A token of friendship: the “Cubacaster”

May I present to you my latest creation: the “Cubacaster”…

One of my side-projects. This guitar was entirely made of repurposed materials. The neck and tuners once were part of a Yamaha ‘tourgear’ beginner strat. Hardboard plates for the Danelectro-style body come from old cupboards, while the green leather binding was sourced by skinning a couch.

Form and design were inspired by two of my favorite guitars. The body shape is that of the Harmony Stratotone H44, but the scratchplate was designed after that of the H42 “Newport”. To keep it light and resonant the body was made in Danelectro-fashion, like presented in Making Masonite Guitars.

Cuba

Our church in Utrecht (a baptist church, named Silo) is friends with another church in Matanzas, Cuba. On a regular basis we have people over and vise versa. Often gifts exchange, we get a lot of lovely quilts and stolas made by the people over there. This gave me the idea also to send something self-made by people in our church.

A couple of months ago I found some old hardboard panels in the back of the church. Other than the usual white or brown, these had a green surface. They had been part of an old cupboard and stood there to be thrown away. I asked wether I could have them to make a guitar. “Well, do whatever you like, we’re glad to get rid of them”  was the reaction.

So I took the plates to my shop and cut them up in 40×60 cm sheets. This size is ideal to make guitars. Large enough even to make basses.

It’s fairly easy to make a guitar body out of them. Take two sheets and glue them over a softwood (pine or tulipifera poplar) frame, cut it to shape and rout out the neck pocket and pickup holes. Bolt the whole thing together, add strings, some setup and ready is your guitar…

Or isn’t it?

Not really… I wanted this guitar to be a bit different. Perhaps you know about the guestbook in my shop. A cheap Fender dreadnought where visitors are supposed to write or carve there name on.

It’s a cherished document, because a lot of my friends have signed it. Some of which unfortunately have passed away. So it’s also a reminder.


To finish this guitar before it was send to Cuba, I asked the people of Silo to write their name or leave a message on it. As a small token of community and friendship.

 

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