Brook Guitars News November 2022

November 2022

We’ll start off with the two guitars we mentioned last month. Firstly Geoff and Dominique  picked up this custom Lamorna. It has a torrefied Sitka spruce top.

Geoff and his Brook Lamorna

The walnut was from a tree felled in Dominique’s family home in France and Geoff brought over a board of it for us to use for the back and sides.

Geoff's Walnut

Jack inlaid these two swallows on the headstock.

Jack's Swallows Inlay

Following that we have George and his left handed Weaver

George and his Brook Weaver

This has Tasmanian blackwood back and sides – it could easily be mistaken for koa!

Tasmanian Blackwood Brook Weaver

Jack inlaid two selections from George’s late wife’s favorite painting, this on the headstock and the following image around the twelfth fret.

Jack's Headstock Inlay

George wrote “I’m thrilled with it. It immediately felt comfortable and the clarity and depth of tone from the small body is outstanding – even on the upper frets. And, with the wood choices and Jack’s superb inlay work, it is a real beauty”.

George's 12th Fret Inlay

Here’s Tony with his new Little Silver – expressing digitally how many Brook guitars he now owns!

Tony and Brook Little Silver

We had a film crew over a couple of weeks ago to interview us for a documentary about our mentor Andy Manson.

Filming at Brook Guitars

Talking of Andy this is the latest of the Ian Anderson model that he designed and we build that’s going out to Jack in the U.S.

Ian Anderson Model in Custom Flight Case

This close up shows the moustache bridge and pearl and ebony rosette.

Ian Anderson Model close up

Andy sprayed an attractive sunburst top on this Lamorna for Richard in Yorkshire.

Sunburst Brook Lamorna

Here’s a close up of the top and the custom shaped slotted headstock. We’re awaiting a delivery of Hiscox cases so we can send this off to Richard.

Sunburst Brook Lamorna plus Slotted Headstock

The same goes for this Taw for Andrew, coincidentally also in Yorkshire!

Brook Walnut Taw

Here’s the Sitka top and walnut back and sides

Walnut Brook Taw Front and Back

Malcolm sent us this photo of Jamie, his fellow guitarist in Cable Street, with Jamie’s brace of Brooks that he uses exclusively (the Martin’s Malcolm’s!).

Jamie and his Brooks

Martin’s an old friend from the RMMGA meetings in Buxton, he brought down the Lamorna he bought from Project Music for us to fit a pickup system.

Martind and his Brook Lamorna

Another sunburst – Andy’s spraying a Tele body for Matt, another old friend!

Andy Spraying Matt's Tele

We had a couple more set-ups for Beth Gibbons – her Takamine and her 1999 rosewood and Sitka Taw.

Beth's Two Guitars

If anyone has bought Brook tee shirts, hoodies or caps and would like to send us a photo we’d be delighted to share them in the monthly news, and if anyone would like to order one just get in touch with Zoe, Andy’s daughter, at oakridgeclothing@outlook.com

 

Brook Guitars News October 2022

October 2022

We’ll start off this month with a couple of tasters for the November news so I won’t tell you too much about them until then! This one is George’s left handed Weaver

George's Brook Weaver

And this Lamorna is for Geoff, they’ll be picking them in a couple of weeks.

Geoff's walnut Brook Lamorna

Ron collected the Carey we featured last month

Ron and his Brook Carey

And Mark came down for a set up on his Lamorna and brought along these very nice American custom Steineggers for us to look at!

Mark and Brook Lamorna

Alan kindly sent us this photo of himself with his Lamorna and his Torridge, The picture was taken at Wimpole Hall in Cambridgeshire.  Any Brook owners who’d like to be included please do send us a photo.

Alan with Brook Lamorna and Torridge

We made a new neck for this yew Lamorna, John had flown over from the States and the neck had been irreparably damaged during the flight.

Broken neck on Brook Lamorna

An interesting story with this ten year old Torridge – Phil took it with him when he moved to Australia seven years ago. A piece of metal furniture fell on the guitar recently and cracked the ribs. Phil was coming over for a meeting in Germany, took a detour to Heathrow and drove down to see us. Andy managed to repair the Torridge while he waited, then Phil drove back to Heathrow and off to his meeting!

Australian Brook

Richard’s building up his collection of Brooks. His series of music books must be paying off! Here’s his latest on Joe Jackson along with the plan of the Bovey tenor guitar he’s just ordered.

Richard's Joe Jackson book

You’ll see we’ve taken our in-house style guru Andy to the glamorous location of his workbench to model one of our new range of Brook merchandising. Should anyone wish to look similarly stylishly attired let us know and we’ll supply purchasing information.

