Custom guitar builder, repairer and converter Fern Evergreen Guitars, based in East London, is making a name for itself among accomplished musicians and novices alike. Its bespoke, handcrafted, upcycled guitars, made from natural materials, are formed using organic shapes that reflect the company’s sustainable ethos and love of nature, and align with its vision of producing beautiful instruments that combine design and function.

Established three years ago by musician and artist Mr Fernandez and Sound (Fern), Fern Evergreen Guitars is gaining a strong reputation in the UK and globally, with work arriving from countries as far away as the US and Singapore. As a result, the company has grown to four full- and part-time craftspeople, producing high-end, original instruments.

One of its recent projects was to convert a 2020 replica BMG, upgrading it to the spec that Queen guitarist Brian May specified for his original guitar. The company is also passionate about helping young, up and coming musicians, who can’t afford expensive instruments, to upgrade their own guitars.
Fern says: “As a teenager, living in a single-parent household, I couldn’t afford the higher end instruments, but I was frustrated by the quality of what I could afford.  So, the challenge for me was how to achieve the high quality I yearned for at a budget price. And so, my desire to satisfy this need and be creative at the same time began my obsession with my craft, based on a DIY approach. Today, that same spirit lives on in Fern Evergreen Guitars and if I can inspire and excite other young musicians to pursue their craft and artistry, that makes me really happy. I love seeing the videos and images customers share on social media; it brings me a lot of satisfaction.”

 

 

Mirka sanding pads

To carry out the builds and repairs to his exacting standards and those of their owners, Fern recently decided to research the tools market, as his existing tool collection had its limitations in terms of quality, productivity and longevity. After discovering Mirka sanding pads online and reading impressive reviews, Fern decided to follow Mirka on Instagram and comment on the manufacturer’s posts. As a result, the company contacted him and invited Fern to a no obligation, full demo of its sanders and abrasives.

A cleaner, dust-free environment

Fern explains: “I was so impressed with the slick approach and professionalism of the company that I decided to take part in the demo to see how the Mirka products performed on my guitars. I could instantly see how their high-quality performance and finish could make a difference and was completely set on purchasing and integrating the Mirka system. The 77mm DEROS rotates completely, not just side to side like other sanders, and you can either completely dig in and be aggressive with the sanding or exert a light touch, which means you have total control. Also, by connecting the DEROS to the dust extractor and using the Abranet and Abralon discs, we’ve completely transformed our workspace into a cleaner, dust-free environment, which is good for the guitars and for everyone working here.

 

The total package

“The Abranet discs are very accurately made, so you don’t get any loose grains, or crumpling or folding of the disc, which would cause huge scratches on the surface of the wood. There’s also an amazing range of sizes so you can really achieve a beautiful softness to the curves. Its grip backing sticks really well to the sander, and the interface pad provides an extra layer of protection, preventing the grip from melting, as it does with other medium-priced abrasives. The Mirka representative, Vince also helped me solve some problems I was having when it came to removing swirls and scratch marks left when the abrasives made contact with the wood or finishes, and he really understood what I was trying to do.  So, Mirka really does offer a total package of very high-quality products, expertise and excellent service.”

With two albums recently completed and another on the way under Mr Fernandez and Sound, Fern is certainly keeping busy in the workshop and the studio. Like his woodcraft, his latest blues acoustic creation is a stripped back, simplified, natural sound and as his business continues to expand, he's determined that these values sustain the company in the future.

“Just as the country has rediscovered some old traditional values of making things and providing for ourselves, so Fern Evergreen Guitars will continue to promote a more homely, direct, DIY approach to doing what we love, which is creating exceptional handcrafted guitars. I’m very excited as to what the future holds.”

 

For more information on Mirka, click here and to find out more about Fern Evergreen Guitars, follow their Instagram page.