MARTHA’S GUITARS

handcrafted ~ recycled ~ different

  • Test fitting, see next post soon :P
    2017/04/1

    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

  • 2017/03/22

    Recently I mentioned that I have found my very first guitar and I'm going to give her a new life. It seems I'm already quite deep into the process :) Originally, that was a 7-string guitar made in USSR. I have no idea how old is that but I got it when I was about 15. So, it's at least 25 years old but my bet is that it's a bit older, around 30 probably. I have no idea what it's made of though I suppose the top is spruce. That's how the wood look like and spruce was/is quite popular and cheap wood in Russia. I'm not sure of that though. Anyway, I decided to convert it to a

  • DIY resonator guitar conversion
    2017/02/22

    I really thought I'll never see her. Then I just opened a box and there she was. Suddenly, out of the blue, I found her. My very first, very old guitar of which I was sure that she's lost for good. That was a surprise. Hiding inside a long-forgotten cardboard box, she survived over 20 years, not even a slightest trace of dust. I'll be giving her a new life this year by converting her to a diy resonator guitar ("dobro"). I just need to find a nice pet food bowl... photo: Paul Beard/lic. CC2.0/wikimedia

  • 2017/01/4

    Because of a Xmas/New Year holiday period and some personal stuff I didn't have enough time recently to continue building. I did however find some time to complete a tiny side project and restore my other guitar. Over 20 years ago I bought a guitar that I just loved because of its look. Back than I knew nothing about guitars and I could barely play a bunch of open chords but that didn't matter. The guitar was in "catastrophic" condition. I took it to the luthier nearby and he managed to make "an instrument" out of it. It was barely playable but at least was again complete and looking pretty nice. It's a hollow-body clearly inspired by Gibson ES 335

  • 2016/12/14

    As you may remember, the main wood that I chose was pine. While the body blank is already glued I decided to make a switch. Recently I aquired a pile of very old and very well preserved spruce. The thickness of the planks is nearly perfect for solid body so while the width of each of them is about half of what I need, the body will be glued out of two pieces. That's different from the pine one because that one was glued out of four pieces. The spruce is reclaimed. We're - and it will take a few months more - doing a major makover of our flat and we had to cut some holes (for doors) in

  • 2016/11/14

    Last time I published a photo of a soon-to-be neck of my diy guitar it looked more like a twisted shovel rather than a proper neck. A few days later and some hours more with my trusty rasp file, a lot has changed. There's not much to write about this time. Currently the neck already has a shape that you would expect from it and the headstock is nearly done. The idea was to make a nice, "sculpted" two-sided (3+3) headstock but due to the size of a maple blank that I ordered I had to review my goal. After all, I decided to go for a Fender-ish shape and I must say I'm pretty pleased with how it came

  • 2016/11/8

    As I said previously, I didn't have any wood for the neck of my diy guitar. Finally it arrived so I started working on the neck. The first attempt went surprisingly well. I ordered two solid blocks of maple. They arrived pretty fast and turned out to be in much better condition than I expected. One block is over a meter long and quite thick so I already made some plans, measured it and marked so I could cut out two solid necks from it. This is for later though - the next build or just in case anything went wrong with this one. The second block was a little over 70 centimeters long, around 75 milimeters wide and 30

  • 2016/11/3

    Wood's certainly not everything. For any electric guitar some additional parts are needed so I finally went shopping :) "Went shopping" is obviously an exaggeration because I bought everything online but to my surprise - searching for the parts was much more fun than I expected. There's more to be bought but some basic stuff is already here. So far I got Wilkinson P90 pickups (which I'll write about in a separate post), 500k pots for volume and tone, a Gibson-style three way switch with a nice ivory-colored switch plate, some wires and self-adhesive copper tape for pickups' and electronics' cavity shielding and those famous 0,022µF Orange Drops (Orange capacitors). Not that Orange Caps are better than regular ones. They

  • 2016/10/25

    They say "measure twice, cut once". I should have known that but was too excited, I think. All in all, the first "body blank" didn't work. The second one is on it's way though. Luckily, I have enough wood not only to start over (except material for neck but it's already ordered and should be delivered soon) but to build a few more bodies. That's a good part. Even better is that due to the failed first attempt I had to use another piece of wood that's a bit thicker than previously planned. The guitar body will still be rather thin, most likely around 5-8 milimeters thinner than standard Telecaster body but the piece I used now looks much more