Using locally produced timber was taken to the extreme one day last week, when what was probably the closest tree to the workshop was felled. It was a Sycamore that had self seeded some 100 years ago along the main drive opposite to the entrance of the Craft Village.
Needless to say, we watched it’s demise, even video’d the act, and, surprise surprise, obtained the best part of the trunk for Ukulele parts!
Sycamore is a member of the Maple family, Continue reading Trees and things
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
The ‘tidy up’ I mentioned in the last post turned out to be a three day job! That is mainly due to a complete re-arrange of the workshop. A bit more space was needed and there was none. None that was usable that is. Moving from the smaller unit a few months ago, things had been put where they fitted without too much thought about the way we would be working and the place had become somewhat cluttered.
The thing that triggered this effort was the purchase of a new Planer – Thicknesser. It is something that is a basic requirement in any form of woodworking shop, but something that funds had precluded until now. Bench models are available, capable of handling widths of 6″ and 8″, but with the need to dimension timber for Continue reading A Change of Luck?
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…
It has been a standing joke throughout the summer months, and during the
sunnier days more recently, that any of the Crafters in the village that were sitting outside enjoying a break were ‘waiting for something to dry’!
Now though, with the completion of a drying chamber in the new unit, I have the perfect excuse Continue reading Drying Time
With the timber already mentioned in earlier posts coming in 4″ thick boards, the 3″ depth of cut on the tabletop bandsaw we were using was of little help. An upgrade was the only option but to get a decent depth of cut on one of these machines can be an expensive exercise. Searching the available options in research brought up one example that seemed almost too good to be true and, bearing in mind you normally get what you pay for, we were wary! But to get a comparable depth of cut (6″) would otherwise cost around twice to two and a half times the asking price.
So we took the plunge and ordered the Fox F28-186 bandsaw from Poolwood in Kent. (We like to keep things as local as possible). 24 hours later it was delivered and it was with a little trepidation that it was unpacked and assembled. The pleasant surprises started with the realisation that the table was a cast iron one, as in this price bracket we expected an alloy one. The supplied leg stand was of decent gauge metal rather than the flimsy efforts seen on some kit. The whole thing went together without hassle, with all holes lining up well and a complete compliment of fixings. The next nice surprise was Continue reading Bigger kit….
We’ve started to convert timber grown at Quex Park into usable lumber. To start off with, it’s ‘just’ a single board, but that board yeilds around three and a half cubic feet of fully provenanced Walnut. If you think back, Uke No1 was a walnut body, and that sounded beautiful so we are quite happy with this timber. To put it into context, the cut timber from this board will produce Continue reading Tonewood from Quex
Quex Park is an oasis of old woodland on the Isle of Thanet where a tree planting program was instigated by John Powell-Powell in the early 1780’s. The beauty of the Park that we see today is thanks to his vision. Now, some 230 years later, these woodlands and specimen trees are still managed throughout the Estate and we have managed to acquire some of the resultant timber for the production of musical instruments.
Manuel Nunes et al. invented the Ukulele with the use of local timber, and here at Ukulian we intend to continue that tradition by building all of our future instruments with timber sourced from Quex Park itself. Uke No 3 is built primarily from Cherry grown and felled on the Estate.
Although the park is not managed for timber production, the extensive woodlands have produced some Continue reading Quex Timber