FASCINERA Kantele

Cheers. I'm here with a really quick one this time around.


This was a nice little weekend project after I took a trip to my local IKEA (LINK). It took me around 2-3 hours in all to fix everything together.
The electronic parts were scavenged from old projects and spare parts I never came around to using.



Anyways. the main ingredients of this project were aquired on a trip to IKEA.



- 1 x FASCINERA chopping board 
- 1 x MÖLLARP handle
- 6 x MÖLLARP knob





And from my own stash.



- 1 x blade bass pickup
- 1 x volume pot
- 1 x 1/4" Jack socket




The plan is simple. The chopping board makes the instrument body, the handle makes the stoptail for the strings and the knobs emulate tuning pegs.
The positioning of the handle was made on aesthetic basis and the bass pickup was aligned according to the handle. My suggestion is to use a blade pickup so it's easier to align the strings. I used this Wil-series Hot Rail Jazz pickup (LINK).


Notice that the handle could be any from the vast IKEA collection. For me the desicion was driven by looks and price.


The ground wire from the elctronics is connected to one of the screws from the handle.
After the pickup was fastened I filed grooves into the handle to keep the strings in their place. then fastened the two strings, the top and bottom string. Now I could measure the position of the tuning pegs (knobs) so that the strings would be placed over the pickup.
Finally I drilled holes for the knobs and fastened them onto the board. Also the knobs were filed so the strings get a small groove for better alignment.
The strings I used on this project are also random strings I had lying around.


The main con in this project is that the intrument won't hold any tuning except 'un-tuned'. This is something that will need future investigation and planning. Then again the chopping board has the most amazing sustain - I love it!









Monster lap-steel





During the late summer of 2013 I wanted to make something out of  the spare parts I didn't want into my own projects.

...so what I did was ask a friend of mine to arrange some basic wood for me that I could mould into a scrap-part lap-steel style guitar.


The two pieces of "two-by-four" spruce got to function as body. I cut one of the pieces into three parts which made up the base, the end and a bridge between the humbuckers. The uncut part functioned as the neck.
The neck part also needed to be thinned down for the tuning pegs. For this project I didn't have any hi-tech tools so the finishing is somewhat raw.


As said, the parts were leftovers from other projects, such as the Stock mics and electronics from a Epiphone Gothic Explorer (LINK) and the tuning pegs were from my earlier project, the Vinatge VS6 (LINK).


The assembly was fairly straight forward and small flaws didn't matter that much as my friend is a noise musician. The polycarbonate was added when I noticed I had no place to attach the electronics, but in hindsight it's also a very cool design element.
I also had to add screws as string guides to hold the strings in line before the tuners, so as I said, it was a very raw and unfinished project.


The toughest part in this project was handling the materials without proper power-tools. but at the same time the build was satisfying and fun.
To see these random pieces form into an actual playable instrument was so cool.

I asked for thoughts and experiences on this monster instrument from it's current owner 

and received the following short statement:
"sexier than thou. loud and nasty. so far only acoustic tests, which have been very satisfying"



As an add-on to the instrument I also arranged a leftover piece of PVC pipe to serve as slide, so all tools were available!








The pink box... where it all began.





As this is the first post of my blog, I will start out with a little background to my building ventures.
After I started making music early in the 21st century I was interested in all instruments I could possibly lay my hands on.



One of my first points of interest was purchasing a Kantele building kit, but really never got enough courage to dig into it.



However in 2011 I finally purchased a few sets of Velleman Signal Generator mini kits (LINK)



Of course I took my time soldering the kits together, but the time was well worth it and the ready electronics found their homes in a wooden box covered with pink&metallic contact paper.



...for future endeavors I'm thinking of changing the power intake to a 9V socket instead of the battery for more reliability.