MARTHA’S GUITARS

handcrafted ~ recycled ~ different

#2. Demolition continues. Preparing for resonator installation

In order to build something new from something old, you often need to destroy it first. And so the destruction derby continues 🙂

Once I disassembled entire guitar, I inspected it to find any scratches and cracks. Those were then fixed using some wood dust, scraps of woods (leftovers from other projects) and Rakol Wood Glue/epoxy (depending on the kind of the fix). After that the time came to cut holes for resonator.

The resonator “cone” itself is a funny thing. You can buy “replacement cones” for dobro and other kinds of respohonic guitars but they are extremely expensive and I feel like it’d be a kind of against “DIY spirit”. I also like to recycle things so I looked for other options.

There’s a great resource on the subject: Cigar Box Nation forum. I was pretty amazed with so many creative ideas those guys there use for their reso cigar box builds. Finally, I decided to go for a… dog bowl. I found a nice 26cm in diameter dog bowl and bought it online for around 4 bucks. It seems perfect.

After I cut the hole for it, I decided that I need to “strenghten” entire construction a bit. With a good chunk of guitar’s top some of the bracings were cut out too, thus making entire body much weaker. Add tension from strings and pressure transmitted from strings through bridge and resonator on to the top – and you got yourself in serious troubles.

I took care of this with 7 wooden rolls (2.8 cm diameter) that I cut out from some broom or maybe a showel stick that I found around. I glued them in inside with Titebond Original wood glue, pressed them with a pile of books and let it all rest overnight. That worked pretty well. I also drilled holes for pots and a rotary switch (it’s a 4 pole 3 position rotary switch that’ll be used to switch between magnetic and piezo – or both – pickups, switch the JFET buffer/preamp for piezo on and off and control tiny orange LED power indicator).

I also cut two new soundholes as an original one will be covered (a single magnetic pickup will be sitting there too). For covers for these holes I used some kitchen appliances that I found in a “dollar store” and – what a suprise – disassembled. I think they were meant to be used to make mashed potato 🙂

I also made a cover for an original soundhole and started making a bridge nut and a tailpiece but that’s a story for another post so stay tuned!

Apr 01, 2017
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