A Luddite Family Reuinion

It’s not often that a Specimen returns from the wild to it’s place of origin, but today the 3 string Halfling Luddite popped in for some refreshing TLC/R&R.  It was a unique opportunity to get some of the Luddites together for a family photo.

The Original Luddite is a modern manifestation of the 1920s parlor guitar. All join the body at the twelfth fret and have no cutaways.
It’s a joy fleshing out various models to meet the need of differing styles and formats. With the Luddite’s sublime silhouette and simplicity, the manifestations are endless.



Esquire – “Reverse Three Way” circuit

Three wonderful and intuitive presets present a functional package for the modern Esquire player


  1. (Switch Towards Neck) Pickup straight to 1/4 output- most direct
  2. (Switch in Middle position) Pickup through Volume Pot to 1/4 output- no frills
  3. (Switch Away From Neck) Pickup through Volume and Tone Pots- Standard Circuit Path

5E3 Deluxe Line Out and Dummy Load Modification

Exploit all the glorious tone of your 5E3 Deluxe without blowing out your eardrums! In short: If you want to blast your amp at full volume into a recording device without ruining your output transformer, or angering your neighbors, then this is the mod for you!

This simple modification for the stock 5E3 Deluxe amplifier replaces the original 2 output jack circuit (1/4 SPK and 1/4 EXT SPK) with another that adds a 1/4″ Line Level Out and an 8Ω dummy load.

The Line Out mod allows you to use the amplifier as a pre-amp for another amplifier, or to run a line level out to safely send the amplified signal directly into a recording device without damaging it.

The addition of the default 8Ω dummy load shunted from the SPK output jack allows the amp to run safely if/when the speaker is unplugged, vs under loading the output transformer and frying it.


An electric Harp Guitar takes shape


Just in time for spring, twining vines creep up the neck of this electric harp guitar. In the lower picture the lacquer is buffed out and the electronics are being installed.


Blank Canvas on an Autumn morning

I just happened to have made a Luddite neck blank with an extra long headstock graft. I then just happened to have a remnant of an ebony side set that was the same length as my long graft. I thought to myself “Why not?” I used this as the head plate. So here we have an extra long Luddite headstock slotted and ready to go. I am brewing up a number of possibilities for the project. Hmmmmmm…….


Specimen Repair Journal – Rickenbacker 208

On the repair bench is a Rickenbacker 208 double neck steel guitar, produced in the post-war era. An antique coveted for the sound of its pickups. The History page of the Rickenbacker website states that in the 1930’s and ’40s Sol Hoopii and Dick McIntyre, two popular Hawaiian steel guitarists, played Rickenbackers on influential recordings.




Joining a Buckeye burl body cap

Roughing out the book matched stack with a power edge sander

Behold the beautiful alignment of the burls outer skin

Using a shooting block to further tame and square the edges

Using the slab for the final truing against a fence

Using two fences clamped down tight with wedge clamp blocks to put the squeeze on. A center weight and two clamps keep the seam flush

Rorschach imagery of the finest kind

Locating the splendor of the buckeye burl within the silhouette of the translucent body template


Joining flame maple top plates

After Running the top plates through the jointer with one side reversed we have a truly matching joint but one with a little tear out that would leave pits.

By elevating the top plate and running a square shooting block along the edges we can get under the tear out.

Using yellow wood glue, wax paper, and tapered wedge clamps a perfect joint is achieved.

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