Sunday, June 27, 2010

Guitar Case with Amp

It's about time for me to consider how I'm going to carry around with me, any one of the sixteen guitars I've built.  So, a couple weeks ago I got the hairy idea for building a case, not just any ol' case, but one which is a little unusual, and which would include an amp for the days when I decide to do a street-corner gig.

After a little noodling on the idea and a sketch or three, the vision of an oak box large enough to handle any of the cigar box guitars, with the exception of the bass, and complete with storage area for picks, slides, amp cord, extra strings, and built-in amp, I hit the workshop.

The top and body framework is covered in 1/4" oak veneer (1-1/2" lid, and 2-1/2" body) and hinged with a brass piano hinge to match all the other metal trim pieces.  Inside is a padded velvet body cavity which will accommodate any of my guitars, and adjacent to this is a padded neck rest with leather strap to secure things.  On the lid is a velvet covered pad which holds the guitar in place when the lid is closed.  To keep things out of sight and secure is a neat little area with hinged lid held in place by a wood turn-'shoe'.  Next to the storage compartment is a recessed area (a margarine container salvaged from kitchen trash) which is a recess for the speaker mounted in the lid . . . maybe, if I do a street-corner gig, someone will toss in a coin or six to show their appreciation for an old guy banging out sound on a groovy looking instrument.  And, finally, I installed another monster amp provided by my friend Ty from Guitar Fuel.  I already explained the amp thing in a prior post, so I'll spare you the repetition, but suffice it to say this is a cool case with a real purpose. 

Yes, I'll build one for you, just lay on some long, lean, Green.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Latest Bargain

Last month I cruised out to the local fairgrounds swap meet to check out other people's junk, I mean treasures, and in the process I came across a lady selling, among other things, a guitar.  Like I need another guitar . . . I already explained that I suffer with GAS, Guitar Acquisition Syndrome!  Oh well, what's one more, right?

I looked it over carefully, and under the grime I discovered it was a 'Prestige' brand, which I knew nothing about, but I knew it wasn't anything near the quality of my Martin.  The strings, what were there, were in tough shape.  One tuner needed attention.  But, under closer scrutiny and wiping away some of the dust and crud, I realized this thing was ding free and that all the internal bracing was in tact, and structurally it was sound.

Now to the good part.  I asked the gal what she had to have for it.  She said, "Forty bucks."  I said, "No, I don't really want another guitar, and besides I'll just cut it up to make a resonator, so thanks anyway, but I'll pass."  She came right back at me asking that I make an offer.  I said, "No, I don't want to insult or offend you."  She said, "Make an offer, I'll probably take it."  I said, "OK, twenty bucks."  She said, "It's yours."  I paid the lady and took off for home to see what a mistake I really made, wondering if she was pissed at the person who owned it and was getting 'even' by giving it away . . . nah, it was too grungy, and she seemed too nice.

Well, after a good scrubbing and a wax job; a new set of strings; and tuning, I discovered that I had just 'stolen' a pretty damn nice guitar.  Not high-end, but it plays well and the finish is flawless with nice edge binding, rosewood fingerboard with solid frets, what I think is maple top, and the sides and back appear to be mahogany.

So, off I went to the internet to research my prize.  I could only find one guy who claims to own a similar model, and nothing about the manufacturer.  The guy says it was American made in the '60s for distribution through Sears and that it was produced for only a short time. But, that all I could glean from my web effort.

That's alright, nothing like a 'good deal' to make the world a better place.