doing last year

Look in next month to see what our enterprising customers have chosen to keep us busy with over the summer


May 2004

This is Cams enjoying the sunshine in his back garden along with the darling buds of May and a brand new
Bovey which we’ve just finished for him

News Archives 2005-2003

It’s quite lovely as you can see from this close up

News Archives 2005-2003

It also bears Cams’ own choice of inlay which is appropriate for a Scotsman – this eyecatching thistle

News Archives 2005-2003

This happy couple are now off to live contentedly in Luxembourg. Now that’s a first for us as far as we know. Any Luxembourgers who own a Brook, please feel free to write to us and correct us if this is not the first of our guitars to make it to your area

News Archives 2005-2003

As well as featuring some of the finest Rio on the back and sides of this Bovey the fretboard is also in this classic wood

And as if that’s not enough, Cams is taking a little and large approach to our guitars – this is just the first instalment – he also has a Baritone on order with us which we hope will be just as spectacular as this little chap

April 2004

We recently furnished Stuart Ryan here with a new guitar. Nothing special about that you might think – we make new guitars for great players all the time

News Archives 2005-2003

But when we were introduced to Stuart we realised that he was the third player who has won the prestigious ‘Guitarist Magazine’ guitar player of the year award and has also chosen to play a Brook

The others are Michael Watts who won in 2001

News Archives 2005-2003

And Steve Yates who won in 1999

News Archives 2005-2003

One thing that these guys have in common is that they are obviously extremely talented. We are simply very proud that they also have all chosen to ask us to build their instruments for them. They are all professional players and we can’t hope for a higher accolade than to be making guitars for players of this calibre.

March 2004

This lovely Cedar topped
Torridge is soon headed off to warmer climes in Portugal

News Archives 2005-2003

While it’s he’re calling it the ‘Fruit ‘n’ Nut guitar because the back features a piece
of Cherry sandwiched between two pieces of local English Walnut. The neck also features a Cherry strip

News Archives 2005-2003

It has a delicious Walnut veneer on the headstock as well

News Archives 2005-2003

Now that’s quite a tasteful and tasty dish!

February 2004

Koa and cutaways are on the menu for February this year. This pic shows
us testing a Koa-topped
Lyn and an interesting cutaway Taw with bazouki tuning

News Archives 2005-2003

Here is a close-up of the Lyn. Back and sides are from Mahogany and this unusual wood combination gives this little guitar a very unique sound and character. The pyramid bridge and abalone also help set it apart from the rest

News Archives 2005-2003

This pic shows a Dart we’ve been working on which features a few custom options to the standard model. The cutaways are Florentine to give it an even more strinking curve than usual

News Archives 2005-2003

Coupled with this modified body, we’ll be adding an asymmetrical headstock and bridge so watch this space to see how this one comes out

January 2004

Mike Keogh here has just collected this gorgeous custom
Taw to help him see in the New Year

Mike Keoch News Archives 2005-2003

It comes with some of the finest local English Walnut we’ve ever had the pleasure of working with

Mike Keoch's Walnut News Archives 2005-2003

Not to mention the added touch of a Triscal inlay in abalone on the headstock

Mike Keoch's Headstock News Archives 2005-2003

Now that goes rather nicely with those ebony tuners doesn’t it?

News 2003

December 2003

The last bulletin of 2003 is all about globetrotting. This is Paolo Lubrano.

Paolo Lubrano in the shop News Archives 2005-2003

Paolo is now officially the most determined of Brook customers having come all the way from Turin in Italy to visit our workshop – he got a flight from Italy to Stanstead, a taxi to a hostel overnight in London, a train to Exeter, a connection to Yeoford where
we picked him up in the car. We booked him in to our favourite B&B in Yeoford that evening, took him out for a meal and he travelled back the following morning

He went away with a Lyn that we had lying around waiting for a suitable suitor – plus our appreciation for his endeavours

And this is Ross Smithard from Australia. G’day Ross…

Ross Smithard and Kit in the  Outback News Archives 2005-2003

Ross ordered a Kit mini travel guitar with a slotted headstock and Fishman Matrix pickup system. He sent us this picture of him taken the other evening with his new instrument just after it had arrived.

It’s heartwarming to know that our guitars are becoming sought after across the globe and we’d like to thank Ross and Paolo for seeking us out when there must have been simpler options in their vicinity.

