The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Custom Shop

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 09-19-2018, 04:43 PM
iim7V7IM7's Avatar
iim7V7IM7 iim7V7IM7 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: An Exit Off the Turnpike in New Jersey
Posts: 3,544
Default NICK KUKICH (Franklin Guitar Co.) The OMC (German Spruce / Cuban Mahogany)

After a year + of waiting, my build slot with Portland, Oregon luthier Nick Kukich (Franklin Guitar Company, http://www.franklinguitarcompany.com/) has finally arrived. Given when he is starting, this looks like a February 2019 delivery.

The Guitar...

Nick will be building me one of his “The OMC” models with a Venetian cutaway. Nick’s OMC is larger than its Nazareth namesake and his OM model. It has a 15-5/8” in width at the lower bout (vs. 15”-15-1/8” for an OM), a 19-13/16” body length (vs. 19-1/8” for an OM) and is 1/8” deeper in its end depth at 4-1/4” (vs. 4-1/8 for an OM). The larger size is to increase the body volume to compensate for the volume lossed from the cutaway and create an aesthetically pleasing plantilla. I believe that he has been making his most recent embodiment of the OMC for about the last 10-15-years. Nick’s guitar designs have evolved from strict Nazareth traditional design over the years which will become evident as you watch this build. I haven’t seen a Franklin Guitar Co. build thread of his work here on AGF for about 8-years now. I will try to share some these distinctive build features in this thread.

Some Preliminary Specs...

We have worked out some basic specifications for the guitar:
  • For the top, Nick has chosen some >50-year old, seasoned, German Spruce that I believe that he purchased decades ago together with is friend and fellow luthier Jeffrey Elliott.
  • For the back and sides, he will be using some very dense, figured, quartersawn Cuban Mahogany that he purchased from Bart Potter in Hawaii (It was introduced from the Caribbean as a foreign tree into Hawaii in the early 1900s);
  • We have selected a Gaboon Ebony fretboard, a 25.4” scale length with Abalone diamonds & squares long pattern inlays;
  • 1-3/4” nut width with 2-5/16” string spacing;
  • Jescar EVO 43080 frets;
  • Brazilian Rosewood bridge;
  • Curly hard maple binding with a Style 40 - Paua Abalone top purflings;
  • Paua Abalone rosette.
We have a number of aesthetic decisions still to make, but we’ll make those as we move through the process. I will update this thread if and when and if I receive updates from Nick.

Here are some photos below of the German Spruce top with naphtha spread on it. This wood is stamped January 17, 1968 from its supplier so it was harvested, prepared and seasoned >50-years ago. The subtle darkened discoloration seen near the center seam and edges of the two plates is oxidation. Nick had some newer wood sets that were aesthetically superior, but this type of aesthetic defect does not bother me enough to overrule the luthier’s sense of which set has the greatest sonic potential. Nick felt that this wood was sonically the best that he had.







Here are two photos of the Cuban Mahogany set that Nick is using for the guitar with naphtha applied to better see its figure. Nick explained that it is extremely dense set for a Mahogany, overlapping some Rosewoods in its density. It also has a distinct ring to its tap. I am more used to seeing a ribbon figure in the Florida and Caribbean sourced Cuban Mahogany. This Hawaiian sourced Cuban Mahogany seems to have developed a fiddleback figure much like some Honduran Mahogany presents when quartersawn.





About Nick as a Luthier...

For those of you who have not heard of Nick, I believe that his career in lutherie started as many others did in guitar repair where he was afforded the educational opportunity to work on vintage instruments (about 47 years ago in Detroit, MI). Nick started the “Franklin Guitar Company” in 1974 in Franklin, Michigan (hence the “name”). Over the decades, his shop has moved around the country a number of times from Michigan to Idaho, to Washington, to Oregon, to Missouri before returning again last year to Oregon last year. Over the four plus decades, Nick has now made more than 600 guitars. Nick is building instruments as a solo custom luthier and produces about a dozen guitars a year, one at a time.