Andy modelling T

More of this nice old stock Honduras Mahogany from Guatemala arrived last week. That should keep us going in necks for several months.

wood for Brook necks

Here’s  a close up of the binding separating from the bodies on the Martins,

Martin bindings 2

One here’s been repaired and going back to its owner, the other’s recently come in for the same treatment.

Martin Binding Repair 1

We built a new bridge for this ‘f’ style mandolin for David.

Mandolin bridge repair

Richard has a couple of our guitars and he’s decided to sell the highly customized bubinga Lyn we made for him last year to help fund a bigger Brook model. If anyone would like to try it it’s here at the workshop.

Bubinga Brook Lyn for sale

A friend brought this around to my house to ask if it were worth us repairing it…..sometimes you just have to say no!

No no no repair

Lastly – a couple of photos of the orchard first thing in the morning

Orchard in mist 1

With the remainder of a very good crop of apples.

Orchard in mist 2

Brook Guitars News September 2022

September 2022

Autumn’s arrived and despite the rain we’ve had recently our local reservoir’s water level is still very low.

Meldon Reservoir

Now, on to guitar things: We’re just waiting for the strings to settle in so we can set up this custom Carey for Ron who’ll be coming over from Dorset to collect his new guitar.

Brook Carey

We inlaid a honeybee on the twelfth fret and a rose on the heel cap for him.

Brook Carey Inlays

We’d like to thank Bendigo for this photo of his Brook collection! – left to right – a Lamorna, two Lyns and a Torridge.

Brook Collection

This baritone Tavy has just gone off to Coda, tuned C to C with a 680 mm scale.

Brook Baritone Tavy for Coda

And this Teign is about to go to Project Music in Exeter.

Brook Teign for Project

Talking of projects, here’s one – we drew up plans for a small bodied five string bass for a customer, he’s chosen the fourteen fret to the body option, we’ll be starting it later in the year.

Taw Bass Plan

We refinished and set up this mandolin for Hannah, a local musician. She inherited it from her uncle who made it along with other instruments.

Hannah Mandolin

Andy’s just re-glued the bindings on this sunburst Martin CE0-7 and touched up the finish. We’ve another of these with the same problem arriving in the next couple of days.

Martin loose binding

For years now we’ve had customers asking for Brook t-shirts and sweat shirts, here’s the first of our samples, we’ll let you know when we’ve worked out the prices and postage.

Brook T-Shirt

We made up this wooden pickguard to cover up some pick damage to the top of this Tamar.

Wooden Pickguard

It was good to see Jim Causley and Trev Munkenbeck with Mariners Away featured on BBC Spotlight recently, Trev was playing his baritone Tamar.

Mariners Away

Brook Guitars News August 2022

August 2022

Kevin came up from Plymouth to collect his new Tavy

Kevin and his Brook Tavy

It has an Adirondack top with rosewood back and sides.

Brook Tavy Adirondack Spruce

Jack inlaid this penguin on the headstock, it was the logo of Kevin’s parents’ shop,
there’s also a penguin on the heel cap!

Tavy Penguin Inlay

The first ever European Fingerstyle Collective Guitar Festival is being held in Exeter
at the Phoenix between 9th – 11th September.

Fingerstyle Collective

It’s not often you get a chance to see this many world class guitarists together over a weekend
so come along and support this event!

Exeter Fingerstyle Festival

This Little Silver is Tony’s third Brook, it’ll be joining his two Tamars, one steel string, one nylon. This one has a rosewood fingerboard bridge and head veneer,

Brook Little Silver

And the back and sides ‘fruit and nut’ – cherry and walnut!

Fruit and Nut Brook Little Silver

This rosewood Taw will be heading up to Gordon in Scotland shortly.

Brook Taw for Gordon

A walnut and Sitka Taw will be travelling the shorter distance to Project Music in Exeter,

Walnut and Sitka Brook Taw for Project

And this walnut and European spruce Torridge is now with Intersound in Dursley. 

Brook Torridge for Intersound

Jacqueline Hemming Urquhart took this photo of Chris Norman playing his Teign in Tavistock.

Chris and his Brook Teign

Geoff and George came over to check how their respective guitars were coming along,
about another four weeks and they should be ready for collection!

Geoff and George

We made this Lyn for stock, if anyone is interested just get in touch.

Brook Lyn for sale

Andy resprayed this Precision bass fingerboard

Andy spraying a bass neck

And put back together this unusual aluminium Peter Kellett Strat after a tricky repair –
replacing the broken truss rod and fingerboard.

Peter Kellett Strat

A personal thanks to Pat for his video greeting on a significant birthday for me!

