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 Post subject: oilcan guitars
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 3:41 pm 
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Cocobolo
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First name: William
Last Name: Bustard
Country: CANADA
I was looking around the net a few years back and veiwed some african oil-can guitars. It got me to thinkin it might be a fun project so I made a few.

In 06 I bult about 30 of these from vintage American oilcans purchased off epay- Most of these are all over the world now as sales were brisk(apx 2 per month)because of my low price of course. I never thought it would come to that.. I guess players may like them for something like resonator style slide or...they get a lot of looks...?

Being an artist rather than a businessman so after a year I found it to be much like work and gave up bulding the things.

I did however save one can for myself so have one can to finish.

Heres a photo of a few in various stages of completion. Most all ended up as electric acoustics.
The four below that were # 25,26,27,28.

# 29 was the "defender" Which I sold at xmas 08. It was the coolest.

If anyone is interested I have one I am putting together and Id be willing to do a pictorial on some of my unique design aspects and how I put them together.




Image

Image

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You just pick up a chord, go twang, and you're got music. -Sid Vicious


Last edited by William Bustard on Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: oilcan guitars
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 4:06 pm 
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This one was my favourite as its so in tune with the times...they all are...

#29
Image


So my last one Ive decided will be number 30.
If there is any interest let me know because Ive learned a few trick after building 30 of those things.
I can do a breif pictorial build if requested.

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You just pick up a chord, go twang, and you're got music. -Sid Vicious


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 Post subject: Re: oilcan guitars
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 5:19 pm 
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First name: William
Last Name: Bustard
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Thanks, Maybe some of you will make some, and the AmerCANadian oilcan guitar will survive! People just love them.Most all mine sold by word of mouth.

Well firstly you must have a can of course.

The last can I have is the one on the left the "LIFE". The other went to a customer in California.

The Can must be cleaned. I pour mineral spirits in it, apx a 1/2 ounce and shake it all over to thin any residual oil. Then take paper towels in "stick" them in there to sop it up. Once satisfied I let it air out over night after removing the paper towels and disposing them in a safe and proper manner.

During which time I select the neck and electrics I want to use.

For the LIFE I will use a new after-market Strat style neck with an active EMG 81 p/u. For the bridge I will use one off an old fender mustang...I think...

You will also need a peice of hardwood apx 15 inches long an preferably a real inch thick. Some tin snips or a knife and a small chisel.
Image

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You just pick up a chord, go twang, and you're got music. -Sid Vicious


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 Post subject: Re: oilcan guitars
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 5:24 pm 
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First name: William
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I enjoy the design aspects and problem solving that goes with creating the design.
After its pretty much solved the fun goes away.

I am assuming that most will understand whats going on here since we are all after all familiar with the aspects of building various instruments. I will try and answer any questions to the best of my ability.

Working from the centre line of the can:

After external electronics assembly is complete.

The nect/can slot is cut into the neck, The neck is mounted on the neck support block and a hole cut in the top of the can to fit it.

All electronics are assembled and mounted in the can through the neck/block hole.



In Borrowing aspects of banjo and resonator guitar construction these pictures show the 2 unique features of this oil can guitar design.

The neck slot/can joint on the cans edge provides longitudal support in conjunction with the neck and neck support block of the instrument, this is the pivot point for neck angle adjusment which is carried out by top to bottom adjustment of the bottom anchor screw.

After the desired neck angle is acheived and the bottom anchor screw point determined the asemblage is removed.

The bridge support screw is adjusted to increase the tension to a suitable level on the cans face under the bridge. Once the suitable height tension of this is found, the instrument may be reassembled and is good to go.

Image

Image
Image

Here can be seen the completed assembly ready for insertion into the can. The bridge tension screw is shown on the right and will be positioned under the bridge in contact with the inside top of the can.
It is in the centre of the bridge.
Image
Anyway thats it! Ill stick in the p/u, string it up and it should be great!
cheers!
One last thing heres where I put the battery clip...cool eh?
Image

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You just pick up a chord, go twang, and you're got music. -Sid Vicious


Last edited by William Bustard on Sat Apr 11, 2009 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: oilcan guitars
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 5:37 pm 
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Image

the final product. Id gladly answer any questions as I realise I may have described it willy nilly.

