Tempted by technology? No

I’ve been approached over the last decade by individuals seeking technical challenges and others motivated by commercial interests to “3D the western electric horns. This is not my road. My personal approach when making a horn is to hand shape each piece of wood by hand keeping as close as possible to methods used on the original builds back in the 1920’s. This was an era where hand planes and craft had a meaning. The result is invariably the transmission of woodworkers hands into the object. Horns can be over 400 unique pieces that are assembled and none being identical. I’ve spoken before about rhythm in the work. The link between brain and hand guided by ones eyes is not driven by any latest 3D machining unit. Yes I make mistakes, yes the signature of my craft is there. On days it doesn’t work, my trio brain, hands and eyes isn’t working right. I have no options here, I stop work and start again later or another day. It’s what my wonderful wife has named « SLOW CRAFTED ».

Yes if the idea is to mass produce I guess that makes sense? If one doesn’t have the manual skills to craft to shape all the parts. I guess that the idea of sitting down in front of a computer screen the seeing some 5 dimensional cutter spin and do the work is an appealing concept. However I have turned down these proposals. I remain true in what I strive to achieve.


  1. Hi Tim,
    I admire your devotion in your wonderful craftsmanship.
    American culture in the 20ties was driven by innovation and financial profit. I do admire the Western Electric engineers of that time
    who invented the physics of high quality sound systems, it is very interesting to realize that nearly 100 years after there is so much interest in
    the WE sound, quite never outdated, even with the actual technological advance.

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