Wednesday, April 25, 2012

'Boogie Bowl'

Well, I'm back at it.

Several weeks ago I was rummaging around in an antique store and ran across a very old two-part silver serving  dish.  Originally, it enclosed a lidded glass bowl, but that disappeared long ago, leaving only the silver surround for me.  I thought, "this is so cool, and I gotta make a guitar out of it."  but, I wasn't sure just what I was going to do with it.

But, between fixing meals and doing laundry, while my wife was recovering from heart surgery, I landed on a plan to turn the silver dish into the reverse resonator guitar.  That's right, a 'reverse' resonator.  Most resonator guitars are wood bodies with metal resonators that transmit sound.  The 'Boogie Bowl' is the opposite.

If you look closely at the photo of the side of the guitar, you'll see that space separates the main dish from a thin piece that rested on top of the glass bowl insert (the missing part).  This separation offers a perfect sound opening so that I didn't need to cut sound holes in the thin circular maple piece that serves as the top (resonator) of the guitar.  It has a through-body oak neck with cherry fretboard and hand dressed and inserted frets.  The nut is corian, and the bridge is a Spanish cedar/balsa combo that encloses a piezo transducer pickup and corian saddle.  I designed the bridge to take on the basic design of the filigree decoration on the ring, and to add a little personality to the top.  It's a four-string, electro-acoustic, tuned to open G (G-D-B-g), and set up to be played with a slide.

I had to create a maple ring to attach to the thin silver 'lid', which is attached to the neck, and the circular top (the resonator) is attached to the neck as well.  The bowl is attached with screws that pass through the handles and into the neck, making this a very sanitary creation.  The mounting screw at the tailstock also serves to hold a strap button in place.

I'm not sure how much silver is in this little dandy, but I will tell you that when I drilled the hole for the output jack the drill bit passed through the side like going through butter, which suggests to me that it could be solid silver.  The patina on the silver is so cool that I decided to leave it unpolished, and it looks fantastic.

Now, how does it sound?  Well, it is awesome!  Very loud acoustically with a ton of sustain, and it sounds rich through my amp.  Most CBG resonators sound tinny, but this has a deep and solid sound.


  1. Jess, you never cease to amaze me on your creations. The Boogie Bowl is pretty cool to say the least. Our best to Roxie. Paul

  2. Hey, thanks Paul. Rox is doing well, and we're hopeful the doc releases her next week, to return to a normal life.