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Where can I get a tea chest? - for tea chest bass

Jane of 'ull 22 Jul 10 - 03:23 PM
Ernest 22 Jul 10 - 03:50 PM
ClaireBear 22 Jul 10 - 03:59 PM
Sorcha 22 Jul 10 - 04:18 PM
vectis 22 Jul 10 - 05:17 PM
Noreen 22 Jul 10 - 05:30 PM
Gurney 22 Jul 10 - 05:54 PM
Leadfingers 22 Jul 10 - 07:13 PM
greg stephens 22 Jul 10 - 07:20 PM
Jack Campin 22 Jul 10 - 08:11 PM
GUEST,erbert 22 Jul 10 - 08:22 PM
catspaw49 22 Jul 10 - 08:35 PM
ClaireBear 22 Jul 10 - 08:42 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Jul 10 - 08:42 PM
ClaireBear 22 Jul 10 - 08:56 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Jul 10 - 09:07 PM
ClaireBear 22 Jul 10 - 09:19 PM
Gurney 22 Jul 10 - 09:26 PM
Leadfingers 22 Jul 10 - 10:22 PM
katlaughing 22 Jul 10 - 11:24 PM
Acme 23 Jul 10 - 02:12 AM
mandotim 23 Jul 10 - 02:22 AM
Gurney 23 Jul 10 - 02:30 AM
Roger the Skiffler 23 Jul 10 - 04:45 AM
IanC 23 Jul 10 - 05:05 AM
greg stephens 23 Jul 10 - 06:35 AM
Andy Jackson 23 Jul 10 - 07:00 AM
Jack Campin 23 Jul 10 - 07:45 AM
Tyke 23 Jul 10 - 10:16 AM
Murray MacLeod 23 Jul 10 - 02:22 PM
Jane of 'ull 23 Jul 10 - 03:08 PM
Gurney 23 Jul 10 - 05:24 PM
GUEST,Keith 13 Dec 12 - 07:52 PM
JohnInKansas 13 Dec 12 - 10:36 PM
Desert Dancer 14 Dec 12 - 10:52 AM
JohnInKansas 14 Dec 12 - 01:59 PM
John MacKenzie 14 Dec 12 - 02:09 PM
EBarnacle 14 Dec 12 - 11:20 PM
JohnInKansas 17 Dec 12 - 05:00 PM
Leadfingers 17 Dec 12 - 05:14 PM
JohnInKansas 17 Dec 12 - 05:35 PM
EBarnacle 17 Dec 12 - 11:07 PM
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Subject: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: Jane of 'ull
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 03:23 PM

I am looking for a tea chest to make a tea chest bass for a skiffle band. Anyone know where I can obtain one of these?? Thanks, Jane of 'ull.


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: Ernest
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 03:50 PM

Did you try a tea shop?


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: ClaireBear
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 03:59 PM

I'm from the U.S., so pardon my ignorance about 'ull and this may seem a silly question, but are there any towns nearby with a Chinese district? Here in California, I'd go to Chinatown in either San Francisco or Oakland to find such a thing -- or ask my friend who works at the SF garbage tip to scout one for me (which, in fact, I've just done...I'm in a maritime music/sea chanty band, yet I'd never heard of a tea chest bass. Now that I have, I must have one! Thank you!)

Here's an informative page about tea chest basses.


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: Sorcha
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 04:18 PM

Or use a galvanised wash tub. Same principle.


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: vectis
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 05:17 PM

Guy near me plays one and has a spare in the garage for when it packs up. I've not seen one for years.
Maybe you will have to make one?


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: Noreen
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 05:30 PM

Try asking a local Freecycle / Freegle group? Sort of thing people may still have in the garage from moving house.

When I moved house 18yrs ago the removers supplied us with proper tea chests, with tea still in evidence! But moving these days is done with cardboard boxes.


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: Gurney
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 05:54 PM

Claire. A tea chest is a box about 800mm square, reinforced with perforated metal angle at the edges, and made from thin plywood.
It's used upside-down because they rip off the sealed lid when they empty it.
Haven't seen one for ages.


