Frank Brothers Guitar Company - Custom Build for Me.

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by fogdart, Oct 4, 2017.

  1. Whitecat

    Whitecat Member

    Messages:
    1,626
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Loving this thread and gassing hard. Wondering to myself what a spruce topped model with a Bigsby would come out like...
     
  2. fogdart

    fogdart Supporting Member

    Messages:
    80
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Thanks Whitecat.

    They've done a custom order with a spruce top - sounded incredible. They've also done at least one with a Bigsby.
     
  3. Whitecat

    Whitecat Member

    Messages:
    1,626
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Yeah, saw both those options on the menu and started to salivate...
     
    fogdart likes this.
  4. fogdart

    fogdart Supporting Member

    Messages:
    80
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    I would say that it is unusual. There are a number of luthiers who produce pieces with this level of workmanship, but I'm not familiar with many who engineer their guitars to this level. I can't think of anyone who builds relief into the neck out of necessity because their neck design is so stiff (update 3), routes the truss rod cavity in a curve to pinpoint the apex of compression (update 3), machines the frets slots on the same radius as the board to maximize strength (update 5), machines the fret slots at varying sizes to control compression,and pockets the frets all in the same guitar. Take all of the engineering that goes into the neck and add it to what they've done with the body - you get a pretty unique level of design.

    I'm not sure if you build all of these details into your guitars or not. But if you do, you should give yourself a little more credit. These details are unusual- and nothing to simply pass off as commonplace run of the mill guitar building techniques.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
    Steve1977 likes this.
  5. fogdart

    fogdart Supporting Member

    Messages:
    80
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Not an update, but a little teaser post. Here are a couple pictures of the FBGC proprietary tail piece, which in my opinion is an important ingredient in the FBGC sound and feel. If you look at pictures of the guitar you'll notice two things in particular about the tailpiece. One, the design of the tailpiece makes for a very shallow break angle of the strings over the bridge. Two, the tailpiece floats. Both of these details help to make the strings feel very slinky - similar to tuning down a semi tone. It might be just me, but the tension also feels incredibly balanced from one string to the next. The tailpiece is an original Frank Bros. design, and is made locally by renowned luthier and inlay artist Mark Kett.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I stopped by the FBGC workshop yesterday to take a look at my guitar. I walked out with the off cut from my Braz fretboard. I've decided to do something that I've always wanted - test different fretboard oils on a piece of rosewood. Right now I'm observing how the oils react, taking photos, and documenting. I'll make a detailed post tomorrow after 24 hours of absorption. But, just to tease, here's a photo of the 4 oils on the piece of Brazilian Rosewood. The oils used are: mineral oil (suitable substitute lemon oil), woodwind bore oil, boiled linseed oil, raw linseed oil.


    [​IMG]

    After 10 minutes of absorption. Can you guess which oil is which?:
    [​IMG]
     
    tj93 likes this.
  6. fogdart

    fogdart Supporting Member

    Messages:
    80
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Update 7:

    She's starting to look like a guitar. Yesterday the neck was glued to the body. FBGC has used hide glue successfully in the past, but ultimately decided to use Titebond wood glue in this application. It was explained to me by Tim that they prefer not to have to heat the neck joint prior to applying the glue - which is a necessary step with hide glue. Tim and Nick chose differently glues for different applications. For the fretboard they use marine grade epoxy so as not to introduce any water into the bond. In the case of the neck/body joint, the water in the glue helps to swell the joint and make a tighter fit.

    In the photos you will notice how substantial the neck tenon is. It's about as long as Gibson's famed "long tenon" neck joint, but substantial wider and deeper. The idea is to cerate the most stable, strongest, and best sustaining joint possible.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    The boys also had some time to glue the binding into the back of the body. Here you will see Simon, the only person that Tim and Nick trust to work on their guitars aside from themselves.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Getting very excited!
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
    Steve1977, Jaya, derekd and 2 others like this.
  7. Shane S

    Shane S Member

    Messages:
    1,668
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    @fogdart your guitar is coming right along! The brothers work fast and Simon is a great guy too! Did you by chance have any photos of the top and back being glued on? I thought that was unique to their design when I visited them last year.

