Michael Fred Johnson
  • Male
  • Newcastle upon Tyne
  • United Kingdom
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Michael Fred Johnson's Discussions

Use those skinny boxes - Build a doubledecker

Started this discussion. Last reply by Michael Fred Johnson May 17, 2016. 7 Replies

If you have duplicate boxes that are too skinny for a build have a go at a doubledecker.Remove the top from one and the base from the other,Line  with thin ply to glue them together - result a nice…Continue

Croatian Lijerica,anyone for a cigar box version?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Dan Sleep Dec 31, 2013. 1 Reply

Friends just returned from Croatia gave me this photo of a Lijerica played by Mate Bulic. Anyone know anything about the stringing/tuning/scale length?Anybody made a cigar box version?…Continue

new york-visit

Started this discussion. Last reply by Michael Fred Johnson Sep 8, 2012. 7 Replies

Arrived in NY on wednesday..staying in Manhattan any suggestions for good live blues venuesAlso thought I might save the postage on Kenny lee Burgess DVD'sContinue


Michael Fred Johnson's Page

Latest Activity

Michael Fred Johnson commented on smojo's group The Brits are coming
"I'm still here,spending most of my time in the shed,busy with a Rickenbonker and a Dobro"
Jun 28
Michael Fred Johnson commented on Shane Speal shanespeal.com's group Building a Cigar Box Guitar 101
"Hi Alex,This drawing shows how I cut away the top and bottom of the neck within the box,only gluing the areas shown.The drawing also shows a neck heel,this could be missed out to simplify the build."
Jun 19
Michael Fred Johnson replied to ron mack's discussion Jools Holland show tuesday
"Guy in the pub told me I missed it so watched on iplayer,looked like a uke based on a Romeo y Julieta box"
Jun 16
Michael Fred Johnson commented on Shane Speal shanespeal.com's group Building a Cigar Box Guitar 101
"Alex,if I'm reading your question correctly,you're worried about the top deforming,if so add some struts"
Jun 15
Michael Fred Johnson replied to Paul Craig's discussion What's on your workbench?
"Bought this old Zenith guitar a couple of years ago and finally got to string it up on Friday.To may horror when I tried to tune it the front started to collapse,the struts had come loose from the sound board. The back has been removed,struts…"
May 23
Michael Fred Johnson replied to Titch the Clown's discussion Bending a backing plate
"You're obviously intent on building a herd of these,does the plan include the mammy and daddy guitelephants?"
May 16
Michael Fred Johnson replied to Titch the Clown's discussion Bending a backing plate
"I'm intrigued as to why you want to bend the plate!"
May 16
Michael Fred Johnson replied to rodger moore's discussion Glues? in the group Building a Cigar Box Guitar 101
"Mainly Titebond original.Hot glue for encapsulating piezo discs. Must have developed an allergy to super glue,the slightest whiff of the stuff and the hooter starts streaming like a stinking cold.Stopped using the stuff."
May 16
Michael Fred Johnson commented on Shane Speal shanespeal.com's group Building a Cigar Box Guitar 101
"Richard you only need to inset a slice of dowel/plastic rod into the fingerboard,I prefer the dots on the edge,easier to see when playing this is 2mm plastic rod."
May 9
Michael Fred Johnson replied to Taffy Evans's discussion My new recycled Resenator build
"Beautiful build Taffonator"
Apr 14
Michael Fred Johnson left a comment for Chris
"My plan is working well! First you build a great tenor reso and are into to your second build, now you sign up to the Nation.Next you'll be getting rid of all those proper instruments you own to finance the purchase of tools,even your own…"
Apr 11
Michael Fred Johnson and Chris are now friends
Apr 11
Omar Mariani liked Michael Fred Johnson's photo
Apr 6
Michael Fred Johnson commented on John Sawyer's photo

Copper #129

"You shouldn't have used rivets the pipe will leak!Great build"
Apr 6
Grandpa commented on Michael Fred Johnson's blog post Hub Cap Build
"MFJ, thanks for the big photo. Hooray for lower-end manufacturing when re-purposing for cbg's (especially your hcg). Again, great lookin' git. Also, nice to see someone admitting to being older than me and still getting it done. Ya got me…"
Apr 5
Michael Fred Johnson replied to James Ross-Smith's discussion How narrow can the neck be in the group Building a Cigar Box Guitar 101
"P.S.Feuillus also sell replacement laths for garden seats that are about the right size for a neck"
Apr 5

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Michael Fred Johnson's Blog

Hub Cap Build

Posted on April 2, 2018 at 12:00pm 3 Comments

Here's a drawing and photo's of the construction of a guitar using a Wolseley hub cap.

