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  #61  
Old 07-28-2020, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by nickk View Post
Sounds like you need a Hurdy Gurdy too, I'm thinking about building one...
Sounds like an interesting idea!
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  #62  
Old 07-28-2020, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by iim7V7IM7 View Post
Aren't you going to explain how Nick makes his own truss rods?
Sure! But, I'll have to ask him to explain it to me first..

Last edited by mhw48; 07-28-2020 at 08:50 PM.
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  #63  
Old 07-28-2020, 10:12 PM
FormerFoodie FormerFoodie is offline
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Originally Posted by mhw48 View Post
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.
That's a cool factoid. I always assumed Bob Taylor was the one who pioneered the use of bolt-on necks. Wonder if Nick's (or others) use of bolt-on necks pre-dated Taylor. Just curious about the historical timing...
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  #64  
Old 07-29-2020, 08:35 AM
Wengr Wengr is offline
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Originally Posted by mhw48 View Post
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.
Thanks for this. Very interesting. I like my Prairie State Jumbo to the point that I sometimes consider a second one in different woods.
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  #65  
Old 07-29-2020, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by FormerFoodie View Post
That's a cool factoid. I always assumed Bob Taylor was the one who pioneered the use of bolt-on necks. Wonder if Nick's (or others) use of bolt-on necks pre-dated Taylor. Just curious about the historical timing...
Nick began Franklin Guitar company in 1971, I think Bob Taylor started building guitars in 1972. Mossman was also building guitars with bolt on necks back in the 70s. The neck on Gurian guitars were secured with ebony pins.

Last edited by mhw48; 07-29-2020 at 09:21 AM.
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  #66  
Old 07-29-2020, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by mhw48 View Post
Nick began Franklin Guitar company in 1971, I think Bob Taylor started building guitars in 1972. Mossman was also building guitars with bolt on necks back in the 70s. The neck on Gurian guitars were secured with ebony pins.
Small point, but I believe that Nick may have built his first guitar in 1971 but did not form Franklin Guitar Co. until 3-years later in 1974.
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  #67  
Old 07-29-2020, 12:53 PM
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Back to the build! Nick wanted the truss rod on his guitars to be adjustable under tension, which led to another innovation: The truss rod is accessed through a hole in the top of the peghead.
Nick initially got the idea from a “T-handled Allen wrench with a ball driver manufactured by Bondhus”. The ball-end of the wrench can engage the nut at the end of the truss rod at up to 15 degrees off axis.
This means having to drill a very precise hole through the length of the peghead, so Nick created a heavy-duty jig that attaches to the peghead and guides the drilbit.
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File Type: jpg L1060903.jpg (33.3 KB, 227 views)

Last edited by mhw48; 07-29-2020 at 03:35 PM.
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  #68  
Old 07-29-2020, 05:35 PM
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What year did Nick start doing that? For much older guitars, he had a truss rod that was accessible from the soundhole through a hole drilled in the brace there.
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  #69  
Old 07-29-2020, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iim7V7IM7 View Post
Aren't you going to explain how Nick makes his own truss rods?
I have a feeling you know the answer to this question -- which is an interesting one! There is a great interview with Nick and his wife Jeanne in the Summer 2015 issue of American Lutherie (#122) that also includes a detailed pictorial overview of Nick building an OM. So with due credit given, I am reproducing the photos and explanation of the truss rod from page 19 of the magazine.
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Last edited by mhw48; 07-30-2020 at 05:45 AM.
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  #70  
Old 07-30-2020, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by iim7V7IM7 View Post
Small point, but I believe that Nick may have built his first guitar in 1971 but did not form Franklin Guitar Co. until 3-years later in 1974.
You are absolutely correct, that's exactly what Nick's website states: "A few years and a few guitars later, Nick moved to Franklin, MI. There, on Franklin Road, he formed the Franklin Guitar Company in 1974."

Last edited by mhw48; 07-30-2020 at 09:18 AM.
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  #71  
Old 07-30-2020, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soma5 View Post
What year did Nick start doing that? For much older guitars, he had a truss rod that was accessible from the soundhole through a hole drilled in the brace there.
The OP can check with Nick, or maybe Nick will grace us with a post, but it is my recollection that the current style of building (e.g. the truss rod, bracing scheme, etc.) by Nick dates back to about 2003 when he was building in Missouri.

Remember, while Nick has been building guitars for nearly 50-years, much of that time Franklin Guitar Co. was a small team-built shop like Michael Millard’s Froggy Bottom is today with Nick as its leader performing key operations and directing his staff.

Nick’s solo built guitars Are mostly from the last two decades. I would guess only 200-250 of the 700 Franklin guitars are solo built instruments by Nick.

While my Franklin has an “F” on its headstock, when I look at it, I see a “K”...
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  #72  
Old 07-30-2020, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iim7V7IM7 View Post
The OP can check with Nick, or maybe Nick will grace us with a post, but it is my recollection that the current style of building (e.g. the truss rod, bracing scheme, etc.) by Nick dates back to about 2003 when he was building in Missouri.

Remember, while Nick has been building guitars for nearly 50-years, much of that time Franklin Guitar Co. was a small team-built shop like Michael Millard’s Froggy Bottom is today with Nick as its leader performing key operations and directing his staff.

Nick’s solo built guitars Are mostly from the last two decades. I would guess only 200-250 of the 700 Franklin guitars are solo built instruments by Nick.

While my Franklin has an “F” on its headstock, when I look at it, I see a “K”...
Kukich guitars! My impression is that Nick has been solo for a longer period. If Nick doesn’t chime in, I’ll ask him the next time we speak.

Last edited by mhw48; 07-31-2020 at 08:42 AM.
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  #73  
Old 07-31-2020, 02:06 PM
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The truss rod access hole drilled, showing the tool used to adjust it.
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  #74  
Old 07-31-2020, 02:12 PM
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Aligning, pinning and gluing the faceplate to the headstock. Also angling the nut.
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File Type: jpg L1060913.jpg (31.7 KB, 143 views)
File Type: jpg L1060919.jpg (22.5 KB, 142 views)
File Type: jpg L1060922.jpg (44.5 KB, 140 views)

Last edited by mhw48; 07-31-2020 at 02:18 PM.
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  #75  
Old 07-31-2020, 02:16 PM
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Why a Martin nut? let me explain: This guitar build requires a Martin nut because... it's being built for someone whose first name is Martin.
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