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Water Proof Inexpensive Guitar?

PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:57 pm
by Russell Davis
White water canoeing and long distance beach cat sailing and guitars usually don't mix.
I want to mix them without crying to much.
Water is not the only hazard. Crushing is a hazard also.
I know that no KLOS or RainSong will do on both size, price and crush-without-tears criterea.
Sooo . . .
Perhaps a cheap small beginner nylon-string fat-finger-fretboard guitar covered thoroughly inside and out with a low viscosity, high wetting, long work-time epoxy like what is available from say Raka.com might do.

Yes, will likely sound like playing a brick compared to KLOS or RainSong. But I will be playing just for myself mostly on a bit of a voyage.

I see 2 that are more than cheap enough to be considered disposable.
They may be worthless from the start. I don't know.
A full coating with high silica fume amended epoxy might sufficiently improve their physical stability and even resonance to be worth trying.
Do any of you know someone who has tried that?

So far I see only two guitars that might be worth the gamble.

1) Donner Guitalele DGL-1 28'' Travel Guitar
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075K975JQ?aa ... gzSoY3ETlw
2) ADM travel guitar
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01G558RAS/re ... il_3?psc=1

Could you please recommend some guitar models for treating so drastically? :)

Re: Water Proof Inexpensive Guitar?

PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:31 pm
by Gordon Bellerose
I really don't know of any waterproof guitars.
I suppose you could take a cheap guitar like the ones you have links to, and coat the inside and any exposed wood with a water proof coating.
I really can't say how the glue joints will hold up if the guitar constantly gets water on it; especially salt water.

If you are taking an extended vacation on a boat, maybe the sailing forums would have suggestions.

Re: Water Proof Inexpensive Guitar?

PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:01 pm
by Bob Gramann
I have taken guitars on whitewater trips in a large Bills Bag (a dry bag) with no harm to the guitars. For a couple of trips, I used $100 guitar-like objects that I worked over and set up to be playable. For other trips, I have used one of the travel guitars that I build (a real guitar with a small body). The trick is to not take the guitar out to play it when the bag is under water. My travel guitar is scheduled to go down the Grand Canyon with me next summer. Overall, I have prefered playing the real guitar over the guitar-like objects on trips. But, for price, the guitar-like object might be what you want. With the bag, you don’t need to attempt to waterproof it.

I built a travel guitar several years ago with a formica body and epoxy for all of the joints. It sounded pretty bad (think of those plastic cowboy guitars we had as kids in the 50’s) and over the first two years of its life, the epoxy joints crept enough that I gave up on the concept.

I looked at your links. Did you notice that you could buy accident insurance for those “instruments” for very little money?

Re: Water Proof Inexpensive Guitar?

PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:12 am
by Randolph Rhett
I think that is why God invented a ukulele. Small, travels well, cheap. Tuned with a low G, you can almost pretend you are playing a guitar.

Re: Water Proof Inexpensive Guitar?

PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:06 pm
by Rodger Knox
Bob Gramann wrote: My travel guitar is scheduled to go down the Grand Canyon with me next summer.


Any chance you're going with John Condino? He used to be a guide for those trips, I don't know if he still does.

Re: Water Proof Inexpensive Guitar?

PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:55 pm
by Clay Schaeffer
I've built guitars with formica back and sides and western red cedar tops and epoxy glue. They don't sound too bad and hold up to a fair amount of abuse (rainy back packing and trips to the beach). WRC is pretty stabile . If you build it yourself it would be cheap enough.

The ukulele suggestion is a good one. They are kind of like the chihuahua of the guitar world. Not much to them - but people grow to love them.

Re: Water Proof Inexpensive Guitar?

PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:16 pm
by Bob Gramann
Roger, we’re going with Tours West. I don’t know the people. This is a group trip on a motorized raft. Most of us are whitewater boaters but we are doing the raft trip so that non-boaters and folks that don’t normally do big water can go. Many on the trip have canoed the Grand previously. I haven’t yet and probably won’t at this stage in my life. I always take a guitar when I go anywhere with this group.