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Thread: A visit to the Magic Fluke Company

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Torrington, CT
    Posts
    7

    Default A visit to the Magic Fluke Company

    Hello all. I was going to post this in intros since I'm a noob, but I think it's better here. I got my first uke (LU-21) a couple of weeks ago and found the UU site and forums. I am a lurker by nature, but thought people might be interested in my visit to the Magic Fluke Company 'factory' in New Hartford, CT.

    I wasn't planning to buy uke #2 so soon, but I did some research,and realized that the Magic Fluke Company is literally 10 minutes down the road from me. They're going to move soon, so I didn't want to miss my chance to maybe score one of their discounted seconds.

    The building is a little yellow house with a mock up of a fluke hanging outside as a sign, but no other obvious identification. There is an office type room in front and small workshop in back. It's obviously not meant to be a retail store. It's organized but not showy. In the front window is a display of pre-made seconds, both flukes and fleas.

    The workroom wall (which would have been a living room originally, I think there was ununused fireplace) was lined with workbenches and also had a large central workbench. There were ukes in various states hanging here and there. The bench closest to the door was covered with neat rows of unfinished flea faceplates, and other stations had similar groups of ukulele bits-in-progress. There were 3 or 4 people in the room. They were working at different 'stations', but from the conversation I had with the woman helping me it sounds like they are all multi-skilled and do a bit of everything, it's not like a widget factory where a worker spends all day doing one thing over and over. As a cubicle worker, it kind of looked like a dream job to me. They were smiley and pleasant as I babbled like an idiot, which is what I do around new people. It was obvious they were there to work and not to talk to me .

    It was neat actually seeing a small number of human beings making a beautiful and useful thing that I could potentially buy- that's a rarity these days.

    Anyway, there weren't any seconds on display that appealed to me, but we talked about what I wanted (a tenor flea with a rosewood fretboard) and once we narrowed down the color (green), the woman helping me brought out about a dozen 'imperfect' green faceplates for me to choose from. There was a large variation in grain and color, ranging from olive to emerald green, and the imperfections were barely noticable. I chose my favorite (emerald-y, with tiny knots throughout that were really interesting), and she was also able to find an imperfect rosewood fretboard, which had some light indentations near a few fret markers from being misstamped. Barely noticeable. So the upshot is that I was able to semi-customize my ukulele order with hand picked parts that were seconds, allowing me to get a nice discount. I also got geared tuners and they are stringing it low-g for me, to contrast with my high-g soprano. I'm picking it up today.

    Anyway, this was long, congrats if you made it to the end. I hope to wait at least a year before picking up any more ukes. Thinking about a Mainland mahogany concert to kind of fill out the collection.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Sonoran Desert USA
    Posts
    5,867

    Default

    Great story, thanks for sharing.
    Congrats on the new Flea (pictures?)!
    Welcome to the UU at last.
    cletus

  3. #3
    RyanMFT Guest

    Default

    Thanks for sharing the story of your visit. Made me feel a little like I was there with you....thanks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Wish it was Hawaii!
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    Default

    That's cool!!! Great story and it sounds like you got a great deal as well.

    Thanks for sharing!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    near Rochester, NY
    Posts
    52,504

    Default

    Nice story. I saw a video tour of their facility online somewhere. Sounds like a dream come true....a semi-custom discounted "second". Hope you post pictures for all of us to enjoy.

    You have great taste. The Mainland you are saving for is another terrific value....

    Oh! Welcome to UU! No need to limit yourself to lurking. We don't bite....
    Things get better with age. I'm approaching magnificent....

    Kala KA-SC :: Sapele /ebony soprano, handmade :: Kiwaya K-Wave Tele Uke :: Big Island KTO-TR :: Lanikai LU-8EK :: Eastman concert prototype :: vintage banjolele :: Mainland gloss mahogany concert

    "And if you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there..." - George Harrison

    "Just a few ukulele hooligans getting wild and strummy...." - chindog


    5:2576

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    300

    Default

    Where are they moving to? Just a different building? The video tour someone did is awesome, I'd love to visit someday. Good work on the custom second. I still love my tenor Fluke!
    -Josh
    (twitter)

    Ukes: Mainland concert mahogany w/slotted headstock and Mi-Si; Fluke tenor (mango); Kamaka vintage Gold Label pineapple (restored); Applause UAE20 Acoustic-Electric Deluxe Mini Ukulele, Adamas Red
    Guitars: 1991 Fender Strat Ultra (sunburst), Ibanez acoustic, Yamaha classical 3/4

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Torrington, CT
    Posts
    7

    Default

    They're moving to somewhere in MA that starts with an S. Possibly Sheffield? Not super far away by New England standards, but a lot more than 10 minutes.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Capital District NY
    Posts
    3,023

    Default

    Is it Springfield? If so.. I have to make a trip there..

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    San Francisco CA USA
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    11,597

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mailman View Post
    I saw a video tour of their facility online somewhere.
    I saved a Magic Fluke Factory Tour video to my YouTube account, but when I call it up now, I get a message that says "This video is private." Too bad. It was a pretty cool video.
    Last edited by mds725; 09-18-2010 at 10:05 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    PA
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    Default

    Welcome to UU. Cool story - thanks for sharing.

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