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The relationships between furniture manufacturers and Musical Instrument companies

Lamontsdad

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Norlin owned Gibson, Kimball, and several other instrument brands from the late 60s through late 80s. Jasper was a furniture manufacturer, I do believe, and (please correct me if I am wrong) Keller was into furniture. Kimball, a piano manufacturer, was even doing kitchen furniture in the early 80s.

Is the instrument/furniture connection as strong as it was 50 years ago? I know that Ludwig moved into the mecca of furniture manufacturing, unlike the phone caller to DCP would have you believe. It would be interesting if Roland decided to put DW's wood working expertise into making furniture.
 

dtk

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I was recently told Firth is out of the Pepper Mills and rolling pins.
Zildjian had frying pans for a bit...but I'm guessing the worked with an outside maker (had they been successful i can only imagine the confusion over sizzle cymbals).

I play folk with a guy who has two acoustics made by a guy who got out of the guitar biz and into customer cabinets.
 

Pedal_Pusher

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If I remember correctly Jasper Wood Products of Jasper, Indiana made a lot of television and home stereo cabinets (how's that for dated products?) and laminated skateboards when Corder Drum Company where I worked bought the wonderful all maple shells from them in the late 1970's and beyond. I think they would do all sorts of specialized wood products for outside customers and drum shells were just another sideline, at least at first. I'm not sure about Keller and the other connections between furniture makers and musical instruments. I would think that the connection between furniture makers and acoustic pianos would be strong. When Yamaha decided to get into drum sets again in the late 1970's their natural wood finishes were amazing and I heard that they were assisted by the Yamaha acoustic piano shop.
 

Frank Godiva

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Sonor SQ2 is really known for the finishes. Very few genuine veneers are still in the lineup because of CITES to address environmental concerns. The majority of the finishes comes from the Italian company ALPI which make man made composite veneers from poplar in just about anything you can think of. There main business is providing these products to furniture makers.

So you could have all your tables and chairs match your red tribal SQ2. I could see @Mapex Always doing that ;)


 

Houndog

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Francois at UNIX builds furniture too , I remember him being really mad when he lost a kitchen bid ….
 

Bri6366

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Nearly all wood furniture is now made in China/Asia.

I've read this was what put Jasper out of business, drum shell manufacturing being a very small segment of their operation. Reading old articles about drum shells in Modern Drummer, back in the day, Jasper and Keller would say they were simply the manufacturers and they left the design specs up to their customers (Gretsch, Rogers, etc.). But these says Keller has specific series of shells you can buy and they advertise themselves as subject matter experts in drum shell design.
 

esooy

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The Ludwig NC thing doesn’t really seem to be because of the furniture connection, but cost of production. It’s not like it doesn’t take skill to do their wood products, but aside from shells what wood products do they manufacture there? They aren’t making custom highboys and armoires. Maybe closer to veneer factories but even that…
 

Lamontsdad

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The Ludwig NC thing doesn’t really seem to be because of the furniture connection, but cost of production. It’s not like it doesn’t take skill to do their wood products, but aside from shells what wood products do they manufacture there? They aren’t making custom highboys and armoires. Maybe closer to veneer factories but even that…
Certainly it's labor costs, but it just so happens that they are in furniture country, as well :)
 
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K.O.

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Corder Drum Company where I worked bought the wonderful all maple shells from them in the late 1970's and beyond.

Did Corder have Jasper make different shells from what Gretsch used? Gretsch Jasper shells were only 33% maple (2 maple plies sandwiched over 4 gumwood plies).
 

slow larry

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Its about commonality in what their manufacturing machinery can make. Furniture and wooden instruments can share quite a bit of tooling. Likewise there is historically overlap in horn makers and bicycle manufacturers, both having tooling to extrude and bend metal tubes.
 

jakeo

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If I remember correctly Jasper Wood Products of Jasper, Indiana made a lot of television and home stereo cabinets (how's that for dated products?) and laminated skateboards when Corder Drum Company where I worked bought the wonderful all maple shells from them in the late 1970's and beyond. I think they would do all sorts of specialized wood products for outside customers and drum shells were just another sideline, at least at first. I'm not sure about Keller and the other connections between furniture makers and musical instruments. I would think that the connection between furniture makers and acoustic pianos would be strong. When Yamaha decided to get into drum sets again in the late 1970's their natural wood finishes were amazing and I heard that they were assisted by the Yamaha acoustic piano shop.
Still have my Corders from 1989 - love em.
 


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