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 07:13 PM

Make me an offer I cant refuse - havent played mine for SO long !!
In fact the last time it was used was when Bill Oddie recorded a bit about his days in a skiffle group at school in Birmingham !! He actually played my washboard and his mate played my Tea Chest !


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: greg stephens
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 07:20 PM

Well, for anyone who wants to know what a tea-chest bass looks like: seek no further.
Here you are!


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 08:11 PM

I found a teachest in a skip a year ago. I promptly broke it up so I could reuse the plywood. It was so flimsily held together it would have been no use for making a bass out of.

I'd suggest either making your own teachest-lookalike box to a higher standard or else using a washtub.


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: GUEST,erbert
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 08:22 PM

or wait, maybe not so long, until the fad for cajons is over....


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 08:35 PM

Well you might try rubbing your tits with Sassafras root.....................


Spaw


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: ClaireBear
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 08:42 PM

My friend confirms that they are available at the dump. He's just sent me a photo of an art piece one artisr created based on a tea chest she scavenged from the SF dump:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/artatthedump/4307594192/in/set-72157622791994623/


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 08:42 PM

Cajons for sale:
http://www.shopercussion.ca/store/Latin-Drums-Percussion/Cajon-Drum

Good solid tea chests haven't been made for years, and most have been picked up for use as tables, storage, etc.
Looked on Ebay and scored 0. Lots of what I would call tea caddies.


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: ClaireBear
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 08:56 PM

This is why you look at the dump. People are forever discarding things their parents treasured but they, themselves, have no patience for, and no idea how to use. I have a whole collection of wonderful Guardian Service pots courtesy of my friend at the dump -- and more other wonderful stuff than I can list here. (My friend even found an early, signed Louis Comfort Tiffany vase there once. And two matched baseballs, one signed by each team from the 1933 World Series. Amazing what people throw away.)


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 09:07 PM

Here, as most places now, one needs a friend who works at the dump, but even then it is difficult. The dumps are fenced and one is checked both in and out of the one here, as is the case most places.


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: ClaireBear
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 09:19 PM

Oh, that's sad. Probably true of anything valyuable in SF too, these days, but I doubt anyone would raise a fuss about a tea chest. We'll see.


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: Gurney
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 09:26 PM

There are some modern ones for sale here in NZ on TradeMe, the EBay equivalent. As Q says, they don't look too strong. Originally, the metal edging was perforated and formed with 'claws' that were pressed into the ply. You had to destroy them, not take them apart.

These for sale originally contained Ceylon tea, in bulk. Much is now pre-packaged there.


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 10:22 PM

Sometimes a quick Google
is all you need


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 11:24 PM

Great clip, Greg. From Guy's comments, I take it you are in it? (Forgive my ignorance.:-)


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: Acme
Date: 23 Jul 10 - 02:12 AM

A friend in Texas actually found jewelry and cash thrown away in a discarded box (from a dresser) at the dump. As you say, they are great places. That one has been put off limits for scavenging. Darn.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: mandotim
Date: 23 Jul 10 - 02:22 AM

Making one is the best option; cheap to do, and takes less that an hour. A good idea is to make three of the sides out of thicker plywood, and one side and the top out of thinner stuff. This improves the volume and tone, and gives more structural strength. You can use standard metal angle strip for the corners, and fit it either internally or externally. A more craftsmanlike approach would be to joint the edges properly, but it's not really necessary. Much the same principles are used for building a cajon.


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: Gurney
Date: 23 Jul 10 - 02:30 AM

Alternatively, you could sew it together with copper wire, or with heavy fishing line. That is the way most small plywood boats are made nowadays. Hmmm.


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 23 Jul 10 - 04:45 AM

I would suggest looking at Gutbucketeer's posts on washtub bass making & playing tho' that's US tradition rather than UK tradition. Mind you, finding galvanised washtubs these days may be as difficult as finding teachests. I have had problems finding a galvanised oilcan style "jug" a la Gus Cannon and have had to drink my way through a flagon of cider instead- suffering for my "art".


