View Full Version : Got me thinking....

01-27-2011, 02:16 AM
A month or so ago, someone posted a thread concerned with the use of certain woods and it's impact on our environment. That, and a recent prank shown on the Today show in combination got me thinking. Has anyone ever seen, or heard of using old broken, or no longer useful instrument's materials (woods in particular) as raw materials to build new instruments, like guitars or ukes? Things like pianos and other larger instruments have lots of quality woods as sound boards, or even their structure. Take my piano for instance. It isn't really a "quality" instrument. It is a 1920's era player piano built for hony tonks, saloons and places like that. So it's not ornate, or otherwise considered a "masterpiece" instrument. BUT, it is built almost entirely of the most beautiful mahogany, and have lots of thick, solid mahogany sizable planks and boards. harvesting the wood from something like this could build countless ukuleles. And I think it would be cool, because it is aged wood already. I'm never gonna do that to my piano because it is an awesome working old instrument, but just sayin. I have seen so many pianos scrapped, and end up in land fills.. Are we missing an opportunity?

01-27-2011, 04:33 AM
I can't help but think of this news story from several years back that touches on repurposing an old instrument that might not be repairable:

A Stradivarius cello was stolen from an L.A. Philharmonic player, then dumped on the street. Fortunately the finder learned of the missing cello before carrying out her plans to *turn it into a CD cabinet*.

mm stan
01-27-2011, 06:07 AM
Aloha Tudorp,
There was this builder at the Namm show interview by UU who talked about exactly that and what he uses...check it out....can't rememberthe guy's name but until 7 years ago he was a guitar builder since the
60's.......MM Stan... http://ukuleleunderground.com/namm/ Rick Turner of Renaissance 47 years of guitar making....wow...

01-27-2011, 06:57 AM
Rick Turner used part of Bob Hope's pool bar in a uke... for the neck. It was a real beaut. It's in the NAMM uu vids.

Yeah, I think it's a great idea if it works. :)

01-27-2011, 07:11 AM
I know that Peter Hurney, who makes Pohaku ukes, has used old piano wood in his ukes. Here's a link to one that uses "bear claw" spruce from a piano:http://www.pohakuukulele.com/pages/ancientsoprano.html

01-27-2011, 07:44 AM
That is a cool uke.. i really like that. Even the headstock. Kinda a modern look to it and I am more traditional, but It's simple, and I like it..

01-27-2011, 08:37 AM
Aaron Keim of Beansprout has made ukes out of old furniture and the like

01-27-2011, 10:04 AM
Yeah, I know people do that. Brazilian Rosewood (the holy grail of tonewoods, apparently) is never cut down straight from a tree, it's always recycled from furniture. So yeah, there's a good chance that any of that type of wood has been part of something else in it's life. well it's dead... idk.

01-27-2011, 12:47 PM
It's certainly a good idea. Much like the craze back in the late 70's through the 80's of taking old weathered barn siding and making high-end paneling and furnishings from it. The wood should certainly be well seasoned!

There is a community south of here called Heritage Homestead and they recycle old barns into very nice homes. I've been down there and seen some of the 17th and 18th century barns they "recycle." I remember one had a ridge-beam from a single tree that was about 40" X 40" X 60' long. Don't remember what wood it was. If it had been walnut or something suitable like that you could have made a few thousand ukuleles from it if you were careful!