Tony Edwards Guitars - Luthier Services and Tuition
Tony Edwards Guitars is a guitar building, repair, restoration and customisation workshop in Fakenham, Norfolk.
All types of work are undertaken - Fret dressing and refret work, setup and service, full restoration and finish repairs, electronics and rebuilds.
Tony also teaches Guitar, Bass and Drums from his home studio. Rockshool course available on request.
The final Model 2 - with contour cuts
The last of the model 2 guitars went out with a kiesel style body cut. I’d done this for someone already on a telecaster style design, but this was the only Model 2 that had this feature.
This was actually my model 2 that I had kept and played on some of the gigs supporting the Notebook album, it eventually went to a collector in Europe.
Model 2 Super Deluxe
This is a one off variant of the model two that was made for a local guitarist with the band Huskerveil. This hand carved top remained blonde with all wooden neck binding & MOP inlays, it really was the Rolls Royce of the model 2 guitars.
He’d come in for a consultation on on designing something for himself while the guitar was hanging in the spray booth - as soon as he saw it he was totally hooked on the design. So the consult didn’t last long, I finished the guitar and he had the only one.
Richie Sambora 'Livin on a Prayer'
This is a guitar that I designed for a customer around the guitar that Richie Sambora played on the Slippery When Wet tour - and notably on the Bad Name and Prayer videos.
Solid Alder body, gold hardware, maple neck - it was a real hard rock machine. Ended up finished in a polyurethane white pearl.
Very Bling !!
Red 'Vegan' Les Paul
I was approached by a Vegan guitar player to create a Les Paul with some very specific limitations - No animal products.
That’s not quite as simple as it sounds, as like most people, I didn’t know what was in some of the fillers or glues that I used at the time, and I would normally have used a hot hide glue to set the neck and fretboard. But it was quite instructive as I had to look into every material.
Also, the specs were for all chrome hardware and white binding against a red translucent top, but not flame maple.
Sainty - the 80's style Strat Tele hybrid
This was the brain child of one of my students, who came in with the idea of making something like the telecaster he’d owned many years before but with a twist.
I really liked this, and one day I my make some more of them. Practical and rather industrial looking, it didn’t get the strat smoothover, and kept its raw telecaster body edges.
Model Three Prototype A
This was the first attempt to create a third model for production. It wasn’t a failure as such, but it wasn’t the platform I was looking for.
The guitar is with a collector in the Netherlands. It was a 25.5” scale length with a low fast maple neck and curly fretboard.
In the end, I didn’t think the combination of switching system and bolt design was the direction I wanted to go in, but it was an important step towards the next version of the Model 3….
Model 2 Prototype
This was the first of the model two guitars - top of the line spec with Bare Knuckles, ebony, quilted maple, and a Hannes Bridge.
Made in 2012, there were many different versions of this guitar that ended up with customers across the UK and Europe.
Andy Burlace's Super Relic Strat
An ash body, painted in Nitrocellulose lacquer with a Rosewood neck and jumbo frets.
Andy, former drummer with Walkway but also an accomplished guitarist wanted a strat that looked like a relic but played like a modern superstrat. So it has a spoke wheel truss rod, Bare Knuckles pickups, a blower switch and coil taps, as well as a modern heavy block Gotoh Tremolo.
A flight of Firebirds
The red one was a prototype that I made for my own use - a little smaller than the Firebirds I used to own, and with simple ‘one knob/switch’ electronics.
James ready of Walkway was looking for a custom model - so we based the JR1 on this. It has larger frets, different switch placing and inlays as well as James signature colours. To aid access to the top frets, we also redesigned the cutaway to create more depth.
The guitar is the backbone for the drop D sounds on WWIII, Walkway’s latest album, and was completed just in time for their first appearance supporting the mighty Status Quo and the ‘Streetwise’ video.
Danny Coyle's Spalted Bass
When Danny and I were designing his bass, he wanted something with the Punch of a P-bass, but had the ability to be more subtle. He plumped for a PJ configuration, a high mass bridge and a Spalted Maple top on Ash. The neck is bolt in, but has a Two a side head and rosewood inlay logo. It’s modern, but has a touch of the 70’s about it.
This is one of the few guitars I’ve finished in modern polyurethane. A hard finish was needed, so with some help from Bob at Granville Supplies in Kings Lynn, we got a mirror shine.
Aden's one piece Carve Top
This guitar was made for young guitarist Aden Gerrens. He wanted something that sounded like a Les Paul, but had a few extras such as coil taps and straight string pull for tuning stability.
The body is a single piece of African Mahogany, carved to create a quite extreme top. But the string lie is very strat like, with the bridge buried into the body and the neck angle set level.
The headstock has a rosewood cap, straight string pull and locking tuners. It’s finished off with Bare Knuckles ‘Black Dog’ pickups, screwed down to the wood which give it added ‘Jimmy Page’ style bite.
Vegan Les Paul
Not only had I never built a Les Paul before, I hadn’t ever built a guitar wholly with synthetic parts.
