This is my first instructable, so apologies for any missed steps or anything that isn't 100% clear.
I've been researching resonators for a short while now, and I had a guitar I got very cheap from ebay to play with, so I decided to have a go, and I even remembered to take some pics while I was at it. I spent some time scouring bargain shops for the right cone, and eventually found a pet bowl that seemed perfect. (£1.49 from Home Bargains.)
Step 1: Assembling Parts
The tools and supplies I used for this build were:
Drill and bits
Pet food bowl
Various bits and bobs
Step 2: Removing the Bridge and Measuring
I started by marking out where the bridge was so I could get the intonation right later on. I then removed the two screws holding the bridge to the body, and pried it away using a thin scraper.
Step 3: Cutting and Sanding
Next I measured and cut holes for the cone and for two drain covers I got from a pound shop.
With everything cut, I took a sander to the top of the guitar and removed the original purple finish.
Step 4: Checking the New Parts Fit
With all the sanding done, I checked that the cone and drain covers fit snugly.
(I didn't bother with a sound well on this build, but I may add one at a later time to see if it affects the sound.)
Step 5: Fixing a Hole and Staining
Everything fits ok, so I cut a piece from the original cuts and used it to fill the original sound hole. I used some spare wood trim and superglue to support this piece, but forgot to take a picture of that process. Once the glue had set, I applied wood filler and sanded it down.
Next, I masked off the guitar and neck and applied a coat of wood stain.
Step 6: Bridge
I experimented with various biscuit bridges but couldn't get anything I was happy with, so I ended up cutting down the original bridge piece and securing it with a screw through the cone.
Step 7: The (almost) Finished Article
With a tailpiece in place, I strung the guitar. It's turned out pretty good for a first attempt. I need to sand the bridge down a bit to lower the action, and I'm still trying to find a suitable cover for the cone, but I think it looks quite natty, and it has a really resonant heavy reverb sound.
If/when I make the improvements and add the finishing touches, I'll try to post a video of it in action.
Step 8: A Short Video to Show How It Sounds
I managed to make a short video. I am not a seasoned Dobro or resonator player, so be gentle :)