Welcome to Our Technical Information Pages
This is the place where we show potential builders and buyers a little about how we do things. Building a serpent using our methods is a lengthy process with a lot of steps. When I think about sharing those steps it makes sense to organize the process into two major categories. Let's call these categories fabrication and replication.
Fabrication includes the methods and the items, things like molds and fixtures, that allow you to produce the serpent. I find this the fun aspect of any project; where you sit back, scratch your head, and ask yourself, "how am I going to do that?". Fabrication is often an ongoing task since once you start your project you see that things that could be made easier or your results would be more consistent with better methods. This reveals an important concept: when you are committed to producing multiple items you can keep refining your process. If you are building just one of something, many times you end up doing things the hard way or the end result is an inferior item. We have been very lucky that from our very first serpent, we produced a good playing instrument. This has always allowed us to sell our latest effort and keep refining our serpent making.
Replication is the business of production; the steps you take to make every serpent. Once you refine your process you want each of these steps to be as consistent as possible. Unfortunately replication can be drudgery. Several things at Kaiser Serpents help keep the drudgery to a minimum. Our production is small and in general we work on one to two instruments at a time. This allows us to change tasks quite a bit. Also, our process is not completely refined which allows us to take breaks from making instruments and work on methods and fixtures. In addition we are fortunate that a good friend, Paul Horner, likes to help out with various tasks which helps keep down the work load. And finally, having a very technical day job, I find many of the more mundane tasks such as sanding the serpent body, cathartic.
2. Cloth Pattern