RtS


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: IanC
Date: 23 Jul 10 - 05:05 AM

Tea importers have perfectly good tea chests. When we moved back to England from Belfast, we got ours (for packing cases) from the Punjana works and they were plenty solid. That was 1982 but other friends have used them since and I don't think things will have changed a great deal as they are still used for the same purpose.

Try the Yorkshire Tea works at Harrogate (or is there somebody nearer?).

:-)


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: greg stephens
Date: 23 Jul 10 - 06:35 AM

katlaughing: yes I am in the clip playing banjo. The tea-chest bass player is Jez Dolan from Manchester.


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 23 Jul 10 - 07:00 AM

Before we go any further can I try and dispel the myth that a tea chest bass is only used for Skiffle,I have been playing mine (plural) for many years now and can only remember a couple of occasions when I have indulged in the Skiffle Art. Mostly I play along with any music that is being played. Blues is especially enjoyable. I have modified my basses with a plastic ring that slides up and down the neck thus shortening the string. This is not to change the tune but more to set the range, something like a trombonist I think.
I hope it isn't necessary to make your own there is something special about playing the real thing, Although I did replace the bottom/top of one of mine when it filled with rain!
You may have seen the other mod I have made by adding wheels and converting to a trolley.
Andy


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Jul 10 - 07:45 AM

The neatest modification I've seen was at an anti-nuclear occupation in Scotland in the late 70s. The player was staying on the site for a while, so he used his teachest upside down as a haybox cooker when he wasn't playing it.


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: Tyke
Date: 23 Jul 10 - 10:16 AM

I seen a Guy from Hudersfield playing a Tea Chest Bass made out of an old Brown Suitcase with a brass screwed together Pool Cue and Nylon Stremmer Line. Perhapps not as loud but easy to transport and you can pack your clothes in it as well! I though this was a great idea and I'm sorry I can't remember his name.

Hobgoblin had a tea chest bass for sale in the Call Lane Shop in Leeds a while back, I was not made from an Old Tea chest however, But plywood and Plastic Angled Eddging strip.


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 23 Jul 10 - 02:22 PM

Spaw, I laughed, I don't think anybody else got it ...


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: Jane of 'ull
Date: 23 Jul 10 - 03:08 PM

Hey thanks for all your help I knew nothing about tea chests before, now I know all about them! Those links are good too.


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: Gurney
Date: 23 Jul 10 - 05:24 PM

Got it, Murray, just didn't comment....


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest?
From: GUEST,Keith
Date: 13 Dec 12 - 07:52 PM

Try e-bay.   I've seen quite a few on there.


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest? - for tea chest bass
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 13 Dec 12 - 10:36 PM

The situation may be different in the UK, but in the US it's not at all difficult to find galvanized wash tubs. Both Home Depot and Lowes stock them regularly, Atwoods has them, and some smaller hardware shops.

The only difficulty is that they're not big sellers, so you have to prowl around a bit and poke into some of the musty corners to figure out where they keep them. Often even the employees don't know where they are.

But if you're not gonna poke around in the hidden places, it's really no fun goin' to one of those places.

Last time I looked, the biggest they had at HDespot was about $40 (US) but smaller ones - actually more suitable for a tub bass - were as low as around $22 - $25. (A decent broom handle will cost about as much as the tub, if you buy it as a replacement stick. Cheaper to buy a broom and cut the unnecessaries off - if you can find a broom that isn't all flimsy plastic.)

John


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest? - for tea chest bass
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 14 Dec 12 - 10:52 AM

But if you use that, John, you get a washtub bass, not a tea chest bass.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest? - for tea chest bass
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 14 Dec 12 - 01:59 PM

DD - Agreed that there is a very real difference for some, between tub and teachest; but the frequent claim that tubs are "impossible to find," at least in the US, is incorrect and appears to have discouraged at least a few who were interested in building something. I would expect that they are similarly available, but just not on display at the corner deli, in other more or less civilized places since they do have numerous other uses.

