Did anyone of you ever try to make an instrument on your own? A playable real instrument that is.
A few years ago I made a lapsteel guitar from a piece of alder wood which is a very good tone wood. I dyied it in a mahagony shade and gave it a good three layers of laquer to make it glossy.
For bridge/saddle and nut I used L-shaped die cast iron bars that I smoothed down and polished and bolted to the body.
Since a lapsteel don't need real frets, as the strings never touch the fingerboard, I went to the scrapyard and bought a thin sheet of aluminum that I spray painted black and attached to the body, then marked the frets with a silver pen. Getting the correct distance between each fret to match the guitar's mensure was a bit tricky, but turned out OK in the end.
I had an old Seymor-Duncan Telecaster bridge pick-up laying around that I installed and made the volume and tone controls from a piece of round wood painted black. The only thing that cost me som serious money was a set of Gotoh tuners that I attached to two hollow iron square bars that are also bolted to the body.
It plays and sounds great, especially when I cut down the treble a bit.
The result from this made me bolder and now I am in the process of building a sitar guitar modelled after the Danelectro Coral Sitar guitar, same as Steve uses.
This guitar is actually very simply made. It's a chambered guitar (hollow body but no soundholes) with a wooden structure sandwiched between two pieces of masonite. Yep you read it right, masonite.
Since I couldn't find a blue print for this guitar I had to look at pics on the net and estimate the meassures and then make a blue print myself. I think I got pretty close, give or take and inch or a half.
The neck pocket is being carved out by a professional guitar builder, as is the neck piece that I will finish myself, such as sanding and fretting it. Putting in a truss rod yourself is not an easy job.
I also ordered a set of zither-pins from Elderly Music for the thirteen resonance strings. The buzz-bridge, which gives the guitar the sitar sound, can be ordered from Gotoh but I will try to make my own.
I'll let you know how it comes out in the end. This will probably take som time since I want it to be perfect, or as close to perfect as I can get.
Next I will try to make a twelve-string electric! I think I will us the Gibson 345 model for body.
This is great therapy for me and I get something out of it that is useable!
"heaven is all around translated to sound" - michael hedges