Pat's birthday greeting

He’s sneaking up behind me but won’t catch me!

Brook Guitars News July 2022

July 2022

We haven’t many new guitars to show you this month as we’re in-between batches but a couple of Lamornas went off to the shops, this one to Coda

Brook Lamorna for Coda

And Andy took this one with an interesting rosewood back off to Project.

Indian Rosewood Brook Lamorna

Paul ordered his walnut Torridge from Project Music but wanted to look around the workshop so came down from Surrey and picked it up from us.

Paul collecting his Brook Torridge

Phil McKnight sent us this photo taken when he was gigging at The Rum Diary Bar in Newcastle, New South Wales, he wrote “Greatly enjoying playing the little Becka you made for me, lots of curious punters after shows have been asking about it!”.

Phil McKnight at The Rum Diary Bar NSW

This Abbey‘s for sale, if you’re interested and would like to come and try it, just get in touch.

Brook Abbey for sale

Richard thought we might like to see how well his twelve fret Taw has aged, you can see how light the sitka top was when he picked it up fifteen years ago!

Richard and his 12 fret Brook Taw

He brought down this Martin for us to repair, the all too common problem of the binding separating from the main body of the instrument.

Martin binding separating

As I mentioned – Not many finished guitars ready to go out this month but here are the latest ones I’ve just put together, fretted and made up bridges for – just waiting to be strung up now,

Brooks ready to string up

While Jack’s preparing this batch for binding.

Jack preparing bodies for binding

You may remember Geoff brought this walnut over from his property in France and we sliced it up. The Lamorna we’re making for him out of the wood is now in the spray room.

Walnut Brook Lamorna

Also in the spray room Andy’s been preparing and spraying this Fiesta Red Strat for James.

Fiesta Red Strat

We’re repairing a few dings on this pretty little Collings mandolin for Tilly

Collings Mandolin

And we’ve just re-set the neck on this twenty two year old custom Torridge for Coda.

Custom Brook Torridge from 2000

More next month!

Brook Guitars News June 2022

June 2022

We’ve been here at Easterbrook for nearly thirty years, several years ago we mentioned how this lime tree had grown, time has gone by and it’s considerably taller…

Lime Tree in front of Brook Guitars Workshop

Here’s the photo of Andy and myself in front it when it was a young sapling. Mighty oaks from little acorns grow, we’d like to think we can say the same for Brook Guitars!

Andy and Si

Steve from the Bristol area should be down soon to pickup his new Blackwater.

Brook Blackwater Full Length

It has a European spruce soundboard and Crelicam ebony for the back and sides,

Brook Blackwater

With a sunrise inlay on the headstock and his initials on the twelfth fret.

Brook Blackwater Headstock Inlay

Frank sent over this hard case so we’ve just sent his Abbey over to Germany.

Brook Abbey in Hard Case

We also sent this Lyn up to Paul in Oxford who, we’re happy to say, was quick off the mark when we asked for a photo!

Paul and his Brook Lyn

The Lyn has a European spruce top

Brook Lyn for Paul

With this interesting set of English walnut back and sides.

Brook Lyn Back

We’re about to give this left handed Torridge a final set-up and label it,

Allan's Brook Torridge Full Length

Then it’ll be going off to Allan in Japan, It’s back and sides are from the companion set to Paul’s Lyn in the item above.

Brook Torridge Walnut Back

Ron came down from Dorset to check out how his nylon strung Carey was coming along.

Ron and his Carey

He got in touch later to send us these photos and say” My wife thoroughly enjoyed the tour, it gave her an appreciation of the length of time required to build a fabulous, unique guitar. Thanks for everything”.

Brook Carey Stuts

This Torridge is for a Project Music customer, he asked for this Celtic inlay on the fretboard and is planning on a trip down shortly to collect the guitar.

Brook Torridge for Project Guitars

Another nice set of rippled English walnut for the back and sides.

Brook Torridge for Project Music Walnut Back

This is the first guitar for Intersound for a while, a Sitka and rosewood Lamorna.

Brook Lamorna for Intersound Music

We have this European spruce Lyn for sale,

Brook Lyn For Sale

With rosewood back and sides.

Brook Lyn For Sale Rosewood Back

John came over from the States with his beautiful yew Lamorna which, unfortunately, the airline managed to damage, We thought it might be a matter of just gluing it back up and retouching the finish but the truss-rod fixing has been knocked through the back of the neck so we’re going to have to replace the whole neck.

Yew Brook Lamorna

Not quite sure what’s going on with the signposts around here – they appear to be sinking! It’s tricky finding us at the best of times as the sat-nav invariably takes you miles out of the way, also to the wrong location.

