Saturday, 31 January 2015

Cigar box Ukulele and a 3 string cigar box guitar. oh and a warwick refinish.

This month has been fairly quiet. The post Christmas duldrum and being off work for a few days after my finger met the bandsaw (I'm very lucky to report was not too serious) Also a nice bout of Flu this last week has made it a reasonably unproductive month. I had two commissions one for a cigar box guitar and another for a 3 string cigar box ukulele to complete which I managed.
I actually had both of these commissions before Christmas unfortunately I didn't really have any cigar boxes suitable so I had to go on a major hunt to find suitable ones. Since I have started it seems cigar boxes have become a bit scarce on EBAY uk and the ones that are there are becoming fairly pricey. where I used to be able to pickup a nice vintage box for 3 or 4 pounds they are now going more to the 8 to 10 pound and even more. plus the postage. In the end I won a joblot of 25 boxes from the USA of which 10 are really good for instrument making. Even with the postage and import duty it was still cheaper than buying 10 separate boxes from the UK.
The box for the Ukulele I found On Ebay USA too.
The 3 string is for a customer in Austria. he saw the last one I had made on facebook. a nice simple plain wooden box with a nice flat neck which can be played with a slide or like a fretless instrument and wanted one similar.
It's only a small box but amazingly loud acoustically. and when it's plugged in Wow!
I soaked of the label from the inside lid to put on the headstock as it was such an attractive one. It also has position markers on the fret board which show on the front as well as the edge.

The Cigar box ukulele is for a customer a bit closer to home In Wiltshire.  She wanted a nice box with attractive labels on.  I found this one on EBAY USA and knew it was perfect for the Uke.
It's actually a new box but has that vintage look to it with the embossed labels and Victorian style artwork.  This one is without a doubt the best cigar box ukulele I have made. It really is not far off a standard Uke in terms of tone and volume and I will be keeping my beady eye out for more of these boxes.  I tried out a different sound hole design with an X brace on the top which may have helped with the sound quality. 

I Also managed a refin of a local chaps Warwick Bass which came to me in a plain finish which was looking a little tired. So it was given a transluscent  red brown brown (Looks very red in the picture) coat. The plan was to finish it with a matt clear coat but as it looked pretty awesome with a bit of gloss decided to leave it like that.

Photo: Warwick Bass Refinished and put back together.


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