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Gear—Guitar Luthier Tim Frick

A couple of years ago, the San Francisco-based luthier Tim Frick got an excited call from a friend who lives in El Granada, California, a small coastal town not far from the city. The friend had been keeping an eye on a massive log floating in the ocean and noticed that a storm had pitched it onto the rocky beach. Though not aware of the wood’s species, he thought that Frick might be able to put it to good use.

Frick went to the coast and—to the wariness of some locals, but with the blessing of the harbor patrol—cut into the log. “It was nearly two feet wide at the base. From the first whiff, I knew that it was Alaskan yellow cedar—a very stiff wood that would be great for the back and sides of a flat-back archtop guitar,” he says.

Cedar might seem like a curious choice for the back and sides of an archtop—as they are traditionally made from maple—but for the last decade Frick has quietly been pushing the envelope on the design of the archtop, once considered a jazz instrument but now being reappraised for use in a range of styles. “With flattops, everyone has an OM model, but with archtops it seems that you can do whatever you want,” he says.

Website of Guitar Luthier Tim Frick
Acoustic Guitar Magazine Interview with Luthier Tim Frick
Instagram Page of Luthier Tim Frick
YouTube Channel of Luthier Tim Frick