CONTEST: The Plumber's Challenge!!! Plumbing, HVAC parts build-off - June 2017

Take a 'crack' at the Plumber's Challenge!


What instrument can you build that starts with plumbing and heating/AC parts?  We're looking for the most spectacular, innovative, interesting and artistic stringed instruments.  

We're challenging you to create new and exciting instruments starting with:

  • Copper pipes
  • PVC pipes
  • Sheet metal ductwork (craft your own dobro body, perhaps?)
  • Toilets
  • Everything... including the kitchen sink!


  1. You must build a playable stringed instrument using a common plumbing and/or heading & air conditioning parts.
  2. Submit your entry by uploading two (2) different photos in the COMMENTS section below.  
  3. Add a 1 paragraph description of your instrument (parts used,building techniques, inspiration yadda yadda yadda)
  4. All submissions must be built by the person submitting them.
  5. Contest submissions end Wednesday, June 30, 2017 at 11:59 pm (Eastern Standard Time US)
  6. Instruments that have been previously submitted to build-off contests, whether on this site or elsewhere, are ineligible for this contest.



First place:  $100 gift certificate from C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply

Second place: $50 gift certificate from C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply

Third place:  $25 Gift Certificate from C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply


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Replies to This Discussion

Man, I hope I don't get hooked on this like I did with 2x4 instruments. I'm on my 6th 2x4 thing now. Thankfully I don't have nearly as much plumbing stuff lying around as I do 2x4's! Now, what to make?

That would suck, copper isn't cheap these days!

off to Bunnings to check out the plumbing section for ideas...these contests could get

DAMN... I might have to be in on this one... Been waiting on a special build for a while..


No Kidding

The wife's gonna kill me..

Been wanting to do one out of PVC for awhile now, I'm going to give it a try.


nothing, where are the strings??? lol


Let’s get this party started!  I call it the Plumbers Crack Pipe diddly bow.  A chunk of old sump pump pipe which for some reason never got thrown out, complete with check valve and a splice to get a decent length.  Elbow to direct the sound forward.  Tuned somewhere near the key of me based on the tension from the pipe clamp bridge.  Marked the 5th, 7th, and 12th with pencil.  Also the check valve can be opened or closed for additional sound refinement.  I think it took longer to take pictures and write this than make it!

I built my version of a Chinese stick fiddle from a length of 3/4" PVC pipe and a bed pan. The pipe was attached to the bed pan by drilling holes in the pan and the pipe and securing them together with zip ties. I screwed a guitar tuner into the top of the pipe and ran a regular electric guitar B-string through a small hole at the bottom of the pipe. The additional PVC fittings add some stability while balancing the instrument on my thigh. I play it with a regular violin bow that I received s a gift. Sound is pretty decent and the bed pan makes an adequate resonator. I have a YouTube video available. Type in Stick Fiddle and look for MDLMUSIC.
I hope the pics are attached...I'm kind of a Luddite when it comes to social media.

Michael D. Luckenbill
Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Hey Michael, you should add pin strips to that or maybe flames on the sides. Super cool !!

Here is my entry for the plumbing challenge. I was looking to build a Plumber Plucker that had the shape of a traditional guitar. I wanted it to be easy to assemble using only a few tools. I used black pipe, steel hoses, some 90 degree black pipe angles, 3 electrical boxes, one old Wasburn humbucker, a piece of wood, a small amount of blood and a hint of snot. It sounds pretty good too!


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