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 →
The website has been quiet of late, mainly because the workshop has been busy! Andy’s and Ian’s Concert models have been delivered, along with the completion a couple of project instruments, a Bass Cuatrolele or Q-Bass (whichever you want to call it!) and an 8 string tenor which can be seen on the left in this image. Despite both being 1st build pattern models as far as we are concerned, the results have been particularly pleasing, both in Continue reading →
Ken Middleton, ukulele player extraordinaire, and a well known figure in the world of Ukuleles, has produced his own range of Ukulele strings. He swears by them, and I have always respected the gentleman. But is he, in this case, a little biased?
All the Ukes we produce are fitted with Aquila ‘Nylgut’ strings as standard. They are popular, sound good and are made in Europe rather than the Far East. Ken’s strings, however, proclaim to be ‘Made in Heaven’, although I understand that that is somewhere in England!
So, the only fair thing to do was to give them a try. Using a Tenor cutaway Uke finished recently, which has quite Continue reading →
Aquila, the Italian string company, have released their ‘Red Series’ strings, a new type of ‘Nylgut’ mixed with a copper compound to increase the density of the string. This makes the lower notes, like the ‘Low G’ on a Tenor attainable without using a wound string. This, in turn, avoids the scratching sound as your Continue reading →
A couple of customers came to visit today, one to collect her new Venezuelan Cuatro and the other to see what his will be like.
In the fist clip, Jennifer Maidman and Geoffrey Richardson, members of the Penguin Cafe Orchestra, play a Penguin Cafe Classic, ‘Paul’s Dance’. Jennifer is playing a Tenor Ukulele she purchased from us a while back. It is tuned a D F# B, as is the Cuatro.
The second clip is taken from the ‘jam’ session they proceeded perform and on this occasion Jennifer plays my ‘Cool Hand Uke’ a Tenor with a low G string, but tuned ADF#B.
Many thanks to both of them for the impromptu concert.
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.
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!
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 →
Another week passes, and with it, another three or four painted Ukuleles have found their way into the public domain. Despite being stocked for the youngsters, it is becoming obvious that two thirds of the basic Ukes that we sell are, in fact, going to the adult population!
It is also noticeable that the same proportion are coloured black! Despite stocking Red, Yellow Continue reading →
Quex Instruments maker, purveyor of local timber artifacts