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Author Topic: Got a little crazy this weekend and...  (Read 1562 times)
Yurinaut
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« on: October 30, 2007, 05:15:00 PM »

I got the bug to build a cigar box guitar this weekend. Just as I was about to go get some materials, I remembered that I had an old Harmony Archtone archtop upstairs that had been broken in half and was pretty much a lost cause...or so one with any sense would think. I grabbed a big tube of glue and headed upstairs. About 45 minutes later and a good bit of sweat and perhaps a few well chosen words, I came down holding what appeared to be an old cracked up but semi functional looking guitar.

I bought this thing about 2 years ago and after tuning it up to standard and hearing how horrible it sounded and fretting about how crappy it was for a few weeks I decided to find out what made it (not) tick. Hence, it ended up in several pieces.

Sunday morning I woke up to dried glue and a relatively straight guitar neck so, I put the bridge, tuning machines (awful open gear pieces that look like stuff any sweat shop would be ashamed of) and tail piece on and strung it up. Slowly the action began to rise higher and higher as I realized the heel of the neck was being pulled up. I loosened the strings and thought about it for a few minutes. Off to the garage I went.

I emerged with two 1.25" wood screws and two 2.5" inch wood screws, a cordless drill, a selection of bits and an attitude. I mean, this wasn't one of my beloved Larrivees. It was an ill sounding decent looking old shoe box right?  After drilling and screwing the life out of it I figured she was as good as she was going to get. Instead of tuning standard I went with open G and got the blues slide out. I gotta tell you, the thing sounds totally mean. I just love the sound of it. The neck is now solid and despite it's somewhat pitiful appearance and through-the-body cracks, it's now a nice little blues axe. I played that thing for an hour or so last night and it stayed in tune the whole time. I'll get some pixs taken and post them soon. Cracks, screws, glue and all. Heck, I'm even thinking about my first YouTube video just so you guys can hear this thing. 

Having too much fun in NC,
Mike

PS: I even like it so much I added it to my list of owned guitars 

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Larrivee LV-05E
Martin 00CXAEBlack
La Patrie Concert Classical
Harmony Archtone Archtop (glued and screwed)
Gibson Melody Maker (dual pickup - Vintage Sunburst)
http://caliberguitars.com/Guitar/Larrivee
thistle
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« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2007, 06:05:39 PM »

 

Pictures ASAP please!

So nice to hear you brought an old thing back to life, and like it!!!
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~Lynn
Yurinaut
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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2007, 07:04:34 PM »

Yea, I really put the paddles to it (IT'S ALIVE...ALIVE!!!). I may b a bit distracted tonight since my parlor is finally arriving but, this thing is just so odd I need to get the pics done. Talk about a Halloween-Frankenstein special. Maybe I'll paint it green and put some bolts through the neck...ha ha.
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Larrivee LV-05E
Martin 00CXAEBlack
La Patrie Concert Classical
Harmony Archtone Archtop (glued and screwed)
Gibson Melody Maker (dual pickup - Vintage Sunburst)
http://caliberguitars.com/Guitar/Larrivee
Blue in VT
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« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2007, 07:24:57 PM »

I think these ald harmonys are great...both arch top and flat.  they have that tone that only 40+ year old wood can give you....plus they can be had DIRT cheap if you are willing to put some work into them...by a luthier or with a power drill...

can't wait to see photos!

Blue
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LaminateBoy
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« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2007, 08:31:50 PM »

I emerged with two 1.25" wood screws and two 2.5" inch wood screws, a cordless drill, a selection of bits and an attitude.

Yessir, if you can't have fun with those, you're just not trying.
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Mr_LV19E
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« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2007, 10:27:01 PM »

Maybe I'll  put some bolts through the neck...ha ha.

I thought you allready did. 

 
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Roger


"Live simply so that others may simply live"
Yurinaut
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« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2007, 01:24:03 PM »

Mr_LV19E:  I did indeed!

LaminateBoy: Yes, I admit, that was a BIG part of the joy of this thing.

