American woodworker, Rob Jones was recently profiled in the Bangor Daily News. Rob. of Thomaston, ME, an engineer by trade makes playable musical instruments out of wood. Music professors have played his instruments as well as bugle enthusiasts. The detail he goes into is amazing, down to the millimeter.
In addition to musical instruments this American woodworker has carved various everyday objects including shoes, boots and even what Maine is famous for, a Lobster. As a gift to his father he made an exact replica of a Smith & Wesson handgun, with detail down to .005 of an inch the gun is very accurate to the original.
Engineer sculpts playable musical instruments out of wood
THOMASTON, Maine — Rob Jones has bought a pair of knee-high women’s boots he’ll never wear. He bought a tiny “pocket” trumpet even though he has no idea how to play it and doesn’t intend to learn. All for his art. By day, Jones is an electronic technician.By night he is an award-winning woodworker who meticulously measures, cuts, sands and pieces together tiny bits of tubing to construct working, pitch-perfect “brass” instruments out of wood.
His instruments have been played by music professors and bugle enthusiasts. He has been commissioned for three bugles so far in addition to building a French horn, trombones, a trumpet and several banjos. He carved a bird, a shoe and a boot, a lobster and shells. He even made an exact Smith & Wesson .44 magnum replica out of wood — perfect to one-five-thousandth of an inch as a gift to his dad. Of course, if his dad shot the gun, it would explode into splinters, but it’s so precise Jones could take pieces of the wood gun and fit them perfectly into a real, metal gun.
Jones, 37, of Thomaston, developed his hobby when he was at his day job and saw his coworker building a mandolin on a lunch break one day.
“I thought, ‘that looks cool.’ So with his guidance I built my first…
Rob began his craft after seeing a coworker building a mandolin. With the coworkers assistance the built his first banjo, in instrument he has always been interested in. His next instrument was a french horn for which he rented an actual instrument on a monthly basis in order to use as as a guide. This instrument includes details such handmade springs made completely of wood. From there he has gone on to make trombones and trumpets.
Here is a video from his YouTube channel (58scallop) of the building and playing of one of his bugles.
His goal is to become a full time woodworker making the instruments he loves. In order to meet that goal he is making segmented wooden bowls which he is selling in locations from Maine to New Jersey. This American woodworker attention to has a way to go to meet his dreams but with time I have no doubt he will get there.