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.

Brook Guitars News August 2020

August 2020

We’ll start off this month with a new model, the Lynher, which we developed for Tulley in Montana.

Brook Lynher model

As you can see – it’s a parlour size, left-handed, fourteen fret, nylon strung instrument.

Brook Lynher close up

The back and sides were constructed from solid mahogany, the back’s carved into an arch making back braces and linings unnecessary. The top’s braced as we would a classical guitar. The instrument is surprisingly loud and we’re really pleased with the way it’s turned out. We can offer this thinline option on any of our models.

Brook Lynher thinline

Jack inlaid this snowdrop design on the fingerboard. The guitar is off to the States next week and hopefully we’ll have a photo of Tulley with his third Brook to add to the September news.

Snowdrop Inlay

Another left hander and another going to the States, this one’s off to Massachusetts. The Abbey is a 595 mm scale small parlour model.

Brook Abbey

Our customer is a Jethro Tull fan and asked for a replica of the one we made for Ian Andrson.

Brook Abbey close up

As you can see by this mountain of cases, the repairs have been coming in thick and fast:

Repairs

It seems to have been Martin month:
Brian McDonald of the duo Red, Green and Blue called in for a proper set up on his Martin, due to Covid their tour has been postponed and, along with most musicians, performances have come to a standstill for the time being.

Brian

This one came in for a refret with Evo Gold fretwire,

Martin Refret

This Martin came in with the common fault – the plastic bindings were coming away from the body, Andy re-glued them and refinished the problem areas.

Martin Bindings Problem

This twenty year old Teign came in after a severe knock to its tail block, Andy glued it back together, re-sprayed the back and sides and it’s as good as new!

Vintage Brook Teign

We re-fretted this Watkins Rapier, in the early 1960’s American guitars were hard to get your hands on so lots of musicians over here went  for this, the English equivalent of the Strat! Anyone of ‘a certain age’ will remember these from the Bell’s mail order catalogue way back in the 1960s.

Watkins Rapier

Matt brought in another ’60s classic for some TLC- this Gibson J-160E, the John Lennon model. The originals were sunburst but like Lennon’s, this one has had the top stripped at some time in its life, the serial number is forty two away from its famous counterpart!

Gibson J-160E

Andy reset the neck on this Taylor, which, we have to admit, is a much simpler job with their unique neck joint.

Taylor Neck Re-set

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. The makers of these Chinese guitars spuriously claim they are Brook’s ‘New Series’. I don’t think we have to worry too much about the competition, take a look – if you can see any similarities between these and the real thing apart from the fact they are vaguely guitar shaped let us know.

Fake News

Julian Bream
15 July 1933 – 14 August 2020

J.B.

Brook Guitars News July 2020

July 2020

Kev Aram asked us to make a tribute to the cowboy guitars of the 1930’s and ’40’s,

Kev's Brook Lyn

Back then they were cheaply made and often stencilled displaying the cowboy legends from the films of the period.

Brook Lyn Cowboy Guitar

Our Lyn certainly isn’t cheaply made and maybe not to everyone’s taste but we absolutely love it!

Brook Cowboy Guitar full length

Adam came all the way down from Scotland to pick up his Blackwater 12 string.

Adam and his Brook Blackwater

We showed you the headstock inlay last month, here’s the rest of the guitar,

Brook Blackwater

Adam provided the Huon pine top

Huon Pine

And the cocobolo back and sides.

Cocobolo Back

George didn’t have far to travel from Bridgwater to collect his nylon strung Cary,

George and his Brook Cary

Here’s the full length photo

Brook Cary lefty

And close-ups of the Sitka top and Crelicam ebony back.

Brook Cary Top and Back

George in Battersea ordered his second Brook, this time a cedar and walnut Tavy cutaway, it’s off with the courier to him this week.

George's Cedar and Walnut Tavy

Bob came over from Dorset to pick up his new rosewood Tamar, also his second Brook! he wrote “The guitar sings, it’s wonderful, many thanks”.

