Tuesday, February 28, 2012

'Sweet Tater Pan''

I have this nasty habit of plowing around through my wife's silverware whenever I need a special piece of hardware for a guitar.  I've gotten away with 'borrowing' a spoon or two for tail stocks to hold strings, and the cake server I used for the tail stock on my bass 'Gutshaker' almost got me a hospital stay.

I didn't want to push my luck, so I made a visit to my favorite secondhand store in Delaware to see what they had in the form of silver plates or bowls that would work for a guitar body, and I found an honest-to-gawd Rogers silver plated serving bowl that is beautiful . . . for four bucks . . . I'm happy, my wife's ecstatic, and my doctor's missing the opportunity for a payday.

The 'Sweet Tater Pan' is a semi-hollow body, neck-through, four-string electro/acoustic with walnut neck, maple fretboard, silver plated serving bowl body, laminated poplar and maple upper body, paint can lid resonator, and walnut tail stock.

This was really a pretty simple build.  The most labor intensive part was shaping the upper body resonator enclosure.  I chose to make a circular, 3/4" wide, ring out of poplar, which is covered with a sheet of maple.  The edges were rounded over for a smooth appearance and feel.   Once this piece was finished, the pan was attached with small screws, to complete the body of the guitar.

I chose a rounded shape for the headstock to compliment the the body, and incorporated into the design a Montana centennial quarter I found by accident in my pocket.  Just a little item to personalize the guitar, since I'm a native Montanan.

Instead of using the usual hardware for sound holes, I chose to design and cut a matched set of 'f'' holes into the surface.  The circular paint can lid works well for a resonator, and it's readily available at the local paint store.  The 'club'-shaped bridge biscuit is made from Spanish cedar and maple with enclosed Piezo transducer pickup, and it floats on the lid.  The final artistic touch is the wood burned vine surrounding the resonator and sound holes.  The nut and saddle are Corian.

Sound resonates very well when played acoustically.  I expected the tone to be a bit 'tinney', but it is smooth and solid.  And, it is really sweet kicked through an amp, thus the name.

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