Weather Stations made by Teel Guitar Works
- reviewed by Todd Stuart Phillips
Tim Teel has worked for the C.F. Martin guitar company in Nazareth, PA. Most recently he was at the head of their Research and Development department before being named Director of Instrument Design. He is also a highly-skilled luthier in his own right whose handmade guitars are truly stunning. Tim recently established the Teel Guitar Works, where he crafts special products for the home, each with a guitar-oriented theme.
Beautiful home weather stations from the Teel Guitar Works are now available exclusively through Maury's Music. I was quite pleased when Maury offered me one to take home and try out. They make a great addition to any living room, rec room or home studio. And even though they are great for general use in any home they would also make a tasteful addition to showrooms in shops featuring high end instruments.
These weather stations come in a variety of designs and are both practical and beautiful. Depending on the size, they contain various environmental instruments to help regulate the air temperature and humidity of a room, which is very important for the health of acoustic guitars. But they also look beautiful.
Each weather station is handcrafted with great skill from solid wood and the hardware is all first-rate. There is none of the cheapo, plastic gizmos often found in novelty clocks or souvenir thermometers. The smaller variety is carved into a figure-8 and finished to look like the body of an auditorium or grand concert size guitar. The larger variety is carved to look like the bass side of a similar guitar, so that it sets flat on a dresser or mantel, with the graceful curves undulating along the top.
I have in my possession one of the smaller ones. It is 9-1/4" tall, 6-1/4" wide at the lower "bout" and almost 2" thick, so that it is about the size of a ukulele. I choose one made from handsome, dark stained walnut, which goes well with the Victorian era furniture in my home studio. The face of my weather station is rimmed with guitar binding made from grained ivoroid and has a tasteful two ply, black and white purfling. Set into the gorgeous wood is a thermometer to gauge room temperature and a hygrometer to judge the relative humidity. The overall look is one of quality and aesthetic good taste.
The instruments themselves are also of high quality. Each has a sensitive dial which traverses a white circle emblazoned with a black scale that is easy to read at a glance, while providing meticulous details at closer inspection. The dial and scale are incased in a brass rimmed shell of crystal-clear plastic, which stands a good 1/2" away from the wood surface and gives the appearance of beveled glass.
The dials themselves feature a sleek arrowhead at the front and a crescent moon adorning the back tip. To add to this classic look, the plate to which the dial is attached has a small, multi-pointed sundial design at its center. Combined with the serf Roman font on each scale, the overall appearance is reminiscent of the exquisite nautical and meteorological instruments made in 19th Century Europe.
The thermometer sits in the upper bout and has the Fahrenheit scale in almost a complete circle. It has numbers beginning with 14°F at the 9 O'clock position and going up around to 122°F at the 3 O'clock spot, with 68°F being straight up where 12 O'clock would be. The Celsius scale is also represented with smaller numbers on the inside of the circle. In either case there is a generous amount of tick marks between each of the written numbers and the thermometer has its scale continuing well beyond the printed numbers.
The hygrometer, which is set into the lower bout, has a relative humidity scale going from 0 to 100 in a similar circle. The straight up position registers 50% and there is an area marked off as "Normal" which lies between 50% and 70%. This allows one to immediately see if the room is too dry or wet. To prime the hygrometer, one needs to set it in the bathroom during a hot shower. This inundates the sensor with enough humidity keep it working correctly for at least six months. Otherwise, one just needs to make sure the back of the unit has enough airflow for the various gauges to work properly.
This particular weather station is designed to be mounted on a wall. In addition to the sturdy, metal loop affixed to a plate screwed into the back, there are four studs made of a clear resin. These studs allow space between the unit and the wall to insure the necessary airflow. Into the center of the back is stamped TGW logo and at the bottom is stamped the individual production number, in this case 0014. I thought that a nice touch, knowing that I now own the fourteenth weather station produced at Teel Guitar Works.
I have used a variety of thermometer/hygrometer combinations over the years. This is the first one that is both accurate and aesthetically appealing. Where others looked like a necessary tool best kept out of sight, this one is aesthetically pleasing and obviously finely crafted. It is something one would be happy displaying in the best room of their home.
The larger weather stations are even more attractive. Some are made with the same two gauges found in mine but with the addition of a felt-lined drawer with compartments for keeping guitar accessories or any small items. Others use the entire front surface area to house an additional clock and barometer that shows the current air pressure. When visiting Maury's the display model had a barometer clearly dropping down and pointing to Rain, even though there was not a cloud in the sky. But sure enough, the rain arrived shortly thereafter. How cool is that?
In addition to the dark walnut found in my weather station, you can purchase them in mahogany or a classic, blonde maple that has unique figuring in each piece of wood and an attractive, tortoise colored trim. At present they are only available in the guitar-shaped designs. So they may not appeal to everyone in the general population. But I believe any guitarist or music lover would be overjoyed to receive one of these finely-crafted weather stations as a gift. As I mentioned, they would look great in a guitar showroom as well as any home studio or adorning the wall or mantel in a nice living room.
Out of a possible 8 Notes on the T Spoon Scale of Guitaracity I give the Teel Guitar Works weather stations accurate and handsome 7 Notes.
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