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mhw48 07-21-2020 11:02 AM

2 Attachment(s)
The sides are glued to the top. Nick has put in side braces to stiffen the sides a bit. The upper and lower side braces align with the ends of the X-brace.

mhw48 07-21-2020 04:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wengr (Post 6444152)
My guitar was built in 1992. It measures 3 1/2'' at the neck and 3 7/8' at the tail block. I purchased it some years back from Bat McGrath, and he referred to it as a Prairie State. I cant say What Nick called it.

Mine will be essentially the same dimensions.
I don't know if Nick ever officially called his jumbo a "Prairie State", although I've seen them referred to that way on more than a few occasions. Presumably because Nick's Jumbo was based on Stefan Grossman's Prairie State. I even found one reference to a "Franklin Jumbo Prairie State"! I'll have to ask Nick about it when I next speak to him.

Wengr 07-22-2020 01:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mhw48 (Post 6444523)
I even found one reference to a "Franklin Jumbo Prairie State"! I'll have to ask Nick about it when I next speak to him.

That would be much appreciated.

soma5 07-22-2020 02:31 PM

Nick has clearly thought a great deal about bracing and how it affects tone, and how to achieve the tone he intends to achieve. I have a Franklin OM that has a particularly singing quality to the tone and I believe that he built it with just that tone in mind. He is a master. He and I discussed this guitar over email earlier this year. He is also a very pleasant man.

I would love to have another Franklin guitar - you are inspiring me with your build story!

mhw48 07-23-2020 07:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by soma5 (Post 6445360)
Nick has clearly thought a great deal about bracing and how it affects tone, and how to achieve the tone he intends to achieve. I have a Franklin OM that has a particularly singing quality to the tone and I believe that he built it with just that tone in mind. He is a master. He and I discussed this guitar over email earlier this year. He is also a very pleasant man.

I would love to have another Franklin guitar - you are inspiring me with your build story!

I agree! After 49 years of building guitars, Nick has a real grasp of the nuances of guitar voicing. Other than telling Nick that I love the sound of his Dread, and discussing how various woods affect the tone, I left the final decision in his hands. Obviously the different body shape and the different tone woods will result in a sound that will not be exactly that of the Dread, but fundamentally it will have the "Franklin" sound.

Yrksman 07-23-2020 06:31 PM

I have a Brazilian Franklin OMC from 1981. Despite its age it is a superb guitar in amazing condition. The ivoroid binding had shrunk in places, this is quite normal, and after I bought it I had Jim Fleeting sort this out. Itís perfect now. Other than that no issues after nearly 40 years!

mhw48 07-24-2020 06:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yrksman (Post 6446670)
I have a Brazilian Franklin OMC from 1981. Despite its age it is a superb guitar in amazing condition. The ivoroid binding had shrunk in places, this is quite normal, and after I bought it I had Jim Fleeting sort this out. It’s perfect now. Other than that no issues after nearly 40 years!

I intend to hold onto mine for at least 40 years! ... which means I have to live to over 100...

mhw48 07-24-2020 10:53 AM

2 Attachment(s)
The back is going on! You can see that the sides and the linings are relieved for the ends of the back braces. The ends of the braces are trimmed when the back is flush routed, and are hidden under the bindings...

mhw48 07-24-2020 10:59 AM

1 Attachment(s)
... like so!

Nemoman 07-24-2020 11:09 AM

Looking good--that's a beautiful set of ABW!

mhw48 07-25-2020 09:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mhw48 (Post 6444523)
I don't know if Nick ever officially called his jumbo a "Prairie State", although I've seen them referred to that way on more than a few occasions. Presumably because Nick's Jumbo was based on Stefan Grossman's Prairie State. I'll have to ask Nick about it when I next speak to him.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wengr (Post 6445321)
That would be much appreciated.

I asked Nick about the "Prairie State" vs "Jumbo" as the name for his jumbo guitar shape. He told me that it was actually his distributor, who was in charge of printing up the Franklin Catalog, who designated it the "Jumbo". It gets called his "Prairie State" from the fact that Nick modeled the guitar on Stefan Grossman's Prairie State Jumbo. Nick pointed out that Prairie State Guitars, built by the Larson Brothers, was a whole line of guitars from small 0 size up to massive jumbos, so I suppose Nick's guitar would have to be called his "Prairie State Jumbo".
So the short answer is that it was officially designated a Franklin Jumbo, but lots of folks call it a Franklin Prairie State.

mhw48 07-25-2020 10:54 AM

3 Attachment(s)
Nick is putting his signature back-stripe on my guitar. He constructed it out of a strip of the African Blackwood, surrounded with the figured Maple he's using for the bindings. The ends of AB are cut to a sort of arrow head shape; the maple strips are mitered and glued to form a point that fits the end of the AB. The maple is bent with a soldering iron. Nick has a special jig which he uses to glue the Maple along the edge of the African Blackwood. When the stripe has dried, he scores around the inlay, and then routs a groove in the back of the guitar and inserts the back-stripe.

mhw48 07-25-2020 10:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nemoman (Post 6447258)
Looking good--that's a beautiful set of ABW!

