Dad's Jewelry Box Guitar

Old Lane Furniture Co. Cedar box, no key

I knocked the sides off the top, wanted a thinner body

Deco brass plug with bottom cut out for sound hole.
Quick binding, this is only a prototype, used old pieces

Mini pots and jack cut in

Didn't like first place I put them, I'm building "on the fly" with no plan of attack.

Next to another home made faux banjo from a Ludwig Columbia. Head is 040" pick guard material, I will put a pickup in it for a tenor guitar that looks like a banjo.

Dale Small neck, 30 years old and never completed.
He would be amused I was making a Uke, his favorite thing.

This is how back strapping laminate looks, for the many people that have asked how it looked before shaping

Dale always got everything done before he shaped. That is the right way, and he lambasted me many times for getting out of sequence!

22" scale for a 10" banjo rim, one of his minis, is perfect for this sized box

the 22 is where the bridge will land

Shaping with Sure Form, from my old Paint and Body shop business days.
It is aggressive and I am familiar with contouring with them.

Now for the smaller rasp/ files

And now some profile sanders, all grits

Back strap shaping up

Wonderful tight grained  flamed maple

Close up top, will leave the heel until after all else is done and fitted and setup to play

Small neck block for reinforcement

Time for the dowel, Forstner bit for tenon hole

Drill outs for square dowel

Riffled to square

Front side, will go all the way thru then later hide the cut under tailpiece

Ready to trim flush

The dale Small method of dowel retention-no glue

Will hide later with a MOP dot

Simple neck adjuster made from hex shoe

Good tight fit to rim

Proper elevation for top clearance


There is no glue under the dot, this allows screw to come out if dowel ever needs removing

Black inside

Fitting tailpiece and elecs for a dry run

A couple coats clear on the body for now
Screwed down top, I'm not looking for perfection on this Mule

First setup

Do not like knob on Bass side, will move it back over to treble.
Great action and playability right off the bat, I'm encouraged

Fabricated aluminum tailpiece cover


Only 3 holes plugged.
maybe a record for one of my prototypes :)

Plays good sounds good, Iwill have TJ adjust the pickup when he gets here.
Now to final the heel and finish on the neck.

Some good cookies from a pal in the U.K., I'm good to Sally Forth!

After cutting a block off to get the bulk off, rasp time

Now for some sanding and whatever old jar of finish I can use up that is a close to the body color.
It's mine, I'm cheap, enough said!

A decent match to make Maple look like Cedar.

Strung back up with something to hold on to it with.
A strap is a must on these things.

Final pics

T.J was down this weekend and gave it a thumbs up after setting the pickup height to optimum.
I may get around to a couple glamor shots but its not likely.
It was fun, now it's done, thanks for watching