Bob's Brook Tamar

Michael sent this photo from the mountains of Colorado. “I don’t think I’ve ever owned an instrument with an Engelmann top – it sounds fantastic and I love it already”.

Michael and Brook Torridge

Last month we mentioned Phil Beer, this month it’s Steve Knightley’s turn! On the wall behind him in his recent videos there’s one of our more unusual instruments – the Ash.

Steve Knightley Video

It’s a reproduction of the instrument we made for Billy Connolly for his 60th birthday nearly twenty years ago!

Billy Connolly Brook Ash

Matt from South Devon brought up some outer cuts of a tree that had had been stored for years in his dad’s workshop with the hope we could use them to build a Lamorna.

Timber1

To be honest they didn’t look too promising but a few hours work removing the bark and re-sawing revealed some beautifully figured dark mahogany!

Timber 2

Dawn, our post-lady, makes model buildings in her spare time so we gave her a bag of our workshop off-cuts, she showed us this photo of her latest project – the local church made from guitar remnants!

Dawn's Model Church

Please mask up, maintain social distancing and stay safe over the summer.

Brook Guitars News June 2020

June 2020

Here are the latest two guitars for Coda Music – a rosewood Lamorna and another figured mahogany Lyn.

Brook Lamorna and Brook Lyn
Our thanks to Phil Beer for mentioning us in the first of his YouTube lockdown gigs on 30th May. Our friend David Oddy made his very last guitar for Phil, we lacquered it after David died and Chris Billings completed it.

Phil Beer Lockdown Gig

Here’s  a photo of Adam’s newly strung Blackwater 12 string headstock, Adam supplied the original shadow photo of his family as the basis for the design of the inlay.

Adam's 12 string Brook Blackwater

Tony Skinner is a welcome addition to the Brook fold, amongst other things he’s written over 100 guitar education books, contributed to 250 issues of Total Guitar and had three quarters of a million hits on his YouTube channel!

Tony Skinner and his Brook Lyn

Wendy’s Lyn has been repaired and is ready to collect.

Wendy's Brook Lyn

We’ve just completed two new guitars for our shop: This rosewood and European spruce Lamorna

Stock Brook Lamorna

And a mahogany and Sitka spruce Lyn.

Stock Brook Lyn

We’ll be getting in touch with Bob from Weymouth shortly to let him know his new Tamar‘s ready.

Bob's Brook Tamar

Richard narrowly missed entering his lockdown photo in the April and May competition but we thought it deserved a spot this month!

Richard's Bovey
Two almost opposite causes of guitar damage here: firstly this Taw, much to its owners annoyance, was left in the searing heat on an airport runway in the Middle East for a long period – we’ve at last been given the go-ahead to re-top it.

Taw Damage
Whereas this Martin has suffered from over-humidifying and the back has sprung off in places – hopefully not quite such a major repair job needed for this one.

Martin Damage
John, an old friend and Brook collector from Somerset, came down to order a nylon strung Taw, to help fund it he’s put up for sale this rosewood and Sitka 2013 Lamorna. This one’s still labelled an OM as it was the first of this model we made, it comes equipped with a Fishman Infinity pickup system and is in ‘as new’ condition. If anyone wishes to try it get in touch, it’s here at the workshop, John’s asking £2,100 for the guitar.

Brook Lamorna For Sale
Lastly, a preview of our tribute to the cowboy guitars of the 1930s and ’40s, we’re making this for Kevin Aram.

Brook Lyn Cowboy Guitar

We’re still taking the Covid threat very seriously so if you’re thinking of visiting please be prepared to wear a mask, sanitise and maintain social distancing.

Brook Guitars News May 2020

May 2020

We’re back at work at last. Initially just the three of us, Andy, Jack and myself because of the difficulties in social distancing in our fairly compact workshop. We hope Yasmin and Jake will be able to join us again later in the year. We’ve only been back a week so there’s not that much to show you in the way of finished guitars but we’ll walk you through what’s going on:
Jack’s putting together the next batch of bodies

Jack Putting Together Guitars

Including this left handed Abbey for a customer in Massachusetts

Brook Abbey

And this thin-line nylon-strung new and, as yet, un-named model for Tulley in Montana. This one’s also a lefty.

