PDA

View Full Version : Retired but not withdrawn...



Pete Howlett
06-12-2014, 07:38 PM
Hi there folks

Having said all I had to say about building, a year ago I actively retired from this forum. I did not withdraw so I do occasionally post replies where I think my experience may provide a new view. I was criticised recently for this and I believe that post was taken down as a result of complaints made to the moderators... that is another good reason to retire :)

To make this post uke-related, I will post some images next week of my new body design. For many years I scoffed (am now eating humble pie, my hat and my words :) ) the spruce top brigade. The light went on when I saw the work of Jake Maclay and I have used the Martin OM body shape to create what he calls Californian style ukulele. The appeal is not to purists but to the growing army of guitar players who want their ukes to look and sound like little guitars... The body is slightly larger than the usual tenor size and (again eating my words) I am experimenting with radiused fingerboards and a low G. I've got old growth Indian rosewood for the back and sides ( deep purple with tight grain), moonspruce, Alpine spruce and some beautiful 24 grains to the inch Englemann and ebony for fingerboards and bridges! What is the world of Pete Howlett coming to? I'm experimenting with herringbone rosettes and will even look at ebony binding (I know - shoot him :) ). I will still be hand bending the sides, voicing tops and at last, the final leap to the dark side, inserting a solid 10mm square carbon fibre rod in the neck. I think I have turned around quite a few times now and if you are at all familiar with any of my former posts will realise the almost complete change of direction I am taking with these instruments.

Over in uke talk I am making a plea for images of vintage Howlett ukulele form the 1990's. These were sold out of Music Exchange in Hawaii and were mainly slotted headstock 6 & 8 string tenors. I think I built about 20 or so concerts out of the 200 built from 1995 - 1998. Go there for information please.

Thanks
Pete

AKuker
06-12-2014, 08:51 PM
Hi Pete ! Glad to see you haven't withdrawn! I learned quite a lot from your posts these past few years and I'm especially pleased to see you are still building instruments! It would be a sad day to hear you've stopped building!

So I've never heard of moon spruce before. Is that from the tress they only cut on moon lit night? See, still trying to learn from the master! ;))
Randy

Kekani
06-12-2014, 10:07 PM
Better watch out Pete, soon you'll get yourself a Knew saw, Foredom flex and start ordering downcut bits from me!

I've slowed down a lot on my interaction here as well. Not unlike you, I caught some flak and accusations to the point of "who the heck are you to comment on something you know nothing about". . . from a noob no less. No response from me. Not even worth it for the "experts" . . .

Funny, that last post, pointed straight at you, and for what? I didn't see any shot taken at the subsequent +1's. Must be a personal thing I guess. I wish the comment stayed in; keeps buddhuu's response in proper context.

Looking forward to your next direction.

gyosh
06-13-2014, 03:29 AM
Wow, that's quite a nod to Jake!

He builds beautiful instruments.

(I really miss the old pros in the thread)

resoman
06-13-2014, 03:46 AM
Pete, so glad you're still hanging around. Your posts are always appreciated. On those snarky responses, just ignore them, like Kekani. On your new direction, great, enjoy the ride!
terry harris

David Newton
06-13-2014, 04:32 AM
Pete, I think it is good for a builder to "retire" from these forums for stretches. Go put your head down in the shop and do what you know how to do.

A builder who I have greatly admired, never posted on a forum, never, until his old age, appeared in a seminar or spoke at a conference, Manuel Velasquez, kept his head down in his shop, and is now considered one of the greats. He didn't seek greatness, he practiced his craft. When asked if he still experimented with different methods, bracing styles or materials, he said "no" he only "builds the guitar" that he knows how to build.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
06-13-2014, 07:53 AM
Never be ashamed of acknowledging a growth in knowledge. It is the truly stupid who refuse move on.

Martin sure got it right with their OM shape and ill look forward your new body unveiling (so to speak) Pete :)

SteveZ
06-13-2014, 08:20 AM
Pete, the new-age instrument sounds very intriguing. Will definitely be following the results. Thanks for the heads-up.

Telperion
06-13-2014, 08:39 AM
....if you are at all familiar with any of my former posts will realise the almost complete change of direction I am taking with these instruments.

