Makeshift Alternative for Tone Woods?

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Daniel Fenson
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:49 pm

Makeshift Alternative for Tone Woods?

Post by Daniel Fenson »

I'm back with another makeshift instrument question... I've got a couple projects I want to do involving making stringed instruments out of tin cookie containers. I think they have some decent acoustics and with the right modifications, could very easily make for a nifty instrument.

The problem I'm running into is what to use for the soundboard. I want to keep with the theme of using household items (Mostly because I don't want to ruin a good piece of tone wood), but I haven't found any resources on what I could use to replace a soundboard with.

One idea I've had is clipboards. But I'm not too confident with that idea.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!

Brian Evans
Posts: 873
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:26 am
Location: Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia

Re: Makeshift Alternative for Tone Woods?

Post by Brian Evans »

Use the tin top of the box, just put some posts or a cross brace under the bridge. I've seen them at flea markets, sound fine. People use one or three strings and play them bottleneck style. Very fun

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Bryan Bear
Posts: 1212
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:05 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Makeshift Alternative for Tone Woods?

Post by Bryan Bear »

Not exactly household items but you could cut tops from SPF dimensional lumber from the big box store. The small size you need wold be easy to find boodmatched mostly vertical grain sections to resaw your tops for very little money. I'd bake the the wood before you thickness and join the halves to make sure it is good and dry.

I made a parlor guitar with a top from a pine 1X10 and it turned out great.
PMoMC

Take care of your feet and your feet will take care of you.

Marshall Dixon
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue May 21, 2019 8:58 pm
Location: SW Oregon

Re: Makeshift Alternative for Tone Woods?

Post by Marshall Dixon »

Daniel Fenson wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:45 am

One idea I've had is clipboards. But I'm not too confident with that idea.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!
What about Formica countertop material?

Daniel Oates
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 11:28 am

Re: Makeshift Alternative for Tone Woods?

Post by Daniel Oates »

Cedar used in the building trade night work for you. It has good tonewood properties and you can find it in many lumberyards. Cedar shingles or cedar siding off-cuts might work.

Bill Raymond
Posts: 359
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:37 pm
Location: Red Bluff California

Re: Makeshift Alternative for Tone Woods?

Post by Bill Raymond »

Another possibility is redwood siding which is usually quartersawn, or you may be able to choose a quartersawn piece from redwood at your local box store. I used redwood for a Savart viola, and found it performed well.

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