Blondie the Resonator

294783_10150278750204520_5018330_nSince very few people reading this are independently wealthy, including me, I try to keep my costs down. In order to that I try to buy some of my wood at Menard’s which is a big-box home improvement store that has a pretty good hardwood selection. However, having the right species of wood doesn’t mean it’s good wood, I only buy wood that is straight and has some figure to it. The result is that I spend 30 minutes to an hour every time I go to the store looking through piles of Maple, Mahogany, Walnut, and Cherry, and I only buy wood maybe 1 out of every 4 trips. It’s definitely a labor of love.

One day I spot a super curly piece of maple out of the corner of my eye, but it’s 12′ long and 1×3, Too long to fit in my car and kind of weird size, but I had to have it. One of the ways Menard’s keeps prices down is they don’t have cutting stations, etc, but my wife persuades a guy to cut it for me, and I take it home.

While I luck out with bargain store lumber from time to time, I also have a private reserve of very special bookmatched top wood as well. Getting that curly maple at a bargain, really triggered in my head that I could do an all maple build with a set of matched ambrosia maple I had, and Blondie was born.

I knew I wanted to make a Squareneck lap guitar and that I wanted it to be a resonator. I also had a funny idea about resonators. On the “scrappy” resonators, I noticed that they sounded better with cover plates that without. My theory is that the cover plates tie together the edges of the cone and help vibrations resonate more evenly across the surface of the spun aluminum cone. but I couldn’t  bear the thought of cutting a giant hole through the top of that gorgeous ambrosia maple top I had picked out. I got thinking about speakers  and how similar they were to resonator cones, except instead of an electromagnetic voice coil, resonators had a mechanical bridge and strings, essentially a passive radiator. Most speakers can be mounted from behind the front face of the speaker and in some cases it can help them interact with the enclosure a little better, so I decided to test that theory with a guitar and mounted the cone to the back side of the sound board. I’m happy to report it works!

The finished guitar  features the curly maple sides and fretboard, ambrosia maple top and the back is made from some old growth maple flooring. the bridge is brown ebony from Randy Bretz at MojoBoneWorks. The pick up is a single coil Downunder hand wound by Ted Crocker with a rosewood top bobbin. This guitar is for sale and ready to ship. $450 offers and trades considered.

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