Welcome to Frank's Fiddles

Thanks to all who visit this web site and to those who take the time to contact Frank about his instruments or just to ask questions about fiddle making.  Frank's Fiddles, owned by Frank Daniels and located in Meridian, Idaho, is celebrating its 16th year in business this year.  What a fun and rewarding 16 years this has been thanks to family and friends who encourage Frank and to the loyal customers who help make this business so rewarding.

In addition to selling his handcrafted instruments, Frank does repair work and sells used instruments and accessories.  If you would like more information about Frank's handcrafted instruments after exploring the web site, or if you are interested in visiting Frank's shop, please (click here) to contact him.

As Frank is gearing up for 2013, he just finished his 197th fiddle, a 5-string with a quilted maple back.  His goals for the year are to complete his 200th instrument, visit with many of you at various festivals, do more fishing and camping, and possibly attend the International Bluegrass Music Association's Fan Fest in September at the new venue in North Carolina.

Last year was a very special year for Frank and his wife, Karen, as they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with special trips to Ireland and Hawaii and a great family get-together hosted by their children and grandchildren in their hometown where they met in high school.

Rewards of the Business

Frank and his wife, Karen, feel very fortunate to be able to travel and share Frank's instruments with professional musicians as well as players at all levels.  Frank feels blessed that his instruments are being played and enjoyed at a variety of venues throughout the United States.

Frank enjoys sharing stories about some of the people who have purchased his instruments.  This update features three of the musicians who purchased one of his 5-strings in 2012.

Adrianne, who purchased her 5-string at the 2012 Blythe, CA festival, is an accomplished musician who plays harp, violin and is learning the banjo.  She had a small harp custom made so she can transport it to Hospice facilities in the Tucson area to play for the critically ill patients.  Adrianne also plans on playing the 5-string at the Hospice facilities.  She shared some inspiring stories with us about what her music means to these patients.  What a compassionate person Adrianne is and what a blessing she brings to others when they need it most!

Billy Hawks, fiddler for Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice, purchased a 5-string with an unusual Myrtlewood back at the Ogden, UT festival in June 2012.  He has been playing his 5-string at all of their performances and enjoys sharing it with others.  Frank and Karen will have the privilege of visiting with Billy and hearing Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice at the Lake Havasu, AZ Bluegrass Festival in March.  What a great band they are and very deserving of being awarded IBMA's Song of the Year for "A Far Cry from Lester & Earl" and Album of the Year for "Heart of a Song".  They were also awarded SPBGMA's Album of the Year for "Heart of a Song".  You can learn more about this band at www.juniorsiskandramblerschoice.com.

Billy Hawks

After hearing Billy's 5-string, Elizabeth (Lizzy) Long, musician with Little Roy and the Lizzy Show, ordered a 5-string from Frank in September.  Lizzy has been nominated for three Dove Awards and has won several fiddle and talent contests.  She has an extraordinary voice and plays piano, fiddle, guitar, autoharp, bass, banjo and mandolin.  While Frank hasn't personally met Lizzy he has talked with her on the phone.  After the 5-string arrived, Lizzy e-mailed "I wanted to let you know I absolutely love this fiddle.....and so does everyone else!"  We recently had an email from someone who had seen Lizzy play the 5-string and he wrote, "I'm not a player, just a listener showing appreciation for the sweet sounds coming out of your work." To learn more about Lizzy and the band, go to www.littleroyandlizzy.com.

Award Winning Fiddles

In 1999 at the Violin Makers Association of Arizona, Intl. annual competition, Frank had the prestigious honor of his 34th instrument, a steel-string violin, being judged best in tone (by playing and listening judges) out of over 80 gut-string and steel-string violins.

Over the years, Frank has won numerous tone awards for his instruments - in 1997, 1999, 2005 and 2006 competitions Frank's 11th, 34th, 113th and 120th steel-string fiddles placed first in tone.  In 1998 his 23rd violin placed 2nd in tone in the gut-string category.  At the October 2009 competition his 174th violin placed 3rd in tone in the first round and in October 2010 Frank's 180th violin tied for 4th in tone in the first round and 5th in tone after the third round.  In 2012, his 193rd fiddle tied for 4th in tone in the first round.  In 1999 and 2000 his large violas placed first in tone and in 2005 his 7th viola placed 3rd in tone and in workmanship.

Frank in the shop
Frank in the shop working on a Quilted Maple

Frank and Karen 50th anniversary
Frank and Karen 50th anniversary

Adrianne from the Tucson area with Frank and her new 5-string
Adrianne from the Tucson area with Frank and her new 5-string

Lizzy Long
Elizabeth (Lizzy) Long, musician with Little Roy and the Lizzy Show

The trophies Frank has won since 1997

See more performers and owners in the Photo Gallery or listen to some audio samples of Frank's Fiddles on the Audio page.

"As a maker, my goal is to craft great sounding instruments that will be played and enjoyed by many throughout the years to come."