the first one


In 2009 after making a cigar box ukulele (using a neck from a toy guitar) I built my first instrument from scratch. I had seen photos of canjos and other instruments with metal can bodies and I had a swell 10 inch cookie tin just itching to be made into something new. The neck is scrap maple picture frame stock, the frets are improvised brass flat-stock, and the tin bottom was flat. The odd can noises this instrument added to the strings (you can hear it “bark” in the short video) prompted me to try my hand at shaping a resonator out of the can bottom for later instruments. This instrument has since been reworked and now has a shaped tin bottom, a better bridge, and a more predictable sound. The frets are set in a diatonic scale and it is strung like a mountain dulcimer. It is fun and easy to play. I still have this one around but I would be embarrassed to sell it. It’s just too funky, even with the retrofitted body.