Well, for various dozens of reasons I didn't get the pictures taken last night (some of which included welcoming the rosewood parlor to the stable). Tonight will be another challenge since it's Halloween and my daughter just won't accept me taking pictures of a guitar as an excuse for her not hitting the road to score some candy. I will get this done. In the mean time, have a donut on me! 

-Mike
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Larrivee LV-05E
Martin 00CXAEBlack
La Patrie Concert Classical
Harmony Archtone Archtop (glued and screwed)
Gibson Melody Maker (dual pickup - Vintage Sunburst)
http://caliberguitars.com/Guitar/Larrivee
Sabatini
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« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2007, 06:43:59 PM »

Sounds cool!

I just bought this old Silvertone on e-bay. 

The shipping was more than the guitar but they only totaled $52.  After a new set of 3 on a plate tuners from Elderly ($7.95 + shipping) and a set of Martin SP light strings it is pretty sweet; rock solid, good tone, good action.

My first guitar was almost identical to this one.  I cannot remember whether it was a Sears Silvertone or an Airline from Montgomery Wards, but they were the same thing.  Maybe I will find an old picture of it around the house.  Except the one I had as a kid was a combination guitar/meat slicer.

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Rob Hanesworth

'91 Larrivee JB-09 with Sitka top/Indian Rosewood back and sides (12-fret 00 size)

Taylor GA7 -- Alvarez AP 70

Yurinaut
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« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2007, 12:49:39 PM »

Sabatini: They are indeed inexpensive. I didn't have much luck stringing mine EADGBE but open G or anything you can use a slide with and the thing sings. Of course mine is the F hole style so, that probably makes a difference.

BTW: I picked up two wooden cigar boxes from the local tobacco store yesterday (a buck a piece). Hopefully this weekend I'll find some time to piece together a cigar box guitar. That is, once I take some decent shots of the Harmony (aka: Frankestein).  -Mike
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Larrivee LV-05E
Martin 00CXAEBlack
La Patrie Concert Classical
Harmony Archtone Archtop (glued and screwed)
Gibson Melody Maker (dual pickup - Vintage Sunburst)
http://caliberguitars.com/Guitar/Larrivee
Sabatini
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« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2007, 03:43:34 PM »

While you are working on cigar box guitars, you might also try these.

http://www.boingboing.net/2005/01/28/hormel-can-ukelele.html

http://www.smokeymountaindulcimer.com/other.htm

I recently ran across a guy making both dulcimers and canjos.  The canjos were pretty crude but playable.  Seemed to be a length of 1 x 2 w/a 1 and a half inch hole drilled on one end and a salvaged tuner mounted from the side into the hole.  A single string ran out for the hole across a large fencing staple that served as a nut.  Slightly smaller staples were positioned (by ear, the builder said) along the length of the board and numbered.  At the other end, a large can like orange juice used to come in was nailed to the board and some how the string was attached to the board and ran into the center of the can.

Played laying down like a lap dulcimer w/one finger and a pick.
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Rob Hanesworth

'91 Larrivee JB-09 with Sitka top/Indian Rosewood back and sides (12-fret 00 size)

Taylor GA7 -- Alvarez AP 70

Guia
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« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2007, 09:02:04 PM »

Did you have to smoke all the Cigars first? 

I have never heard a Cigar Box Guitar played, how is the sound?
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Larrivee OM-10 (KOA)
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Yurinaut
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« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2007, 07:15:12 PM »

Ha ha. Goodness no! I'd be green for weeks. As for how they sound. Check the links below out. Prepare to be shocked what 4 strings, a pickup, a stick and a box can sound like.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYobvWHw7Po
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7zjkbgDzz8

-Mike

PS: I got my pics taken but I've yet to load them from my camera (and size them down!).
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Larrivee LV-05E
Martin 00CXAEBlack
La Patrie Concert Classical
Harmony Archtone Archtop (glued and screwed)
Gibson Melody Maker (dual pickup - Vintage Sunburst)
http://caliberguitars.com/Guitar/Larrivee
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