Quex Instruments are made from locally sourced timbers, a good amount of which are grown in the grounds of Quex Park itself. The Mahogany tree is not one that grows in the UK, but ‘sourced’ is a word, and concept, that has a wide meaning. So when some baulks of solid mahogany were stripped out from one of the galleries that is being re-furbished in the Powell-Cotton Museum and became available, it would have been Continue reading
The week ahead is a little shorter than usual, having been closed on Saturday thanks to the Power Network people doing maintenance on the electricity network and unplugging the whole yard in the process. That will be followed on Monday and Wednesday by late starts as I make my way over to the Kent & Canterbury Hospital for my next dose of Anti-body treatment from last years chemo. We will be open both afternoons though.
Last week’s Cherry Log however, has been sliced up into Continue reading
I do believe I have mentioned my reactions to stormy winds before in these pages,but allow me to re-iterate. High winds have a tendency to knock down trees that are perhaps past their sell-by date as decorative items. And in this day and age, landowners very often have them cleared away either for aesthetic reasons or for those of Health and Safety.
Now, when I see a fallen tree, my first thought is about the type of tree. Some timbers are not very good for making musical instruments but others are very suitable. Numerous species have arrived in the yard outside the unit over the last few weeks, the by-product of our next door neighbours being (rather busy at the moment) Tree Surgeons. So, you can imagine my delight the other day when their wagon came into the yard and tipped the remains of a large Wild Cherry (Prunus Avium). Included was the entire trunk in two logs around four feet long and a good 16 inches in diameter. Negotiations with Bruk, their boss, didn’t take long and I acquired one of the two logs.
So it occurred to me that following this particular log all the way through the processes used to turn it into a musical instrument might just be a nice subject for this blog.
Firstly it is cut into manageable pieces, but lengthwise, down the grain. This is basically four quarters Continue reading
2013 has been a bit of a funny year for me. And I don’t mean funny haha, more of a year of vicious twists that, 12 months ago, were totally unimaginable.
At the start of the year all sorts of plans were in place, virtually none of which have come to fruition. Even early in the year things were starting to go wrong and by the end of February the main reason became very apparent. Most of the rest of the year has been spent coping with the fallout from a diagnosis of Cancer. Not very many instruments have been built, and of those that have, some have subsequently been scrapped!
However, now that I’m feeling so much better than the Continue reading
I have to say an enormous Thank You to everybody that has called, messaged and dropped into the new workshop with good wishes now that I have the ‘all clear’ from my recent course of Chemotherapy. The
response has been most heartwarming and both myself and Shirley, my wife, really appreciated all the good will.
The response to our new instrument, the Bass-Baritone Ukulele, has also been Continue reading
When I last posted, some while ago now, I was joking about the number of different hospital appointments I was having to attend. The outcome of those appointments is the main reason for a lack of communication in the meanwhile. Where I had been putting back-ache down to bending over the bench too much, it turned out that a rather large tumour had grown between my kidneys and was getting larger. Combined with a growth over my left eye that was steadily closing the said optic, it hardly surprising that I was beginning to get a few things wrong!
As I write, I’m two-thirds of the way through the prescribed course of Chemotherapy and looking forward to things for the first time in a while. I’m probably looking at the end of August or beginning of September before I Continue reading
Trips to the hospital, for three separate tests, at three different hospital on three consecutive days have occupied a fair amount of this week, along with a fair amount of mileage! They have covered QEQM at Margate, William Harvey at Ashford and the K&C at Canterbury, so the way things are going I’ll probably end up seeing a consultant in Maidstone for the results!
For environmentalist, there has been good news coming out Continue reading
The move around, as mentioned last week, has provided something verging on a dance-floor’s worth of space, along with a sensible Continue reading
That short month I mentioned last week got even shorter over the past week when we decided we needed to re-arrange the workshop. Not just moving a couple of bits, but changing the whole thing around! It took three days out of the week, and will take a couple more to complete the process properly.
The whole exercise has been worthwhile though, with a couple of major benefits already noticed. The first, and the most obvious Continue reading