I love traditional ukes and the history behind them. However, modern building styles and techniques have taken the instrument to seriously new levels that allow for musicians like Jake and Kalei to push boundaries. I like this quote from Rick Turner in another thread recently:

"Traditions start with innovations. Instrument designs evolve to suit the music and the musicians." - RT

Here's to Pete's new design becoming a classic down the road. :cheers:

-Steve

BlackBearUkes
06-13-2014, 08:58 AM
Hi there folks

Having said all I had to say about building, a year ago I actively retired from this forum. I did not withdraw so I do occasionally post replies where I think my experience may provide a new view. I was criticised recently for this and I believe that post was taken down as a result of complaints made to the moderators... that is another good reason to retire :)

To make this post uke-related, I will post some images next week of my new body design. For many years I scoffed (am now eating humble pie, my hat and my words :) ) the spruce top brigade. The light went on when I saw the work of Jake Maclay and I have used the Martin OM body shape to create what he calls Californian style ukulele. The appeal is not to purists but to the growing army of guitar players who want their ukes to look and sound like little guitars... The body is slightly larger than the usual tenor size and (again eating my words) I am experimenting with radiused fingerboards and a low G. I've got old growth Indian rosewood for the back and sides ( deep purple with tight grain), moonspruce, Alpine spruce and some beautiful 24 grains to the inch Englemann and ebony for fingerboards and bridges! What is the world of Pete Howlett coming to? I'm experimenting with herringbone rosettes and will even look at ebony binding (I know - shoot him :) ). I will still be hand bending the sides, voicing tops and at last, the final leap to the dark side, inserting a solid 10mm square carbon fibre rod in the neck. I think I have turned around quite a few times now and if you are at all familiar with any of my former posts will realise the almost complete change of direction I am taking with these instruments.

Over in uke talk I am making a plea for images of vintage Howlett ukulele form the 1990's. These were sold out of Music Exchange in Hawaii and were mainly slotted headstock 6 & 8 string tenors. I think I built about 20 or so concerts out of the 200 built from 1995 - 1998. Go there for information please.

Thanks
Pete


Hell Pete, if your going to build little guitars, why not try a few with steel strings. Transitional guitar player would probably love them.

Pete Howlett
06-13-2014, 09:59 AM
Been there and done that Duane with a bunch of Terz guitars I made for John Pearse back in the 90's. My new baritone shape is also OM so I am planning a Terz guitar or two in the coming months :)

lauburu
06-13-2014, 11:23 AM
I sense a new excitement in your post, Pete. The excitement of someone who's just discovered a new continent to explore. You're fortunate to have a long history of successful exploration to build on. From those of us still exploring new horizons for the first time, many thanks for sharing your experience.
Miguel

Pete Howlett
06-13-2014, 08:02 PM
I sense you all think I am rounding a corner from some awful crisis - far from it! I will still be building traditional Hawaiian style tenor ukulele; I will still read posts on this forum and participate where I think I can add something and still be maintaining my facebook club and my order book. I am simply adding a new and evolving idea to my build experience. As Chuck moves onto greater inlay heights and Rick gigs out more, so I seek artistic fulfilment in challenging yet again, my design and building skills - and with my 60 year old eyesight and need to constantly wear a head visor magnifier now, they sure are getting challenged when it comes to mitred end grafts and side binding.

mm stan
06-13-2014, 11:32 PM
Aloha Pete,
Good to hear back from you and Great news on your new designs and innovation...can't wait to see them....sorry you have had a bad experience with some here,
but I am glad you still check the forum and you are still here.... no let some ruffle your feathers, a man of your caliber and knowledge would not even flinch at
these newbies comments...nor should you even waste your time at it... We know what you are capable of and your works speaks for itself....Take care and keep
building and when you feel comfortable, please do return on more of a regular basis....

AndrewKuker
06-14-2014, 03:12 AM
The best artist revisit their opinions with an open mind. Kudos to you Pete. You evolve from inspiration…Love it

maclay
06-23-2014, 07:31 PM
Hi there folks

Having said all I had to say about building, a year ago I actively retired from this forum. I did not withdraw so I do occasionally post replies where I think my experience may provide a new view. I was criticised recently for this and I believe that post was taken down as a result of complaints made to the moderators... that is another good reason to retire :)

To make this post uke-related, I will post some images next week of my new body design. For many years I scoffed (am now eating humble pie, my hat and my words :) ) the spruce top brigade. The light went on when I saw the work of Jake Maclay and I have used the Martin OM body shape to create what he calls Californian style ukulele. The appeal is not to purists but to the growing army of guitar players who want their ukes to look and sound like little guitars... The body is slightly larger than the usual tenor size and (again eating my words) I am experimenting with radiused fingerboards and a low G. I've got old growth Indian rosewood for the back and sides ( deep purple with tight grain), moonspruce, Alpine spruce and some beautiful 24 grains to the inch Englemann and ebony for fingerboards and bridges! What is the world of Pete Howlett coming to? I'm experimenting with herringbone rosettes and will even look at ebony binding (I know - shoot him :) ). I will still be hand bending the sides, voicing tops and at last, the final leap to the dark side, inserting a solid 10mm square carbon fibre rod in the neck. I think I have turned around quite a few times now and if you are at all familiar with any of my former posts will realise the almost complete change of direction I am taking with these instruments.


I haven't really visited this site for a year or two, so I was a little surprised to see this thread. Let me be the first to say.....welcome to the dark side :)
Congrats on the new direction Pete. Looking forward to seeing the results.