First off, I'm not making this to sell, I'm making myself a 3 string to keep and play, I was deciding on about 3 different ways to go, but finally settled on a Resonator Build. So anybody and everybody who has one, built one or just knowledgeable, please chime in your .02 cents worth, I need some help with this build, so hopefully my many questions don't wear you out, especially if they've been answered before, I did do some research.

I'm using my homemade 8"x14"x2" oak box 3/16" thick. Nice grain, box joints, strong and fairly light so far. I'm purchasing a 7" Atkinson copper resonator, plan on making the neck and biscuit from the same oak. Possibly adding a fixed wood truss(even if overkill for a 3 string) Not sure on the fretboard, either rosewood or maple, leaning towards the maple, I plan on using 1/8" Birch plywood for the soundboard and back, "F" holes on or screened grommets on top, some nice closed 18-1 closed tuners, quality strings, open "G" tuning. I want a quality Git when I'm done.

That being said....

1) What kind of pickup, was thinking the 3 pole pigsquealer, but I have several 6pole single pups and a couple humbuckers and plenty of Piezo's. I know it should have decent volume and ring with a 7" Res, but want good quality sound electrically as well.

2) What kind of bracing support for the 1/8" soundboard, since I'm using a Res, I'm assuming bracing shouldn't kill off too much sound.

3) I plan on using a Zero Fret instead of a nut, What kind of angle/break would you apply to the neck to give plenty of strum area.

4) What size frets, I currently have some small 2mm sets.

5) Pots, volume only, volume and tone

6) Reverb Spring, good, bad, don't need it

7) Scale, was thinking 25.5"

Probably more questions to follow during the build, thanks in advance.


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A lot of factors contribute to how 'hot' a mag pickup is.  the resistance of the windings (thousands of ohms or what's being called here the 'K') does not really tell you how hot it is.  thin copper wire has resistance, the thinner it is the more resistance per foot it has.  you can compare two pickups if you know they are wound with the same wire, and the one with more wraps has more resistance, but that doesn't necessarily make it hotter.  its a balancing act, more resistance means less current flowing, but more wraps means a higher voltage spike per vibration.  sort of a borrowing from Peter to pay Paul kind of thing.   Internal capacitance, inductance inertia, field density, all contribute, which is why mag pickup building is more of an art of trial and error than science.

I knew there was a lot more to it, I was just using a condensed version lol

It would really depend on the magnetic pole type. Individual magnetized poles, iron individual pole with a single magnet across the poles or a iron blade pole with single magnet across the bottom.

I think that only using 3 poles of the first type would be more of a difference than the later 2 types.

Progress, have the top board cut out, neck temporary set(bolt on) fret board glued in place, a good deal of sanding completed, decided on the 3 pole for now, plenty of room to recut and use a HB if I decide, starting to see the light at this Loooooooooooog tunnel lol.

Usually, I like to save a surprise or 2 towards the end, like the sound hole cutouts, but I couldn't resist sharing, been a while sine I've done much scroll saw work, tedious and slow going for sure, plus my craftsman scroll saw is an antique...literally.

enjoy the pics

Looking great so far.

Slow and was all about the neck, cut and installed medium frets, used a Jumbo fret from for the zero fret(keep forgetting to give a shout out when I use their parts) abalone dot fret markers, side markers hardwood, re-purpose some Yamaha machine heads I had laying around, replaced machine head tops with brown pearloid tops, homemade break angle by cutting off the end of a concrete drill bit and picture eyelets, grooves will be cut in the top to keep it centered with the eyelets and one notch on the bottom to keep the center string centered. Only thing left for the neck is to decide what finish to apply. Enough with the blah blah...enjoy the pics!


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