My latest upcycled instrument is Jerrycan Slide
Jerrycan Slide is an acoustic version of Driftwood Slide which is my favourite upcycled instrument to date. I wanted an instrument loud enough to play at the Dingle (my local acoustic session) without the compromise of bringing an amp and was inspired by Sue Overdrive’s Gretsch resonator with an all metal body.
Here’s what it sounds like!
I used an old Jerrycan I had in the garage as the soundbox to imitate the Gretsch’s metal body. The headstock is off a broken Westfield semi-acoustic donated by donated by Kevin of the Snooty Fox – (Thanks Kevin!) and the neck is a beautiful bit of wood I found on a local footpath – I think it may be ivy – that has joined and separated and joined again – lovely! The bridge is just a sawn off bolt and two nuts.
My children look shocked whenever I say f-holes! Once you start looking you may realise there are loads of kinds of f-holes – I chose a design that fitted the narrow panels at the sides of the Jerrycan and were not too complicated to make – nevertheless they took quite a few hours and much effort to drill and file out!
Making it work
My first attempts at stringing it with a compression bridge were disappointingly quiet but when I switched to a tension bridge I was delighted by both the tone and the volume of the instrument. (Compression bridge = like a fiddle where the strings go to a tailpiece, Tension bridge = like a Martin where the strings are anchored on the front sounding board) This has come at the cost of playability (I can’t reach in to damp the bridge) so I have a new design being made as I write – watch this space!