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  #106  
Old 08-24-2020, 08:32 AM
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mhw48 mhw48 is offline
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Originally Posted by massimo View Post
Beautiful instrument, congrats!
I love thin fretboard purfling- ordered my OM from Nick with one when I commissioned
Congratulations on your OM! I really like that detail as well. There are a number of details like that on Nick's guitars that I really appreciate: the side "fillets" (the thin purfling under the bindings on the side), the triangular, purfled endgraft, the "arrowhead" back stripe.
Then, of course, there's the Franklin sound!
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  #107  
Old 08-26-2020, 04:59 AM
pegleghowell pegleghowell is offline
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Originally Posted by mhw48 View Post
Nick is a master craftsman, but he has the sensibility of an artist as well towards his work.
Indeed he is.Your guitar is a work of art.Thank you for sharing,this thread is a joy.
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  #108  
Old 08-26-2020, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by pegleghowell View Post
Indeed he is.Your guitar is a work of art.Thank you for sharing,this thread is a joy.
My pleasure!
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  #109  
Old 08-29-2020, 07:04 AM
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My Franklin Jumbo is finished!
Except for the finish…

To recap the situation, Nick is planning for the first time to apply a varnish finish instead of nitrocellulose lacquer to a guitar (my guitar!), but has to postpone that step until he has set up the proper workspace for varnishing. He had offered to apply nitro if I wanted the guitar sooner but I elected to wait for the varnish finish, so the guitar has stayed with Nick for now.

To compensate for not having the guitar in my possession Nick mailed me a one foot square piece of spruce on which he’d tested the varnish. It is stunning! The color looks like the naturallly yellowed spruce on a vintage instrument without the slightly artificial look of an “aging toner”, and the varnish brings out a stunning “chatoyance” effect that gives an unbelievable depth to the wood grain. The varnish seems to have a slightly silkier feel than laquer, and a nice, mild resin-y odor!

Otherwise, a sealer coat has been applied to the guitar, the frets ends are filed and shaped, the frets are dressed, the guitar is strung and the action has been set up.
Jeanne sent me a photo of the guitar resting in their home. It obviously doesn’t have the shine yet of a high gloss finish, nor the amber tint of the varnish, but it looks really good.
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  #110  
Old 08-29-2020, 07:44 AM
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I first heard of Franklin guitars around 1987, but Iíve never had an opportunity to hear or play one. Yours is looking great. My 000 made by Alan Carruth has a brushed varnish finish. It provides a wonderful look, and I imagine a contribution to the sound. I think youíll really like it, but be aware it wonít have the dent protection of some other finishes.
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2012 Carruth 12-fret 000 in Pernambuco and Adi
2010 Poling Sierra in Cuban Mahogany and Lutz
2015 Posch 13-fret 00 in Indian Rosewood and Adi
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  #111  
Old 08-29-2020, 08:04 AM
Jwills57 Jwills57 is offline
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I have two OOOO-style guitars from the luthier Pat Foster, which both have varnish finish. Both guitars look about exactly like your guitar, except mine have old-style pyramid bridges. I love the varnish finish. I've done quite a bot of reading about it. Varnish just continues to cure over the years. It's a tough, flexible, beautiful finish, I think, and acoustically highly transparent. You'r going to love that guitar, I guarantee it!
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  #112  
Old 08-29-2020, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by ChuckS View Post
I first heard of Franklin guitars around 1987, but I’ve never had an opportunity to hear or play one. Yours is looking great. My 000 made by Alan Carruth has a brushed varnish finish. It provides a wonderful look, and I imagine a contribution to the sound. I think you’ll really like it, but be aware it won’t have the dent protection of some other finishes.
Thanks for the heads up! I won't be taking this guitar out of the house much, at least at first, and otherwise I'll just have to be super careful. As Jwills57 notes, the varnish should continue to cure and harden so it will become more dent resistant -- but part of varnish's sonic appeal comes from it's being less hard than lacquer, so it's a trade-off!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwills57 View Post
I have two OOOO-style guitars from the luthier Pat Foster, which both have varnish finish. Both guitars look about exactly like your guitar, except mine have old-style pyramid bridges. I love the varnish finish. I've done quite a bot of reading about it. Varnish just continues to cure over the years. It's a tough, flexible, beautiful finish, I think, and acoustically highly transparent. You'r going to love that guitar, I guarantee it!
That's good to hear. Your guitars sound very cool, and I am really excited (as is Nick) about the varnish finish on my Franklin. I am impatient!
I haven't played either Carruth or Foster guitars, but I checked out their websites, and they both look like really nice instruments.