Nylon Strung Brook

Andy’s in the machine shop preparing necks for these guitars.

Andy Preparing Brook Necks

I’m upstairs fretting and preparing the bridges for the next batch to be completed including this figured mahogany Clyst for Coda

Si Putting Bridges On Brooks

And this twelve string Blackwater for Adam in Deanston, Scotland.

Adam's Brook Twelve String

Now for the latest customers’ lockdown photos: Roel sent us this photo from his home in Ghent, Belgium.

Roel In Ghent

Pat, from Las Vegas, sent us his second contribution, this time featuring the twin six and twelve strings we made for him back in 2007.

Pat With His Twins

Dave Smith’s mahogany Torridge seems perfectly happy in hog heaven!

Brook Torridge In Hog Heaven

Mike sent us sent us this one on the occasion of the 4th anniversary of picking up his Taw, he says “The tone has only got better as the guitar has aged. It still looks like new, Thanks again for producing such a wonderful instrument “. Good to hear, thanks Mike!

Andy, Mike And Si

Tony sent us this ‘Darby and Joan’ photo of his pair of cutaway Tamars – a steel string on the left and nylon strung on the right.

Darby And Joan Brook

Here’s a first – Su sent us this ode to her Taw between a series of photos she’d taken during the lockdown.

Su's Poem

Wendy’s Lyn came in for a neck refinish after someone hadn’t thought to remove their thumb ring before some rigorous playing!

Wendy's Butterflys

This was an interesting coincidence – these two Boveys arrived at the workshop separately the same week and according to the records they were the first two of this model we made twenty five years ago!

First Two Boveys

Even older – this Manson Dove from 1990 came in for repair.

Manson Dove

A few days in, a few slips of a blade and my hands are back in the same state as before their enforced healing period.

Bad Hands

Ah well – it’s good to be back, all the same!

Brook Guitars News April 2020

April 2020

We’re still on lockdown and unable to use the workshop for the time being unfortunately. Luckily music-wise there plenty to keep us amused in the way of living room sessions and live content on YouTube and Facebook: Interesting videos from Richard Thompson, Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Steve Earle, Howe Gelb, Mark Mulcahy, Jack Hayter, Jorma Kaukonen, Neil Young, Laura Marling, Joan Baez, UOGB, Toyah and Robert Fripp amongst many hundreds of others!

Back to the news – Andy managed to get these two guitars, a Taw and a Blackwater, packed up and sent off to Coda in Stevenage.

Two Brooks For Coda

And now for the competition:

We asked for some photos of our customers with their Brooks while unable to leave their respective houses, so….. here’s Jez with his Lyn, he’s using his time to start work on a koa 00 sized guitar,

Jez and his Brook Lyn While Steve’s in lockdown in the attractive surroundings of downtown Mystic, C.T. with his custom Creedy he’s starting to put together a custom Tele.

Steve and his Brook Creedy in Mystic

Howard’s been busy up in Norfolk putting together this fine photo.

Howard Brook Logo

Pat’s masked up in the isolation of his drum studio in Las Vegas, must be a welcome break from all those drums!

Pat's Drum Studio

Chris is playing in his back garden, fine shirt there Chris!

Chris F

Tulley’s in seclusion in Montana with his Cary and his Ash.

Tulley's Two Brooks

Andrew Blackburn’s relaxing on his balcony with his Tamar.

Andrew and his Brook Tamar

Here’s Ronak with his Taw in Ahmedabad, India, working his way through the pieces in Dev’s ‘Fingerstyle Etudes’ book.

Ronak with his Brook in India Quite a few of our customers have found the time to record videos: Jon London wrote and recorded ‘The Brighton Rag’ on his Teign!

Jon London with his Brook Teign

Amit has been recording in his kitchen with his new Bovey.

Amit and his Brook Bovey

Robbie sent this Brook social distancing photo and has been very busy composing and recording,

Robbie's Photo

And Nigel recorded his Lyn in his garden! Check our YouTube channel for these videos.