November 2003

Custom touches are an increasingly popular way to personalise your instrument and that is exactly what guitar picker Kai Rune has opted for here

Headstock with Fjord Scene News Archives 2005-2003

Kai is a Norwegian living in London and has decided to incorporate a bit of Norway on his headstock with this fjord scene. Kai supplied a photo and we set about trying to re-create it in an inlay. We decided on smoky pearl, walnut, spalted beech and thuja burl for the most appropriate materials and the end result is quite striking.

Kai Rune and Tamar News Archives 2005-2003

Kai’s initials are also inlaid at the 12th fret and overall the effect is a very individual Tamar

Flamed Walnut and Bearclaw Sitka News Archives 2005-2003

He opted for a lovely wood combination of English flamed walnut for the body and purfling with dark bearclawed sitka for the top.

Now that’s good taste!

October 2003

It’s been a while since we made one of these but this is an example of our Otter acoustic Bass, being modelled here by Kevin, one of our team of luthiers

Otter Acoustic Bass News Archives 2005-2003

The last Otter we made was a fretless model but this one is fretted which is the preference of Mr Eric Anderson from Norway who seems to have taken a liking to some of our less common models (see News for June 2003) This particular Otter is in Indian rosewood and European spruce with an 864mm (standard 34″) scale length and has a tobacco sunburst finish

Moving from one end of the spectrum to the other, we recently had the pleasure of attending some concerts by the inimitable Michael Hurley who took a few moments out of his busy schedule to try his particular magic on one of our Bovey travel guitars. They seem to have got on rather well together

Michael Hurley and Bovey News Archives 2005-2003

We had to prise them apart afterwards but we took these pics just before

Michael Hurley Close News Archives 2005-2003

The gigs were fantastic – in case you were wondering

September 2003

One of the local woods we like to use in our shop is Yew. It isn’t employed as widely as Rosewoods and Mahogany in the guitar building world but there are some who like to seek out something a bit different and we are impressed with both the sound and the appearance of this tone wood.

Tim Marks Taw Close News Archives 2005-2003

This is a Yew-backed Taw and it belongs to Tim Marks here who obviously likes a few personal touches such as a slotted headstock and a bit of 12th fret inlay for good measure.

Tim Marks Taw 2 News Archives 2005-2003

August 2003

While you lot have been enjoying the heatwave we’ve been getting on with producing our recent crop of instruments. There are a whole load on their way to Hank’s Music
Store
up in London but this one won’t make it that far as it has already been intercepted en route by Mr John Tootle (pictured)

Cocobolo Tamar News Archives 2005-2003

It’s quite a unique instrument – A cocobolo Tamar with a scale length of 640 mm which means it’s a nice hybrid size for players who combine a bit of picking and strumming

Cocobolo News Archives 2005-2003

That cocobolo is a fine wood and produces some stunning results Here’s a peek at the top which sports some nice decor too

Guitar Top Close up News Archives 2005-2003

The remainder of our output for this month should be arriving at Hank’s any day now and here’s a preview below The full order list is: Rosewood Kit, Rosewood Lyn Bird’s Eye Maple Torridge, Ovangkol Taw, Gum Okement, Rosewood Teign, Rosewood Bovey and finally an Ovangkol Taw

A true Brook Connoisseur could pick them out from this picture!

Hanks Job Lot of Guitars News Archives 2005-2003

We also received a visit recently from ‘Guitar‘ magazine who wanted to do a piece featuring some shots of our workshop. You can see a full transcript of the article  here

(warning – it is approx 400kb)

July 2003

This little job might look like a guitar but in fact it is our first ever Brook Uke

Ukulele interior News Archives 2005-2003

If this one satisfies our curiosity and our exacting standards we have tentative plans for introducing soprano, concert, tenor and baritone size models to the Brook range

Uke Go Bar Deck News Archives 2005-2003

Looks pretty good once it’s strung up

Ukulele standing News Archives 2005-2003

So why are we moving into this area? Simple; because of the weight of public demand. The Ukulele is becoming more and more popular and people have been inquiring if we built them.

For instance, such organisations as ‘The Ukulele Research & Development Society’
(pictured) simply could not manage to function if there was a shortage of top qualty Ukes

The Ukulele Reasearch and Development Society News Archives 2005-2003

Some might think that was no bad thing! The guy in the pith helmet is none other than Sir Humphrey Comfy. The others are probably on day release from a local hospital in Exeter

This lot meet every month in Exeter. So if you’ve got a uke and a silly hat (required) why not join in?

