This one is for me. I made a Mandocello for my album’s mixing engineer (thanks Grant!), but decided I needed a version of my own, but with 4 strings instead of 8.
The wood for this project I found on the side of the road, two blocks away from my home in Los Angeles. It was a beat-up old piano, but what was the most puzzling to me was that the whole piano wasn’t there, just some parts of it laying around next to the freeway. Someone seemed to have just dumped some of it there.
Me being me, I thought what used to be an instrument should remain an instrument.
The body design was inspired by the Merlin, created by the Seagull–I used their design as a jumping off point due to its narrow body shape and my very limited supply or wood.
The body and neck is one solid piece of recycled wood, later stained red. My best guess is that is was poplar with a veneer. I left the veneer on the back of the body and headstock of the guitar to reveal its past. This particular piece of wood used to be the opening and closing top of an upright piano.
The fingerboard is of walnut, fret dots at frets 5, 7, 12, and 15, and includes brass hardware–the tailpiece, tuning machines, input jack, strap buttons, and even the lipstick style pickup.
The pickup cover was designed specifically for this instrument and cut from a piece of basswood, later stained to a rich brown. A slight belly and arm bevel were carved into the body for added comfort.
This was my first attempt at carving a scroll into the headstock design. It’s a bit rustic, which appeals to my taste and fits the recycled nature of the instrument. 25.5″ scale length, tuning is the same as a cello, C-G-D-A.