Saturday, November 6, 2010

'Orion' -- #24

I nearly wet my pants, when I discovered this cigar box up for auction on eBay, and couldn't believe nobody was bidding on it.  So, I asked the owner, Mitzi from Monroe, if she would unload it on a 'buy-it-now' basis.  She did!  And, what you see here is the result of that negotiation a week or so ago.

The neck is oak with a beautiful Brazilian walnut veneer laminated to it, by way of my son Joe, whose father-in-law collected veneers of many types during his cabinet-making days.  Now, I have a supply for exotic guitar necks.

Along the way, I decided to laminate another type veneer to the front and back of the headstock, with a skunk stripe going down the neck to the box.  Fret markers are small nails on the fretboard, and BBs (my usual treatment) for the side markers.  Tuners out of China.  String trees from a supplier in Ontario.  Strings from GuitarFetish.  Brass rod for nut and bridge.  And a silver spoon from a yard sale for a tailstock.

This is my first attempt at a 'set neck', and it worked out beautifully (whew! nothing like being adventuresome).  I separated the lid from the box body by removing the hinges; calculated where the neck should be positioned to allow for a 25.5-inch scale; cut an oak block for the neck anchor inside the box, and glued it in place; repositioned the lid to mark the bridge location; cut the center out of the Orion "O" logo for a sound hole; positioned the tailstock, after drilling anchor holes and string openings at the proper distances to match string slots cut into the nut; marked the tuner positions and drilled holes; drilled a hole in the body for the output jack bezel, which I had created from a metal door-slide thingy.  The heavy lifting is now over and I can get to the finishing steps.  I soldered up a Piezo transducer to attach to the jack, and attached it to the inside of the lid under the bass string location.  Added dark screen to the underside of the sound hole for aesthetic appeal; applied several coats of poly for a smooth and glossy finish; attached the top to the body with hidden screws; fitted strings, tuned to DGBd; fired it up; and wow! it sounds great! with the amp, but acoustically it rocks . . . very load from such a little box, and the sustain is awesome.

I think I did wet my pants, just a dribble, when I first plucked a string!  Damn, Mitzi, I cannot thank you enough for helping me buy that box.

No comments:

Post a Comment