Meet my newest creation: #9 - "Die fesche Wienerin" - a double cake box four string guitar.

I had these two plywood cake boxes from Vienna lying around and couldn't resist turning them into an instrument... One was slightly smaller than the other (but exactly the same height) and individually they were too small for a full-scale guitar. But then I had the idea to combine them and make one guitar body out of two cake boxes...

The boxes were a real pain to work with, because they're made from cheap and very flimsy plywood and they were not at all square. But eventually I managed to join them. I had to seriously X-brace the top, so it would be strong enough to withstand the pressure of four strings and to reinforce the joint of the two lids.

The neck is made of mahogany. Since I don't own any power tools (with the exception of a drill) it's truly hand made: shaped with nothing but a handsaw, a rasp, a file, a little block plain, and loads of sandpaper.

The fretboard is purpleheart. I got this beautiful purpleheart bass fretboard for almost nothing on eBay (actually the postage was three times the price of the wood), because it was very badly chipped and had some very deep scratches. No idea what happened to the poor thing. But there was enough undamaged wood to make a fretboard, a nut, a bridge, a tailpiece and the headstock accent for my guitar out of it. Purpleheart is strange stuff: The unfinished wood I started with was of a very strange and unnantural light purple color. But when I started sawing and sanding it, all of a sudden it turned brown. And not even a nice brown. I was very disappointed. And it stayed brown even after sanding, polishing and finishing it with several coats of oil and buffing it with wax. So I thought: Oh well, lesson learned, purpleheart looses its color when processed. But then, lo and behold, when I got up the next morning the wood had turned purple again - and a very nice purple at that! I hope it will keep this color now...

The violin style headstock design is inspired by Cpt. Nemoff. Спасибо Kапитан!

The neck is finished with four or five coats of boiled linseed oil and buffed with beeswax. The body is finished with a few thin coats of spray lacquer. The side dots are made from Q-tips.

This is the first time I used a zero fret (it’s jumbo fret wire, the other frets are medium) and I'm very pleased with it. In combination with a neck angle of a few degrees it made it very easy to achieve a perfectly low action.

I also tapered the neck for the first time and I'm very pleased with that too.

24.5" scale length, 15 frets, ball end nylon strings (the middle four from a standard six string pack).

Tuned to open A (A-e-a-c#’) at the moment, which for some reason sounds much better than open G. Open Am (A-e-a-c') also sounds great.

Acoustic only for now. Originally, I planned to add a rod piezo to the bridge. But then the cheap rod piezos I ordered from China got stuck in customs and I didn't have the patience to wait for them... And now it sounds so good acoustically that I definitely won't open this guitar up before I have to change the strings...

This guitar has incredible sustain and a clear and nice tone. The only thing that puzzles me is that the trebles are quite a bit louder than the bass notes. This never happened to me before (usually it's rather the other way around) - any idea what the reason for that could be?

I named her "Die fesche Wienerin" (something like "the snappy/jaunty/attractive Viennese").

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Comment by Hans on October 26, 2018 at 3:12pm

You're very welcome, Danny. And thanks, Carmen!

Comment by Carmen Garcia on October 26, 2018 at 11:34am

Very pretty! I like it a lot!

Comment by Danny Connors on October 26, 2018 at 11:27am

Thanks, Hans! Now I understand.

Comment by Hans on October 22, 2018 at 3:40am

No need to apologize, Danny, there are no stupid questions! (I teach at a college and that’s what I tell my students at the beginning of every semester…).
Yes, this is a neck-through construction, but the neck doesn’t touch the lid (except from a small block of wood under the string holder - I had to screw the string holder to the neck, because otherwise the strings would have ripped it out of the flimsy plywood.) Everywhere else the top can vibrate freely. The construction looks something like this:

Comment by Danny Connors on October 22, 2018 at 3:16am

Forgive me the stupid question (I'm new to this CBG thing...) This looks like a neck through construction. If it is neck through, why did you have to brace the top? (The bracing is quite impressive btw). Doesn't the neck support the top?

Comment by Danny Connors on October 22, 2018 at 3:13am

Beautiful work!

Comment by Hans on October 18, 2018 at 4:29pm

Thanks, Bluesbob and Chribi!

I'm glad you find her attractive, Bob.

Meine Verbindung zu Wien beschränkt sich auf hin und wieder am Flughafen dort umsteigen, Chribi, aber es freut mich, dass meine Fesche-Wienerin-Gitarre auch einer echten feschen Wienerin gefällt...

Comment by Chribi on October 18, 2018 at 4:20am

Wunderbar, Hans! Als gbürtige Wienierin gefällt mir diese fesche Gitarre natürlich ganz besonders.

Comment by BluesBob on October 18, 2018 at 4:06am

Good job, Hans! Really creative. I'm sure this gitty sounds as great as she looks. An attractive Vienese for sure.

Comment by Hans on October 18, 2018 at 2:55am

Thanks for the compliments, Brian and Bones!

I have no good way to record it at the moment, Bones, because it doesn't have a piezo yet and the sound quality on my phone is crappy. But as soon as I have a piezo installed and can record it through the computer interface I'll post some sound samples. ...trying to teach myself some waltzes right now, because, after all, this is a Vienna themed guitar...

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