Thursday, March 31, 2011

I Hit the Jackpot Today!

Nearly all of the three- and four-string guitars I've created have been fashioned from oak and poplar sticks picked up at Lowes and The Home Depot.  But, today I stumbled onto something special.

I decided to call a local cabinet maker to see if he might have a little waste wood laying around that I might be able to score from him.  Lo and behold, I hit the jackpot!  Not only does he have scrap material, but it is in the form of exotic woods, and the traditional domestic stuff . . . and, the great news is, he is going to cut and plane it to my specs and quantity requested . . . cheaper than I buy the pre-cut lumber from the other guys.

Whoa, I'm so stoked!  Can't wait to work with the new stuff, and to see the results.  Yes, I will be posting pics.

What's Next

Well, I just finished the 'Peckerhead Mojo' and commenced to work on a six-string guitar for my friend Jeff.

It's a black Maker's Mark cigar box (the whiskey producer made a few promotional cigar boxes) with gold decorative lettering, which will become an electro/acoustic semi-hollowbody complete with all the fixins to whet Jeff's musical appetite.  To dress it up, I think I'm going to add a few pinstripe enhanced flames to the back of the box to give it a fire-breathing effect.

While I wait for the glue to dry, I'll start on an Acid box 'monster amp' that he wants to light up the MM, and the Burning Leaf three-string I made a couple weeks ago.

It's such a pleasure creating a guitar for someone like Jeff, because he gets pretty excited about the whole thing.  I'll post pics when it's complete.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Peckerhead Mojo

Each year, for the past decade, my son has hosted a Fathers' Day bicycle ride to commemorate the group gathering he and seven of his friends coordinated several years ago . . . the Peckerhead Invitational Ride.

He asked me to create a guitar with a theme that would appropriately reflect the ride. 

Here it is, the electro-acoustic Peckerhead Mojo three-string TotalRojo cigar box guitar.

Tuners, string tree, strings, piezo pickup, and output jack are the only items which are not bicycle related.

The gear decorating the headstock is from a racing bike 10-sprocket cluster, and a bearing spacer is adorning the back of the headstock.  The nut at the head of the fretboard is made from a spoke (covered with a piece of cable housing) with spoke nipples as end caps.  Frets are hand-dressed bike spokes, with retainer ends left on the 8 key fret positions as side markers, and spoke nipples are used for fingerboard fret markers.  A 39-tooth drive sprocket serves as the sound hole rosette, with a brake rotor shielding the opening from the underside.  The bridge is the same concept as the nut.  Spoke nipples are once again used, this time as string ferrules.  Brake parts are fabricated to make really cool strap buttons, and a brake pad placed at the base of the neck, where it joins the box can be used for a shorter strap, plus it just looks cool there.  And, a 53-tooth drive sprocket, encircled with a length of chain, is used to add a little style to the back of the box, and to enclose the hand-painted group symbol . . . the Peckerhead.

For a little spice inside the box, I added photos from the 10th annual ride last year.  The center photo recognizes the eight friends who pulled this really fun event together.

Multi-color pinstriping, which is my next most fun hobby, adds a little flair to finish off the the front and back of the box.

When building the guitar, I wondered if the addition of metal to the overall layout would effect the sound, but it isn't a problem.  The little Peckerhead plays well with low string action (my kid will not be using a slide), and the moderately bright sound resonates well with good sustain.

Ha-ha-ha-HAA-ha!  'That's all, folks!'

Friday, March 18, 2011

YouTube - "Sleepwalk" on a Cigar Box guitar

Check this out!  It's played on a cigar box guitar. 

YouTube - "Sleepwalk" on a Cigar Box guitar

23 Guitars and 5 Monster Amps

In this mass of old (most before the Surgeon General decided a label was necessary to warn that smoking could kill us) cigar boxes, there lie 23 unfinished guitars and 5 potential monster amps.

If you want a great guitar, unique and one-of-a-kind, this is a good time to have me custom build it for you.  And, perhaps a rockin' little monster amp to blow the sound around.

Get a custom made three- or four-string guitar for $125, and a monster amp for $70. Shipping anywhere in the world is extra, and only what it really costs, not inflated.

Sorry, the Makers Mark box is already promised to my friend Jeff, for an awesome 6-string.  It's the least I could do, since Jeff is the guy who put me onto this cluster of fine wood. 

But there are Courvoisier and Liberty boxes that will make fantastic six-strings, so don't dally around, 'cause I might just make them for myself. 

Write me at or call me at 406-370-4090 . . . "I'm dealin' "

Friday, March 11, 2011

L. A. Times Article: Musicians drawn to the pull of the homemade guitar

Click on the link below to enjoy a great article written for the LA Times, which defines clearly what makes cigar box guitars such an enjoyable and exciting hobby, avocation, business, etc.

Cigar box guitars: Musicians drawn to the pull of the homemade guitar -

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The problem with getting old is that you can remember when you were young!