More when I get it...
__________________
ACOUSTIC FLAT TOPS by: Michael Bashkin | Mark Blanchard | Laurent Brondel | John Buscarino | Kent Chasson | Howard Klepper | Bruce Sexauer

Last edited by iim7V7IM7; 11-30-2018 at 06:40 AM. Reason: updated specs.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09-19-2018, 05:10 PM
DanR DanR is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: St. Clair Shores, MI
Posts: 1,533
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by iim7V7IM7 View Post
Nick had some newer wood sets that were aesthetically superior, but this type of aesthetic defect does not bother me enough to overrule the luthierís sense of which set has the greatest sonic potential. Nick felt that this wood was sonically the best that he had.
My eye would see that aesthetic as superior, knowing it's sonic qualities.

Coincidentally, Nick did work on my D-35 in late '75 when he was in Franklin. My very first Martin, a D-12-20 was set up by Jeff Elliott when he was an apprentice with Richard Schneider in Detroit in '72.
__________________
===================================
'12 Martin OM-28 Custom Shop
'14 Martin HD-28
'16 Halcyon NL-00 (TLutz/EIR #144)
'07 Gibson J-45 '68 reissue
'18 Martin 000-18
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-19-2018, 05:20 PM
iim7V7IM7's Avatar
iim7V7IM7 iim7V7IM7 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: An Exit Off the Turnpike in New Jersey
Posts: 3,544
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanR View Post
My eye would see that aesthetic as superior, knowing it's sonic qualities.

Coincidentally, Nick did work on my D-35 in late '75 when he was in Franklin. My very first Martin, a D-12-20 was set up by Jeff Elliott when he was an apprentice with Richard Schneider in Detroit in '72.
Cool story (thanks for sharing). Both Nick and Jeff are still friends and both live in Portland, OR today...
__________________
ACOUSTIC FLAT TOPS by: Michael Bashkin | Mark Blanchard | Laurent Brondel | John Buscarino | Kent Chasson | Howard Klepper | Bruce Sexauer
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-19-2018, 05:23 PM
Diamondave's Avatar
Diamondave Diamondave is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Venice CA
Posts: 2,248
Default

Wow, those woods give me goose bumps...!!!
__________________
onedayatatime
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-19-2018, 05:40 PM
justonwo's Avatar
justonwo justonwo is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 5,095
Default

This is going to be totally awesome. A Franklin has always been at the top of my list of guitars to try, but I've never had the opportunity. I know that Luthier's Collection gets a fair number of them, but they aren't really in driving distance. This will be a fun one to follow. You're rolling out some drool-worthy build threads these days.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-19-2018, 06:21 PM
gitarro gitarro is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 1,625
Default

I have only played one Franklin guitar but it was a spruce/mahogany om and that was surprisingly more rosewood like than any non rosewood guitar that I have played. It had a thrilling treble on it and is an excellent guitar indeed. Your franklin has fine woods and with such an experienced and skilled luthier, ot has every chance of being a superb build. Definitely a custom build tjat I am going to lool forward to reading about in the weeks ahead.
__________________
In the end it is about who you love above yourself and what you have stood for and lived for that make the difference...
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-19-2018, 06:37 PM
iim7V7IM7's Avatar
iim7V7IM7 iim7V7IM7 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: An Exit Off the Turnpike in New Jersey
Posts: 3,544
Default

Dave/Juston/Barry,

Thanks for your kind words and well wishes... Yes, engaging a luthier who has built >600 guitars over 40+ year period using > 50 year old top wood set to make a guitar is stacking the deck a bit in the clientís favor.

