The Physics of Music – Stringed Instruments class is now online. Ever wonder why guitars can look identical but sound completely different, or why frets are spaced closer together near the body of a stringed instrument? Watch and find out!

Battery test!

From Drop Box

Last night, Jim brought in his battery discharge tester.  (Have you been reading his blog? He’s got some great projects!) We hooked it up to my Roomba battery to try to see what cells were bad. (My phone didn’t take the best photo in the light near the computer at the space.)  It turns out that the battery had self-discharged enough over the past month since I last had it on the charger that we only got the nominal values for the cells.  This is a really cool project that was completely designed and built by one of our own members. How awesome is that?!

What have you been making?  We’d love to hear about it!

A cigar box guitar – built by the community

Cigar box guitar

The other night I was at Workshop 88 working on some projects.  There was no one else at the space with me, it was just me and some power tools.  One of the projects I was working on was a cigar box guitar, in preparation for the Physics of Music – Stringed Instrument Edition class coming up this week.  I’ve always wanted a cigar box guitar.  Even though I’ve built other stringed instruments, I’ve never really built one of these.  It’s not quite done since it still need a nut, frets and a bridge, but for an hour of fun, I’m pretty pleased with how it is coming along.

When I was cleaning up the space and packing up to go home, I looked at the cigar box guitar, and realized that even though no one from the space was with me when I built it, several people had made significant contributions to help me construct it.

Kevin (who built the t-shirt tank) had told me about the cull bin at Home Depot.  I got the piece of wood which became the neck for under a dollar.

Jay (VP of Workshop 88) told me where to get empty cigar boxes: at a cigar shop.  Duh.  I should have known that.  But, thanks to Jay, I didn’t really have to think too much about it.

Jim (taught the PCB class) found a belt sander that I needed to shape the headstock so the tuners would fit through:

Another member has provided us with a drill press which was used to drill the holes for the tuners, and another member has provided us with a chop saw which I used to cut the neck to the length I wanted.

Could I have built the cigar box guitar at home without all of these resources?  Maybe.  But, it wouldn’t have been as easy or as much fun as it was for me thanks to the community of hackers and makers who are Workshop 88.  That’s what the space is all about.