Bristol

South Gloucestershire wood turner makes playable wood trumpet

A wooden trumpet that can be played like a real trumpet has been created by a South Gloucestershire wood turner.

The beech wood trumpet, handcrafted by George King from Alveston, is made up of 120 wooden parts and took over a week to hand turn and build.

Mr King, who only started the hobby in 2007, said he was "quite surprised" when it was played for the first time last week.

He said: "It amazed me, it plays far better than I thought it ever would."

Image caption It took Mr King over a week to wood turn and build his playable wooden trumpet

After dismantling a "borrowed trumpet", Mr King worked out how to create his wooden replica through a process of "trial and error".

"I'd seen a trumpet and thought that's a challenge - I can do that", he said.

"I thought I would just make something that looked like a trumpet. But as it evolved I thought - yes I can make this and make it play."

Using Computer Aided Design software to create the 120 individual components, it took Mr King over 80 hours to create the final instrument.

The only components of the trumpet not made from wood are the instrument's valves and springs.

Sticky valves

Plastic valves had to be used to prevent any moisture "making them stick".

"I wanted it to look like wood and not look like a brass trumpet so I've deliberately left it as wood and not tried to paint it gold or brass," he said.

"And as far as I know it's unique. There's only one wooden trumpet that actually plays like a trumpet and I'm not sure I believe I've done it."

Image caption Over 120 individual parts, all hand turned in wood, make up the final instrument

Bristol-based Trevor Jones, a professional trumpet player for over 25 years, said he was amazed that the wooden trumpet actually plays.

"I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it," he said.

"It's quite hard to play - to get a sort of centred sound on it - but I think that's because there's not the same resonance in wood as there would be in a brass trumpet.

"But it's incredible, absolutely incredible the workmanship."

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