Kevin Parsons Makes and Mends

I first met Kevin Parsons about 10 years ago, to ask if he would make me a ukulele like the one that he made for George Welch, a curvy little thing with a heart-shaped sound hole.  The ukulele, not George.

He was very busy and told me it would not be ready until the end of the year. It was well worth the wait.

2008-12-24 Parsons Zemaitis Holly Concert ukulele collage - blog

That timing was lucky for me because Kevin retired not long afterwards.  However, he can’t seem to stop himself making and mending things. And experimenting. He no longer takes commissions but makes for his own interest and occasionally puts something up for sale. He also likes “rescuing” good instruments that have been badly damaged.

2016-07-31 Smashed up Guild Guitar Kevin - Before and After - collage blog

Kevin’s workshop is not far away so I would pop in from time to time to annoy him.

1978-Chiswick - copyright - blog

Sometimes he would let me take photos of things he was building, so I could share them with other ukulele-porn addicts.

2017-08-21 Parsons Baritone Resonator collage - blog

Then about a year ago he agreed to let me photograph and video his rebuilding of a Venezuelan cuatro.

2018-02-17 Kevin Cuatro rebuild - collage - blog

More recently, he started building a pair steel of string Baritone Resonator Ukuleles, to compare different designs, so I whipped out my camera-phone again!

2018-01-31 Kevin Baritone Resonator Making - images 1-4 COLLAGE - blog

Kevin has not got a website and does not want one, so he suggested that I post the photos and videos here on my blog.

As well as the 2017 Cuatro Rebuild and the current Baritone Resonators Project, there are other photos and videos to be added, eg. a blog post in the pipeline about a rather lovely and very interesting bass guitar that Kevin made for me.

2017-05-20 Kevin Parsons Vox Victor Bass Welson collage - blog

My thanks to Kevin for being so generous with his time, for sharing his knowledge and skills and putting up with me invading his workshop.

2017-05-25 Kevin Parsons Bass Wall + Cuatro and Ukulele Goblins collage + Text blog

Projects recorded

For updates, check out blog posts in the Category “Kevin Parsons Makes and Mends”.

The first two projects to be added to the blog:

  • rebuild of a Venezuelan Cuatro (2017)
  • progress on two different designs for steel-string Baritone Resonator Ukuleles (2018)

There will also be some videos in this YouTube playlist that have not yet made it into the blog:

Liz Panton
18 Feb 2018

6 comments on “Kevin Parsons Makes and Mends
  1. Aaron says:

    Fab post Liz. Must come over to Kevin’s workshop again it’s like a treasure trove.


  2. I’d like to contact Kevin and see if he would consider sharing with me the templates, designs, plans, measurements of some of the Tony Zemaitis styled instruments he’s made over the years but I don’t have his address, can you help? I am an amateur tinkerer at best, but have a thick skull and access to my friends boat yard shop, tools etc. here on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi.


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