Musician Makes Guitars Out of Exit Sign, Mailbox + Tons More Stuff
Ever played a cigar box guitar? The customarily homemade instrument follows the design of a regular guitar. But they traditionally use a cigar box as the resonator. Of course, creative musicians who know luthiery can build cigar box guitars themselves — and not even necessarily out of cigar boxes!
Enter Shane Speal, a guitar builder who's dazzled social media with his unique cigar box guitars for over two years. But Speal's guitars take the idea one step further. Rather than use a cigar box, they employ more unusual found items as the resonator — an exit sign, a mailbox, boat oar, pipes, shovels. The list goes on.
See some of Speal's videos down near the bottom of this post.
In the guitar maker's latest video, as Guitar World showed, Speal shows off some guitar riffs – including Metallica and Black Sabbath – on a two-string, scrap iron guitar.
"It's your old Uncle Shane and this is my scrap iron guitar," the rocker says. "When I play it I get a back ache!" However, the iron guitar was actually built by a pal.
It was constructed with a "leftover scrap iron [and] a couple rebars for the neck," Speal explains. "It's got a single-coil pickup hardwired to the jack, and you play it with a guitar slide. [It was] built by my friend Pete Regan. And, yes, kids, here's your Metallica! Something like that…I'm more of a Megadeth fan, myself."
Speal is also an author, particularly on the cigar box subject. His book Making Poor Man's Guitars is available on his website. "From a simple two-string tin can guitar to an electrified washtub bass, Shane shows how anyone can build amazing musical instruments," a summary says. Get your own copy here.