Making Poor Man's Guitars:  Exclusive Signed 1st Edition Direct from the Author

Many books have been written about how to build cigar box guitars and other unique hand-made instruments... but few have touched on why.  Making Poor Man's Guitars  presents the authentic stories of American DIY music with step-by-step projects, photo studies of antique instruments, interviews with music legends, and historical accounts. 

EXCLUSIVE: Autographed by Shane Speal. Preorder also includes an autographed photo, sticker and Shane Speal Fan Club button.


Cool Things: Simple Awesomeness Daily...

Old Love, New Songs

Why do we write love songs only about young love?  Why is it always about the "first kiss," "first glance," etc etc?  To me, the stories of old love are more interesting. 

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Working in the shop today

I love being in my woodshop.  It doesn't matter what I'm building, just as long as I can go out there, slowly clean an area up and then make something cool.  

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Blue Man Group Debuts New & Freakish Instruments

If there was truly a modern version of jug band, Blue Man Group would be the Metallica of the genre.  Along with other theater acts, Recycled Percussion and Stomp!, the three guys with blues heads are creating contemporary tribal music performed on wildly creative homemade instruments.

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FIVE COOL THINGS - Macro lens meets old cigar box guitar

SEVERAL YEARS AGO, MY WIFE MELISSA GAVE ME a cheap clip-on camera lens for my iPhone.  It had two settings: Fisheye and Macro.  The Macro lens allowed me to do some extremely close-up photography experiments.  One of my favorites was a study of my beat-to-hell macanudo cigar box guitar.  Here are five glimpses of an old friend.

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FIVE COOL THINGS - Department Store Guitars

I JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND GUYS WHO COLLECT HIGH-DOLLAR BOUTIQUE GUITARS.  All my life, I've been fascinated by the cheap, bizarre and downright weird guitars that were sold in department stores in the 1950's and 60's.  I've owned dozens and…

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Not all legends are written books. Sometimes they're written inside the instruments that people make. Making Poor Man's Guitars digs deep into the past to find the music that connects with the living soul of America.”

— Fox Chapel Publishing

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Sample photos from the book...

About the Book