Nigel Recording in his Garden

Now – a fine effort, as we would expect, from Richard James, who sent the message ” luckily I was able to jet off to my private island for the photo of my Bovey in lockdown”

Richard's Tropical Island

And fabulous as the panorama of Richard’s tropical island is – this month’s winner has to be Howard – after all that effort with a tiny coping saw and a huge stack of plywood! If you keep on sending the photos we’ll repeat the competition next month!

One advantage from all this time away from work – for about the first time in my working life my hands are relatively grime and split free after the years of in-ground ebony dust, plus cuts and splits have taken their toll…… still not particularly well manicured admittedly but their current condition certainly benefits the guitar playing!

Rough Hands

We lost one of our greatest songwriters this month.

John Prine

RIP

John Prine

October 10, 1946 – April 7, 2020

Brook Guitars News March 2020

March 2020

Well……things have developed rapidly since last month’s admonitions

to wash our hands thoroughly. We started with notices asking people not to

visit if they showed any symptoms of the virus to ‘Strictly No Visitors’ –

then the government’s total lockdown for non-essential businesses. It goes

without saying that the workshop is closed during the current crisis. We’d

like to apologise to all of our customers, in particular those who’ve

ordered and are going to have to wait a little longer for their new

guitars: Louise, Adam, George, Bill, Tulley, Kev, Dev, Jack and also of

course Coda, Project and Intersound.

No Visitors

Andy’s taking care of the Facebook page and I’ve set up office at home

to keep on top of the email and the website.

Si

Brook Home Office

So – not much to show you this month but Andy managed to deliver a

rosewood Torridge and Taw to Project Music in Exeter.

Project Music Taw and Torridge

We set up this Les Paul, re-glued the bridge and repaired the finish on

the Santa Cruz and did a neck re-set on this eighteen year old Torridge that had been exposed to some

humidity issues sometime in its life.

Les Paul Santa Cruz Brook Torridge

Caspar was evidentially pleased with Andy’s set-up on his vintage

Hofner bass.

Caspar and Hofner Bass

Chris bought his Lyn from Coda

Music, he sent us this photo taken in his hometown of Rye, he said

“The Lyn’s great, it just falls under my fingers, I love the feel of

the 12 fret set-up and the action is really good!”.

Chris and his Brook Lyn in Rye

I took the opportunity before our

enforced break to take a few photos of the empty workshop.

Empty

Brook Workshop

I’m afraid next month, for the first time in the twenty years we’ve

been keeping you up to date with our latest news, we’re going to be rather

short of news items so – all you self-isolators out there – how about some

photos of yourselves with your Brooks

to fill out the April news? The wackiest photo wins a set of Elixirs!

Competition

We realise that a large proportion of our customers, like us, are

likely to fall into the high risk category so we wish everyone well,

Stay in, stay safe and keep in touch.

Brook Guitars News Febuary 2020

February 2020

We’ll start off the February news with a couple of little ‘uns and a

proud dad! Here’s young Jay, Amit and his new Bovey.

Two Jays

Amit’s a fine player, he came down from Birmingham to collect his Bovey, one of our range of travel

guitars.

Brook

Bovey

He asked Jack to inlay a Jay on the headstock (for obvious reasons!)

Check out Amit’s album on Bandcamp, we’ll hopefully get some video

featuring the new guitar soon.

Brook Bovey with Jay Inlay

Charlie McKeon borrowed my Lamorna

for a recording session with renowned producer John Wood whose credits

include John Martyn, Nick Drake and Sandy Denny. Charlie’s a talented young

artist from Liverpool, he’s going back to complete the album with John next

year.

Charlie McKeon and Brook Lamorna

Trevor didn’t have far to come

from Sidmouth to pick up his 015 cutaway Lyn,

Trevor and Brook Lyn

It has an Engelmann spruce top, rosewood back and sides, lacewood

binding with the custom 015 abalone purfling,

Brook Lyn close up

Bound headstock and gold tuners.

