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Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

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Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 8:49 am
by adrian_k
Hi all, long time no post! Hope everyone is well.

A couple of months ago I was looking round my brother's workshop at all the stuff he can't bear to throw out. I wondered if I could make something from some of the bits, had been thinking of buying a resonator, so hatched a plan to try to build a 'Dobro' using parts from a couple of guitars that were beyond economic repair.

I remembered Zen's Project Ukulele and how much I enjoyed reading it (just read it again - such a shame Photobucket screwed their users over but I did manage to view the photos on my phone while reading the thread on the laptop). I wondered if there was any interest in me posting how this build goes? I won't be imparting any of the wisdom that Zen did as this will be a learning thing for me, but you are welcome to have a laugh at my mistakes and chip in advice as I go.

Here are the bits: A neck from a Hofner acoustic, a smashed Tanglewood body, a resonator from a Dobro (it must have been badly seated because someone screwed the edges down - might not be salvageable). I'll post a photo when I figure out how best to do it...

cheers
Adrian

Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:03 am
by Wonks
Hi Adrian, nice to hear from you again!

Yes, I at least would be interested to see how you get on.

Is this going to be more a square-neck slide-only resonator or a round-neck slide and normal type?

Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:00 am
by blinddrew
Me too! Love this stuff :)

Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:28 am
by adrian_k
Hi Wonky! How's stuff.

Is this going to be more a square-neck slide-only resonator or a round-neck slide and normal type?


Since I'm starting with a normal round neck from the Hofner acoustic it'll be round neck. But that suits me anyway.

cheers
Adrian

Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:29 am
by Wonks
Better start taking some pictures then!

Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:07 pm
by adrian_k
OK, pix. I have a few on my phone as I started a couple of months ago.

The bits: Damaged resonator, Hofner neck, Tanglewood body.

Image

Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:15 pm
by adrian_k
More bits:

The wood for the new back. This and the front come from a plank of unnamed African hardwood my brother was given years ago. Notice the dark stains at the bottom - a couple of splits that I have run some superglue into. What are the chances of that being a problem later?? (Just thinking of Zen's Pheasant wood back....)

Image

Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:17 pm
by adrian_k
And here is the wood for the new front, from the same plank as the back:

Image

Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:32 pm
by zenguitar
Good luck, and have fun :)

Andy :beamup:

Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:46 pm
by adrian_k
Thank you Zen :)

Is it my imagination or can I detect the quiet reflection of a man who knows something of what I am about to blunder into...

Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:02 pm
by zenguitar
As long as it isn't the Abyss you'll be fine :)

Andy :beamup:

Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:27 pm
by Wonks
I presume you've looked up several resonator builds on the web already? Their construction is quite different to a normal acoustic guitar.

Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:06 pm
by adrian_k
Wonks wrote:I presume you've looked up several resonator builds on the web already? Their construction is quite different to a normal acoustic guitar.

Some.. yes I know I'll soon be departing from 'normal' acoustic guitar construction. And I'm getting good advice from someone who has built several resonators from the ground up (my brother).

Plus starting off with bits and pieces brings its own challenges e.g I need to get a back onto the smashed body so that I can take the front off, and need to figure out exactly how to attach the neck, etc.

Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:08 pm
by adrian_k
zenguitar wrote:As long as it isn't the Abyss you'll be fine :)

I was thinking more in terms of 'swamp'. ;)

Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:33 pm
by Wonks
The Tanglewood body doesn't look like it's set up for a dovetail neck joint. What's on the Hohner neck?

The more I think about it, the harder some bits of the construction become. Unlike a normal acoustic, you can't fine-tune the bridge position as the last thing to do once once the neck and body are all assembled. Instead its pre-determined by where you cut the round hole for the resonator cone and spider to fit. But until you can actually fit the neck onto the body (which you can't do until the top is on), you can only roughly measure, then guestimate the right saddle position.

Hopefully the Tanglewood and Hohner had the same scale-length necks, so that the existing bridge location can be measured and transferred to the new top.