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!'

1 comment:

  1. I play this thing every day now. It is amazing how intuitive and un-intimidating the 3 string design is to play -- even if you arely know how like me. I find myself just making stuff up and goofing around. It is a great little instrument.