SLO Mini Maker Faire 2014

SLO MMF 2014.1 The second annual San Luis Obispo Mini Maker Faire has come and gone and a couple of instruments left the “available for sale” category. There were lots of impromptu ukulele lessons and canjo sessions.
SLO MMF 2014.2 There were paper sculptures, a frisbee chucking bot, and shrinky-dinks among the many activities and demonstrations.
SLO MMF 2014.3 The following weekend I traveled to San Mateo for the big Maker Faire. It was two whole days of surprising people with the sound that can come out of a hillbilly instrument. I am happy to say that lots of folks left the Tinkers Damn booth smiling. My special lady friend did not come along for the big show so I am short on photos, folks. Here’s a video that gives a drone’s view of some of the Faire. If you’ve never attended it will give a little taste of how big the event is.
SLO MMF 2014.4If you want to see more of the SLO event, have a look at the iFixit SLO Maker Faire video (and though it makes me writhe in pain to see myself on tape, it includes a short clip of me and the cans.) A couple of the Faire volunteers jumped right in to ukulele lessons and did so much to spread the magic to more of the Faire visitors than I could have ever done on my own. Sorry for all the cut off heads here and above (I prefer to avoid showing faces of people who have not given the go to use their likeness on the interwebs).

San Luis Obispo Mini Maker Faire 2014 from The Tinkers Damn on Vimeo.

It’s Official!

I’ll be sharing my instruments, tools, and methods at the San Mateo Maker Faire May 17th and 18th. Tinkers Damn is exhibit #20264. In addition, I’ll be at the San Luis Obispo Mini Maker Faire May 10th. I’ll have a very limited number of instruments available for sale at the San Luis Obispo event, but I will not be selling instruments in San Mateo. I’ll be far too busy demonstrating how to make your own instrument and giving beginning lessons on the ukulele and canjo.

If you live on the central coast, I can’t encourage you enough to join us for the San Luis Obispo Mini Maker Faire. Last year was a swell time, the event isn’t nearly as overwhelming as the big show in San Mateo, and it’s free!

If you are a tinker, maker, or thinker, the Maker Faire in San Mateo is two whole days of creativity overload and probably worth the trip from just about anywhere in North America. I’m just about to pee myself with excitement that I get to participate this year. Get your tickets before you get to the gate! Don’t miss it!

black rose

black rose 1 black rose 2 black rose 3Boy, I tell ya, I am starting to really like these medium size tins for concert scale ukuleles. They work like a charm. I suppose I will have to start working the big 10 inch tins into baritone ukuleles instead. Don’t miss the wild colors of the polka-dot liner inside this silk neck-tie strap. You can just see the pattern peeking out of the right side of the top photo. The mottled patina in the steel of the cookie tin bottom gives black rose a world-wise personality, and the fleurs-de-lis on the tin and arm rest give her a mild, regal bearing. She’s a special gal!

  • tin: 185 x 65 mm, 7 1/4 x 2 1/2 in.
  • scale length: 380 mm, 15 in.
  • head to tail: 620 mm, 24 1/2 in.
  • G .010, C .015, E .011, A .008
  • maple neck
  • cocobolo fret board
  • stainless fork and rest
  • silk neck tie strap

Sorry folks, Black Rose was sold at the San Luis Obispo Maker Faire, May 10, 2014. We had a really swell volunteer for the day who picked up a uke for the first time at the Faire. She learned a few chords from me and many more plus a few songs from other uke players who happened by. By the time she had to go for the day she was ready to make this uke her own. If our volunteer is reading this… thank you so much for all the help and enthusiasm getting other people to try out an instrument and I hope your new instrument brings years of strumming.

Maker Faire 2014

MFSLO8May is on its way, and with it comes the Maker Faire. This year, if all goes as planned (if they let me in, that is) I will be participating in both the San Luis Obispo Mini Maker Faire on May 10th and the San Mateo Maker Faire on May 17th and 18th. I will once again be selling ukuleles, canjos, and dulcimers at the SLO Mini Maker Faire (if I can manage to make a few more by then) by cash or check. Sorry folks, I just don’t have the means or the technology yet to accept credit cards. For the San Mateo Maker Faire I will not be selling anything. It’s the weekend right after the SLO event and I don’t expect to have more than my good ol’ backup demo instruments left by then. In addition, I will be way too busy in San Mateo demonstrating and teaching to be able to deal with sales at all (not to mention that Tinkers Damn just can’t afford the commercial maker fee). If you will be attending and want to see what a Tinkers Damn uke sounds like in person, it will be a fine opportunity. You can always look me up to buy an instrument after the event.

maker faire san luis obispo 2013

three at Maker Faire

At the mini Maker Faire 2013 I had a swell time showing folks how to play a ukulele, dulcimer, or canjo (and quite a few folks who needed no showing at all). It was my first time out in public with these instruments and I actually sold a few! People seemed to like the novelty of getting sound out of a funny looking can and some were impressed that they actually sounded good.


For more images have a look at Flickr.




A big, “Thank you.” to everyone who came by and tried a strum or two, and a double, “Thank you.” to the folks who made a purchase. It has encouraged me to keep pounding the steel.

faux cloisonné

fauxcloisonne3The tin for this ukulele had an odd shaped bottom and I was not certain it would lend itself to making an instrument. In the end, hammering the steel went well and resulted in a nice voice. I used padouk wood for the fretboard and maple for the neck. Add a swell neck tie for a strap and you have a fine little instrument that was snapped up by a family that visited tinkers damn at the San Luis Obispo Mini Maker Faire in May 2013.fauxcloisonne fauxcloisonne2

the stained-glass-fruit cookie tin ukulele

stainglassfruit1 stainglassfruit2This was my favorite instrument for months after I made it. I think it was the first really successful ukulele I turned out. It has a maple neck and fretboard and a seven inch cookie tin body. This one was purchased by a swell lady at the San Luis Obispo Mini Maker Fair on May 11, 2013. I’m sure it has found a happy home. Here’s a short video of me putting the instrument through its paces.