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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Yeah man, we can't get too nit picky about the rules in an area where there are no rules. You're build, Kevin, has set a cool standard. Plumbing parts are the main body of this build and electrical boxes are certainly part of all the HVAC work I've stuck my fingers into.

The Dan Bau is a traditional Vietnamese instrument My PVC version is greatly simplified but it has all the main elements. 4" PVC pipe with end caps, aluminum gutter nail for the 'whammy" which is used for vibrato and to obtain melody notes. A .010 guitar string is attached to a zither pin at one end and the gutter nail at the opposite end.

You should call that the pipe bau. Looks great!!

Thanks Rose. So it shall be named!

Or even a  Bau Diddly

very punny

whats the sound like Jim? 

Check out the video on the main page.
Here's how an actual dan bau sounds in the hands of a master

I'm officially in with this 27" Baritone Scale 3 String PVC Tubulum Guitar.

Body is made of 1" Schedule 40 PVC(has a 1 & 1/4" piece over the 1" neck piece). Has 4 sound holes pointing forward for acoustic Tubulum sound.

Fretboard is made of a couple Lowe's yard sticks, aluminum braces make the nut and bridge, 4 tuners from CBGitty that were left over from other projects, electrical box cover for control plate with a 500k volume and a input jack. 4th tuner is for a string running along the inside back for adjusting the neck relief/ramping if any.

The pickup is made from the motor coils of a power hand drill that I had and hacked for a pickup. The pickup slides from neck position to bridge position for alternating tones.

Here's entry #2. The body was intended for a banjo but when I found that the 10" galvanized duct cap fit right in it made for a pretty quick HVAC/ Plumber instrument. The neck is 3/4" PVC with a T-coupler head. I put a wooden dowel inside the PVC for more rigidity. #2 pencil fret indicators. Zither pin tuners. Sound sample coming soon.


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