The important thing is not to make it too good , it should look homemade...it a tradition-

Some of the p/u's I used were mostly shallow and did not require cutting holes in the can, deamonds for example.

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You just pick up a chord, go twang, and you're got music. -Sid Vicious


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 Post subject: Re: oilcan guitars
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:09 am 
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First name: William
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I didnt realize I should have put the photos in as attched..oh well..heres one last shot to show the idea...

Yu can see there is only one screw holding the whole thing in place...the one on the bottom.
These can structures are very strong. There is some collapsing of the top as the strings compress but it soon stabilizes and is really quite durable.


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You just pick up a chord, go twang, and you're got music. -Sid Vicious



These users thanked the author William Bustard for the post: CraigSz (Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:11 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: oilcan guitars
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 4:07 pm 
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Hey William, I just found this thread, those are so cool!!!
I've built a few cigar box gits. for fun, I'll have to see if I can find me an oil can and give this a shot!

Well done,
thanks for sharing,
Joe


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 Post subject: Re: oilcan guitars
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 1:03 am 
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I need one of these! :-)


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 Post subject: Re: oilcan guitars
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:57 am 
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First name: William
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Joe Sustaire wrote:
Hey William, I just found this thread, those are so cool!!!
I've built a few cigar box gits. for fun, I'll have to see if I can find me an oil can and give this a shot!

Well done,
thanks for sharing,
Joe



Thanks Joe, I tried a cigarbox too a bit different than the usual ones we see on the net, it just sold and is on its way to Europe. This one was tuned high, that is low E up to G. I basically built a regualr guitar inside it, spruce tail and neck blocks strung with silk and steels.
It actually sounded quite good. I may try another but choice boxes are hard to find. This is old so 100 year old tuning machines were used, it has an ebony FB.
I quite liked it but building guitarlike things take money so I let it go.
I think you should try an oil can if you really want one that way you can get the thing the way you like it.
It is a good diversion from regular builds. First thing is to get a can that you really like.
Sharing? Not a problem it helps keeping going.
cheers
Bill


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You just pick up a chord, go twang, and you're got music. -Sid Vicious


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 Post subject: Re: oilcan guitars
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:38 pm 
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A fellow Canadian ordered an oilcan guitar. With cans getting scarce I managed to find one in a junk store, it was 2.5 gallons but it was "CANADIAN" so fairly rare. Im sure the customer would like that Canadian eh? so "ouch" I forked over a finely folded twenty which I had stored in the secret compartment of my wallet. To be used for just such an occasion.
Quite a bit taller but the same size round. Not too bad shape. It had never been used for oil so the inside was nice and toxin free. Albeit apprehensive at not having attempted guitar construction using one of this magnitude; I alas struck out. A gallant effort I only cut myself once in the short but intense two hour procedure. Success came too in finding a use for a cheap Chinese made fender style solid body someone had given me, in harvesting a neck and hardware.
The result is shown in the phot below and... Another happy customer!


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You just pick up a chord, go twang, and you're got music. -Sid Vicious


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 Post subject: Re: oilcan guitars
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:06 pm 
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Banged another out today, I like the sound of this one better ...must be a cheaper pickup.:-)
Not set up for slide and the neck frets have a few buzzes so I may have to get a bigger bolt.
Loads a fun. I find that most folks buy them for gifts although Ive done a few for Oil company people
I have sold 1 or 2 to professionals whom use them in an act.
I should point out that this is a hollow bodied thing, the reason the bridge doesnt crush in is because a single centre screw is forward of the bridge directly below it, on the Neck extension.


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You just pick up a chord, go twang, and you're got music. -Sid Vicious


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 Post subject: Re: oilcan sound demo
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:46 pm 
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First name: William
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What does an oilcan sound like some might ask?...well here goes...like an oilcn of course

I managed to noodle around with this one and made a sound clip so the curious could hear.
The pickups on one channel using a boss blues amp emulator from a boss br600, the other channel is the straight oilcan mic'd...at the same time, the tone is quite enjoyable. It starts acoustic and the amp emulation is brought in.

hope this works! enjoy :) You should be able play with the panning on your system to hear just the straight acoustic or electric tones by themselves.

[clap] Im demoing the guitar not my music :) comments on the oilcans sound are appreciated









Sorry the link for the soundclip ws broken...