Building any of what might be called "found object instruments" such as a teachest or tub bass, cigar box fiddle, or gas tank guitar - or even a willow whistle for your grandkid - honors to a degree any of a number of traditions, along with the challenge of making something that works well. Different traditions are more or less important to the different builders. The challenge is in doing the best you can (or as good as you find necessary) with what you start out to use.

Making a "found object" into a decent instrument is either a trivial project or something of immense complexity, depending on how much and what a person knows at the start, how strictly they want to observe a particular style and on just how "musical" the individual wants his/her creation to be. Often compromises to some traditions are made for the sake of musical performance1, but there's nothing really wrong with compromising on the musical qualities to stay within other traditions for these kinds of instruments.

My comment about tubs was only because the myth of their nonexistence was repeated up above. It was not intended as any criticism of "the quest for the holy teabox."

1 Compromises are quite often made purely to satisfy the builder's vanity about "being different than everyone else." It's usually a fruitless/hopeless conceit in this case.

John


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest? - for tea chest bass
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 14 Dec 12 - 02:09 PM

here


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest? - for tea chest bass
From: EBarnacle
Date: 14 Dec 12 - 11:20 PM

John's link seems pretty good. Another possibility would be the wine boxes that better wines get shipped in.


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest? - for tea chest bass
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 17 Dec 12 - 05:00 PM

Lest some who look in might think that tea chests and wash tubs are the end-of-all constructions, it is suggested that those with a "creative instinct" should take a look at:

'A way out of the landfill': Paraguay kids play Mozart with violins made from trash

> CATEURA, Paraguay -- The sounds of a classical guitar come from two big jelly cans. Used X-rays serve as the skins of a thumping drum set. A battered aluminum salad bowl and strings tuned with forks from what must have been an elegant table make a violin. Bottle caps work perfectly well as keys for a saxophone.

> A chamber orchestra of 20 children uses these and other instruments fashioned out of recycled materials from a landfill where their parents eke out livings as trash-pickers, regularly performing the music of Beethoven and Mozart, Henry Mancini and the Beatles.

> A concert they put on for The Associated Press also featured Frank Sinatra's "My Way" and some Paraguayan polkas.

> Rocio Riveros, 15, said it took her a year to learn how to play her flute, which was made from tin cans. "Now I can't live without this orchestra," she said.

> Word is spreading about these kids from Cateura, a vast landfill outside Paraguay's capital where some 25,000 families live alongside reeking garbage in abject poverty.

> 'We're doing the impossible'

> The youngsters of "The Orchestra of Instruments Recycled From Cateura" performed in Brazil, Panama and Colombia this year, and hope to play at an exhibit opening next year in their honor at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Ariz.


The article is quite long, so I won't attempt to post more than the above short clip. The page linked has some pictures one should see to get the full meaning of what's been done, and there are additional links to related articles that might be of interest.

The article mentions a Facebook page and a YouTube posting, but doesn't give a link to them (????)

According to what's given, the instruments may not look like much, but they are real instruments. Much credit apparently should go to the "music shop guy" who's put most of them together, but from what can be seen his claim "give me the plans and I'll make you a helicopter" may not be too idle a boast.

Makes me a little sad that we don't have trash dumps (officially) here. All we have are landfills where everything is crushed and buried immediately on arrival.

John


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest? - for tea chest bass
From: Leadfingers
Date: 17 Dec 12 - 05:14 PM

If any one in West London is desperate for a Tea Chest , I have one lying around


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest? - for tea chest bass
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 17 Dec 12 - 05:35 PM

A Search at YouTube for "Paraguay Orchestra" gets quite a few posts for the junkyard kids:

YouTube: The Orchestra of Recycled Instruments

Aussie Video Newsclip

Landfill Harmonic

The ones linked are NOT IN ENGLISH, but the last one has "English Titles."

Fun to listen!

There are several more possibilities in the search results

John


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Subject: RE: Where can I get a tea chest? - for tea chest bass
From: EBarnacle
Date: 17 Dec 12 - 11:07 PM

I picked up the article on Art daily and suggested to the booker for the Clearwater festival that they should be invited to Revival for next year. It is definitely within the spirit of the festival.


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