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Here`s my idea for a build using a metal plate washboard as the lid on a old large silverware box. I`m going with a 4 string dulci [ 2 melody strings ], 6 string harp [ using a pack of standard guitar strings ] and a bass string as either a drone or a d-bow being that the string will run over the top neck. I wasn`t sure about the stress of 11 strings on a frame so after talking with Cajun a few times...Thx bro for the info!... i went with a stacked 1x2 frame. Inside the box the necks are screwed into front and rear blocking with added bracing on the bottom of the inside necks.

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Comment by Sanddraggin on March 27, 2012 at 8:58am

Love the way this is looking Randy. Great Idea

Comment by Randy S. Bretz on March 27, 2012 at 9:08am

With the frame done and stained i now move onto the washboard/lid, Took awhile to finalky decide on the type of pickup i wanted to use. Jef and i were talking about using mags underneath the metal part, buts since i`m not the smartist builder when it comes to electric`s i`ll stick with rod piezo`s. I know how to use those...lol. Now to figure out how i want to make the bridges or do one bridge at 10 1/2" long. I am using 3 rod piezo wired as 1 for the dulci and 2 for the harp and bass string. 2 volume pots one for each. Another thought i had was using 2 mic elements under the metal on a seperate input jack as another option [ but as i said it only an idea ]. Also thinking of restaining it with a darker mahogany stain.

Comment by George "Geo" Gottshall on March 28, 2012 at 10:48pm

I see your washboard is from Intercourse, PA.  Does that mean it's ribbed for your playing pleasure?

Comment by Randy S. Bretz on March 31, 2012 at 10:03am

Well i didn`t like the light colored stain that was on the frame, so i put on some dark mahogany stainon it and it looks 10x better, think i`ll stain the washboard wood frame the same color as the neck . Got the 11 tuners on it after the 3 coats of laquer dried. So the frame is almost done except for the ebony nuts - dulci / harp / drone string. Now to figure out the long rod bridge, electric`s, taipiece, dulci fretboard, and a few other ideas. But it`s moving right along.

Comment by Randy S. Bretz on April 11, 2012 at 7:23am

I stained the washboard to match up to the frame and made the paduak bridge base [ 4 rod piezo`s ]. Found a piece of aluminum door step tread, cut a section out for the string tailpiece think it will work better then using wood. There`s going to be alot of tension with those 11 strings i feel better with something stronger then wood. Decided on a punch tin type of look for the soundholes so went with a star pattern. Also have the control cavity cut out, will mount the volume pots and input jack to a plate and install over the cavity. Mocked up a fretboard for the dulci neck...thinkin of a piece of exotic bocote, plus got the harp nut halfway done. It`s gettin there!

Comment by Randy S. Bretz on April 11, 2012 at 7:24am

Comment by Randy S. Bretz on April 20, 2012 at 6:28pm

Got the electric`s all done ..4 rod piezo`s in the bridge , one volume -one input / 2 mic elements , one volume -one input. Duct tape to keep the wires from moving around.  Put a partion in bewteen the back and the metal part, trying to condense the sound for the 2 mic elements.

Comment by Randy S. Bretz on April 20, 2012 at 6:37pm

Paduak control plate, thinking of adding a paduak arm rest. Going with a bocote fretboard, the 2 large screws on the tailpiece will go down through the doubled 1x2 in the box to secure the tailpiece. Need to slot and fret the fingerboard, going with gold fret wire. The fretboard will be screwed on the neck. Need to drill the string holes in the aluminum tailpiece also...Can`t wait to throw the strings on this and play it...!!!

Comment by Randy S. Bretz on April 22, 2012 at 9:17am

Well i was experimenting last nite with a cheapy mag from Gitty, it stuck right on the underside of the metal part !! Plugged it in and Wow !!!!! the whole metal part became active...so today tearing out the mic elements and installing the mag. Plus the mag has it own wiring harness with volume and tone pots so just have to take out the old mic volume pot and drill out another hole for the new tone pot. Run a grounding wire to the aluminum tailpiece, pop rivet the mag under the star soundholes [ found that is the sweet spot ! ] and good to go.

Comment by Randy S. Bretz on April 24, 2012 at 9:16am

Stuck the mag in the washboard yesterday, used a thin piece of adhesive foam between the poles and the metal part try and tone down the tinny sound a bit...sounds great...when i tapped on the bridge wow ..put the rods to shame. Glad i went with the 2 seperate inputs....2 amps ...twice as loud ...lol. Workin on the bocote fretboard today goin with gold fretwire and screwing down the fretboard with brass screws at the fretmarks. I`ll do a guitar fretboard later then i can switch it in for slide.

 

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