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lo-fi not hi-fi

i wake up in the morning to the sounds of a japanese phone made in korea, my coffee is made by a german machine made in korea that makes better coffee than me? i drive a japahese car made in a far off land (tyneside), my 5 string banjo was made in eastern europe... when i play my 3 string guitar i know where it came from, i know intimately every part of its person because i built this instument. it is local to me, an extension of myself, part of me...mine :0)
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Turnbuckle Bolt as a Bridge (left-handed thread)

Turnbuckles come with two bolts. I have several that have eye-bolts, but other bolts are available. One of the bolts has left-handed threads. It works well as a bridge, since the angle of the threads lines up with the angle on the bridge. I've had problems with right-handed bolts where I need to files grooves in the spots where the strings should be to keep them in place.

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Bookie's Poor Man's Dobro

Just finished a poor man's Dobro a couple of hours ago. the idea had been stewing around in my head for some time and lo and behold, I'm pleased she was built. It has sustain until next Tuesday! Hot glued a piezo on the back side of the paint can lid (but it's awesome as an acoustic, too). 23 inch scale and every thing on it is Gitty with the exception of the neck , lid, sticker and paint. The neck says Psalm 98:4. Verse 4 starts off "Make a joyful noise..." which I thought was apropos (means fitting and to the point). Crank up the bass and watch out, this thing is awesome! Here are 5 pics for your kind consideration.





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Get your groove on for free

Yes, Summer is definitely music festival season.

But we can't always attend. Pandemic, traveling, entrance fees and so on all manage to take away from the fun of hearing a live concert. But there is a way to get a bit of the fun back at no cost, namely live recordings.

What do you do when you already went through your record collection and DVD collection for the hundredth time and have not a single penny to put on new stuff? Well you head out to the Internet Archive's free music section of course!

It's got hundreds if not thousands of hours of great music just waiting to delight your ears.

So, if like me you're pretty much stuck home for the summer, download the MP3's, turn on that bluetooth speaker and just relax in that old rocking chair that's on the back porch.


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Soon to be free to play more

Just wanted to let you all know I have a little surprise coming up next month that will free up my time to be sharing videos and watching others videos. Counting down the days. I will make an announcement when the day comes

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Gun Boat Annie 3 String CBG

Gitty sells a box that looks like a Shellback's tattoo. For some reason it made me think of that old Steve McQueen movie The Sand Pebbles. Story about an American gun boat in China back in the 1930s. The proverbial light came on and thus my latest 3 string CBG, #22, was finally born this evening. The poplar wood neck is red only on the top and the frets, dots, and notes are wood burnt on the side. (The red stain is simply old barb wire completely dissolved in vinegar.) A little Great Granddaughter ought to be able to learn to play slide on this pretty easy now.  Also wood burnt the name "Gun Boat Annie" and did a sorry looking version of the movie's fictional gun boat, the USS San Pablo, down lower on the neck. Scale is a short 21 inches. All parts except the neck are Ben's.


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So I bought a few Gittybuckers a while back and am wondering the best way to mount them (on the guitar that is).

I was also considering putting a strip of Velcro on it then one from the neck to the bridge so I could experiment with placing it in different possitions.  Since it is magnetic, maybe even a strip of metal it could attach to. 

Any thoughts on this?


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latest lapsteel build

Here is guitar #193.  I wanted to make one similar to my little Magnatone guitar that I had renovated a while back.  It is just a tad larger in proportions and has a 23 inch scale as opposed to the Magnatone 22 3/8 scale.  I am pleased with how it turned out.  Tuned it to C6, string spacing is a bit narrower than most but still very playable.9353930488?profile=original

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One String Wonder- A Major journey

Here’s a little skill builder exercise for beginners, based on the Major scale. It starts with a simple Scale, then progressively builds on it, adding one note at a time. You only need one string for this, so Diddley Bow’s are perfect for this exercise.
PDF Link:

Page 1 Click to enlarge 


Page 2 Click to enlarge 


Page 3 Click to enlarge 


Page 4 Click to enlarge 


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Question: what do you do with a “wirelessly” re-charged electric toothbrush when its battery eventually dies?

Answer: salvage the tiny induction coil from inside the sealed body of the toothbrush handle. It’s ideal for making your own pickups. All it needs is a magnetic core and some patient, fine wiring work.

I glued a stack of a few 12mm diameter molybdenum magnets inside the coil’s bobbin, using a quick-setting epoxy resin. The results from a single coil pickup were so pleasing that I added a second, arranging the opposing magnetic senses and observing the required electrical polarities in order to make a mini-humbucker. I marked the magnets and the wires with red and black Sharpie pens to keep the assembly on track. The hardest part for me was stopping the fierce wee magnets from clumping together, so I used small clamps and glued them to a baseplate at two different times.

There are plenty more detailed photos in this shared Google Photos album of mine which might inspire you build your own version:

Have fun!



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- Cigar Box Blues Fans -


Look on your phone, there is free Cigar Box Guitar music.
Available on any service -Amazon/ itunes/ spotify/ Pandora etc
remember that the next time your doing chores or stuck in a waiting room or somewhere you  can enjoy music
......this will warm up your ears while your phone is charging



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I just wanted to thank everyone who commented on my CBG build. I apologize for taking so long to write back. The idea for the saw blade came from wanting a metal resonating plate. I ground off all of the teeth to make it user friendly. the string guides where all cut out of a length of half inch aluminum channel. the fret board was a piece of oak I had standing in the corner of my garage. I think I might actual add fret bars. To answer Uncle John, I can't play this thing at all. I have never really had any musical talent but through the course of building this CBG I've actually thought about learning. I tried to mention as much as I could remember from the comments you guys had made.

Thanks again, JFB 

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The Schireson Brothers Resonator

I've talked to some before about the Schireson Flywheel. Well this morning I'm building one and I'm posting pictures of it in detail. It is in my opinion a great alternative to a biscuit bridge for 6 inch cones.

Note: I use a Tri-Cone replacement cone (left) instead of the standard biscuit cone. For one, it comes in a 3 pack, and it is deeper than a biscuit cone. 


The wooden cover plate should have saddle support in the center, and beneath a triangular post the screws to the bottom hole in the cone. I cut a shelved reinforcement that goes around the soundboard resonator well so that the cone rim is slightly regressed into the soundboard. This makes it easier to fit the resonator cover.



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Hey everybody,

Success does have it's cost. For me it has been not having the time to devote to the Forums as I would like.

It is my desire to Inspire and encourage builders to push the limits of their creativity. Even now, I learn with every instrument I make, and I focus on improvements. 

I tell you from experience, do not settle for the easy way. Avoid taking those short cuts, and enjoy the Journey. Hone your craft, learn the History, and practice, Practice, PRACTICE!

My "Muse" is in the Primal instruments, the purely acoustic home made primitive anachronistic instruments from 100 years ago. Before electricity, before amplifiers, there was Roots Music. This is where I focus, and I have come to love the tone of a simple, unamplified stringed instrument played with passion. 

I will try to answer any questions you may have, and I want to start posting more Blogs on the topic of Primal Folk Music. It is my belief that every Culture around the World brings something to the table. 


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