Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Meet Carol Ann

She started off as an order for the Complete "Pure & Simple" Cigar Box Guitar Kit by C.B. Gitty. I bought an open-box (and therefore discounted) fretted version from Musician's Friend. What arrived was new rather than open-box and the un-fretted version rather than the fretted version (they refunded the price difference on request).

I broke the head off a screw on one of the tuning machines while assembling it because I didn't pay attention to the instructions, so I robbed a tuning machine from another instrument. The included strings weren't the gauges I preferred, so I replaced them with Ernie Ball Earthwood light gauge acoustics. Mounted a strap button from another axe, put on a cheap strap I still had lying around in the wrapper, and installed a piezo pickup.

She's named after the then-four-year-old recipient of the 1942 wartime ration coupon book decoupaged onto the body (over part of the star field from a black and white American flag motif tapestry). I bought that on eBay for a couple of bucks, and with a little research I'm pretty sure I've identified the little girl as a lady who died in 2015, age 77.

Fun to play. That "flying bridge" makes for a lot more volume than you normally hear from a cigar box guitar.

I may file that bridge down a little, find a smaller nut to lower the action, and put frets in. In keeping with the theme, I'm considering buying and sawing up an old M1 Garand cleaning rod for those.

I'll almost certainly try to do something pretty with graphics for the headstock and fretboard, again period-themed (cheescake/pinup stuff a la US bomber nosecone stuff, maybe?). Maybe even an homage to Woody Guthrie's "This Machine Kills ..." burned into the neck over the box.

Most fun I've had with a guitar in decades, maybe even ever.

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