ChickenboneJohn, could I also ask where you get your decorative soundhole covers? I saw a
beautiful one in one of your oil can guitar photos and was wondering if you cut it yourself, or ordered it from someplace.
Check out your computer supplier for fan covers...
Well, here it is. My very first homemade guitar. I'll post a step-by-step chronicle of how I made it in the next week or so. Then you can see up-close what a piece of @$#%&! this thing actually is. Definitely a learning experience. But, it was a fun challenge, and the thing actually works! Sure, the scale is off, the action of the strings is about half-an-inch in the air, the neck is as thick as a tree trunk, and the oil can is too front-heavy to keep from tipping over, but it works! Thanks a million to Chickenbone John for advice and inspiration! Maybe next time I'll get it right.
Er... yep, that's pretty much exactly what I did...unless you've done something monolithic and the bridge posts are fixed into the same single piece of timber that forms the neck.
Live and learn. Here are some other hairbrained things I did: • Headstock and neck are two separate pieces cut at a bevel and joined together with dowels and glue. Did this because I wanted to angle the headstock back slightly but didn't have the means to steam-bend the lumber, and just plain didn't know any better. And yes, it's already broken beyond reasonable repair.
• Fretted fingerboard actually consists of one continuous length of steel wire wrapped around a 1/4" thick board affixed to the neck with wood screws (take another look at those "inlay dots"). Got the idea from Charles Neville's "Uncle Bob" guitars at CyberFeral.com but opted for steel wire instead of nylon fishing line. Resulting frets are elevated, uneven and a bit uncomfortable. And the Philips-head "dots" tend to snag the strings, of course.
• More mis-measurements! Thought I had measured the machine heads and determined they were long enough to pop through my 3/4" thick headstock. Not so. Had to chisel out a 1/4" recess in the finished headstock to accommodate the tuning posts... and then over-chiseled by a hair or two.
• Never soldered before in my life. Soldered with lengths of wire that were too short, making it physically impossible to space the pickups, pots, switch and jack according to the holes I had already drilled in the oil can. Had to un-solder and re-solder everything. The electronics work, but the soldering sure ain't pretty.
• Just couldn't fit all the components through the 1" slot I had made in the top of the oil can and maneuver my sausage fingers around in there at the same time. Had to peel back the "lid" all the way, causing unsightly damage to the oil can (and taking a few more nicks out of my skin).
So, like I said, the guitar is already broken beyond reasonable repair. It's either a folk-art exhibit or a salvage project at this point. Although I'm sad it didn't come out perfect on the first try, I know the next one will be exponentially better.