Saatara (Made In Mauritius): This was my attempt at a seven string interpretation of Gopichand/Ektara ancient plucked drum instrument thingy from India. Seven strings because then I’d have a full set of major notes (C-D-E-F-G-A-B) to play with. And yes, I do know that the Indian scale is different. Anyway I said ‘attempt,’ because it turned into a disaster- tuning it was impossible as the neck was too weak and would pull every which way. Also, even with the lightest gauge strings the thing was under enormous tension. Luthier I am not. Still it looks interesting and was made out of various junk like packing creates, metal arrow shafts (yes the archery/Robin Hood kind), a fertiliser box (for the membrane of the drum bit) and real mother-of-pearl blouse buttons for the string anchors (bad mistake as they were far too weak.) I did have to buy the tuners though. I’ll probably try it again one day, if I can think of how to execute a better (i.e. competent) design. I named it the ‘saatara’ because ‘saat’ is the Hindi word for seven. Seemed appropriate.
Diddly Bow (Made in Canada): I made this out of the traditional (overpriced) empty cigar box. The tobacconists have long cottoned on to the fact that the boxes are (almost) more valuable than the contents now. The one major mistake I made was making the neck from an old piece of crappy pine furniture. It just wasn’t rigid enough and the tension of the string started to pull on the tuner. Not bad for a first attempt though, if I do say so myself. You can see it at CigarBoxNation too. I later sold it!
Teeny Tiny Coffee Table (Made in Mauritius): I found a broken djembe drum that a neighbour was throwing out and made this. Its actually quite nice and (for a change) something I made that is pretty good. I’m very proud of this, especially since I was so crap at wood-work at school that my teacher once asked me if I’d chewed the wood from a wooden boat I had tried to carve. Hey teacher! You try cutting a perfect circle with a jigsaw. As you can see from the picture, the base is made out of the bottom end of the drum (the rest of the instrument was smashed to bits). The table surface is cut from two circles of packing crate that I glued together. The top sticks tightly to the base by means of a jigsawed circular wooden plug. The top was also sanded, and finally, marine-varnished so that it was Dad-proofed against spills.
The title of this post is a poor attempt at prog rock humour.