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According to references [Groves dictionary of musical instruments I think] the number of instruments in the percussion family exceed six hundred. In reality most of the instruments will be closely related and very rare. Furthermore the standard orchestral range of instruments is smaller still. Even so, I work on a broad variety of instruments, and yet I am still asked if I repair guitars or whatever. My brain can hardly cope with all the knowledge associated with my own specialism without taking on other sections of instruments, I will leave those instruments for those instrument makers!

So to demonstrate the diversity of what I do do [hehe], below are all the posts I have written, in chronological, order starting with the two latest (which are featured on the home page) and going backwards into the depths of time.

Musser M55 Vibraphone (Job no: 1468)

Everything that is recyclable is recycled in my workshop wherever possible. This includes Musser vibraphone frames, which are made from tin foil. Although not suitable for cooking food there are lots of other uses for old tin foil, imagination is the only limiting factor. But then I am a product of my generation who grew up watching a very limited selection of kids TV including Blue Peter which failed to transform my then wayward life unlike Tony Hart who was a genius.

The Northern Lights Musical Sculpture (Job No 1457) part 2

After many attempts both with pen and paper and computer power, I came to the conclusion that it was just too difficult to calculate the exact angles of the legs and I didn’t have time to be messing about, so I jumped right in and started making using my best guesses.

Musser M55 Refurbishment (Job No: 1410)

Farmers weekly states that the mental health of farmers is below the intergalactic average due to the boring nature of driving tractors around the same fields year after year. They go on to state that music has proved itself to be the best cure for psychological well being as well as improving fertility. They conclude that the best instruments to learn are percussion because you just hit ’em, plus Musser make stuff that you can easily convert for towing behind your Massive Ferguson.

The Northern Lights Musical Sculpture (job#1457) part 1

Some of the footage shown in the introduction video is repeated in the video included in this post, but only a small element. The previous video was edited by Nordic Music Days to satisfy their publicity requirements. Just how do you advertise and promote something that doesn’t even exist? I’ll leave that job for those… Read more »

The Northern Lights (Job No: 1457)

Nordic Music Days host an annual festival this years theme is the northern Lights. For the first time the event will be held in London at the South Bank Centre. To celebrate this event I have been commissioned to create a new instrument.

Brass ReMade (Job No: 1362)

Things lead on, one from another.  As a result of doing the Scrapheap Orchestra television documentary I was approached to do the Smart Meter project, this in turn led onto being asked to do this project and the next project The Northern Lights.  All of these projects I have yet to write the posts for, maybe one… Read more »

Ludwig Professional Timpani For Sale (Job no: 1390)

FOR SALE £9500 ono

Ludwig Professional Timpani with discs and covers.
[serial nos: 32″=5220, 29″=5218, 26″=5219, 23″=5126]

These drums are in really good condition, held at my workshop to enable viewing and delivery.

Premier 701 Vibraphone Overhaul (Job No: 1351)

This is the second of the three Premier 701 vibraphones that I am simultaneously working on and is therefore episode two in the, “aging Premier vibes” mini series.

The most obvious aesthetic difference of this vibe (which is the oldest) compared to the other two is that the resonators were still polishing, the motor unit has changed from the push/pull rod speed change to a three stage pulley. The external note rails are polished, but the inner two are painted. However the rest of the components are from the original patterns: black balls in the damper bar, white end pegs, and chunky fanshaft bushes.

Premier 701 Vibraphone Repair (Job No: 1354)

This is the first part of mini series, “Aging Premier Vibes”.

I have three Premier 701 vibraphones in for repair, so I have taken the opportunity to look at the development of vibe as well as discussing the repairs.

Premier updated the 700 series vibraphone to the 701 series in 1963. There is no further differentiation in terms of model and serial numbers to go on to help determine the age of an instrument. Old spare parts manuals do provide a guide and put a time period around the type of motor used. However the problem is that Premier went through a development period where several different systems were employed, more than listed in the parts manuals.