Handmade Music Clubhouse

Cigar Box Guitar Headquarters - CBG HQ

Well, I had a serious brain fart today.  I'm making the Mini Taser Teddley Bow.  I made the one string humbucker and cut the mounting holes for it and made the rear cavity to access the pup.  Next was a cavity to access the jack and the hole to mount the jack, then drill the wire route hole.  I did that, then resanded the wood (2X4s) and applied 2 coats of the vintage Fender butterscotch stain. 

I was feeling pretty good, a great few hours work.  Then I noticed it.  UH OH, I really screwed up.  Major goof.  When I did the cavity and the hole for the jack I put it on the wrong side of the guitar.  The jack was in the wrong spot.  The jack was now on the top edge of the guitar.  I'm an idiot.

What now?  This is a real head scratcher.  I don't want to trash it after all the work to form & sand the wood into that sexy shape.  Making it left handed is out of the question as this one has already been claimed by a good friend.  I have to salvage it.

My solution is to plug the jack hole with a dowel, make another cavity and redrill the wire route.  I'll then fit an entire back cover (from a cigar box).

I'll sand down the edges of the back cover to blend with the curvelature of the body, and sand down the dowel plug so it fits in seamlessly.  There's a little sanding clean up around the cavities.  I already showed it to my friend via Skype, he's cool with it and we had a good laugh.

The moral of this story?  It doesn't matter how many times you've built an instrument, you can still screw up big time...

Hope y'all got a laugh out of this!

* * * * * * * * * *  U P D A T E * * * * * * * * * *

I used a magic marker to make the dowel plug look like another knot.  I used a Padron cigar box to make the back.  I'm happy with how it came out!

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Update:  No one will ever know...

Lol, nice save. I'm only on #107, but had my own moments. Jaguar spaced frets on a strat pattern neck spring to mind, as does using a 7mm drill instead of the correct 6mm to make the tuner holes. Easily my fave was not noticing an aluminum shard wedged in my adjustable set square, all the frets were tipped 1.5mm out of true. Didn't notice until my home made bridge position finder wouldn't reconcile....

Bwahahahaa.   Good article Ted.  It's an encouragement to new builders to not freak out if an error is made.  Yours is about the largest cover-up I've seen to date, but it wound up looking good.  All sorts of ways to cover a mistake and as long as the builder doesn't mention it-- no one else will know.

In my case, if you ever see a penny on one of my gits (which I claim is "a penny for your thoughts"), it was a brain-fart drilled hole.   A nickel was a larger hole.  A dollar piece reminds me that mistake cost me a dollar.

And of course on a CBG, if the mistake is on the front one can always cut a larger hole and turn it into an acoustic soundhole.  ;D

Wow can't wait to see it. Somehow I'm sure it will turn out well!

Now seems to be an appropriate time to ask this question.... Do mistakes lead to a better build? They have for me. Some of my most favorable results were achieved by adding an adornment or modification to correct or cover up a GOOF! Make your mistakes, learn and go on......

Depends on the mistake. As you say: sometimes they force us to decorate a bit more.  ;D

One of the good things about CBGs is that no one has authority to dictate how they are supposed to look.  That gives us a lot of creative leeway, so sometimes mistakes are simply something we absorb into the design. As Ted C says, everyone makes mistakes from time to time, no matter how many gits we make.  It's nice to be able to un-mistake them. : )

I must say, I am impressed with "over 1,000 instruments".  Very prolific. : )


Lesson learned!

Rose Ericson said:
Also if you are selling guitars now the one with the mistake is different than the others. You ALWAYS charge more for custom. (Repeat after me.....it's not a mistake it's custom) LOL

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