Saturday, September 16, 2017

Two More Finely Crafted Instruments

Last night I woke at 3:00 am and couldn't get back to sleep so I decided to make good use of my time and build a couple of Diddley Bows. I went with guitar tuners and metal wound guitar strings this time so the instruments would stay in tune and be easier to get back into tune.  One has a G string and the other has a D. They both sound great.

I still need to cut the sound holes. I haven't bought a hole saw yet.

Only the finest hose clamps go on a Diddley Bow made by Hank Greer.

Cheap bits of old hardware work well for the bridge and to anchor the string.

Needed a guide screw to keep the string centered over the nut, i.e., hose clamp.

I cut away part of the rod to create a flat surface to mount the tuner.

It's 25 inches from bridge to nut so marking the frets is the same as a standard guitar.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Continued Wedded Bliss

Kathy bought radios to fit our helmets so we can talk to each other a lot easier while we're riding. Between her profound hearing loss and the wind noise in my hearing aids, every conversation includes a lot of, "What?" We had to futz around with these a lot to get them to work right and fit comfortably in our helmets but, once done, they're working out pretty well so far. It's nice to be able to call out hazards and such and do so clearly the first time. On the other hand, during long climbs I'm listening to a combination obscene phone call-bad phone sex from Kathy.

Thursday, August 31, 2017


I picked up this instrument in August of last year. Outside of my bicycles it's one of the best investments I've made. Learning to play has been a lot of fun. Experimenting with different picking patterns has shown me how to bring some songs to life. I played during Street Music Week last June and it was a blast.

My ukulele with a home made shoe string strap.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Evening Bike Ride

Kathy has been riding a lot more this year. Getting two new bikes, one road and one touring, can cause that. All the smoke in the air makes for a pretty sunset but it sure is hard on the eyes and lungs.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Looks Like Spokane Could Easily Have More Bike Commuters

In yesterdays' Spokesman Review an article stated the median commute was 20 minutes in Spokane.

If true, even though it includes cyclists there aren't that many of us so a lot of people driving could improve their lives and have more fun if they rode a bike to work.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Cigar Box Guitar Version 1.0

While I was visiting Kathy's side of the family in Illinois I got the idea to make a cigar box guitar. This is my first attempt. I went with a cardboard box and nylon strings. There are no frets so I use a slide to play. Nylon strings take a while to stop stretching but as long as the strings are in tune it sounds surprisingly good. There are only two strings right now because I broke one. Those eye-hook bolt tuners don't work nearly as well as regular tuners.

Next, I'm going to try a wooden cigar box and bronze wound guitar strings. And real tuners.