All is fair in guitars and war...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diamondave View Post
Wow, those woods give me goose bumps...!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by justonwo View Post
This is going to be totally awesome. A Franklin has always been at the top of my list of guitars to try, but I've never had the opportunity. I know that Luthier's Collection gets a fair number of them, but they aren't really in driving distance. This will be a fun one to follow. You're rolling out some drool-worthy build threads these days.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gitarro View Post
I have only played one Franklin guitar but it was a spruce/mahogany om and that was surprisingly more rosewood like than any non rosewood guitar that I have played. It had a thrilling treble on it and is an excellent guitar indeed. Your franklin has fine woods and with such an experienced and skilled luthier, ot has every chance of being a superb build. Definitely a custom build tjat I am going to lool forward to reading about in the weeks ahead.
__________________
ACOUSTIC FLAT TOPS by: Michael Bashkin | Mark Blanchard | Laurent Brondel | John Buscarino | Kent Chasson | Howard Klepper | Bruce Sexauer
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-19-2018, 06:50 PM
justonwo's Avatar
justonwo justonwo is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 5,095
Default

I do think youíre a little late to the party. I heard he peaked during the French Revolution.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-19-2018, 09:43 PM
Mr. Jelly Mr. Jelly is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Sioux City, Iowa
Posts: 3,243
Default

I bought one of his guitars back in the 80s. It's crazy for me to think back on it now. I had to send him the whole price of the guitar and wait a year to receive it. That is if I remember correctly. I wrote a song on that guitar that I play to this day. I remember that it was more guitar than my skill level deserved. Nothing's changed.
__________________
peace

Santa Cruz 1929 00
Waterloo wl-s Deluxe with K & K mini
Waterloo wl-s with a K & K mini
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-19-2018, 11:12 PM
Tone Gopher Tone Gopher is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,244
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by iim7V7IM7 View Post
After a year + of waiting, my build slot with Portland, Oregon luthier Nick Kukich (Franklin Guitar Company, http://www.franklinguitarcompany.com/) has finally arrived. Given when he is starting, this looks like a February 2019 delivery.

The Guitar...

Nick will be building me one of his ďThe OMCĒ models with a Venetian cutaway...

The larger size is to increase the body volume to compensate for the volume lossed from the cutaway and create an aesthetically pleasing plantilla. I believe that he has been making his most recent embodiment of the OMC for about the last 10-15-years. Nickís guitar designs have evolved from strict Nazareth traditional design over the years which will become evident as you watch this build. I havenít seen a Franklin Guitar Co. build thread of his work here on AGF for about 8-years now.
That may have been my olí thread.

https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...light=Franklin

Regardless, Nick was great to work with, and the guitar truly wondrous. Enjoy the path.
__________________
Go for the Tone,

George
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 09-19-2018, 11:26 PM
FormerFoodie FormerFoodie is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 807
Default

Oh man... I am JEALOUS!

I played a Franklin at Luthier's Collection a few years ago, and it definitely caught my ear. One of the best I played that day and immediately put Nick on my short list of luthiers to buy a guitar from.

The Cuban Hog is amazing!!!!

I think you are going to be very, very happy. I am going to look forward to the updates on this build!!!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 09-20-2018, 03:24 AM
swiftz07 swiftz07 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,322
Default

Congratulations! You are going to love your Franklin guitar.

I have two of Nickís OMs and they are built extremely lightweight, and has a tone that rivals some of the best vintage martins. He uses interlocking top braces - I always wondered if that contributes to his awesome tone.

Nick also seems to excel with using German spruce, which he has very nice old wood cut decades ago. I donít think you could go wrong with this one! I look forward to seeing your guitar come together!
__________________

