I bought this guitar very cheap because it was absolutely and completely coming apart everywhere. It is a nice old Harmony parlor guitar. My pictures are not in any kind of good order, but you can get the idea about what I have done. I dismantled this guitar and reglued everything. I wanted to keep it as original as possible, but there were a couple of things I did to make it last at least until Iím gone from this world. The machine heads look to be original, but this guitar did not come with machine head bushings. It should have, so I installed a set. The bridge was only bolted down, but I have glued and bolted it down. I know folks like the sound of a guitar that has ladder bracing, but ladder bracing is very unstable. So I installed the smallest transverse bracing; just enough to keep the top from collapsing. This guitar had several cracks in the wood Ė which is a good sign. This instrument is built entirely from straight grained wood and no instrument plywood. I have repaired all the cracks. Also the top was drilled for a pick guard of some description, but the pick guard was missing so I built one. Here is where I pulled up short. I did not refinish this guitar. I have been building and repairing for a little over 20 years now and I have found that folks have a lot of different notions about the finish on an old guitar. My pictures make this finish look much better than what it actually is. I did a lot of touchup on it, but it still shows its age. For those of you who like to retain the original finish, you will like knowing that I did my best in this regard. If a person thinks the original finish is not to their liking, then I can refinish it. Iím selling this guitar for $300.00 plus shipping. If a person would like to have it refinished, then you can add $175.00 to the cost.
This banjo has a solid maple body with a blue stain in the finish. The body is 13 5/8" in diameter, and 3 5/8" in depth. It is equipped with a 9 1/2" diameter, spun aluminum cone, and a biscuit bridge. The neck is hickory with a 28" string length, and the 5th string peg mounted in the head stock. This instrument comes in a very nice, thick, padded gig bag, and with a good black woven nylon strap. The price is $700, and I will pay the shipping.
This lap steel has a western red cedar top, and elm sides, back, and head stock. This instrument is 14 3/4" in the lower bout, 10 1/2" in the upper bout, and a total acoustic body length of 34" and a total length of 40". It is equipped with a blade type pick-up in the sound hole that attaches to a jack in the tail block. Also, there is a sound hole in the side for forward projection. This instrument comes in a very nice, thick, padded gig bag, with a good black woven nylon strap. The cost is $600 and I will pay the shipping.
After years of building and studying this matter, I think I have arrived at the best sounding traditional shaped dulcimer in the world. This instrument has western red cedar for the top, and ash for the sides, back, fret board, and head stock. The acoustic length of the body is 27", with an overall length of 34". The string length is 25 1/8", and the strings feed through the underside of the fret board, kind of like the way a Fender Strat has strings that feed through the back of the body. This instrument comes in a very nice chipboard case. The price is $350, and I will pay the shipping.
This Ambassador model mandolin has a dark western red cedar top with black walnut sides, back, and neck. The sides are 2 1/8" in depth. This instrument has a 13 1/8" string length, rosewood bridge and fret board, and all chrome hardware. The price is $600, and I will pay the shipping.
This solid body electric Messenger model mandolin is an experiment I started on over 3 years ago. I have just now completed it. The body is mahogany, with a rosewood overlay. The bridge, fret board, and head stock overlay are all rosewood, and the neck is quarter sawn lacy oak. Since folks often like to see how many knobs, switches, and buttons they can get on an electric instrument, I wanted to see just how uncluttered I could make one. This instrument has a bridge saddle pick-up glued to the bridge, and the EQ is a 7 band Danelectro belt pack EQ. The string length is 13 1/8", and it has all chrome hardware. This mandolin comes in a very nice, thick, padded gig bag, with a nice black woven nylon strap. The price is $500, and I pay the shipping.
As with the Rogue guitar I have in this section, this mandolin is not one that I built. I think Rogue is the house brand name for Musician's Friend. As far as the wood work goes, the Rogue instruments are very well constructed. However, they fall way short of being functional instruments. I get these mandolins and give them everything they need. Every Rogue mandolin I've ever seen needed the frets leveled. Also, the bridge, even when adjusted to its lowest point, still leaves the strings entirely too high. So I severely work the bridge over to get the action low. Also, I spread the strings out on the bridge. They come bunched up into the middle of the fretboard. The action is too high at the nut, so I work down the heighth on that end also. I put a strap button on the heel and a piezo pickup inside, under where the bridge is placed. This piezo pickup is the same electronics that are in my instruments that are played by Caedmon's Call and Andrew Peterson. In the tail block, I install the jack. Also included is a floor mounted 7 band Danelectro EQ. I have put this mandolin in a very nice padded gig bag and it comes with a strap. Even though I'm the lowest priced hand builder on the planet, I know that the prices on my instruments are still sometimes out of reach. So if you want a good instrument that is not handmade but will give years of good service and will provide good sound, then this mandolin can be had for $250, plus $50 for shipping. If you're inclined for a mandolin without electronics, this one can be had with everything else that I mentioned for $150, plus $50 for shipping.
After doing a bit of checking on the websites of other guitar builders, I think I've found that I'm about the lowest priced hand builder on the planet. Having said that, I still know that folks sometimes still can't afford the prices I charge. I try to keep something in stock that will be helpful to folks, even if it's not something I've built. Here's one example. This is a Rogue six string dreadnought acoustic guitar. I buy them from Musician's Friend. Most production guitars need what's called a final set-up once you have received it. So, here's what I do to these guitars. I level the frets, lower the action, make a new nut for these guitars, put a strap button on the heel, improve the bracing, put counter sunk bolts in the bridge and pearl dots over them so that the bridge will never come loose, and I install two piezos on the inside of the top near the outer edges of the bridge, and a jack in the tail block that is also a strap button. I have it in a very nice padded gigbag and it will also come with a floor mounted 7 band Danelectro EQ. All this can be had for $250, plus $50.00 for shipping. If you're inclined for a guitar without electronics, this one can be had with everything else that I mentioned for $150, plus $50 for shipping.
If you don't see something here that you are after, it's always okay to inquire and see if maybe I am working on something in between my custom jobs - I generally am. If, perhaps, I'm working on something that you are interested in and you want to lay claim to it before it makes it to this lineup, then you'll be able to make considerable savings.