6 May, 2010 By Comments Off Categories:
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Wood and music

I have worked for years on both of my passions, woodwork and music. Since building my combuitar a natural bridge has formed between the two which has made it much easier for me to wear the craftsman and musician hats simultaneously.

The combuitar was a good challenge for me considering it was my first acoustic instrument to take on in the workshop. Full hardy or daft are a couple of descriptions which come to mind when I think about my inspiration for starting the project in the first place. Perhaps I was very lucky I didn’t run into major difficulties midway however I always enjoy finding my own way of achieving a goal.

The main challenge was how to bend the wood to form the ribs (sides). I did some research and figured it wouldn’t make sense to purchase a sophisticated bending iron if it would only be used once, so I knew I could use my blowtorch on a suitable piece of metallic heat retaining material. The search was on!

Driving to or from a job involved studying the roadside for discarded exhaust silencers until eventually I found one which later turned out not to be suitable after all.  Then during a visit to video technician Andrew Crow’s studio I mentioned my project and what I was looking for to help make it happen.  He very kindly gave me a couple of 100mm stainless steel tubes one of which I cut down to a suitable length to clamp to a metal router table in my shed . Once it was fastened I set my blowtorch to point a flame down through the centre and heat it as evenly as possible. This was good enough for me.

I soaked my tapered sheets of walnut in the bath for an hour or two then bent them over the hot pipe. What a satisfying sound as the moisture crackled and the timber gave way almost without effort. I was hooked. Obviously the ribs were made to fit the soundboard and back but joining them was a whole new process, new because the thicknesses of the materials I was working with were minimal and therefore fragile if compared to a typical kitchen work top joint.

As creativity and music have always played a large part in my life it felt right to join the two halves Creative Joinery Uk and SME Small Business of the Year Creative Records as a kind of Firm of Creative. I am also very pleased to announce I have  signed a music publishing and distribution contract with independent label Aardvark records.

Benny plays T in the Park!


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