Introduction: Resonator Guitar Converted From Old Acoustic Guitar

Picture of Resonator Guitar Converted From Old Acoustic Guitar

I had this old acoustic guitar and decided to convert it to an electric resonator guitar.....I'm retired in Costa Rica and my tools and resources are limited so it's more work with what you have.....The cone is an angel-food cake pan......The cover plate I made from an aluminum pot lid.......The electronics and pickups (Stratocaster style takeoffs) I ordered on ebay...... I refinished the whole guitar and added new frets........The cutout is popsicle sticks glued, filled with wood filler, and sanded smooth.......


brosati (author)2016-06-02

Asking because I'm about to take on your project. Looking back, is there anything major you would do differently?

brosati (author)brosati2016-06-02

one last question, what did you cut the lid with? dremel???

freeza36 (author)2012-02-02

what did you fill in the old soundhole with, and how? Also, what kind of bridge is that? I plan on building this soon.

brosati (author)freeza362016-06-02

that looks like a typical fender style bridge without the tremelo.

brosati (author)2016-06-02

Wouldn't moving the bridge to the bottom completely change how the guitar is tuned? Ideally wouldn't you want to keep the bridge in the same place it was originally placed?

atoler (author)2015-12-19

Nice. I'm converting an Alverez acoustic guitar right now myself.

scarletspider19 made it! (author)2014-07-27

Thanks so much for the inspiration and informative photos!

LucDaRocka1 (author)2012-03-29

another way to make the resonator cone is by taking a metal strainer and metal bowl and putting the bowl upside-down in the strainer..... this guy did it and documented how to build the whole thing.......

MatBishop (author)2012-01-21

Fantastic! I wish I had the time (and brain power) you put into your instruments!

How is the "bridge" pickup held in place?

I think I'm going to do this same conversion with a cheap 12 string I have.

ALEX_HOLAND (author)2011-08-01

Congratulations, thats a great Job

computeruser28 (author)2010-06-07

i dunno, but isn't that a classical guitar (judging from the head)? i'd think you should be using an actual acoustic guitar for those steel strings, but if it works fine then good for you :)

Many cheap 'parlor' guitars from that era have classical style headstocks (with metal tuners of course), for what reason I'm not entirely sure.

The back angle on a "classical" style headstock is only 10 degrees as opposed to 15-17 on a steel string style headstock, to achieve the same string break angle --meaning you can use a thinner piece of wood for the neck. Also both ends of the tuners are supported which is a good thing.

The guitar is an acoustic guitar made in Costa Rica........It was only about 5 years old and fairly worthless as a guitar.........

resophonicguitarist (author)2011-01-13

In the background of the last picture I noticed another guitar, is that also a conversion?

resophonicguitarist (author)2011-01-13

Wow you did a great job! feature=mhsn#p/a/u/1/HfWaD1goeXk

With your skills you should have one of these guitars for free!

It is a Regal RC-51 Resonator Guitar. BTW I am not that great at playin'.

dermord (author)2010-10-05 can i downloaded all the photos???

old_bass_masta (author)2010-05-13

I like it

kjeff3000 (author)2010-04-19

 I love it! 
I'm going to run off with my own version of your idea!
Way to go!

Re-design (author)2010-04-14

First class work!

Downoninit (author)2010-04-14

I hope you make an instructable to this,  and I'll also like to here the sound you got out of it

balno (author)2010-04-13

Absolutely great. awesome.

busupholstery (author)balno2010-04-13

Thank you all for the comments.......

thestyrofoampeanut (author)2010-04-11

 you sir are an artist
how long did this take and what did you use to fill in the hole from the cutaway?
it didnt look like wood but maybe im wrong
did you just temper thin wood?

I used popsicle sticks glued vertically along the cut out.......sanding and filling the low spots with wood filler did the trick.......It actually amazed me at how smooth it turned out.......

It took about two months.....lots of hours....mostly in the refinishing and getting it to look  professional using canned spray paint.......

NachoMahma (author)2010-04-11

.  Beautiful! Great workmanship!

rimar2000 (author)2010-04-11

Awesome work. Maybe you can add a MP3 or WAV o MPEG file... Thanks!

underkill (author)2010-04-11

 Excellent job man.  I wonder what's messing with your volume unplugged though?  Probably  the cover plate like gmoon said.  Can't wait to hear it/ see video.

thomas_c (author)2010-04-11

 That is so sick, hats off!

caitlinsdad (author)2010-04-10

The Bundtanator.  The grate is for when you are shredding.

Nice work.  It is good to save any instrument to make music. 

mike patterson (author)2010-04-10

does the cake pan rest on the back of the guitar on the inside? because the cone in a national and in a spider setup, are suspended from the front ot the guitar and do not touch the back----- love the project and will have to move forward on an classical I have here with a cutaway but a broken top---perfect use for it.

No, the cake pan floats on the top is only held in by the bridge and strings.......

darus67 (author)2010-04-10

Looks great.
I love your use of found materials. Is that a cheese grater in there?

How does it sound?
It would be great to hear a sample of it being played.

busupholstery (author)darus672010-04-10

Yes, a cheese grater......will try to post audio

Phantomn (author)2010-04-10

 Awesome! Love it! :D

zascecs (author)2010-04-10

 Lookin' good!!!

Spint (author)2010-04-10

It looks fantastic great job!

gmoon (author)2010-04-10

I completely love this, especially the cakepan resonator.

Is the cover plate maybe a little too thick to add any resonance? I have an old National, and the cover is quite thin (not so thin as the cone, of course.)


Post video or audio for this?

busupholstery (author)gmoon2010-04-10

The cover plate is thick but it is above the strings and doesn't touch the cone so it really has no affect on the resonance.......this guitar really only sounds great when played through an has little volume otherwise........

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