A week missed and a day late! Not very good, is it? I’d like to give a bunch of excuses about being busy and that sort of thing, but unfortunately they wouldn’t be true. I just haven’t been able to concentrate, but that has now been righted by a trip to the Oncologist to sort out the lump on my temple that has been growing for the last few weeks. So this week coming, apart from a blood test and a couple of scans, I should be able to get back on with things.
January was a month that, at times seemed to drag, and at other moments simply shot past. In
retrospect it has gone pretty quick! It has seen the completion of seven instruments (One of those five tenors got a bit behind due to some extras needed on it) They include 4 tenors, Ben’s 8 string, Andy’s Soprano and that project instrument that those of you following this will have seen glimpses of.
Using a workshop that is no more than a converted cattle stall, combined with sub-zero temperatures, and now, a carpet of snow, has had it’s moments this week. Most glues state ‘Protect from frost’ on the label and should not be used below 10 degrees C, and keeping the workshop at those heady temperatures has bee difficult. Thank heavens for Hide Glue!
Mind you, carving seven necks has kept the body warm, it’s just the air temperature that has been a problem!
To say we’ve had a hectic week would be an understatement! A simple plan, outlined last week, gone almost completely to pot this week. Batch building, yes, it’s a good idea, but the building methods that were in use are totally impractical in that situation.
I’ve not been very good about keeping this site up to date of late, so for 2013 I have decided to post religiously, every week. And to keep the religious theme, I’m going to call it the ‘Sunday Sermon‘! The religion, of course, is the Ukulele!!
The tail end of 2012 got a little busy, not least because, for a while the bugs got into the staff (me) and I didn’t feel up to doing a lot at all. Fortunately, most of the jobs that had to be done got there, and those that didn’t weren’t a disaster. On the bench for the start of 2013 are Ben’s 8 string Tenor (is that a Taropatch?) and Andy’s Soprano while a third instrument, an experimental one, is also Continue reading Sunday Sermon→
A question I’ve been asked a number of times recently is whether I buy in or make the ‘rope’ binding that adorns some of the instruments that we build. Well, buying in would almost certainly violate the concept of building instruments with locally sourced timber. Therefore the answer is that we make our own. It appears, however, that the majority of Luthiers Continue reading Shop made.→
It occurred to me that I’ve not posted any progress reports of late, what with all the tree felling going on but work in the shop has been progressing well. This week, no less than three instruments will get finished, the first of two Venezuelan Cuatro’s, a Cool Hand Tenor and a Cutaway Tenor, all featuring rope binding.
From time to time we get asked about exotic timbers. The most popular timber for making Ukuleles is a wood called Koa. It is one of the Acacia family and is native to the Hawaiian Islands (among other places) where the Uke was invented. The reason it was used was quite simple. It was local and available.
Of course, today, Hawaiian Koa is still available in small quantities, but at a high price. Think in terms of a set of boards for a soprano starting around the £60 mark and going up from there!
However, ‘local and available’ were the criteria for using this timber in the first place, and here in the Garden of England, Continue reading Exotic woods→
As mentioned in a couple of earlier posts, I’m giving in to the number of requests to build some guitars! As usual, not everybody wants the same thing, so to get the ball rolling I’m starting with an OM sized electro-acoustic steel strung model. As you can see from the picture, the mould has Continue reading It’s started…→
Quex Instruments maker, purveyor of local timber artifacts