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
The week ahead is a little shorter than usual, having been closed on Saturday thanks to the Power Network people doing maintenance on the electricity network and unplugging the whole yard in the process. That will be followed on Monday and Wednesday by late starts as I make my way over to the Kent & Canterbury Hospital for my next dose of Anti-body treatment from last years chemo. We will be open both afternoons though.
Last week’s Cherry Log however, has been sliced up into Continue reading
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
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
Trips to the hospital, for three separate tests, at three different hospital on three consecutive days have occupied a fair amount of this week, along with a fair amount of mileage! They have covered QEQM at Margate, William Harvey at Ashford and the K&C at Canterbury, so the way things are going I’ll probably end up seeing a consultant in Maidstone for the results!
For environmentalist, there has been good news coming out Continue reading
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.
That short month I mentioned last week got even shorter over the past week when we decided we needed to re-arrange the workshop. Not just moving a couple of bits, but changing the whole thing around! It took three days out of the week, and will take a couple more to complete the process properly.
The whole exercise has been worthwhile though, with a couple of major benefits already noticed. The first, and the most obvious Continue reading
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.
I’ve called it a Continue reading
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!
The instruments seen here all had their necks caved during the course of Continue reading