    BTW - I dig the new Aero jacket. I have a couple leather jackets your hometown leather master David Himel;).
     
  8. DaveNJ

    DaveNJ Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,503
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2006
    Location:
    Manalapan, NJ
    I’m interested to see how they free it from the slab - very interesting! Love it so far...
     
  9. fogdart

    fogdart Supporting Member

    Messages:
    80
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    I'll see if Tim snapped any pics of the top binding being glued. I asked him to document the build for me, most of the pics I've posted were sent to me from Tim. It is a very unique design element. As is the way that the neck is glued to the body before it is cut out.

    Thanks for the compliment re: Aero jacket. You must have found me on instagram. The Himel Bros make gorgeous jackets! Which models do you have? I had one of their early Cafe Racer type designs. I got bigger, and it didn't. I sold it on eBay in USD and ended up making money because the CAD is so low.

    Oh it's been freed. I'll post the pics tomorrow.
     
  10. Shane S

    Shane S Member

    Messages:
    1,668
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    @fogdart, yes your photos showed up on my Instagram. Most likely because I follow the FBG. I have two custom made Kensington Cafe Racers with both in Shinki HH. I like them a lot but recently got a The Flat Head HH jacket that fits amazing and looks amazing so that gets worn the majority of the time these days.
     
    fogdart likes this.
  11. fogdart

    fogdart Supporting Member

    Messages:
    80
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Update 8:

    Tim sent me these photos late in the day Thursday, but I've had a busy weekend.

    I'm pretty sure these pics explain themselves. Oh, and she's only 5.12lbs at the moment. Should put her right around 7.00lbs when done. :)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  12. B Vance

    B Vance Member

    Messages:
    1,995
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Location:
    OHIO
    These guitars are absolutely stunning. Enjoy the process and play in good health when it's finally done!
     
  13. dougk

    dougk Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,966
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    I just love the way these guys build. It's such a cool approach.

    Great thread!
     
  14. bdm

    bdm Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,179
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Location:
    Houston TX
    I’ve been following them on Instagram for a while. I dig their aesthetic. I’d have to have two volumes and tones though.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
    Shane S likes this.
  15. Shane S

    Shane S Member

    Messages:
    1,668
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Me too @bdm. I put in my request for this configuration a year ago when I visited their shop. Hopefully at some point this will be a reality.
     
  16. fogdart

    fogdart Supporting Member

    Messages:
    80
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    I'm almost certain that they will accommodate this now. I will check
     
  17. Teleplayer

    Teleplayer Moder8er Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    19,583
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    A bit hard to tell from the web site; but I am assuming at the $5k - $6k price point, the Frank Bros. have been practicing their craft 20 +/- or so years and have sold a few hundred pieces at this point? I was not able to glean this from their web site.
     
  18. Saul Koll

    Saul Koll Member

    Messages:
    880
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I love what these guys are doing. Cool designs and innovative construction methodology. I also love that they keep vintage vinyl beneath their ginormous jointer.
     
    Jaya and Shane S like this.
  19. fogdart

    fogdart Supporting Member

    Messages:
    80
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Slyly throwing shade on a Sunday afternoon. No problem...

    Tim and Nick have been building guitars for 10+ years. The company itself is fairly new. I believe they launched the company and the Sig Model a little over two years ago. At this point they've sold around 100 FBGC Sig Models. If you were to visit the shop, talk with the guys, see the product you'd think that they'd have been at it for a lifetime.

    Oh, and the revised Sig Model (as I'm getting) will start at $3600. *EDIT Jan 2018*

    Their old man was a prominent Canadian recording engineer. He worked with Bob Seger, and Alice Cooper amongst others. I'm sure that he had something to do with that record collection.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
    Saul Koll likes this.
  20. Saul Koll

    Saul Koll Member

    Messages:
    880
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR


    Their old man was a prominent Canadian recording engineer. He worked with Bob Seger, and Alice Cooper amongst others. I'm sure that he had something to do with that record collection.
    [/QUOTE]

    Yes I'm familiar with him. Legendary. If I wasn't clear in my first post, I'll just say I have nothing but love for these guys-
     
    Jaya, plexigary and Shane S like this.

Share This Page