Last edited by mhw48; 08-29-2020 at 09:48 AM.
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  #113  
Old 08-29-2020, 10:16 AM
pegleghowell pegleghowell is offline
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Wow!!.Nearly over the "finish" line(terrible pun intended).That is going to be mind blowing when the varnish is applied.What a stunning build.I can only imagine how great it`s going to sound.
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  #114  
Old 08-29-2020, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by pegleghowell View Post
Wow!!.Nearly over the "finish" line(terrible pun intended).That is going to be mind blowing when the varnish is applied.What a stunning build.I can only imagine how great it`s going to sound.
Ain't that the unvarnished truth!
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  #115  
Old 08-30-2020, 04:56 AM
pegleghowell pegleghowell is offline
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Ain't that the unvarnished truth!
Lol!!.That tickled me.
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  #116  
Old 08-30-2020, 06:06 AM
Richard Mott Richard Mott is offline
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Hereís a vote for varnish. Do you know if Nick is using oil or spirit varnish? I have a guitar with spirit varnish, and it has a lustrousness to it that is very different from the sometime ďhardĒ clarity of nitrocellulose. Thereís a standing debate on whether it affects tone, and I know a couple of master luthiers who switched to spirit varnish based purely on the sound, but thereís a pretty compelling case that the thickness of the finish as applied is more of a determinant. That said, spirit varnish makes the guitar look like itís in candlelight, so on that basis alone itís a great choice.
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  #117  
Old 08-30-2020, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Mott View Post
Here’s a vote for varnish. Do you know if Nick is using oil or spirit varnish? I have a guitar with spirit varnish, and it has a lustrousness to it that is very different from the sometime “hard” clarity of nitrocellulose. There’s a standing debate on whether it affects tone, and I know a couple of master luthiers who switched to spirit varnish based purely on the sound, but there’s a pretty compelling case that the thickness of the finish as applied is more of a determinant. That said, spirit varnish makes the guitar look like it’s in candlelight, so on that basis alone it’s a great choice.
Nick is planning to use oil varnish. You are right about the thickness of the finish being a significant factor. The sample that Nick sent me was very surprising -- looked at straight on, the coat of varnish looked pretty thick, but Nick had sliced the wood, and looking at the edge the layer of varnish was so thin that it was next to impossible to see. The luster of the varnish produces the illusion of depth. Varnish does make the wood look like it's in candlelight! I like that description!

Last edited by mhw48; 08-30-2020 at 03:38 PM.
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  #118  
Old 09-03-2020, 04:48 PM
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At the moment there isn’t any news to post regarding my Franklin Jumbo. Nick has set up a clean space for varnishing and he’s waiting for some of the varnish ingredients to arrive. Then he has to prepare the varnish, and THEN the varnishing will start.
In the meantime Nick is playing the guitar everyday. He’s really happy with how the guitar came out, and called me the other day to say: "Just wanted to let you know how much I'm enjoying your guitar!”
He's really impressed with the sound, and is very curious to see how it will sound once the varnish finish is on.
He told me he’ll call and send photos once there’s something to report.
So, until then, the guitar thread goes into it’s case — even if the guitar doesn’t!
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Last edited by mhw48; 09-04-2020 at 06:33 PM.
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  #119  
Old 09-04-2020, 08:20 AM
stuartb stuartb is offline
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Great to see a build by Nick on the custom shop board.

I've always appreciated the remarkable sound and the outstanding dynamics associated with my Franklin, which is about 10 years old now. I've had many people come up to me and comment how truly angelic the tone of the OM is. I found the depth of the tone evolved or the guitar opened up over about an 8 month period after receiving it. Now it simply awesome all the time. I tend to play it in standard tuning. It's so good in standard I just keep it there.

All the best, and enjoy the guitar! Look forward to hearing the reviews.

Stuart

Last edited by stuartb; 09-04-2020 at 08:31 AM.
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  #120  
Old 09-04-2020, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by stuartb View Post
Great to see a build by Nick on the custom shop board.

I've always appreciated the remarkable sound and the outstanding dynamics associated with my Franklin, which is about 10 years old now. I've had many people come up to me and comment how truly angelic the tone of the OM is. I found the depth of the tone evolved or the guitar opened up over about an 8 month period after receiving it. Now it simply awesome all the time. I tend to play it in standard tuning. It's so good in standard I just keep it there.

All the best, and enjoy the guitar! Look forward to hearing the reviews.

Stuart
Thanks Stuart, Nick makes really superlative instruments and I am looking forward to getting acquainted with my Franklin Jumbo. Your experience with your OM is what I am anticipating.
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