Wednesday, June 25, 2014

'Cella' Finds A New Home

I received word today from Lora Lee Ortiz of Vintage Albuquerque that the auction in support of art for children in Albuquerque, New Mexico was a great success, and that the handmade one-of-a-kind guitar I donated for the auction went to a new home.

Lora shared with me that 'Cella' didn't make it to the auction floor, because it was purchased for an undisclosed amount prior to the start of bidding.

It is satisfying to know that someone was so eager to own 'Cella'.  And, I am grateful to Cate Stetson and the other members of the organization for choosing me to be one of fourteen featured artists for the event.

Thanks to all of the folks at Vintage Albuquerque for the opportunity.  I'm eager for the next event, and I got another creation in mind.

For more information about 'Cella', go to

Monday, June 23, 2014

'Gutshaker II'

The only carry-over from the last hotrod I built is the license plate.  What to do with it?

I decided the proper thing was to use it as the resonator for a cigar box guitar.

I've got a bunch of Tatuaje cigar boxes on inventory, for special occasions, because they are no longer being produced, so I decided to make a three-string guitar.  The neck is walnut with Spanish cedar overlay on the headstock.  The fretboard is Ziricote wood, which is my favorite . . . it's beautiful wood! The nut, floating saddle and tailstock are made from Corian.  And the magnetic pickup is covered and painted to blend with the plate.  The headstock medallion is a Montana quarter, which seemed appropriate, because of the plate, and the thing will always be worth something.  I placed my logo in the area usually provided for the date sticker. and one of the bolt holes is now the output jack for the amp . . . it keeps things plain and simple, which I like.

I chose to paint the box black, to let the plate emphasize the build, and to also have a surface to create the little creature I refer to as the Gutshaker.

I've been doing graphics and pinstriping on rods and customs for more than fifty years, and the little guy was the focal point of the '27 T, so why not on the guitar.  And, the colors matched as well.

Bed rail art for the 'T'.

The 'T' is powered by a pumped up 327 c.i. Chevy V-8 moving muscle through a 350 turbo hydro tranny to a Corvette posi rearend.  It's so damn hot and light that it will climb a telephone pole.  And, the guitar will rattle the windows when amped up.

Yes, they're 'Gutshakers'!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Drum Sander -- Home Built by Micheal Kingsley

For the 'do-it-yourselfers' Micheal Kingsley shared photos of a drum sander that he built.

This is one of the best home-built rigs I've seen, and it will be a part of my shop in the near future.  I need this to slim down the back, sides, and top pieces, when I'm building an acoustic guitar.  And, the best part is that it will pay for itself quickly, in that my supplier charges twenty bucks for each sand job.

If you want a copy of the blueprint, give me a shout and I'll send it to your email address.

WooHoo, thanks Micheal.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

'Big Boy' Pounds Out Sound

Finally, the Zenith radio conversion to an amp is complete.  The cabinet is in great condition and the only need was to clean and polish it.  After removing all the internal mechanism and listing them on eBay (by the way everything sold for more than the cost of the redo), I scavenged speakers from another cadaver, replaced the cloth speaker cover with something vintage looking, installed a battery-powered GuitarFuel amp harness, and most everything is in place and ready to go.  Controls for the amp are located on the side of the cabinet for easy use when playing my guitar(s).

One exception.  The main face plate and dial arrangement had to be fitted to make this thing look a little bit authentic.  My son suggested that I install a small motor and light.  The light to add illumination to the face, and the motor to turn the dial like a propeller, for a little fun.

This took some 'injunity', but the result is good.  The light works on the same AC circuit as the motor, which is speed controlled through a rheostat, and both features are controlled with a push switch on the front of the cabinet.

Now, I must decide about what I'm going to do with this.  I really don't need another amp -- five or six are enough, me thinks.  It's too bulky to ship anywhere - to say nothing about cost.  And, my kids aren't into antique re-purposed furniture.  Oh, well, I just might sit back and watch the dial turn, while contemplating what a great rock & roller I might have been.   ;-)