JN instrument works, LLC
JN instruments works (JNiw) is a one-man percussion instrument craft company founded and operated by Alex Smith that specializes in experimental, custom, affordable, and handmade products comprised of local, reclaimed, and more sustainable natural materials. In addition to the materials, the tools used to produce the various products are 95% reclaimed. The company is named after the late Jim Nugent, a loving husband and father, from whom many of Alex’s tools were acquired. Inspiration for JNiw is derived from both the endangered and/or rare status of traditional marimba woods such as rosewood and padauk, and the desire to provide another local and small-scale option within the percussion instrument market. Over the last three years, Alex has been developing his trade and his personal woodshop, and as of summer 2015 is open for business. JNiw is based out of Lansing, MI.
Products range from a variety of instrument types and material possibilities. In terms of mallet instruments, customers can choose from more traditional woods such as rosewood and padauk (Alex reclaims many of these materials from older instruments whenever possible), domestic woods that have been tested for hardness and resonance, and other materials such as glass and metals. JNiw also works directly with customers to produce custom and experimental instruments and tunings that may not already exist. Cajons, woodblocks, outdoor wind chimes, and non-musical gifts made from scrap wood in the shop are also available.