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Resonator Guitar kit
Author
Post
Mark Forster-King

Total Topics: 10
Total Posts: 19
Hi Fellow Kit Builders/Luthiers... Hmm thats interesting... which are we? Are we Kit Builders...luthiers or both? or does it even matter?...hell that could be a forum all by itself!....OK Stringed instrument makers.... apart from the spares that Stew Macs sell ( I know that they used to sell full kits...) does any one know, either of plans, or parts for or whole kits for making something like a wooden bodied El Trouvador from the mid '30s....would love to be financial enough to be able to buy the real thing with all that 70 year old Mojo but just don't have a lazy $3,500 hanging around and besides I wan the fun of putting together one myself...your thoughts would be really appreciated as always
Kind Regards
Mark

Nov 12, 09 | 10:08 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Wish I could help Mark. In my searches for kits of all kinds, I haven't run across a resonator kit. However, if you do a search on Google for "resonator guitar parts," you'll come up with a bunch of leads to follow. I'd think you could just put the parts into a regular guitar body, with changes to the bracing ... ?

Hey, thanks again for the pictures for the calendar. Some of them will be in it,

Bill

Nov 13, 09 | 4:34 am
Mark Forster-King

Total Topics: 10
Total Posts: 19
Hey thanks Bill...will keep looking...when will the calanders be out do you think? there have been so may great guitars built recently that I am really looking forward to seeing them all together in a calander ...

Nov 13, 09 | 10:49 am
Charlies3

Total Topics: 2
Total Posts: 5
Mark. A good resource for Reso kits is Beard Guitars. Here's a link
http://www.beardguitars.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=RO&Category_Code=BGK

Nov 13, 09 | 11:50 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
I'm working on the Calendar right now. You're right, there have been some great guitars, and I whish I could show all of them. Unfortunately, I won't be able to show all of the guitars that are seen here on the forum because of the photo requirements for printing -- many of the photos just were not up to the specifications needed. But, I've got a lot of them and I think you guys will be pleased with what comes out. I should be getting it to the printer next week; I can put up a sample here on the forum then, too.

Bill

Nov 13, 09 | 12:11 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Charlie -- Thanks for that link -- and WELCOME to the forum!

Bill

Nov 13, 09 | 12:13 pm
Mark Forster-King

Total Topics: 10
Total Posts: 19
Hey Charlie, also welcome to the forum....if your looking for a really,really friendly forum to help with any aspect of guitar building then you have come to the right place and thanks for the link to Beard guitars ...I will find out some more about their kits...just finished my first guitar and moving on to the next
Mark

Nov 13, 09 | 1:23 pm
Herman

Total Topics: 38
Total Posts: 480
Thank you Charlie for this link. This could be a project for me in the future.

Nov 15, 09 | 1:45 am
Freeman

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
Mark. StewMac used to have a metal bodied biscuit bridge reso kit, but it is out of production. The Beard plans are very good, but they are both spiders (as you probably know, they are very different critters from the biscuit bridge El Touvador). There also have been several metal and wood bodied build treads at MIMI.com - look in the archives or I can give you links.

Resonators are built completely differently than flat top guitars - they usually have a "neck stick" and depending on the type of cone, either a sound well or just a cone well. I happen to have two resos - a 1932 spider bridges Dobro and a 1980 metal bodied biscuit. I've done quite a bit of work inside both of them and have a few pictures of both. Depending on how you want to play and what kind of music you intend (lap style, fretted Spanish style, slide Spanish, etc) the construction and neck configurations can be very important.

Along with building one from scratch, it is possible to add a cone well to an old flat top and make a resonator out of one - might be a good use for one of those old Yamahas that you can't do a neck set on. You'll be limited to the narrower neck but it would be a pretty inexpensive way to put one together.

Last comment - I have Autocad plans for a metal bodied tricone and for the past couple of years have been thinking about making one. I love the sound of a tricone and since I work in a metal fab shop, most of the equipment is available to me. I have even thought about building it from titanium sheet (one of my buddies was a ti welder at Moots cycles) - I guess maybe you would call that a TiCone, eh?

Let me know if I can further help - I have a whole drawer full of resonator building information.

Nov 16, 09 | 5:54 am
Charlies3

Total Topics: 2
Total Posts: 5
Mark's question transformed me from a lurker to a participant in the discussion. Beard guitars is only about an hour up the road from me and I was surprised that their kits weren't discussed more often.

I'm getting ready to take the plunge on my first guitar kit (I've previously built a StewMac mandolin and (forgot the co) dulcimer). The hardest part is deciding what to build. I've always wanted a 12 fret 000 so the StewMac kit looks attractive, but then there's the possibility customizing your kit at LMII. Perhaps some Mayan Walnut with an Englemann top......... How to decide?

Nov 16, 09 | 11:18 am
Freeman

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
My two noise makers. I have a ton of information on resos, but since it really isn't "kit" related it probably makes the most sense to contact me and I can turn you on to it.



