Wednesday, February 08, 2012

turning vintage radios into amplifiers

So as well as building a more conventional 6-stringer guitar, you might be pleased to hear about something more in line with cigar box mentality - i.e. taking something that was meant for another purpose and making it into something more fun and appropriate for making your own music. My latest adventure is taking old vintage radios from the 60s and 70s, hacking into the wiring, adding a 1/4 inch jack socket and turning it into a small amp. These things are so cool, why has it taken me so long to get into it? The older radios like these have a fairly decent power output. At half volume with a guitar plugged in they have a pretty clean sound but crank them up full and they overdrive nicely - rather like a small valve amp. Loud enough for your home and maybe enough to annoy the neighbours. They make great practise amps but just look so cool. I've done a few videos, take a look and see what you think. This one is a "keeper" though!

guitar build session 7

I'm a week behind posting this and this week I will not be doing any work on it. So last week was all about the neck again. The fretboard had been glued on so now needed trimming back to the neck profile using the router table and a small cutter with wheel guide following the shape of the neck. The body end of the neck cut to the correct length and shaped to fit the body "pocket". So now I could put it in place and see how the guitar is shaping up as a whole.

I spent the rest of the session roughing out the back of the neck. We drew lines down it at specific points as a guides to cut back to. Just using a spokeshave and a coarse rasp, I reduced the back of the neck to a sort of triangular profile. The ridge of that was taken off leaving a sort of flat topped triangular shape, then those two ridges taken down so we now have an approximate D shaped profile. I ended the session there. Doesn't sound much but it was four hours of hard graft. I reckon we might be about half way through the project now.