Thanks, it is quite stunning in an understated sort of way!

FormerFoodie 07-25-2020 11:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mhw48 (Post 6448230)
Nick is putting his signature back-stripe on my guitar. He constructed it out of a strip of the African Blackwood, surrounded with the figured Maple he's using for the bindings. The ends of AB are cut to a sort of arrow head shape; the maple strips are mitered and glued to form a point that fits the end of the AB. The maple is bent with a soldering iron. Nick has a special jig which he uses to glue the Maple along the edge of the African Blackwood. When the stripe has dried, he scores around the inlay, and then routs a groove in the back of the guitar and inserts the back-stripe.

WOW. The attention to detail is awesome. I'm wiping the drool off my keyboard as the pics come in! :D Thanks for sharing!!!!

mhw48 07-25-2020 12:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FormerFoodie (Post 6448299)
WOW. The attention to detail is awesome. I'm wiping the drool off my keyboard as the pics come in! :D Thanks for sharing!!!!



When it's broken down step by step each element is fascinating, and I'm also staggered by the amount of work (not to mention skill) that goes into building a Franklin guitar!

Guitars44me 07-25-2020 06:21 PM

Sweet!
 
This is most appealing and Beautiful!

I am SURE you will be thrilled with the results

Thanks for sharing all this.

Paul

blindboyjimi 07-25-2020 07:28 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Nick has to be on a least #700 or so guitars? My 1980 is in the low 200’s, my 1989 in the mid 400’s and my former 2007 was in the 570’s. I’d love to know the proportions. I see about 90% OMs and 10% Jumbos and the rare dreadnaught. I think I’ve seen only 2 dreads. One was a hand rubbed sunburst 12 fret that was at Healdsburg about 8-9 years ago and written about by John Thomas in the FBJ. It popped up for sale about 5 years ago at Luthier’s Collection.
Attachment 41372

I should have jumped on it and there was another that required a lot of repair to bring back and someone here on AGF spent a lot to get it right, but it appeared well worth it. I don’t recall ever seeing an 0/00/Slope shoulder/J-185 or any other shapes. I play alone in my home and don’t need the volume of a Jumbo or Dreadnaught. I’ve had a Stefan Grossman HJ-38 which is Martin speak for a dreadnaught depth 16” 0000 and 2 Goodall Concert Jumbos which we’re also 16” but more like OM depth ala Martin’s 0000 or M shape. If I’m correct the Franklin Jumbo is 17” but it appears to be only 3 3/4” or 4” at the heel. The bass on the Jumbos is addicting. I found the HJ just too boomy with the deep body and regrettingly moved it on. The Goodalls were also wonderful, but my Franklins just got more play. They are gone as well.

Has Nick ever made an OM shaped 16”? Gibson has the J-185, Martin has the M, Bourgeois the JOM, SCGC the OM Grand, and Goodall the Concert Jumbo. I’d jump at a tight waisted Franklin 16” OM shaped guitar. I’d call that the “Goldilocks”....just right. I haven’t played a Jumbo in a long time, but this thread is causing an itch.

iim7V7IM7 07-25-2020 08:24 PM

Nickís OMC model is larger than his OM model at 15-5/8Ē. He increases the body size to compensate for the lost body volume due to the cutaway.

https://i1238.photobucket.com/albums...psnnbj6qur.png

mhw48 07-25-2020 08:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blindboyjimi (Post 6448722)
Nick has to be on a least #700 or so guitars? My 1980 is in the low 200’s, my 1989 in the mid 400’s and my former 2007 was in the 570’s. I’d love to know the proportions. I see about 90% OMs and 10% Jumbos and the rare dreadnaught. I think I’ve seen only 2 dreads. One was a hand rubbed sunburst 12 fret that was at Healdsburg about 8-9 years ago and written about by John Thomas in the FBJ. It popped up for sale about 5 years ago at Luthier’s Collection.
Attachment 41372

I should have jumped on it and there was another that required a lot of repair to bring back and someone here on AGF spent a lot to get it right, but it appeared well worth it. I don’t recall ever seeing an 0/00/Slope shoulder/J-185 or any other shapes. I play alone in my home and don’t need the volume of a Jumbo or Dreadnaught. I’ve had a Stefan Grossman HJ-38 which is Martin speak for a dreadnaught depth 16” 0000 and 2 Goodall Concert Jumbos which we’re also 16” but more like OM depth ala Martin’s 0000 or M shape. If I’m correct the Franklin Jumbo is 17” but it appears to be only 3 3/4” or 4” at the heel. The bass on the Jumbos is addicting. I found the HJ just too boomy with the deep body and regrettingly moved it on. The Goodalls were also wonderful, but my Franklins just got more play. They are gone as well.

