Brookguitars News May 2021

May 2021

This May, as the expression goes, ‘it’s been raining cats and dogs’. Although of debateable origin it does allow us a tentative link to the photos following these Dartmoor shots of West Mill Tor and Yes Tor I took last week –

Three Dartmoor Shots

Tim’s delighted with his new koa Lamorna and, by the look of it, Tigger’s relaxed with the new addition to the family!

Tim and Tigger

T.V. has been playing live request shows over the lockdown as his intense gigging schedule came to an abrupt halt. Over the period he’s played 250 of his own songs – without repeats!

TV Live Stream

One viewer sent in these photos of a couple of TV’s new online feline fans.

TV Cats

Dave came down from North Devon to pick up his new Blackwater.

Dave and his Blackwater

He got back to us later “Just wanted to say thank you – to be part of the creation makes it even more unique and personal, the way the natural colours of the wood have come out are just stunning and it sounds and plays beautifully”……Thanks Dave, we appreciate the kind words!

Brook Blackwater May 2021

Owain’s new Weaver joins three other Brooks in his collection – a Torridge, Lamorna and a Cary. The Weaver‘s back and sides are made of an old mahogany school bench top Owain brought over to the workshop last year.

Owain's Weaver

John, from Bath, brought in his 2017 Lyn and we fitted a K&K Pure Mini pickup.

Lyn Cutaway with a K&K

Brian called in with his slightly older Okement. He bought it in Hanks, in Denmark Street, way back in 1998 and it’s served him well ever since. It was the first time Brian had visited the workshop so we honoured our normal offer of a free first set-up!

Brian and his Brook Okement

Apologies for the slightly shorter news this month, as you can see from the case collection, we’ve been inundated with repairs and we’re attempting to work our way through them one by one……

Cases

Including extensive work on this rather battered 1964 Gibson Dove.

Dove Repair

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 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!

Brook Guitars News October 2020

October 2020

Dev was featured in a previous issue of our occasional magazine Babbling Brook.

Dev and his Brook Torridge

He was hoping to come over to pick up his second Brook, this Lamorna, but because of Covid that’s obviously not on for a while so we’ve just sent it over to him by courier.

Dev's New Brook Lamorna
This time Dev went for rosewood with an Adirondack top.

Dev's Lamorna Close Up
We’d made this little Abbey for our shop,

Brook Abbey For Sale
It’s has a 595 mm  scale, European spruce top, a pyramid bridge

Brook Abbey close up
And rosewood back and sides. If you’re interested in this guitar just get in touch.

Rosewood Brook Abbey
Jack’s been busy converting some old mahogany boards brought in by customers into guitar sets.

Jack Resawing Matt’s was stored for years in his father’s carpentry workshop and is going to be a Lamorna. Owain’s, rescued from old school benches, will be shortly be used to make a Weaver!

Mahogany Guitar Sets
I’ve been making up a new set of bending forms, we’ve been using the old ones for twenty five years and were getting a little worse for wear!

Brook Bending Forms

We were rather pleased to come across an honorary mention in Andrew Cartmel’s book ‘The Vinyl Detective – The Run-Out Groove’!
“Look at that.” He nodded at the guitar.
“Very nice,” said Nevada.
“Hand made,” said Erik, “by Brook in Devon. Beautiful guitar. Much too nice for that silly sod. He’s got ten thumbs. He should be playing a plastic banjo.

The Vinyl Detective

Norman came down to collect his Taw back in 2007, he came back recently because he wanted our pearl logo instead of the original transfer. You’d be wrong in thinking there’s only one Brook in the photo, here’s the story:

“When I originally collected my guitar from Andy’s house,  I was with Greg my partner and Nelson my Jack Russell, sadly neither are with me now but on instructions from Greg in his will I have now a wonderful 18 month old Jack born only hours before Greg passed away and born only a mile from where he was born…..her name is BROOK”

Norman Brook and Brook

Andy took this Taw and Torridge up to Project Music,

Two Brooks For Project

The back and sides on the Taw is English walnut and the Torridge is ovangkol.

Taw and Torridge for Project

We’re starting work on a new design for our website, we thought we might use this screenshot of the workshop from Google Earth!

Brook Guitars Easterbrook

This Strat had a relic finish and the owner asked for us to get rid of all the artificially created dinks and scratches and refinish it in Fiesta Red nitro.

Strat Respray
Here’s Rob from Bristol’s vintage Gibson ETG-150, we gave the neck a sympathetic refinish recently.

Gibson ETG 150
Two Martins in for neck resets: the first is a new 000-15, it’s disappointing that a company with such a reputation lets guitars with fairly major faults like this get through quality control, then shows no interest in remedying the problem.

Martin Neck Reset The second is a three year old D18 with the same problem.

Neck Reset 2 This fine mandola made by Kai Tönjes came in for some work on the frets and to lower the action.

Mandola

Take care during these difficult times.

Brook Guitars News September 2020

September 2020

We’d like to advise our customers that workshop visits are by appointment only now.
If there’s a  sure sign that Autumn’s almost upon us it’s the dew on the cobwebs in the morning in the orchard.

Brook Guitars Orchard

We forgot to photograph the rosewood and Sitka Torridge before Andy took it up to Project Music earlier in the month.
So they sent us these two of the guitar in the Exeter shop,

Torridge Project 1

Thanks for the photos guys!

Brook Headstock

On the subject of Project  Music – Alan and Hugh came down to the shop and they each bought a Taw.

They popped into the workshop a few weeks ago to have a look around and check out where their guitars were made!

Alan and Hugh at Brook Guitars

Two new stock guitars this month:  This figured mahogany and Sitka Torridge

Figured Mahogany Brook Torridge

And this  rosewood and Sitka Taw.

Rosewood Brook Taw

Michelle sent us a copy of her very fine collection of songs chosen from her wide repertoire:  from traditional material to a Lowell George classic – all skilfully accompanied by Bonz.  We thoroughly recommend it.  Michelle has a cherry Torridge.

Michellle CD

Here’s a photo of Tulley with his new Lynher by the Yellowstone river and another taken at Albertsons Market with a few pals. He wrote “Can’t thank you enough for the beautiful work you do!”.

Tulley with his Brook Lynher

Tom Schultz from Colorado is using the guitar we made for him in 2015 for the video and recording of this well known Shakespeare sonnet.

Tom Schultz

And appropriately here he is in front of Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Tom Shultz in Stratford Upon Avon

We’ve started drawing out the plans for 12 fret options for the Tamar and Lamorna to help James Filkins from Michigan choose his new Brook.

Lamorna and Tamar Plans

Sam and George had a musical get-together, pooling the four Brooks they have between them.

Sam George and 4 Brooks

John sent this holiday snap, good to see John taking his Teign out for an airing!

John on Hols

Gareth sent his twenty year old yew Bovey down to us after it had taken a rather severe knock. Not an entirely invisible repair but everything’s back in place, the broken braces have been repaired and it’s playing perfectly again.

Broken Bovey

Stay safe.