My second build - "Wicker Man"


So this is my 2nd build, but neck is a fixed mistake from my first build.  Glued up the fret board to the neck and brought from cold garage to my warm (more humid) basement to finish and it really bowed.  Thanks to some advice from Chicken Bone John I planed it down and made it fretless.  Partial through neck design, all screwed, not glued. 24.5 inch scale length.

Fretboard: Purpleheart with wood inlays for fret markers.  The wood for the fret markers I used was from the liner I pulled out of the cigar box.  Not sure of the wood species, perhaps an expert can identify? Spanish cedar, I'm thinking.  The part of the fret board closest to the box is a decorative piece of poplar with dark wood filler for the fret markers.  The reason for this "signature" to both of my builds is because I am able to buy these perfect exotic wood blanks 1/4"x1.5" at the local Woodcraft store for like $3-4, but they are only 16 inches.

Neck: Dark Walnut with decorative piece of pine in the headstock.  Bamboo inlays for fret markers on the side.  Bone Nut Blank and Shane Speal Signature Tuners from CB Gitty.  Again, I am blown away by the quality of this tuner for the price.


Heel: Shaped from a left over scrap of Alder.

Box: PG Symphony Cigar Box.  Still with original clasps and hinges.  Sanded off the label/writing from the lid.  Artwork on the lid is...

(A) Random doodling and the covering up of mistakes by a first time wood burning pen user  

(B) The dark inner workings of a warped and twisted subconscious.

(C) All of the above.


In the end, the design made me think of a pagan symbol you might see in that old cult horror movie "The Wicker Man", hence the name of the guitar.


String Ferrules and decorative corner hardware from CB Gitty.


Bridge:  Shaped from scrap piece of walnut, inset with some fret wire, grooved out.

Electronics:  Tried my hand at wiring up my own pickup, so I wired/Soldered 2 piezo disks in a parallel circuit.  Built a pair of small hallowed out hardwood "baths" about 1/4 inch deep and glued them inside the box, one under each end of the bridge area.  Filled them with hot glue and  put in the disks.  Thanks to Bill Ludeman and one of the best written guides I've ever seen on the internet:


I put the CB Gitty pre-wired Disco-O-Tone piezo pickup in my first build, and I have to say that I like the sound on technique more.  Much cleaner, crisper, louder with great bass.  This likely has to do with the fact that mine has two disks, but who knows.  Also, I do note a very low-volume hum (brought to my attention by a reply on a previous post) with the disc-o-tone.  There is zero hum or buzz with this build.  Conclusion, will definitely be wiring up my own pickups from here on out.


My personal review of instrument:  Great sound, fun to play. Set the action fairly high since is fretless.  As a relatively new slide player, I find this much easier to play than my first build.   Sound is very clean with a nice amount of bass playing through the amp.  Not as strong acoustically as my first build likely due to the smaller box and the fact that I made the lid/soundboard on the first.  My fret marker inlays are probably too wide for the discerning player, but for someone new to slide playing I don't mind the larger target.

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