June 2003

Anyone for Darts?

Dart in ya face! News Archives 2005-2003


This is our model called the Dart, named after the river on Dartmoor.
Now and again somebody orders one and we get to build one of these, but because of its specialist nature it is one of our less well known models.

However, there are some people out there who just aren’t satisfied with a single cutaway and opt for the double cut as featured on the Dart

Dart before gluing top News Archives 2005-2003

We’ve been working on this one recently and that gives us the opportunity to show you some pics of it’s development through the build process

The picture above gives a revealing internal view of the double cutaway and the bracing on this instrument.

Once it’s got its top fitted and has visited the spray shop it looks ready for the road

Dart ready to go News Archives 2005-2003

And that’s just as well because after this particular Dart has been given a thorough test and we’ve taken some close-ups of the custom inlay work, then it’s off to Mr Eric Anderson from Norway who has ordered this one and would like to hear it ASAP

May 2003

Here’s Jack modelling our latest 4-string creation ( We’re not quite sure what we’re calling this yet) We always enjoy this ‘road testing’ part of the process It was made for Mike Selley who has now managed to get hold of three of our instruments. The scale length on this one is 560mm and Mike intended it to be tuned D-G-B-E but it works equally as well tuned as a standard mandola

Jack and the beanie and the headstock inlay News Archives 2005-2003

It sports a kingfisher inlay on the asymmetrical headstock (see news bulletin for July 2002) and we’re shortly going to be completing a 6-string version with the same body design so watch this space

Headstock Inlay News Archives 2005-2003

Three of our guitars have also just left for Ivor Mairants ready for the London Guitar Show at Wembley Arena (10th and 11th May) and a couple more have been sent to the London Resonator Centre in Islington so London residents and visitors are going to be spoiled for choice in the Brook department… at least until they all get snapped up

April 2003

You’re not seeing double. Don’t adjust anything… just meet the Creedy twins…

Lovely Pair News Archives 2005-2003

This pair of parlours were made for a German customer called Franz Mang. Franz has a band called Robespierre and will be using these on stage.

They were both made in Sitka Spruce and English walnut with a bridge inspired by a Victorian parlour guitar. Here’s a closer look at the six string

Moustachio Bridge News Archives 2005-2003

Sometimes it hurts to pack ’em up and post ’em!

Creedys Top to Tail News Archives 2005-2003

March 2003

The latest CD from Adrian Legg is now available in the shops and from his site and we’re excited to see that his beloved Creedy is not only the main guitar for the body of the album but Adrian also decided to feature it in the artwork!

Guitar Bones by Adrian Legg News Archives 2005-2003

This snippet from the recording information on the back cover pinpoints where you can hear the Creedy in action

Recording Notes News Archives 2005-2003

We also heard reports that Adrian’s one-off show in London recently was a fantastic event. A London show is rare treat for UK fans of this virtuoso guitarist as he is kept busy in the States most of the time. Still, if you missed it, the album is a real delight and it’s refreshing to hear Adrian put a fine acoustic through its paces

February 2003

This Baritone Tavy is the most intriguing of our recent guitars

Baritone in the Snow News Archives 2005-2003

Sled and snow are optional extras but the rest of the details are:

Rosewood/European spruce. 690mm scale length.
Tuned C F Bb Eb G C D’Addario Heavy 14-59 phosphor bronze strings.

Previously we’ve made our baritones with a longer scalelength and the lower A – A tuning. For this instrument we’ve shortened the scalelength to give us an instrument that is a lot closer in feel to a standard guitar but also adds a huge rich depth to the sound.

Ever wished you could tune your guitar down a couple of notches without any loss in volume or sustain?…

January 2003

For the first News item of 2003 we are proud to announce that Portishead’s Beth Gibbons’ solo CD is available now

Beth CD Cover News Archives 2005-2003

Beth, Paul Webb and Adrian Utley all have Taws and were recently seen giving a stunning performance on the TV programme ‘Later, with Jools Holland’

Here’s a shot of Beth at our workshop playing a 12 string version of the Taw

Beth Gibbons in the Workshop News Archives 2005-2003