Great Plains Handmade



Frequently Asked Questions

How do I care for the woodenware?
Each piece meant for the kitchen is finished with oil and wax. They are ready to go for their first use. About once a month or so, I recommend re-coating the woodenware with oil or a combination of oil and wax that you can find at kitchen and hardware supply stores, often marketed as butcher block oil. 

Do the instruments play? How do they sound?
You can enjoy these objects in a lot of ways—on the wall, as a conversation piece, and yes, as a genuine musical instrument. I take special care to make sure that the important proportions are exact, the neck feels good in your hand, and the box or tin is optimized for resonance as much as possible. I have a few audio files and videos up on the site, but the best way to hear them is to try one out yourself.

Do you have a storefront? Can I come play a uke or hold a spoon?
No storefront, but you're welcome to come by my workshop. It's in Brooklyn NY, in part of the Red Hook neighborhood that's not too far from a subway stop. Also, I occasionally sell at craft shows and markets. Just send me an email and ask to set up a visit or get on my mailing list.

I just bought one of your pieces online. How will it be shipped? How long will it take?
When shipping, I wrap each item with bubble wrap, then put it in a cardboard shipping box filled with packing peanuts. I usually ship via USPS or FedEx, and I will provide you with a tracking number. I'm usually able to ship within a week of online purchase, though please contact me if you have specific needs or want to request speedy delivery.

Do you do custom work?
I love making things that have a special significance to people. I gave my dad a ukulele out of a tin that once held his favorite local candies. My aunts have bowls made out of a tree that once stood in their childhood yard. I can't promise I'll have time to make a custom project within a given timeframe, but it never hurts to ask.

I want to plug one of the instruments in and crank it to 11. Do you install pickups?
All of my instruments are designed to play acoustically. My tin can ukuleles are also outfitted with piezo pickups, since the bodies look great but can be a little on the quiet side. I can retrofit the banjos with pickups too. But the cigar boxes are permanently sealed. If you talk to me before my next instrument build, I can install a pickup for you before it's all glued together.

Do you do this full time?
Nope. I'm lucky enough to have lots of passions in life, and one of them is teaching kids during the week. But the hours I spend in my workshop are precious to me too.

Do you sell in stores?
Sometimes. But the largest selection is here on my website (or, even better, in my workshop).

Do you make cases for the instruments?
Not yet!