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 Mahogany
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 Stormy Times
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 Three Tenors
Again, it’s a while since I posted any progress reports, so to whet your appetite for next weekends Craft Fair, I thought I’d show a couple of instruments that are underway.
The Cuatro, which is No 3, along with the tenor Uke that might just remind you it is Olympic year, should both be strung up and finished by the weekend, while the Concert body and banjo bits are work in progress, both for customers.
The banjo is, in fact a prototype and will be shortly followed by an open-back banjo Uke.
The Craft Fair, which will be held over the weekend of 16th and 17th June attracts a good number of stands and, for the weekend only, it will cost you £1 to enter the village, through which you get to all the stalls. The money though, goes to a good cause, that of the Kent Air Ambulance, which runs purely on donations, so come along and support the event.
Don’t forget though, that the Village itself is open all year round and is free to visit, it’s just this weekend that a charge is levied.
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.
The Cutaway Tenor is an all Walnut body with a Continue reading In the works…
The weekend saw the collection of a Tenor Ukulele that we built for Noel. To say that he left a happy bunny would be an understatement and the grin on his face, having played a little on the instrument, was a joy to behold.
From our point of view, happy customers are what we are all about, and having one ask about a maintenance regime shows us that the work put into the instrument is not only appreciated, Continue reading Happy Customer
The Reverend (and sometimes not so reverend) Davey Slater dropped in today for a chat and promptly picked up some of the ukuleles we have prepared for this weekend’s Quexmas Event up in the Big House. Here’s a quick soundbite.
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
No 4, a tenor, has been strung and played, but is, as yet, unfinished. It has been fitted with a passive pick-up and sounds real good amplified too! It looks rather large here, doesn’t it. It’s an optical illusion though, as the chair it is sat on is rather smaller than you would expect. It’s a child’s chair made by Martin’s Upholstery shop, located in the village.
Most of the rest of the past week has been occupied with repairs, although a few moments have been spent on Continue reading Little or Large?