Tag: Hawkes and Sons

Hawkes & Son Elizabethan Vibraphone Restoration Project (ref#1805)

SOLD

Here is another opportunity for someone. This is a Hawkes and Son Elizabethan vibe part done restoration project which needs to go to a good home for completion.  Sadly the previous owner has passed away and I was approached by his widow initially to see if I were interested in the project and then for advice on what to do with it, so here we are.  Ideally it would be nice for there to be sufficient funds raised to enable a donation to be given to the charity “Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis” after covering costs.

As can be seen from the images, the note bed has been sanded back, but looks like it still requires varnishing.  The trolley and resonators have been shot blasted and powder coated.  Two of the resonators were damaged during the shot blasting procedure, replacements were made but they still require fitting.

The instrument range is F3-F6 and the condition of the bars is to be expected for an instrument of this age.  The pitch marked is A=439 whereas modern instruments are going ever higher in pitch and are now typically A=442 Hertz (Hz).  In contradiction, most of the music tech I look at* is tuned to A=440Hz which in this case is more obtainable and much more relevant if you want to actually play with other musicians and not sound sharp.

*I do not have the time or inclination to peruse the world of music hardware, and I certainly do not claim to be an expert.   However in those areas in which I am interested and through my experience of working for or talking to commercial backline providers, the oscillators in keyboards and synthesizers seem to be set to A=440Hz.  Admittedly in most cases this can be adjusted very easily, but it often requires some menu diving.   There are good reasons why certain percussion instruments are tuned to a slightly sharp A standard, but when applied universally, these arguments are nullified.  Personally I would prefer to see the musical pitch standard return back towards 432Hz from whence I suspect presumably started and for which many instruments were originally developed, but there is fat chance of that ever happening!



And finally we have a load of bits.  Be aware that some items in the photos below actually shouldn’t be there because they are not off the instrument, but most are.  It must be said that it looks very organised with all the small items in their own bag.  Most of it will be self explanatory as to where it goes.  Some items will be unique to this instrument.  Some things will have been added according to the whim of previous owners and some will be included by accident.  If you like jigsaws and fancy a vibraphone when it is complete, then this could provide you hours of fun.

If you are interested, send me an email and we can discuss the price.

Hawkes and Sons Bass Drum (Job No: 1148)

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This drum came in to have calf heads fitted. Unfortunately, the previous owner had attached plastic heads to the flesh hoops with a mixture of super glue, araldite, staples, nails and metal epoxy.  I did get them off, but it would have taken hours to clean up the hoops.
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When measuring up so I could roll new flesh hoops, I saw that the counter hoops would not pass over the drum shell, mainly due to the hideous paint job which had been slapped presumably with a flip flop, but they were also hindered by the metal epoxy.  I can visualise the person struggling with joining plastic to wood, slapping on the epoxy and trying to seat the newly made drum head onto the drum whilst wet and the gooey mess dribbling out and going everywhere!

So it all that black mess had to come off.
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The undercoat scraped off easily, because it was painted directly onto varnish.
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It was probably painted to hide the repair
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But even in its raw state the drum now looks so much better, and the counter hoops will now work properly. Now the shell and hoops can be refinished and reassembled. I have opted for oil on the shell, and gloss varnish on the hoops. The fittings are cleaned and shined, and finally the new flesh hoops can be rolled.
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After the flesh hoops have been plated (to prevent rusting), the heads can be lapped and the drum assembled.
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