I'm Mike, this is my first post. Years ago I was given a piece of mahogany by the guitar player in my band, he told me to build a bass. I did, it was great, cool I had no idea that I could do such a thing. Not that I don't have tools, talent and skills, it just never occurred to me.


That led me to the path, but I veered. I decided that I wanted to build acoustic instruments, electrics really didn't seem much of a challenge. I decided that I would learn the instrument piece by piece, I started with the sound board, arguably the most important component for acoustic sound, then the neck, then fretboards and scales, various bracings, inlay and on and on. 


Somewhere along the way I found my self deep into the woods and though I have built some acoustic instruments it seems like some Weird spirit is guiding my hands because the stuff I'm turning out is nothing like what I thought I'd be doing by now. Meanwhile my stack of acoustic tone wood is piling up ever higher "o)


The first home made bass, the "Cuban" it's made from Cuban Mahogany. Many of these parts are off the shelf, I differentiate between build and make in my descriptions of projects.


So my next instrument was much more acoustical, but it seems I was slipping into a bit of dementia, this one was based on a gourd, the slotted fingerboard was the only part I bought, oh, and the upholstery tacks, it is a soprano banjo ukulele.



Pictured here with my 1927 Martin ukulele,


Around this point I started missing the Ashbory I traded for a soprano travel uke for the motorcycle. I always hated the silicon strings on the Ashbory being broken all the tim. I came across Owen Holt of Road Toad Music and contacted him. After a few days of back and forth I ordered the poly strings, tuners and K&K transducers from him and made my first cigarbox bass. This is pretty close to the full on Trailer Trash version of this great little instrument, I’m up to three of these.

 Sound File 


Then another gourd ukuele, this on is build on a Chinese Bottle Gourd. I bought the tuners for this one.



In one of my forays into the cigar shop I saw in the corner the owner had a few cigar boxes for sale, I spied this Ashton imidiatly, the proportions were perfect for an instrument I promised my buddy and fellow musician Albert Castiglia. Thus I created the Ashton Tele.



Recorded at the Titanic Brewery Miami FL Albert on the Ashton Tele.

Here is a cool little cigarbox my mother gave me, I knew it was a ukuele as soon as I saw it.



 Mike in Homestead


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You got some nice builds my man.

Thank you David, I've come across this forum a while back, don't know why I didn't stick around. There is a lot of good stuff here that will improve my skills and projects.

All beautiful work.  Great pics.

Thanks Ed.

Great Builds


Wow! Lovely builds. Gotta ask, how'd you do the cutaway on the Ashton?
When I first gave the Ashton Tele to Albert is wasn't a cutaway, it was a regular box, Albert loved the tone and set up but told me he couldn't use it due to the fact he couldn't reach the 22nd fret. I told him that wasn't a problem, I could fix it. He also wanted a volume pot.

Inside the Ashton box is a 5" wide piece of ash that I bolted the neck to, routed out for the pickup and attached the chopped Tele bridge too. This block was run through my surface sander until it fit snugly inside the box. For the cutaway modification I cut a block of mahogany to fit tightly against the ash block and exactly fit the depth of the box, then glued it to the ash, the back, top side and treble bout side of the box leaving it unattached to the top, the box still opens. Then cut out the cut away.

You can see it in the picture link below, I'm on the iPad right now and can't use HTML with this forum.


Very Nice work indeeed! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Any time, people have always been generous with information when I needed it, I like passing it on.


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