|Jack Hall from England, U.K. proved that a ukulele didn't need to be made with conventional tools or from the finest materials to play well, sound good and be beautiful to look at.
This one-of-a- kind 1984 ukulele was made entirely from used wooden matchsticks...10,000 of them painstakingly glued together with 2 lbs of hide glue.
Matchsticks for the curved portions of the ukulele were pre-soaked and bent, and the glued-together sections were weighted into shape with the aid of flat-irons, fire bricks and pans of water. The carving was fashioned with a knife, a file and a straight-edge razor; finishing touches were accomplished with sandpaper, before the varnish seal was applied.
Construction was completed in four hundred hours...working five hours per day.
The main distinguishing feature is the burnt matchstick design on the body, the body sides and the peg head. Jack sorted out and hand-picked from piles of matchsticks only those matchsticks with even-sided square burnt ends. He then ingeniously interlocked the blackened, burnt match-heads to form herring bone designs on the front and back of the body, and soldier columns on the body sides and peg head. The original 1984 white wood has aged nicely to rich golden colour.
To complete the project Jack made a case entirely from 200 cardboard matchBoxes.
The ukulele is in the book of Guinness World Records, 2003 Edition. Abbreviated text says, "Tony Hall (UK) owns 10 playable musical instruments made entirely from 106,000 used wooden matchsticks." It has also been played on BBC television. The professional musician who performed with the ukulele said, " The tone and sound is great and it is a pleasure to handle and play."