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Homemade Resenator Guitar/Dobro??? Answered

After seing "busupholstrey's" homemade resonater guitar i want to try to make one. I am unsure how the metal chamber is shaped inside. I have seen both in pictures. I really need help. I can figure out everything from that point on, its just the metal pan/chamber that I am unsure of. Thanks, freeza36

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gmoonBest Answer (author)2012-01-30

Here's the deal--both of those schemes are valid.

The original Nationals used a resonator cone similar to the bottom drawing. The brim of the cone faced the back, and the apex was near the front. The bridge was mounted on a wooden "biscuit" attached to the top of the cone.

Later Nationals used three resonator cones, with a "T" shaped bridge. Each end of the "T" on the top of one of the cones (three ends, three cones).

Then Dobro created the "spider bridge" which turned the cone around--the rim near the front, the cone facing inward. It used a resonator more like that cake pan photo--the outside "legs" of the spider lay on the perimeter of the cone.

(Good luck--I'm the proud owner of an old National Duolian...)

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freeza36 (author)gmoon2012-01-30

so which would be easier to make, using only any old pots/pans/other that i can find at my local goodwill? Which sounds better?

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gmoon (author)freeza362012-01-30

Hard to answer... Whichever would be easier to make might depend on the pan itself.

Real manufactured guitar resonators are thinner than most pots and pans. They design the shape so it's thin and strong, and can hold the string tension. That thinness allows them to resonate more easily.

Predicting how a certain cake pan will resonate is pretty much guess-work.

I like the photo above of the cake (angel food?) pan. It looks like it would be easy to mount a bridge on top of the center column thingie. Note how nicely the pan fits into a hole cut in the top of the guitar (you'd need to add some reinforcement, but that's not difficult.)

Maybe this is a good time to google "DIY resonator guitar". See what prior examples are out there...

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freeza36 (author)gmoon2012-01-31

it is an angel food pan. The guy who made it is actually here on instructables. I am going to try and find one

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