The neck is made from three pieces of 1 1/2" x 1" mahogany,the body from 1/8" birch ply with a hardwood tail block and lime wood linings.

The guitar is finished off with a walnut fingerboard and laminated walnut/ply bridge,stainless/cycle brake cable  tail piece anchored on the strap button.…


The barter system is alive and well

Posted on March 24, 2018 at 12:53pm 6 Comments

A while ago my sister bought me four guitar lessons with Chris Meredith a talented musician and teacher.When the paid lessons finished Chris and I came to an agreement,he would carry on giving me the lessons and in exchange I would show him how to make a guitar.The photographs here show the finished result,his first ever build.

Four string tenor with uke reso cone,3.6mm ply box,"mahogany" neck with walnut fingerboard,headstock faced with walnut and obeche.…


Violin resurrection and what to do with the leftovers

Posted on January 6, 2018 at 12:09pm 7 Comments

This series of photos shows the resurrection of a violin belonging to Chris Meredith, a very talented musician and teacher, who is trying his best to improve my guitar playing.The violin belonged to his father.

As you can see the instrument had gotten wet so was coming apart,the back and front joints starting to open,the ribs coming away from the tail block the linings parting from the ribs.The fingerboard was badly worn,the pegs did not match,there was no bridge and the poor thing…


Quick bridges

Posted on October 22, 2016 at 8:04am 5 Comments

Spend an afternoon making these bridges,better than using a bolt

1.The day before glue up a sandwich.These are 1/8" thick and 40mm. wide for 20mm. high bridges.The filling is 6mm. narrower

2.Mark out as shown…


Comment Wall (127 comments)

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At 7:05am on March 27, 2018, Don Craig said…

Thanks Michael, that's a great picture, a very interesting place.

At 10:21pm on March 25, 2018, Don Craig said…

Michael, I didn't understand the reference to Geordie Blues Box and the river Tyne, now I do.  I google everything that's new to me.

At 10:43am on November 9, 2017, Rose Ericson said…
Ok I am posting a pic on my page of the saw that I have. I believe it is a gents saw. I would post a pic here but I am on an iPad and that is no go.
At 1:40pm on September 29, 2017, Chuck Groves said…
Thanks for the advice Michael! I have a two inch hole saw I was going to use but it would leave an 1/8 of an inch gap between the edge of the sound hole cover and edge of the hole on the box. Is hot glue sufficient for filling in the gap and providing a firm bond or should I use superglue as well?
At 12:24pm on May 20, 2017, Andries D. EKER said…

Funny seeing you do the Minion on the CBG,My jongest done it for a painting contest 2 years ago ,funny how thing go! realy fun build!

At 9:15am on July 6, 2016, Bernie Edwards said…

Hi Michael

Yes it was  from the Early Music Shop in Bradford.

At that time I was living away from home and had no skills at wood crafting so it ended up slightly botched. I still have that problem today!!!

Sealing with a soldering iron sounds a great idea so I will dig it out and hava go.

At 5:09pm on March 29, 2016, Philip Hale said…
Please get in touch and let me know what it was you wanted to say about resonators.
Regards Phil
At 11:07am on March 29, 2016, Philip Hale said…
Hi there Michael, it's good to hear from you, yes I am interested in resonators.
I am setting up a workshop to start building cbg,s.
I have been slowed down after having an operation on my cervical spine, which has left me having little or no feeling in my right hand. But I will not let this stop me building, it will just be a slow process.
My phone is 07716416162 and email is
Best wishes
At 8:04am on March 13, 2016, Dave Lynas said…
You deserve lots of high marks Michael. I'll bet that baby sounds as good as she looks.
At 11:10am on February 22, 2016, Rooster Reaves said…

Thanks Fred.  I've been kind of doing that, But sometimes I get a little off. I'm working with the basic tools. Some time I'll get some real one instead of the preschool stuff I have.  Thanks for the feed back.


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