Introduction: Fallout Mini Nuke Diddley Bow

Stuck in a fallout shelter vault looking for something to do? Well, no better way to pass the time than to make a musical instrument.

A diddley bow is a classic maker's instrument. With a few things scavenged from the apocalyptic wasteland, you can easily make this special Fallout Mini Nuke version Diddley Bow.

With just as much megatonnage is the Big Axe Bass from long ago.

Step 1: Non Radioactive Waste...

A diddley bow is a stringed instrument that is particularly suited for playing the blues but you can use it in any kind of music you want.

In its minimalistic form, a diddley bow consists of a string fastened across a piece of wood. Something is jammed in between the string at one end to act as a bridge. You can tune it if you like by adjusting the placement of the bridge. It is played with or without a pick, can be hit percussively with sticks and is usually played with a slide to get the right notes.

You essentially need a piece of wood, I had a scrap piece of 2x4 lumber.

A string or wire. It can be metal or not. I had a broken guitar string to use.

Nails or screws to fasten the wire to the board.

A small piece of wood or metal to act as the bridge. I had one of the sockets from the socket wrench set which fit perfectly. You can also use a small bottle too.

Since we don't have any kind of resonator to make the sound louder like a cigar box guitar;

If your wire is metal, you can add some kind of electric guitar pickup in order to amplify the sound.

You can add a piezo pickup for non metal strings.

To dress up the 2x4, we will add a custom Fallout Mini Nuke pickguard. That can be made with plywood, plastic or metal but we are going to do it all with cardboard and papier mache.

Step 2: House of Card...

This is pretty basic crafting.

Cut out some cardboard and laminate pieces together until you have a stiff structure.

Finish off and seal raw edges with papier mache.


I cut out some faux screwheads which is just aluminum duct tape circles. I burnished with a dull pencil to emboss the screwhead slot.

Step 3: String It Along...

It doesn't really matter how long your string or piece of wood is. Ok, it might.

Secure one end of the string to the board. I used a screw and some washers to clamp the string in place. I wound it around once to keep it in place. If using screws, the wire may wind down with the screw and break. Be careful.

Stretch the string out till it is fairly tight and secure at the other end of the string.

You can then jam your bridge under one end of the string.

You can position your bridge so the string gets tighter and tune it to a certain musical note if so inclined.

For my slide to play the diddley bow, I just put in a blue LED throwie in a salt and pepper shaker bottle. I didn't have any Nuka-Cola bottles handy.

So there you go, earn some points by entertaining your fellow vault-mates...if there are any.

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