But that was the request this time - no bone, no Mother of Pearl, and definitely no Hide Glue.
The hardest part of the build is creating the neck angle by hand with nothing more than a plane (most luthiers who make LP copies have a router jig, but I never use a router in an exposed blade situation if I can help it).
But it’s been a fun project - and it’s really RED! The quilted top is just gorgeous.
No.1 - The Old Beast
This is the first guitar I made by hand, largely in my Father in Law’s garage. The top was originally painted (which is why it isn’t bookmatched), but I didn’t like it and stripped almost immediately.
It’s been everywhere with me for the last decade, supported Joanne Shaw Taylor, Gwyn Ashton and Skinny Molly, and even at one point had its neck joint smashed in a house moving accident.
But I still hardly ever play anything else - as rough as it is, it’s mine. The neck is like a baseball bat sawn in half and fretted, the tri-sonics are an acquired taste, and it’s got a chunk out of it where a cymbal fell on it.
This was a bit of a labour, because it took a few attempts to get it right for the customer. I designed a long fretboard that ran up to the pickup and the customer really liked the look of it. After I had built it, I realised he was a pick player, the extended fretboard was now in the way of his pick stroke.
So the neck came out and the fretboard was levelled back to the body to allow space for his had to work - and we got there in the end. Eventually, a few years later I reshaped the neck a little for him. It’s still out there somewhere.
It was the first bass design to come out of the workshop in Hunstanton, and it was a very steep learning process!
This guitar was made mostly from locally sourced woods - basically I went through the odds bin at my local hardware store, Wards of Fakenham. There was just enough Sapele to make a body and neck, if I came up with the right design.
So this was it. Finished in a low gloss Nitro, it has straight pull head very much in the style of Brian May’s Red Special, and a fantastic grain structure. It’s finished off with an ebony fretboard from stock and MOP dots.
I’m told the wood was offcuts from a joinery store who make large window and commercial door frames. It’s quite heavy, but its owner, a former professional wrestler, handles it with ease.
Swamp Ash Super Strat
This was the last guitar out of the Hunstanton workshop. Swamp ash two piece body was hand selected for the grain pattern, and the neck made from a piece of birdseye maple,
All Hipshot hardware, rosewood fretboard with MOP dots, and Bare Knuckles Crawler Pickups.
I did eventually rebuild this from what you see here - a mid 60’s Hofner Club 40. Originally purchased in Singapore I’m told, it simply fell apart over 30 years ago as the glues dried out.
Someone had tried to re-glue the neck joint with epoxy causing a little damage some time ago, and it was hard to get the original neck angle. The most stable fix was to set the neck and then build a replacement bridge to take out a little height, compensating for the missing material in the joint.
All the electronics were rebuilt too, and in the end the guitar was returned to the owner as a playable instrument. I should have taken more pictures!
Model One Junior
After I built the Original Guitar, I was at a bit of a crossroads. I’ve got some tools, what am I going to do with them? I had the guitar I wanted, so I was actually making a conscious decision to stop being just a repair and customisation guy and become a real luthier.
This was #2.2 - one of two juniors I finished on Christmas day 2009. One of my students bought it on the condition that I refinished it in a metallic red. Many years later, I bumped into her in a coffee shop and tried to buy it back. She wouldn’t have any of it, and I haven’t seen it again since the last time I taught her nearly at least eight or nine years ago.
Hard Rock Esquire
I had a telecaster body that I had kept for a customer who then changed their mind, so what to do with it?
This hard rock esquire came with a coil tapped hot rail, the deepest sparkle finish (sent out for spraying with a pro motorcycle custom shop) and a birdseye maple neck.
This was made to a customer’s design with a sandwich of Maple, ash and a sliver of Ebony veneer to separate them.
Another customer collaboration on design. This one is a short scale solid Sapele bass with a Gibson feel and bridge, ebony fretboard and all black hardware. The totally hand carved top took many hours to complete, but it’s one of my favourite builds to date.
Model Two Blue Maple
This is the second of the Model two guitars, finished in translucent blue nitrocellulose.
The construction is ebony, mahogany and maple, with the Hannes Bridge and locking tuners.
Hot Rod Telecaster
This was a very early build, with a machine manufactured neck and body.
Model 2 Sea Foam Relic
I wanted to try out some tremolo models, and this appealed to me. However, it didn’t work too well as a tremolo unit.
What it did have though, was massive retro appeal, kinda Cadillac back wing feel to it. I played it as my slide guitar for a couple of years before a customer took a shine to it and it was gone….
As a design feature on this, the neck tenon is full width and finishes under the bridge pickup, for maximum stability and sustain.
Short Scale HM Esquire
This was not the first version of this guitar. It had gone on tour with a young lady metal player and the neck had warped. So I built a new neck for it, which you can see in this picture.
Its a swamp ash body with a really loud single humbucker and a Hannes bridge. The whole thing was very light, and only 24.75” scale length. The fretboard was maple bound ebony with an ebony headstock veneer,