Sinking Signposts

However we are on Google Maps and, if you’re familiar with ‘what3words’, ‘implanted.song.lives’ will get you to the entrance to our lane.

what3words to Brook Guitars

Brook Guitars News May 2022

May 2022

We made this Calder for Mick in County Durham,

Brook Calder For Mick

Here are a couple of shots of the top from different angles showing the 12/14 fret body join and the sound-port

Brook Calder Double Shot

And here’s the ebony faced headstock with Schaller GrandTune Hauser style tuners with Snakewood buttons.

Brook Calder Headstock

Mick sent us this photo and wrote “Just to let you know the guitar arrived safely last week and I’m amazed at the quality and sound.  I had a lesson recently from Steve Tilston and was so impressed with his guitar I ordered one when I got home. I can’t say enough about the quality of the sound, the guitar just rings with fantastic bass and treble – what an instrument! The quality and workmanship is absolutely top class. Thanks guys”

Mick And Hid Brook Carey

Frank will be coming over from Germany soon to pick up his new Abbey,

Brook Abbey

Here’s a close up.

Brook Abbey Close Up

Po had a Taw from us back in 2016, here’s his second Brook – a nylon strung Carey,

Brook Carey

With a matching rosette and tie block,

Brook Carey Close Up

Thai rosewood back and sides

Brook Carey Thai Rosewood Back

And these elegant tuners with custom engravings of the Chinese and the Welsh dragon on either side.

Brook Carey Custom Tuners

This rosewood Weaver went up to Coda.

Weaver For Coda

I forgot to photograph this one before it left the workshop so thanks to Lee from Project Music for this image of their latest Lamorna!

Brook Lamorna in Project Music

We’ve spent a while resetting the neck, making up a new bridge and generally renovating this Vega for a customer.

Vega Repair

Andy fitted a K&K pickup on this Lyn.

Andy Fitting A Pickup On A Lyn

We’re replacing a broken truss rod on this unusual Peter Kellett Strat with a rosewood neck, an aluminium body and this custom paint job.

Truss Rod Repair

See you next month!

Brook Guitars News April 2022

April 2022

Kristi drove down from South Wales to pick up her custom nylon strung Carey,

Kristi and her Brook Carey

Rosewood back and sides,

Custom Brook Carey

With an elevated fingerboard,

Custom Brook Carey Close Up

Sound-port and arm rest.

Brook Carey Front and Inside

Another nylon strung Brook here for Alan from Somerset,

Alan with his Brook Carey

This time a Carey fourteen fretter with a cutaway,

Brook Carey Close Up

A Sitka top, a very old set of Cocobolo for the back and sides,

Cocobolo Brook Carey Front and Back

With a rounded off plain slotted headstock.

Alan's Brook Carey Headstock

Here’s a new model that’s just gone off to Phil McKnight in New South Wales,

Brook Becka in Flight Case

It’s actually a slightly larger version of the Ian Anderson model we make for Andy Manson, Phil asked for this specific size, we’ve named the model the Becka after the diminutive Becka Brook on Dartmoor.

Brook Becka back

Ivor picked up the mahogany Lyn we featured last month

Ivor and his Mahogany Brook Lyn

And Chris collected his cutaway Tamar, also featured last month!

Chris and his Brook Tamar

Mandy Woods, a singer songwriter from Glastonbury, bought her Little Silver from Coda Music and brought it over to have a Fishman pickup installed. She wrote a blog about her visit and the Little Silver here

Mandy and her Brook Little Silver

Charlotte picked up this Gibson archtop with an authentic Charlie Christian pickup & her ES 330 which were in for various repairs.

Two Gibsons

It was good to catch up with our friend Dave Carless the other week who brought over his twenty year old Taw for us to fit a Fishman Rare Earth Blend pickup.

Dave Carless and his Brook Taw

TV’s latest album features acoustic versions of some favourite songs, there are photos of his two Taws – in various states of repair!

TV Smith Acoustic Sessions 2

Lastly – over the previous months we’ve shown the snowdrops, primroses and daffodils, this month it’s the turn of this healthy carpet of bluebells!

Bluebells

Brook Guitars News March 2022

March 2022

Ken here, with his trio of Brooks, came over from North Cornwall to pick up his new Blackwater,

Ken with his new Brook Blackwater

And George drove down from Milton Keynes for his new Lyn, his fourth Brook!

George and his new Lyn

This time with a Venetian cutaway,

Cutaway Lyn

A moon spruce top, rosewood back and sides, pyramid bridge and a K&K pickup.

