Author Topic: My Homemade Crazy Hollowbody with cat bowl resonator  (Read 1001 times)

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Offline Vagabond

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My Homemade Crazy Hollowbody with cat bowl resonator
« on: February 07, 2019, 03:17:21 am »
I was asked to post pics of my guitar after asking about strings for it.  I am looking for advice on how to rebuild the homemade resonator into something that not only sounds good/better but also looks good and matches the rest of the guitar.

So this guitar is made from a factory rejected body and a after market neck, Epiphone Pro-Bucker pups, Grover tuners, 3 way pickup switch, push pull knobs, a generic tailpiece from Amazon and a janky homemade resonator.  All in all it has 8 tones to choose from but does have a few problems.

1.  The resonator is made from a cat food bowl placed in a 4 inch hole cut into the guitar, a metal guard off a computer fan, the lid of a cat food can, a badly cut piece of pine, and a butchered after market bridge.  It does resonate and the guitar sustains like nobody's business but with some notes and chords the resonator will have a slight rattle.  I believe that is because only the cat bowl is attached to the guitar with the fan guard sitting in it with the cat-food-lid-franken-bridge sitting on it all being held in place by the strings.  You can turn the  bridge with your hand which sharpens or flattens the E strings depending on which way you turn them.  Also I think the bridge isn't cut low enough so the strings get a lot further from the fret board as you move toward the body.  so I'm looking to replace it.

2.  The neck wasn't high enough due to the high bridge so it was modified with extra wood and longer screws to fix it. It is better and sturdy but on close inspection you can see it was amateurishly done.

Resonator Option 1:  I'm constricted by the 4 inch hole and the closeness to the bridge pickup.  Call me crazy but I'm thinking of using a brass replacement kitchen sink strainer to replace the cat bowl, a replacement acoustic guitar bridge or a jazz guitar bridge with roller saddles, a brass blank, and something to replace the computer fan guard, and a rosewood pen blank.  I also plan to lower the bridge to fix the string height issue near the body.  I'm also considering recessing a 4 inch brass hemisphere from a lamp to extend the resonator chamber down into the body more.   I've been reading up on resonator designs and I think this will work.

Resonator Option 2:  Remove the resonator completely and patch the hole with a wood blank then pain the whole body to mask what the previous owner did and put a new bridge on it.

Either way I plan to add a knock off Bigsby tremolo bar to it as I found one that matches the screw holes on the crappy tail piece. 

Anyway, if any of you have insight into resonators and can tell me if the kitchen sink strainer/brass hemisphere recessed in the body thing would work please let me know.

Also, I can't seem to figure out how to post the pics of the guitar and a closeup of the resonator.  Please help!
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Offline Fox Cunning

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Re: My Homemade Crazy Hollowbody with cat bowl resonator
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2019, 10:49:14 am »
I've absolutely no experience with resonator guitars, but I can tell you one way of posting pictures.
At least, the way I do it: upload a picture to http://imgur.com/ or https://imggmi.com/ and then share a link here, e.g.
Code: [Select]
[img]https://i.imgur.com/MTMhawl.jpg[/img]

Offline LievenDV

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Re: My Homemade Crazy Hollowbody with cat bowl resonator
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2019, 08:12:31 pm »
oh damn I'm so curious now to see pictures! :)
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Offline DanniTSI3

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Re: My Homemade Crazy Hollowbody with cat bowl resonator
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2019, 11:10:28 pm »
For some reason this thread had me so interested! I want to see this cat bowl contraption too!

Your guitar need a name, like mittens or whiskers

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Offline Vagabond

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Re: My Homemade Crazy Hollowbody with cat bowl resonator
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2019, 11:43:45 pm »
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Offline batwoman

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Re: My Homemade Crazy Hollowbody with cat bowl resonator
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2019, 12:02:33 am »
Here's the picks:

https://imgur.com/a/omTTPgL

Amazing Vagabond!  With Imgur, you can get a code to paste into your message so it's embedded here. To do this, click on the image and you'll get a list of codes from which to choose. If you choose the last one, suitable for message boards, this works well. If folk want to enlarge the image they simply click on it.

