At our workshop in Marsden, West Yorkshire all parts begin life on our CAD system. We use the latest and best 3D CAD from Delcam and Solidworks. Both systems link in to our CAM systems (Delcam, OneCNC and BobCAD) to control the machines which will produce all parts with exacting accuracy.
When beginning work on the body of the clarinet the centre hole or ‘pilot bore’ is cut first; the best way to do this is by a process called ‘gun-drilling’. Our process enables us to cut superbly smooth and accurate bore. None of our instruments are injection moulded and this important part of our production is what makes us different to the huge makers of clarinets that use faster and cheaper (but this does not mean better) ways of producing the bore. Look down the bore of our clarinets, compare them to others… the bore is critical to the sound and tone and response…. our bores are visibly and audibly superior.
Next the outside profile, tone holes, key post fixings and tone hole ‘undercuts’ are made using computer controlled CNC machines using balanced high precision cutters. We manufacture with repeatable accuracy levels of up to six microns – 0.006mm ! Equipped with a high speed spindle our CNC machine can glide through the wood at speeds of up to 60,000 rpm. Can that be right???? YES; at full speed the cutter revolves 1,000 times a second – phew!
We are really very proud of our wood working – all the processes have been worked out by ourselves, often based upon what feels right…. Should we artificially ‘fast dry’ our wood or let it dry naturally? Should we use chemicals to treat the timber? Should we dye the wood and fill the grain? We think you wouldn’t like the sound of any of those things so we don’t do them to Hanson clarinets.
If you are interested to see how our instruments are made please take a look at our workshop demo dates on the events calendar. Also of special note are the quarterly Q&A sessions held at the ‘Riverhead Brewery Tap’ – the Marsden village micro brewery is the perfect venue for our informal Q&A sessions and has on several occasions been the ‘seed’ for a great new idea.