Cutaway Brook Lyn

This Lamorna has just been carefully packaged and is on its way to David in New South Wales, Australia,

Brook Lamorna

Here’s a close up of the Sitka top and the dark reclaimed mahogany back and sides.

Brook Lamorna front and back

Ivor is coming down from Surrey next week to pick up his new Lyn,

Mahogany Brook Lyn

Again it’s reclaimed mahogany, though from a different source than the previous guitar.

Mahogany Lyn close up

Chris is also travelling down from Surrey for his Sitka topped, 12 fret Tamar,

12 Fret Brook Tamar

He asked Jack for a maple leaf design inlay on the fingerboard

Maple Leaf Inlay

And chose this exotic ebony set for the back and sides.

Exotic Ebony Tamar Back

I was really pleased to get this note and the latest CD from American outsider legend Michael Hurley. He has a little Bovey we made for him and brings it out now and again to record with!

Michael Hurley's Note

Gareth Hedges brought a Bert Jansch Foundation guitar round for a tweak before he recorded with it. This is one of a couple being passed musician to musician for ‘Around The World In 80 Plays’.

Gareth Around The World In 80 Plays

Gareth’s in good company, he picked up the Yamaha from Sarah McQuaid, just a few of the  guitarists who’ve already signed this one include Richard Thompson, John Smith and Michael Watts!

Bert Jansch Guitar

Talking of Yamahas – Bluesman Jeff Horsey brought his vintage one in for us to replace the bridge and give it a well deserved set-up.

Another Yamaha

Repair Department: Andy did an extraordinary job getting this J200 back in pristine condition – and yes we did put the pickguard back on, I just forgot to do it before the ‘after’ shot!

J200 Repair

Nature Watch: The blossom’s coming out, along with primroses and daffodils, we’re hoping the cold spell coming up isn’t going to affect this year’s apple crop.

Daffs in the Orchard

We’ll find out later in the year.

Brook Guitars News February 2022

February 2022

A little late this year but It’s that time again – the snowdrops are back in the orchard surrounding the apple trees.

Brook Guitars Workshop February 2022

Ken, from North Cornwall, will be popping over in a couple of weeks to collect his second Brook, a Blackwater.

Brook Blackwater Full Length

This one has a European spruce top, a snowflake fingerboard inlay,

Brook Blackwater Close Up

Lacewood back and sides

Lacewood Brook Blackwater

And a stag inlay on the headstock.

Brook Blackwater Stag Inlay

Julian came down from Castle Cary to pick up the second lacewood guitar this month, a short-scale Lyn,

Brook Lacewood Lyn Back

It had a wider 46 mm nut and we fitted a K&K Pure Mini pickup.

Brook Lacewood Lyn

Here’s the lacewood back.

Brook Lacewood Lyn Back

We had a nice spread in February’s Countryman magazine.

Countryman Article February 2022

Our friend Martin Bell did a great job the other evening faced with the unenviable task of supporting the superb Clive Carroll at Alstonefields Village Hall. They also played a few numbers together, Martin was playing his bubinga Cary.

Martin C.C. Support

I’ve a soft spot for the old Hofners and have a collection of them so it was nice to see this 1959 Hofner Congress come in for some TLC!

Hofner Congress 1959

We’ve had a few emails about these guitars being sold under the Brook name. It should be fairly obvious but we would like to reiterate – the range, made in China, are not our designs or associated with us in any way.

Fake Brook

To get to the broken braces and splits in this Oakwood mandola Andy found the best way was to sacrifice the back and make a replacement after repairing the damage to the top.

Oakwood Repair

More news next month!

Brook Guitars News January 2022

January 2022

On the way home on our first day back after our winter break I came across this interesting view over the moors.

Sunset January 2022

This Lyn‘s going over to Skip in Florida,

Brook Lyn January 2022

It has a European spruce top with a pyramid bridge,

Lyn European Spruce Top

English walnut back and sides,

Walnut Lyn

And Waverly tuners on the squared off slotted headstock.

Brook Slotted Headstock

This 640/680 mm scale fan fret Tavy is for Steve in East Devon,

Brook Tavy Fan Fret

It has an exotic ebony back and sides with a maple laminated neck

Ebony Tavy Back

And gold 510 machine heads, Steve asked for the last of the old logos to match his other Brooks.

Brook Fan Fret Headstock

Pat from Las Vegas sent us this photo of himself with the tallest Christmas tree and the shortest guitars on the fourteenth anniversary of the twins arrival!

Pat and the Twins

Three Martins in for set-ups.

Three Martins

I’m sorry to say we can’t take on any more repair work until we clear some of the backlog, if you can be patient for a while we’ll aim to open our doors to this side of our business a little later in the year.

