Guided Visit to Fodera’s Workshop, Brooklyn, July 2014

I met and worked alongside Joey Lauricella and Jason DeSalvo of Fodera while managing Basschat’s corner at the London Bass Guitar Show in March 2014. The guys were helping out at Bass Gear’s stand, showing their creations and talking about bass-building to existing and potential customers, and Basschat was sharing stand space with Bass Gear.

The whole of that weekend was hard work – if great fun – and I didn’t have the opportunity to talk to Joey and Jason very much. So in July, when I hit New York City, I made a point of calling their Brooklyn shop and asking to be on one of Fodera’s quick guided tours of the workshop – it was an opportunity not just to say hi in a more relaxed environment but also to learn more about one of the highest-end luthier companies in the world.

Bluejay at the Entrance (1)
The entrance to the workshop is in a totally unpretentious – and at the same time so cool! – industrial estate.


Bluejay at the Entrance (2)
Upstairs, behind this door, there are treasures to be found! πŸ™‚


Fodera Shop - Reception
The reception area, and our guide, Phil


Through the door on the left in the reception area, we walk towards the workshop proper – and meet some test contours along the way.


On to the designing lab area. It was great to see Joey again – here with his latest baby – and finally have the chance to talk to him at leisure.


Vinny and Jason were on holiday, so we asked Phil and Joey to say hi to them on our behalf.

The workshop has a front area, where most of the refinishing work is carried out, and a back area – currently being refurbished – where bass bodies, necks and fretboards are created from actual pieces of wood.

Front Workshop (1)
The front workshop area


Front Workshop (2)
Top woods at different stages of preparation


Front Workshop (3)


Front Workshop (4)
Spot the hollowbody…


Front Workshop (5)


Front Workshop (6)


Front Workshop (7)


Front Workshop (8)
Only a minimal amount of automated work is carried out on Fodera’s basses. This is their Plek machine for precision fret dressing.


Front Workshop (9)
Some historic prototypes overlook their younger siblings being finished


Front Workshop (10)
Most of the fretting work is done by hand


Front Workshop (11)


Front Workshop (12)
Meticulous attention to detail


Front Workshop (13)
The heart of the front workshop


The area at the back of the workshop is being refustibished and will no longer look like this by the time you read this blog, but the awesome woods stored there will still have pride of place!

Back Workshop (1)
This area is currently being reorganised


Back Workshop (2)
Oh yes…


Back Workshop (3)
… these are all brand new strings. Fodera produce their own strings.


Back Workshop (4)
The back room


Back Workshop (5)
Tops and necks


Back Workshop (6)
Necks and fretboards


Back Workshop (7)
Lightweight, gorgeous buckeye burl tops-to-be


Bluejay & Phil
Phil and I – both admittedly slightly less than statuesque in height – show the comparative size of that buckeye burl.


Back Workshop (8)


Back Workshop (9)


Back Workshop (10)
Body woods


Back Workshop (11)
Half-finished necks


Back Workshop (12)
The necks are made of 7 or 9 strips of wood glued together


Back Workshop (13)

More from the back of the workshop:

Back Workshop (14)


Back Workshop (15)


Back Workshop (16)


Adjacent to the workshop there is a demo room for visitors and returning customers, and in there, the GAS is turned up several notches!

Demo Room (1)


Demo Room (2)


Demo Room (3)

Well, all I can say is, my bank account is glad that there were no lefty models on display this time, so my ever-increasing GAS couldn’t take me over on the spot. I definitely intend to go back to the Fodera workshop the next time I’m in town, though, which means I’m not out of danger yet… We shall see πŸ˜‰

Fodera Bridge


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