Has Nick ever made an OM shaped 16”? Gibson has the J-185, Martin has the M, Bourgeois the JOM, SCGC the OM Grand, and Goodall the Concert Jumbo. I’d jump at a tight waisted Franklin 16” OM shaped guitar. I’d call that the “Goldilocks”....just right. I haven’t played a Jumbo in a long time, but this thread is causing an itch.

The Dread that Nick showed at Healdsburg is actually mine now, I bought it directly from Nick a couple of years ago. It's the Dread prototype; Adi/figured Mahogany. It's a truly stellar guitar (I've previously posted about it here: https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...29#post6036129)
And when Nick finishes my Jumbo it will be number 700! I don't know the breakdown, but I assume that Nick has built more OM's than either of his other two models, with the smallest number being his Dreadnaughts. Speaking of Dreadnaughts, he also built a few Martin inspired Dreads back in the late 70's or 80s, but doesn't currently offer that shape. The 12 Fret Dread is 16" at the lower bout and 4 3/4 at the heel, while the Jumbo is 16 3/4 at the lower bout, but -- as you say -- around 4" at the heel.

mhw48 07-25-2020 08:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iim7V7IM7 (Post 6448763)
Nick’s OMC model is larger than his OM model at 15-5/8”. He increases the body size to compensate for the lost body volume due to the cutaway.

https://i1238.photobucket.com/albums...psnnbj6qur.png

Such a beauty! It was a real pleasure following the build of your Franklin. I recommend to anyone looking at this thread to read that build too, to see Nick's work on a cutaway in German spruce and Cuban Mahogany and for a really detailed and informative thread on how Nick works: https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=522401
Nick, or his wife Jeanne, mentioned that he's made his Dreadnaught in a 14 fret version, which would resemble a 16" wide OM except for the greater depth, but I assume Nick could build a shallower version.

mhw48 07-26-2020 11:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Guitars44me (Post 6448668)
This is most appealing and Beautiful!

I am SURE you will be thrilled with the results

Thanks for sharing all this.

Paul

Thank you Paul, I am really looking forward to this guitar. I have enjoyed the build threads here on AGF, am happy to have the opportunity to post my own, and to share my enthusiasm for Franklin Guitars!

mhw48 07-26-2020 11:59 AM

The Far side
 
2 Attachment(s)
I got caught up in posting on the construction of the back stripe and forgot to post the pictures of the other side of the box. We went with a simple alternation of black and white purfling inside the figured Maple bindings. I thought that it would compliment the rosette, and I like the look of the thicker black line outlining the top. All of this should work well with the nearly black African Blackwood body.

mhw48 07-27-2020 08:01 AM

1 Attachment(s)
The back and sides with a wipe of Naptha gives an idea of how the African Blackwood will look under finish and shows off the backstrip. The color is very rich, not a solid black but more like a really dark chocolate.

mhw48 07-28-2020 10:51 AM

4 Attachment(s)
At the end of a conversation about tuner possibilities — we’ve settled on Schaller GrandTunes, nickel with ebony buttons — Nick was about to start working and he remarked that he builds guitars Monday through Friday, but reserves his weekends for working on his inventions.
I’m not sure what inventions Nick is working on at the moment, but if they're anything like one of his earlier ones -- which he joked is his “proprietary” neck set machine -- they are bound to be cool! The neck set machine is quite ingenious, so I thought I'd include some photos of it that Nick sent, and a description:
It is constructed out of an old belt sander that he rescued from the garbage. He made a platen with a radius that matches the radius of the top of his guitars, and installed the platen on the surface of the belt sander, underneath the sand paper. He then constructed a vertical unit that holds the neck blank. It is adjustable on both the x and y axis. He then is able to sand the heel of the neck to fit precisely against the body.

pegleghowell 07-28-2020 10:57 AM

A work of art.

mhw48 07-28-2020 11:05 AM

Nick attaches the neck to the body with bolts, which, he says, has gotten him a lot of grief over the span of his career. Especially at the start in the early 70's, when he was an unknown builder not yet 20 years old, anything that departed from the techniques used by Martin was considered heresy. "Who does that kid think he is?!?"
Nick can build with with a traditional dovetail neck joint, but chooses not to for several reasons. He feels that the the way he attaches the neck actually produces a tighter, firmer contact between the heel of the neck and the body of the guitar. And, of course, a neck reset can be done much faster with a bolt on neck.
In any case, it seems to have served him well, since 49 years later he's still using it.

mhw48 07-28-2020 11:29 AM

2 Attachment(s)
The heelcap is aligned with the centerline of the back and then glued in place.

mhw48 07-28-2020 11:35 AM

2 Attachment(s)
The adjustable truss rod is installed in a slot routed in the neck blank and then covered with a mahogany strip. Next, the fingerboard is aligned and glued to the neck blank.

iim7V7IM7 07-28-2020 12:35 PM

Aren't you going to explain how Nick makes his own truss rods? :)

nickk 07-28-2020 12:51 PM

Sounds like you need a Hurdy Gurdy too, I'm thinking about building one...


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