Cases

One of our customers brought this spalted walnut back from France, we’ve just sawn it into sets so he can choose one for his new guitar.

Spalted Walnut

Woody Mann 1952 – 2022

Woody Mann

It’s with great sadness we say goodbye to Woody, we met him first back in the nineties after he’d demonstrated our guitars at the NAAM show in the States. When he was gigging over here he called us and we picked him up from the local station and brought him out to the workshop. We made two guitars for him and kept in touch, and met up occasionally over the years. He was a genuine gentleman as well as being an inspirational musician.

Brook Guitars News December 2021

December 2021

No wonder no-one can find us!

Broken signpost

We sent this little bubinga Holly up to our friend Richard in Market Harborough, our shortest scale six string.

Brook Holly six string

He kindly sent us a copy of his latest book –

Status Quo book by Richard James

And wrote ‘To help customers judge the size of this lovely new instrument you can inform them that it is approximately the length of one Russian Blue kitten. Please note – kitten is not at full extension and objected to being photographed without prior consultation’!

Holly and cat comparison

I’ll add another, nearly festive, size comparison – The Holly and The Tavy.

Brook Holly And Tavy

This is Richard from Bristol’s third Brook, an abalone and pearl decorated Lyn

Abalone border on bubinga Brook Lyn

With bubinga back and sides and a figured mahogany laminated neck. Succinctly and to the point Richard wrote ‘Thanks for the Lyn – outstanding’!

Bubinga Brook Lyn

Pete came over with the Taw we made for him earlier in the year to pick up an inlay he’d commissioned from Jack of his last black lab.. here it is resting on his guitar.

Brook Taw and Jack's Inlay

Nearly every customer featured this month has more than one Brook – so to add to the roster this 613 mm, short scale, walnut Creedy went up to Keith in Greenwich, his second of our guitars!

Cedar Brook Creedy

We’ve still more repairs here than we’d really like, Andy sorted out a tricky problem with the wiring on this Gibson bass

Andy wiring a Gibson bass

And repaired yet another Les Paul headstock break. The customer was delighted with the result.

Les Paul Headstock Break

Season’s Greetings to everyone

Season's Greetings from Brook

And Best Wishes for the New Year. We’ll be away from the workshop for our winter break until the 5th January.

 

Brook Guitars News November 2021

November 2021

We’ve been lucky to avoid the bad storms that have caused so much trouble in the North but with the colder spell early last week the early morning frost brought out this herd of deer,

Deer at Brook Workshop 1

We haven’t seen them in these sort of numbers so close to the workshop for a while!

Deer at Brook Workshop 2

We seem to have been making a lot of nylon strung  crossover models recently. We’ve just completed this rather striking Lyn,

Nylon Strung Brook Lyn Full Length

Very much with a black and white theme – it has a European spruce top, ebony binding, fingerboard, head veneer and custom ebony bridge,

Nylon Strung Brook Lyn Top

Along with this lovely maple back, sides and laminated neck,

Nylon Strung Brook Lyn Back

Complemented by these Schaller tuners.

Nylon Strung Brook Lyn Headstock

The second nylon strung guitar this month is this Taw with a tinted Sitka top,

Nylon Strung Brook Taw

The customer also asked for a pyramid bridge and this coda sign on the heel-cap.

Brook Taw Top and Heel Cap

Thirdly we have another European spruce and maple short scale Lyn,

Nylon Brook Lyn

This one with tinted back and sides and another of our custom shaped bridges.

Maple Brook Lyn Back And Top

Les here came up from Portsmouth to change the tuners for some chrome 510s on his twenty one year old rosewood and Adirondack Tamar.

Les and his Brook Tamar

Two smallish guitars for Coda Music this month: a Little Silver in front and a parlour size Clyst behind,

Brook Little Silver and Clyst 2

Sitka tops on both of them, the Silver has English walnut back and sides, the Clyst rosewood.

Brook Little Silver and Clyst

David Harsh, who writes for a U.S. music magazine, chose a Brook Taw amongst other items in his ‘Writer’s Picks’ column!

American Review

James in Michigan is so happy with his new Tamar he’s decided to sell his 2011 Taw to fund another possible build. It’s highly customised with a four piece back of Vietnamese rosewood and Tasmanian blackwood, the top’s Siberian cedar. You can contact James at james@jamesfilkins.com

J F Taw For Sale

This ad for a card game arrived this morning in our email. I don’t think we have to build this guitar to tell you the design isn’t going to work very well, don’t get any ideas guys!

Card Game

We’ll see you next month for the final news update of 2021!

