Blues on Halloween :)

My latest, somewhat “found-object” guitar build is a 4 stringer- 1
bass string and 3 guitar strings to be played with a slide (it’s
fretless).

So this was an idea I’d had for awhile, but I’d never built one
exactly like it before.

All it needs are silver thumbtacks as position markers along the neck
(facing the player) which a friend I built it for can add and place as
he sees fit.

As my friend and his wife are moving I wanted to gift him so asked
what he wanted in a guitar of this type. He likes, plays, has built
and bought cigarbox and canjo guitars, so…

I only had to change a couple things in terms of the build but the
basic recipe was:

Round wooden body and sides, metal top, double-round wooden neck. For
this I found a truly ugly Halloween bowl at a thrift shop, sanded it
down to the wood and cut a throwaway piece of brown sheet metal for
the soundboard top. The neck consists of a dumpster-ed wooden mop
handle.

Strings are steel, I believe G bass string, guitar strings appx. A, G
and B. Only the B is a plain steel (un-wound) string.

I used el-cheapo 1/4 inch eyebolts, washer and wingnuts for tuners,
drilled the slots at angles for access and to direct the strings
somewhat left and right, left and right along both necks and into the
eyebolts. I always drill just under 1/4 inch and keep the slots quite
tight, then use a screwdriver or needle-nose pliers to tune because
these things really hold well once you’ve stretched the strings out…
but are tight enough that you really need more than your fingers to
tighten them. Then you finger-tighten the wingnut for each string.
Very simple, cheap and they work amazingly well.

I used metal hose clamps near the bridge and nut, tightening them well
to hold the two parts of the “neck” together.

You can see in the photos I used a larger bolt as a “bridge” and two
smaller eyebolts with a nut on each in place of a standard guitar
“nut”. For a “tailpiece”- as the wooden bowl is slanted, I thought it
good to use a hinge, 3 drywall screws into the bowl and feeding the
bass string through one hole, the middle strings both through the
middle hole and highest string through the third hole. Very simple and
works great.

Center of bridge to nut(s) are 25 1/4 inch scale.

In that he wanted brown, I went for brown stain on the body and neck
with silver hardware throughout and only varied from this using black
drywall screws for the tailpiece and also to affix the neck to the
metal top via two more of those. Under the metal top is a 1×2 inch
block of wood that runs the length of the inside of the bowl. I
pre-drilled holes, one through each neck and through the metal top and
slightly into the wood brace inside, ditto six holes around the top
and into the bowl, then screwed all in to hold everything together.
The extra hole up by the tuners is for a thicker string or strap
attachment.

No pickup in this one but he may add something later if desired.

So there you go… mad scientists r us 🙂 These pics from my phone are
a little sketchy, and the long shot doesn’t do it justice re. the
overall look in that the body and neck truly seem to be the right size
and matching overall. The bowl was cut down from 12 to 10 inches and
has a nice bit of weight to it so the guitar seems quite comfortable
to play.

I’m very pleased with looks, sound and playability.

Grace! -Glenn

Roundbrown01Roundbrown02Roundbrown03Roundbrown04Roundbrown05

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