Collings OM2H Adi / Brazillian
Doerr Sterling Legacy Swiss / Brazillian (2019)
Franklin OM German / Brazillian
Franklin OM Carpathian / Brazillian
Goodall GC Italian / Brazillian
Goodall CJC Italian / Brazillian
Goodall CJC Italian / Afr. Blackwood
Goodall Parlor Engelmann / Madrose (for sale)
McPherson 5.0 Full Koa
Mcpherson 5.0XP Adi / Brazillian
Martin D-28GE Adi / Brazillian
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 09-20-2018, 07:01 AM
iim7V7IM7's Avatar
iim7V7IM7 iim7V7IM7 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: An Exit Off the Turnpike in New Jersey
Posts: 3,544
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Jelly View Post
I bought one of his guitars back in the 80s. It's crazy for me to think back on it now. I had to send him the whole price of the guitar and wait a year to receive it. That is if I remember correctly. I wrote a song on that guitar that I play to this day. I remember that it was more guitar than my skill level deserved. Nothing's changed.
Cool story...thanks for sharing...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone Gopher View Post
That may have been my olí thread.

https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...light=Franklin

Regardless, Nick was great to work with, and the guitar truly wondrous. Enjoy the path.
Yes, your build thread was one that I saw (there are also a few others)...

Quote:
Originally Posted by FormerFoodie View Post
Oh man... I am JEALOUS!

I played a Franklin at Luthier's Collection a few years ago, and it definitely caught my ear. One of the best I played that day and immediately put Nick on my short list of luthiers to buy a guitar from. I will be curious to hear how it sounds given its heavier density and ringing tap tone.

The Cuban Hog is amazing!!!!

I think you are going to be very, very happy. I am going to look forward to the updates on this build!!!
Thanks.... I honestly have never seen Cuban Mahogany with this type of fiddleback curl in it. Keep in mind, these trees were introduced to Hawaii back in the early 1900s and they may develop differently in the Hawaiian terroir than the Caribbean or Florida. That wood typically has a beautiful ribbon figure to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swiftz07 View Post
Congratulations! You are going to love your Franklin guitar.

I have two of Nickís OMs and they are built extremely lightweight, and has a tone that rivals some of the best vintage martins. He uses interlocking top braces - I always wondered if that contributes to his awesome tone.

Nick also seems to excel with using German spruce, which he has very nice old wood cut decades ago. I donít think you could go wrong with this one! I look forward to seeing your guitar come together!
Nick's approach to construction is interesting. I hope to share a bit of it here on AGF as the build evolves...
__________________
ACOUSTIC FLAT TOPS by: Michael Bashkin | Mark Blanchard | Laurent Brondel | John Buscarino | Kent Chasson | Howard Klepper | Bruce Sexauer
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 09-20-2018, 07:42 AM
mikealpine's Avatar
mikealpine mikealpine is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 4,892
Default

I'm not a mahogany guy. Or I wasn't until I heard a Charis in Cuban Mahogany that made me rethink what that wood sounds like. I can't describe what made it different, but I just know I should have bought it. Love the figuring in yours, I can only imagine that this is going to be a wonderful instrument.
__________________
---------------------------------------

2013 Joel Stehr Dreadnought - Carpathian/Malaysian BW
2014 RainSong H-OM1000N2
2017 Rainsong BI-WS1000N2
2013 Chris Ensor Concert - Port Orford Cedar/Wenge
1980ish Takamine EF363 complete with irreplaceable memories
A bunch of electrics (too many!!)
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 09-20-2018, 09:28 AM
Marcus Wong's Avatar
Marcus Wong Marcus Wong is offline
The Golden Era Guitar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Singapore
Posts: 1,588
Default

No way that is Cuban Mahogany..... lucky you Bob! Looks incredible
__________________
.
THE GOLDEN ERA GUITAR
FOR SALE | VIDEOS

AUTHORISED DEALER OF:
Astrand | Bowerman | Brondel | Buendia | Casimi | Datlen | Doerr | Fujii | Gerber |Halland | Heinonen | Isaac Jang | Keith
Kostal | Keystone | Matsuda | Michaud Made | Ogino | Pellerin | Petros | Poljakoff | Strahm | Tom Sands | Wingert

...and more

www.TheGoldenEraGuitar.com
TheGoldenEraGuitar@gmail.com
+65 8666 0420
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Custom Shop

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:42 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=