Brook Guitars News October 2021

October 2021

On the way in to work earlier in the month I took some photos of this impressive rainbow.

rainbow

We sent this Lyn up to Stephen in Kent,

cutaway walnut Lyn close up

Here’s a full length shot – Engelmann top, cutaway, pyramid bridge,

cutaway walnut Lyn

English walnut back and sides

Lyn walnut back

And a walnut head veneer with Gotoh 510 tuners.

walnut head veneer

Stephen sent us these photos taken in front of the venue of his niece’s wedding in Norwich where he played the following day. He said the guitar sounded great!

Stephen and his new Lyn

This baritone rosewood Tavy has just gone up to Coda,

It has a 670 mm scale length, we strung it with D’Addario EJ-18s and tuned it C to C.

baritone Tavy full length

Martin came down from Worthing for pickup installation a set-up on his 2007 Teign. He took this photo while I was lowering the bridge

And one of his cavapoo Django amongst the autumn leaves in the orchard!

Django

As always, nice to have some interest in the local woods with a lacewood Blackwater and Lyn, and also an English walnut Lyn getting their first coats of lacquer in the spray-room!

Local Lacewood

After a hard day at work wiring up a couple of electric guitars Andy took a day off….

Andy at his workbench

To take on the challenge of repairing the wiring his wife Anita’s MX5,

Andy car electrics

While Jack worked at home on his latest inlay.

Jack inlaying at home

Sometime after being persuaded to part with my Lamorna – and the standard turnaround time, I now have a very nice rosewood and spruce Taw!

Si latest Taw

Brook Guitars News September2021

September 2021

All the repair work we’ve taken on over the last few months has rather upset our routine and we’ve ended up with a couple of batches together in the spray-room

Spray Sop 2

Consequently we’ve not many finished instruments to feature this month.

Spray Shop 1

Fortunately our customers have been sending us photos: Paul came down with his cutaway rosewood Taw

Paul

And Chris sent us this one of himself in his garden in Oxford with the Torridge he picked up from Oasis Music in Ringwood.

Chris

We sent this 12 fret Tamar out to Michigan last month, James sent us this shot of himself with the new guitar and his Taw tucked in behind on the sofa.

James

Nigel came down from the Cotswolds to pick up his sunburst Lamorna,

Nigel

Our friend Richard James’ latest foray into the world of musical publishing is this fine book covering every recorded track by the late, great Tom Petty.

Tom Petty

We asked him if he’d like us to accompany this unabashed plug with a suitable moody photo of the author so he sent us this one – not sure that’s the correct location for the ear plugs Richard!

Richard

The last guitar we made for Rob Garner was a little Creedy made from a chestnut tree that was in his garden. Recently a cherry tree had to come down, we’ll wait and see what Rob has in store for that!

Two of Beth Gibbons’ guitars came in this afternoon, Beth’s 12 fret Tavy for a set up and restringing and this 1888 Martin parlour guitar – in great condition with the original case!

Two Repairs

Finally, as we’re rather short of news, we have a couple of photos from a forthcoming article about Brook Guitars – more of which next month. Firstly Andy and me at our respective work benches,

Andy and Si

And lastly a view of the dusty collection of assorted instruments in our display room.

Collection

Brook Guitars News August 2021

August 2021

Graham came over to the workshop from Tavistock with his partner Gail to pick up his new Tamar, they treated us to a medley of Nick Drake songs!

Graham and his Tamar

Graham’s figured English walnut and European spruce topped Tamar featured a shorter 630 mm scale length for ease of playing.

Short Scale Brook Tamar

We had two new guitars for Coda: This figured mahogany Taw

Mahogany Brook Taw for Coda

And this sunburst top Lamorna,

Sunburst Brook Lamorna 2

A customer visiting the workshop the other week took a fancy to the Lamorna and arranged with Coda to buy it, then pick it up from us when it was ready. Hopefully we’ll get a photo of Nigel collecting it for next month’s news.

Sunburst Brook Lamorna 1

This little Clyst is going off to Russ in Oklahoma,

Brook Clyst Full Length

Here’s a close up of the traditional looking tinted Sitka top with abalone purfling and rosette and a pyramid bridge,

Brook Clyst Close Up

And here’s the torch inlay on the headstock.

Torch Inlay

Phil and Keith came down from Somerset for quick tweaks on their two Brooks.

Phil and Keith with their Brooks

Now – just some of the ever-increasing repairs we’ve been acquiring: a new bridge for this McAlister, a Martin D18 neck re-set, a Kinkead with multiple splits, and general repair work on this National . We are going to have to turn down some of the repair work before too long as it’s starting to interfere with our main job – making guitars!