Brook Lyn Headstock

John bought his Lamorna from Coda in Stevenage and came all

the way down from Lincolnshire to have a K&K pickup fitted and to see

where his guitar was made! John’s in the folk band Between The Lines.

John

and his Brook Lamorna

Andy picked up the Madagascan rosewood and Adirondack Lamorna we featured last month, it looks like

it was worth the wait!

Andy

and his Brook Lamorna

We fitted the second K&K this month on this Weaver and made up a koa pickguard for this

partscaster for our old friend Richard James.

Brook Weaver and Partscaster

Last week we had a couple of visitors

down from London: Sam for a set up on his Taw and George to check out the progress of

his second Brook, an English walnut Tavy.src= Sam and George

Down here we’ve managed  to avoid the worst of the floods that

ravaged the rest of the country so here’s the annual photo of the snowdrops

in the orchard with the workshop in the background.

Brook Guitars Workshop and Snowdrops

Here are the latest two for Project, top to bottom – a rosewood and

Sitka Lamorna and and rosewood and

Engelmann Tavy.

Brook Lamorna and Tavy for Project Guitars

Andy hand-made the brass tailpiece for this Fylde bouzouki for Norman,

another of our regular customers.

Brook Tailpiece for Fylde

If you’re travelling to the Middle East don’t leave your guitar for

hours on the runway in the searing heat – this is what it did to the Hiscox

case, the guitar fared slightly better but will need a new top!

Too Hot Hiscox

We’ll show you the results in future news updates.

Brook Guitars News January 2020

January 2020

This is the forthcoming album by the excellent Pete Berryman, it’s a

fine mix of Pete’s songs and exquisite guitar playing. We’ll be

interviewing Pete in the next issue of Babbling Brook.

Pete

Berryman Distant Shore

Tony picked up this crossover nylon strung Tamar as a sister to the steel string one we

made for him last year.

Brook

Tavy Nylon Strung

Classical style headstock and bridge,

Nylon String Brook Tamar

European spruce top with rosewood back and sides.

Nylon

Brook Tamar

Talking of nylon strung guitars here’s Paul Esslement busking in the

Tottenham Court Road underground with his nylon strung Weaver!

P.E.with his nylon Weaver

This custom Lamorna is awaiting

collection, it has an Adirondack spruce top, three ring rosette, an abalone

border,

Adirondack Brook Lamorna

Madagascan rosewood back and sides

Madagascar Brook Lamorna

And headstock with an abalone border and Waverly tuners.

Brook Lamorna

Headstock

In case you haven’t seen it yet Steve Tilston has just posted a fine

new song ‘Crying Shame’, check it out on our YouTube channel.

Steve Tilston Crying Shame

Tom was quick off the mark when he heard

his Taw was ready to collect, he came

over from Minehead the following day and picked it up!

Tom and

his Brook Taw

Here’s our latest model in the ever expanding selection, it’s loosely

based on the early Gibson 180 body shape with a shallower body depth and a

640 mm scale length. We’re making a highly customised one of these for

Louise Loft. Louise has named it the Blackwater, a tributary of the river Axe!

Brook Blackwater

This has an Engelmann spruce top and rosewood back and sides. If anyone

is interested in this particular one just get in touch.

Brook Blackwater close up

Anthony from Surrey bought this Tamar we’d recently converted  as a

left-hander and he’s very happy with the result!  It’s become his main

instrument in his work as a musician in care homes and for people with

learning disabilities!

Brook Tamar lefty

We reset the neck on this 1926 vintage Martin for Andy from Modern

Music in Truro, it now has a nice low action now and plays beautifully and

still has the original bridge and saddle.

Vintage Martin neck reset

We’ve just repaired the broken headstock and sorted out some damage to

the top of this Taylor belonging to Chris Hallsworth.

Taylor Neck Break

Luckily he still has his two Brooks

handy when he gigs with folk band Celtic Heartbeat,

Celtic Heartbeat

Here he is at Evolution Recording Studios with his Taw.

Chris

at Evolution Studios

We’ll be delivering this mahogany and Sitka spruce Lamorna to Project music next week.

Lamorna for Project

That’s about all for January!

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!