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You just pick up a chord, go twang, and you're got music. -Sid Vicious


Last edited by William Bustard on Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: oilcan guitars
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:47 pm 
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Location: United States
Nice stuff. Building one of these is on my 'bucket list'.
I have a 4-string cigar box guitar made from a violin in progress but it keeps getting held up by regular work and commissions.


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 Post subject: Re: oilcan guitars
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:37 pm 
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thanks

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You just pick up a chord, go twang, and you're got music. -Sid Vicious


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 Post subject: Re: oilcan guitars
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:43 am 
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First name: David
Last Name: Freeman
City: Tugaske
State: Saskatchewan
Zip/Postal Code: S0H 4B0
Country: Canada
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Status: Professional
These are "slick". A canadian oil can that was never used for oil!??? I saw some cookie can guitars a couple weeks ago , He was using spruce tops on the cans to get an acoustic sound. I especially like the paint jobs on the can you have. nice work great descriptions.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:33 pm 
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DavidFreeman wrote:
These are "slick". A canadian oil can that was never used for oil!??? I saw some cookie can guitars a couple weeks ago , He was using spruce tops on the cans to get an acoustic sound. I especially like the paint jobs on the can you have. nice work great descriptions.


Thanks for the kind words David-




After careful planning Ive created a pretty fine sounding Gascan guitar- Its officially and "Emergency Gasoline Tank" patented in 1919, I think this one is from the twenties. Blasphemy to can collecters everywhere. Heres a pic. of the "CARIGAS". Very Rare heavy duty steel, I have found this style of can to be the best sounding and most comfortable for an electric can.
I think this is my 2nd to last foray into the can guitar world for awhile, this one is very satisfying to construct and play next Im thinking of a 100% classical 2.5 gallon Texaco. Researching flutes gave me the idea..the differences between wood and metal...anyways...
A few minor tweaks like some wenge wood wings and adjustments to the bridgeand it will be finished .


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You just pick up a chord, go twang, and you're got music. -Sid Vicious


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 Post subject: Re: oilcan guitars
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:44 pm 
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No ones probably too interested inthis but I thought Id post it anyhow since it kind of ends my oilcan thing and this thread.

As I said in the previous post I was interested in doing an oilcan 100% classical - its not a reso but I suppose given this thread its applicable - can you play slide on a nylon strung guitar -probably-sooo...

the "Texicatore" Ended up being a Terz - not quite finished yet but...

ya im nuts...its just as much work almost, as building a conventional guitar
there is an internal 1 inch aby 2 inch neck block which runs top to back-
there is no other re-enforcment(so far)
the neck is lag bolted on -
My interest here is to learn how the shape of these tins stands up to the guitar stresses,
to further my Knowledge of engineering to eventually build a wooden concept instrument.
Perhaps in the future I may try to build something like that but for now...well The Texicatore
(after luthier G Fabricatore of 19th century Italy of whom I sort of borrowed the neck design;-))
salute!\BillB


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You just pick up a chord, go twang, and you're got music. -Sid Vicious


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 Post subject: Re: oilcan guitars
PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:01 pm 
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That's cool! I can imagine carrying that by the handle on the train to work!

Ray


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 Post subject: Re: oilcan guitars
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:08 am 
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Not this one Ray, yet anyways, Nylon strings just don't cut it It sounded terrible, so I'm having to change it over to steel-
Actually I'm thinking this whole experimental acoustic endeavor was a waste of time.
Oilcans are better with pick-ups on them.
Nice vintage cans with cool graphics are expensive and hard to come by so I've had it with tin...
Its been a pleasure sharing and thanks for the comments-
After doing a few "relic" custom strat jobs, and astounded by the amount of work it takes
All the true craftsman will be happy to know I've given up luthiery
Now if I could just get that darned 150 year old Scottish piano Im working on finished...

Its been fun-cheers!

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You just pick up a chord, go twang, and you're got music. -Sid Vicious


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 Post subject: Re: oilcan guitars
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 8:30 pm 
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First name: Michael
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Status: Semi-pro
Great guitars. I love the look of these. I have built a few cigar box guitars and even a little banjo uke using a round cookie tin. ...Mike

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 Post subject: Re: oilcan guitars
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:53 am 
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Once starting something its hard not to stop. Kinda like technology.
Here's one from the archives I did a long time ago.
Looks more exciting than the current lute I have in restoration.


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