Four Repairs

Here’s the little jig we made up for cutting the fret slots on the latest fan fret Tavy we have on the go.

Fan Fret Jig

We were kindly given these sections of an old mahogany table to re-saw as guitar sets.

mahogany tables

 

 

Brookguitars News July 2021

July 2021

Louise has been waiting for a long time to come down and personally pick up her new Blackwater!

Louise Loft

Like Louise’s last Brook it was customised to her specifications, this time with lunar inlays,

Brook Blackwater Top

And exotic ebony back and sides with a figured maple centre strip,

Ebony Brook Blackwater Back

She was brought up in New Zealand and chose the Southern Cross as a pick-guard inlay!

Brook Blackwater Pickguard

Another rather interesting Brook is going off to James Filkins in the U.S. in a couple of days – a twelve fret cutaway Tamar,

John's Soundboard

With koa back and sides, padouk neck and binding,

John's Koa Tamar Back

African blackwood for the fingerboard, bridge and head veneer, with a mixture of these woods for the rosette.

John's Rosette

Along with inlays of James’ design on the headstock

John's Headstock Inlay

And fingerboard.

Dragonflies and Sun

Owen sent us this photo of himself and his new Lamorna at the Boilerhouse Gallery in Corfe Castle along with the message ” Please find the attached photo of me with the best guitar I have ever played”. Excellent, thanks Owen!

Owen and his Lamorna

Here’s Pete picking up the Taw we made for him, we featured the guitar in last month’s news!

Pete and his Taw

Rosa Rebecka gave a spirited performance at our local music day with the Lyn we made for her ten years ago out of local yew.

Rosa Rebecka 1 Rosa Rebecka 2 Rosa Rebecka 3

Thanks to Dave Rich, for all the hard work that went into organizing the thirty acts
who played at the various venues throughout the town.

Dave Rich

This walnut and moon spruce Taw went off to Rob in Leeds, he’s promised us a photo for next month’s news!

Brook Taw

Lastly a couple of Gibsons in for some attention: first off – a fine 1920 ‘F’ style mandolin that had suffered some serious damage, Andy got it back together and improved on a previous, less sympathetic repair.

Gibson Mandolin Repair

It’s never a great surprise when we get one of these in – yet another Les Paul headstock break!

Les Paul Head Break

Andy did a fine job on this, you can hardly see the join!

Brook Guitars News June 2021

June 2021

French singer songwriter Julie Blasco sent us these two photos of herself with the Creedy she’s just acquired!

Julie Blasco

We made this back in 1998 for another French artist. Check out a video of Julie playing the Creedy on our YouTube channel and for more information about Julie go to https://www.blasco-official.com

Julie Blasco and her Creedy

Coincidentally we have a second 1998 vintage Brook featured this month – this Okement that we’ve just re-set the neck on.

Brook Okement

David and Bryony called in for a set-up on David’s resonator we made in 2015.

David and Bryony

Here’s the latest Lamorna for Project Music,

Project Music Brook Lamorna

Check out the wild looking figured English walnut!

Brook Lamorna Walnut Back

And this is the latest figured mahogany Lamorna for Coda.

Figured Mahogany Lamorna

Richard sent us this fine photo, taken whilst musing about the mysterious confluence of the Torridge and the Avon!

Avon and Torridge

Pete from Yelverton ordered this Taw which will be ready for collection shortly.

Brook Taw

It has another set of striking English walnut back and sides, a walnut neck and lace-wood binding,

Brook Taw Walnut Back

Along with a few personalised inlays on the headstock.

Taw Headstock Inlay

Another vintage Brook here, this time a 1999 Torridge 015. Bernard, the owner, asked us to retro fit a sound-port in the ribs.

Brook Torridge Sound Port

Bob bought this Lyn from Coda and brought it along for a free first set-up while visiting the area.

Bob Brook Torridge

Steve has several fan fretted guitars of ours and we’ve just drawn up a quick plan of the latest for him with a slightly more extreme 640/678 mm scale, we’ve just started work on it.

Steve Fan Fret Plan

Will Adams was spotted busking with his Lamorna in Weymouth.

Will Busking

Repair Shop: Disappointing to see a virtually new Martin in need of a neck reset so soon after leaving  the factory.

Martin Neck Re-set

We repaired this huge acoustic bass

Big Bass

And scale-wise, at the other extreme, we’ve been sympathetically renovating this uke and an Italian mandolin, coincidentally both were owned and played by the respective owner’s fathers!

Uke and Mandolin

All visitors to the workshop please beware of potholes, I took these photos along a short stretch of road on my way out here one morning recently.

Potholes

Drive carefully!

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.

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!