Category Archives: Music

Past projects: solar guitar amp and radio

This is a guitar amp/radio that I upcycled out of an old boombox and some surplus electronics parts. The amp is based on a simple LM386 amplifier IC. It’s solar powered, but could use one or two more solar cells. When clouds come over the sound gets crunchy and distorted. Nonetheless, it’s fun to play with.

I made the case by hand out of cherry and steam-bent the sides. Above the speaker grille, I carved a Japanese frog.  I doubt that I’ll be doing any more carving as I didn’t enjoy it. The input and the knobs are from a guitar parts dealer on Ebay. As usual, the finish is rubbed oil and wax.


Past project: cigar box ukulele


I made this ukulele out of a kit from Grizzly tools, but swapped out the body for a nice cigar box. The top is solid Spanish cedar. The neck is mahogany. The box still opens and will fit a flask of your favorite drink handily. It’s finished with oil and wax. I’d like to pick up some nicer tuners at some point, but as-is it has a sweet sound and stays in tune well enough.


Past projects: apple wood shaker

Here’s a shaker I made for K. There was an apple tree that she was especially fond of that had a large branch come down in a storm. I hollowed out a smaller diameter piece of the branch and filled it partially with bb’s. The finish is hand rubbed oil and wax. It has a nice heft to it and feels silky.

I have more of this wood, but need to figure out the least wasteful way to cut it into small boards before it can be used for more projects.