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?→
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 →
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…→
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.
With the Quexmas Christmas Craft Fair is just 5 days away, preparations are going well, with a decent score of five Ukuleles up for display and demonstration. Three of these instruments are made entirely from timbers grown on the Quex Estate and we can point out the exact location that they grew from the entrance to the museum. We will also have a range of other Continue reading Quexmas is coming→
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→
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.