Offline Vagabond

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Re: My Homemade Crazy Hollowbody with cat bowl resonator
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2019, 12:22:23 am »
Amazing Vagabond!  With Imgur, you can get a code to paste into your message so it's embedded here. To do this, click on the image and you'll get a list of codes from which to choose. If you choose the last one, suitable for message boards, this works well. If folk want to enlarge the image they simply click on it.

Thanks, I hope you could see the photos.  The thing needs some tweaking and I've thought about changing the resonator out with one built from a brass kitchen sink strainer and a brass 4 inch hemisphere (from a lamp).  I think that may work better as I read up on resonators.


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Offline batwoman

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Re: My Homemade Crazy Hollowbody with cat bowl resonator
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2019, 12:27:39 am »
Thanks, I hope you could see the photos.  The thing needs some tweaking and I've thought about changing the resonator out with one built from a brass kitchen sink strainer and a brass 4 inch hemisphere (from a lamp).  I think that may work better as I read up on resonators.

I think you are amazing and so creative. Yep I could see the photos.  Can't wait to hear it.

Offline DanniTSI3

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Re: My Homemade Crazy Hollowbody with cat bowl resonator
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2019, 04:05:53 am »
Wow! So ingenious! Now a vid on how it sounds!

PS. I'm not joking about the name! Please call your guitar Mr Whiskers!





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Offline DavidP

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Re: My Homemade Crazy Hollowbody with cat bowl resonator
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2019, 09:55:54 am »
Thanks Vagabond ... looks pretty cool.

I'm curious how the resonator influences the amplified sound?  Or does it only come into play when playing the guitar unplugged?

Offline Fox Cunning

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Re: My Homemade Crazy Hollowbody with cat bowl resonator
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2019, 04:29:48 pm »
Very cool and ingenious indeed! Now we want to hear it ;D

Offline Vagabond

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Re: My Homemade Crazy Hollowbody with cat bowl resonator
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2019, 06:48:30 pm »
Thanks Vagabond ... looks pretty cool.

I'm curious how the resonator influences the amplified sound?  Or does it only come into play when playing the guitar unplugged?

It does add a hard to describe tone when playing acoustic.  I can touch the resonator while the guitar is sustaining the note and hear the tone change as I stop the mini-resonator from vibrating but the rest of the guitar cavity keeps going.  It doesn't seem to change the tone when playing electric.

I am having an issue with the neck.  The old man who built it used a Gibson LP replacement neck instead of a neck cut for a hollow body.  He used extra wood and a shim to raise the neck.  The neck is actually still too low but as I've been playing it the extra wood he used has shifted and the shim has bent the fret board so now the 15th to 22nd frets are not playable.  The neck has also twisted slightly so the fret is lower at the high E string and higher at the low E string.  The neck has also started to break loose from the body. 

So now I'm trying to decide whether to get a custom neck made or to just get a cheep DIY hollow body kit and move all the hardware to it and loose the resonator.  The body is still good, all the issues are from the neck.  I've had the thought to get a baritone neck made for it and have a baritone hollow body.

The old man refuses to talk to me or acknowledge that he made a mistake in the build.  All I wanted from him was some of the money back to cover the cost of getting a new neck.  I think his pride does not allow him to admit he messed up.  He just goes on about how much time and money he put into it.

Ah well.  Any ideas?
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Offline Vagabond

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Re: My Homemade Crazy Hollowbody with cat bowl resonator
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2019, 03:45:44 pm »
I took the guitar to a guitar tech instead of a Luthier to get a second opinion.  I'm waiting for him to look it over and call me.  I think at worst I'll need to replace the neck.  I'm thinking if I have to do that I'll try to get a custom baritone scale neck made for it.
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Offline Vagabond

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Re: My Homemade Crazy Hollowbody with cat bowl resonator
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2019, 04:15:51 pm »
Figured I'd just make a quick update - I found a Luthier in a smaller town that is willing to fix it properly and glue the neck making it into a set neck for $400, thats the best price I've found.  I just can't do it right now.  So I'm thinking of grabbing a vintage hollowbody that someone's ripped all the hardware out of and transfer my hardware to it.

I won't throw the this neck and body away, I'll just keep it until the day I can afford to fix it.
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Offline DavidP

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Re: My Homemade Crazy Hollowbody with cat bowl resonator
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2019, 08:23:51 pm »
Thanks for the updates.

 

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