Workshop: Mods for Ben

Recently Mr. Ben asked if I could modify a small Kay guitar into an 8-string tenor guitar tuned DGBE. This is the result. I was intending to sand the sides and stain them black but because they're so very thin I decided to leave them as is.

The work involved reslotting and raising the original nut, a new ebony bridge, mod of the tailpiece, and installation of two extra 4:1 banjo tuners at the headstock (these were from my parts bin leftovers). The idea was to do it on the cheap, since the guitar itself is on the cheap, and come out with something nice.

...and? It has come out nice. I really love the sound. It's very "Portuguese guitar" or "bouzouki" sounding (but also full) with the ringing octaves on the DG&B strings and has a nice biting lead on the unison E.

I wanted to put black buttons on the banjo pegs but didn't have any that would work. I had to drill through the middle of the headstock because there wasn't quite enough room up at the top. I think Folkway Music did a similar mod to this to an old Harmony H929 a while back.

I placed the strings slightly inboard to give a closer course-to-course feel and make chords easy.


Anonymous said…
fabulous work, Jake

Thank you. Can't wait to play it.