Btw - the woodie is 77 years old and was a basket case when I got it for $200. Here is a clip of the woodie

http://www.thekrashsite.com/annex/mp3s/Freeman/RollnTumble.mp3

and the shiny one

http://www.thekrashsite.com/annex/mp3s/Freeman/WalkinBlues.mp3

Crappy playing, but the idea was to show the difference in sound.

Nov 17, 09 | 6:02 pm
Adaboy

Total Topics: 64
Total Posts: 509
Here is a link to Janet Davis who has a resophonic guitar kit with an option for round or square neck. It is a spider bridge. Janet Davis is a great source for parts, strings, instruments, and anything bluegrass related. They are located in NW Arkansas just north of me.

Here is a pic of the kit:



Nov 18, 09 | 3:08 pm
Adaboy

Total Topics: 64
Total Posts: 509
I'm getting old.......forgot to add the link!

http://www.janetdavismusic.com/p-do-kit.html

Nov 18, 09 | 3:09 pm
Adaboy

Total Topics: 64
Total Posts: 509
FYI, Janet Davis also carries Martin dreadnaught kits.....18, 28, and 28H. They also have a 000 Martin kit. And they have a 30" 58" dreadnaught plan per chance you need one.....though I'm not sure who drew the plan.

Here is a link:

http://www.janetdavismusic.com/markit.html

Nov 18, 09 | 3:12 pm
Adaboy

Total Topics: 64
Total Posts: 509
That should have read 40" x 58" dreadnaught plan.

Nov 18, 09 | 3:13 pm
Mark Forster-King

Total Topics: 10
Total Posts: 19
Hi Freeman and Adaboy... thanks so much for your sharing of information and links....I will check out these links and get back to you guys if I have any more questions....I have always wanted to get a steel body resonator and hadn't thought about wooden bodied reso's until seeing and hearing some good old guitars in recordings by Bob Brozman and by this guy also:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rMvbdGJ4BA this guitar has great sound and presence

Thanks again team

Nov 19, 09 | 1:10 am
Freeman

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
Mark, for most of us, building a wooden reso would be much easier that metal, but for certain kinds of sound metal has the edge. I played a wooden tri cone that was frankly very disappointing. As you probably know, wood is almost always used for spiders, either in square or round neck. Spiders tend to have a sweet singing sound with long sustain. They are of course the guitars of choice for bluegrass dobro players. Squarenecks are almost exclusively set up for lap style play - their necks are slightly stronger (bluegrass dobroists use pretty heavy strings and tune the bottom two up from normal). A square neck sits on your lap better, but it is possible to set up and play a round neck lap style (I currently have a high nut in my old Type 27).

Biscuits come in both wood and metal, in fact several different type of metal *(steel, brass, "german silver" which is an alloy). To really hear the difference get the NRP cd with Brozman playing each kind. Biscuits have the quick attack and shorter sustain that we associate with the old delta blues guys - Son House and Blind Boy Fuller and all the rest. Metal bodies are just a bit "nastier" sounding than a wood bodied biscuit - the wood seems to take a lot of the edge off the sound. I don't think I've ever seen a square necked single cone biscuit bridge reso. However necks do vary a lot and for me, really affects the playability. Many inexpensive (Asian) resos have fairly narrow necks (1-11/16) with a bit of radius (16 inch or so) - I find these easier to play fretted, but much harder to play with a slide. The old Nationals usually have 1-3/4 or even wider necks and are fairly flat - IMHO these are much better for bottlenecking. They also come in both 12 and 14 frets clear - most bottle neckers prefer the bigger upper bout of the 12 fretters (ironically, even tho you spend a lot of time at the 12th fret with a slide, it isn't that hard to do with a 12 fret guitar).

The third configuration are the tricones - three 6 inch cones connected by a little T bar bridge. They are almost always metal (I've only seen one exception) and they tend to have more sustain than a single, but still have that delta sound. Back in the 30's there were some square neck tricones that were the sounds of the Hawaiilan music of the times, but most of the ones you see today are roundnecks. If I ever buy or build a tricone it will replace my metal bodies one - I'll probably never get rid of the woodie.


Nov 19, 09 | 5:59 am
Freeman

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
The woodie does have kind of an interesting story. A local guitars salesman knew that I liked this style of guitar and called me one day to look at something that an old lady had brought in. It was spray painted black, the cover plate was bent in and the cone was crushed. She said her father had bought it when she was born in 1932 and it had been in her family ever since. I took pity on the poor old git, gave her $200 for it and took it apart. Stripped the black paint off, reset the neck, built a jig to straighten the cover plate. Put a new Quaterman cone in it and a nice maple bridge.

I took it back up and played it for her. I don't think I played very well but it was from the heart. There were tears in her eyes when I finished. Mine too.

Nov 19, 09 | 6:00 am
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
They have a Jerry Douglas model ---- what more can you say?

http://www.beardguitars.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=RO&Category_Code=BGK

Ken

Kenneth Michael Guitars est. 1978

Nov 19, 09 | 7:44 am



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