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Brown Bear Guitars: Hand Crafted by Jesse Brown in Kitchener, Ontario

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by Nishplayer, Apr 10, 2021.

  1. Nishplayer

    Nishplayer TDPRI Member

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    Here in Ontario we have a young luthier who builds some of the finest Teles, Strats, Jazzmasters etc....in my opinion as good as what Fender put out pre-CBS (I know that's saying a lot).

    Jesse Brown of Brown Bear Guitars hand-builds master quality guitars using time honoured American designs and specially selected components. All bodies and necks are hand-carved to precise user-driven specifications. Top drawer hardware components are used to complement the fine woods and finishes.

    I had a 'birch bark' Tele built by Jesse Brown of Brown Bear Guitars (good name for a guitar owned by someone of the Bear Clan, Mukwa Dodem….I am Anishinaabe or Ojibway)....here is a build list of the guitar:

    Birch bark top and back
    Swamp ash body
    Roasted birds eye maple neck/fretboard
    Abalone inlays/side dots
    Bone nut- cut for 10-46 strings
    Abalone/chrome knobs
    Gotoh locking tuners
    Gotoh in tune vintage bridge
    21 m/m nickel frets
    Standard strap buttons
    Black pickguard
    Reverse control plate
    Paper in oil capacitor
    Pushpull coil splitting on tone knob
    McNelly A2 sig bridge pickup, Cornucopia neck humbucker
    Nice C shape neck profile
    12” fretboard radius
    1.675” nut width
    Bear face and script headstock woodburned logos
    Nitro lacquer finish.
    Hardcase

    Here are some photos of the build of the 'birch bark' Tele:

    1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg 4.jpg 5.jpg 6.jpg 7.jpg 8.jpg 9.jpg 10.jpg
     
    BB, Walden, hemingway and 7 others like this.
  2. Nishplayer

    Nishplayer TDPRI Member

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    More photos of birch bark Tele build:

    11.jpg 12.jpg 13.jpg 14.jpg 15.jpg 16.jpg 17.jpg 18.jpg 19.jpg 20.jpg
     
  3. Nishplayer

    Nishplayer TDPRI Member

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    I am obviously pretty happy with Jesse's build of a 'one of a kind' Tele:

    21.jpg 22.jpg 23.jpg 24.jpg 25.jpg
     
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  4. Dan German

    Dan German Doctor of Teleocity

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    I have always thought birch bark would make the most beautiful guitar top ever. Thank you for proving me right.
     
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  5. Nishplayer

    Nishplayer TDPRI Member

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    Welcome to the BARK side:

    57379468_10157750903076002_8493303733420032000_o - Copy - Copy.jpg
     
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  6. Nishplayer

    Nishplayer TDPRI Member

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    Jesse Brown will never build another birch bark Tele....that was strictly a 'one of' build....he found bark hard to work with.

    BUT he has build me an amazing Jazzmaster:

    94258390_10158858252321002_4862364881329848320_n (1).jpg 89652882_10158698235021002_4231850556856991744_o (1).jpg
     
  7. Nishplayer

    Nishplayer TDPRI Member

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    Bottom line if you are looking for a great young builder who builds guitars the way they are supposed to be built....better than anything from the Custom Shop....for a fraction of the cost,,,,then check out Jesse Brown of Brown Bear Guitars (Home - Brown Bear Guitars). You will not be disappointed. Jesse has guitars for sale on Reverb occasionally, under Brown Bear Guitars.
     
    Fendereedo and telestratosonic like this.
  8. Deeve

    Deeve Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Those necks. . .
    Whoa!
     
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  9. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Tele-Afflicted

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    Beautiful.
     
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  10. Dan German

    Dan German Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yeah, when the thought first occurred to me, I figured I would DIY one. Where I lived, large sheets of birch bark were easy to come by. I tried to apply it to a tele body, and quickly realized that I was not the man for the job. Glad to see someone came to grips with it, even if it was only for the one!
     
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  11. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Afflicted

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    I struck up a conversation with Jesse when he was first starting out.

    He had just posted the very first Telecaster he'd made after taking a luthier course (first he'd made for public sale rather than for himself or for the course).

    Even though I wasn't shopping I had to message him because it was so beautiful. We traded e-mails for a while and bounced a few ideas around.

    Though I never met him, he seemed like a very genuine person who really loved what he was doing and the possibility of doing it for a living.

    I'm glad to see he's doing well. I've checked in on his site a few times and his guitars are still beautiful.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
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  12. Dano-caster

    Dano-caster Tele-Meister

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    That Is awesome.Hope it sounds as good as it looks. Keep us posted.
     
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  13. Nishplayer

    Nishplayer TDPRI Member

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    The birch bark Tele has been around for a couple of years....she is called Wiigwaasi Mukwa or Birchbark Bear....this bear can bark (pardon the intentional pun)....she sounds amazing....

    I had her built especially for me by Jesse....that following year found that my left hand (my fret hand) arthritic and not wanting such a beautiful guitar just to be sitting around, if that was to be the case, I sold her to an Indigenous musician friend of mine....she will be on his band's upcoming album....however my left hand has healed to the point where I can still play....and I literally pestered him to sell her back to me (we had a deal if I wanted her back I could buy her back)....she came back home last November and is never going any where....she is my go to Tele....my go to guitar....she is extra special as I used to build birch bark canoes....and the bark on her is from my own harvesting....welcome to the BARK side

    57379468_10157750903076002_8493303733420032000_o - Copy - Copy.jpg
     
  14. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    Lovely. I have a piece of birch bark taped to my fridge. Just because I like it.
     
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  15. 39martind18

    39martind18 Friend of Leo's

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    If one were to squint just a little, the birch bark looks like a detailed map- very interesting look!
     
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  16. Walden

    Walden TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    That is one beautiful looking guitar. Really cool!
     
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  17. Winky

    Winky TDPRI Member

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  18. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Notice congratulations.
     
  19. Nishplayer

    Nishplayer TDPRI Member

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    If you look hard enough you will see my Tele inspired Tshirt (with bear in canoe)


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  20. JRtele

    JRtele Tele-Meister

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    Unfortunately it seems I had a different experience with Jesse.

    That said your project turns out awesome. The birch is a very cool look.
     
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