The Green Machine’s small size, light weight and highly-sculpted space age stylings make it perfect for intergalactic travel, or any other travel for that matter. This one uses an uncommon wood for the back – cypress. I chose this for its light weight and its ability to be easily sculpted. This was matched with a hard maple top and chambered out a bit to give it a warmer, more open tone. You may expect something like this to have lots of switches and knobs, but this guitar is stripped down to the essentials. The single DiMarzio X2N pickup really turns this one into a rock monster and a variety of sounds can be had by adjusting the volume and tone controls as well as the pickup phase switch.
This little guy was lent to an experimental musician who played it with drum sticks. It took alot of abuse and is back in my possession and is being offered for sale as a used instrument.
Barry began his life quite confused.
He was born as a ten-string electric guitar, the strings in courses, like a twelve-string.
He liked the fact that he was unusual, but found himself wandering around the studio, wondering why no one would play with him.
People gawked and pointed at him, some even laughed. Musicians were intimidated by him.”How can I play my favorite riffs?” they cried.
The point with Barry was to make something familiar, yet alien. Some OZMA instruments are created as a songwriting tool rather than a conventional instrument. Play for an hour on an oddly- tuned, multi-stringed guitar and you’re bound to come up with some new ideas to freshen up your own playing.
But let’s get back to the story of Barry.
One day a baritone Warmoth guitar neck walked into the studio. Barry took notice to her lovely dark wenge exterior. Exotic, natural and smooth. “The perfect mate for me!” Barry exclaimed.
They courted for several months and were united. A perfect match!
Since things were going so well for the happy couple, Barry and his new partner decided to splurge a little and get some nice new things. A Hallmark bridge and vibrato unit styled after some Mosrite classics were added, as well as some vintage pickups. The bridge position pickup is a late ’70’s high output Bill Lawrence designed for bass guitar and the neck position pickup is a ’70’s Mighty Mite clone of DiMarzio’s “Super Distortion.” It really let’s them shout out to the world about their deep and beefy love.
UPDATE: R.I.P.- Barry. He was fantastic, but no one wanted to take him home. As a result, he was taken apart again and turned into a different Baritone guitar for my pal Will and I used the body to finally construct a guitar for myself. Those entries will be posted soon- and probably tagged onto this post. It’s fun to see the evolution of different instruments.
Remember- All of the instruments I post are for sale. Act fast before they turn into something else!
Conversion instruments are fun for me and the sky is the limit when it comes to these. I had my wild, hippie musician friend Jim Lingo in mind when I created this one.
Jim, a member of the local band Centipede E’est, likes nature and polyester fashion, so I stretched a ‘70’s polyester bird print shirt over the reshaped body and neck and encased it all in epoxy resin.
I created a new pick guard from a sheet of Plexiglas and fixed another piece of the polyester bird fabric to the underside of it to continue the bird theme.
Not everything went as planned — after all this was an experiment. Any space that had a seam or wrinkle in it was covered with bird photos from a used nature guidebook and covered in a another layer of resin. This guitar turned out much weirder and wilder than I expected.
Birds of Paradise is being offered up to Jim first, but if he lets this one fly away – catch it!
Jim has taken this lovely beast home and plans to unleash the birds for the first time this coming Saturday night.
The Hellablaster is for sale. Contact me for more information.
You may recognize The Hellablaster. I borrowed the shape from the ever-popular Fender Telecaster©, but decided to elongate it and add curves where they’re needed. Telecasters are cool, but oh so boxy. There’s just something so unsexy about its squared-off plank of a body. The Hellablaster takes on a cartoonish form, losing all of those hard edges and extra weight.
The body is constructed from the sides of a gigantic vintage radio console. First, I cut the shape into halves, hollowed them out except for a space under the bridge, then rejoined them to create a warm, open sound. Don’t worry about the mostly-hollow body being flimsy – there’s a purpleheart support beam that runs from the neck pocket to underneath the bridge.
Another notable feature of this guitar is the pickups and wiring. Hidden under the aluminum pickguard is a full-sized humbucking pickup, an experiment which involved combining coils and magnets from old pickups. The bridge position features a dual coil Telecaster pickup. There’s no pickup selector switch, but a volume control for each pickup (the bridge pickup also has a tone control). Lots of strange phasing and tonal shaping happens by adjusting the knobs a bit, similar to Fender Jazz Bass controls.
The 21-fret maple neck with brass nut and vintage Gotoh tuning machines was purchased in a raw state from another luthier and shaped by me. Everything from the sting of a Telecaster single coil to the thick wooly roar of a vintage humbucker can be had here.
I’ve been busy in the OZMA factory pumping out some new instruments for April’s GA/GI Festival, all handcrafted from a rainbow of reclaimed woods. This is quite a diverse group of instruments and each one-of-a-kind piece has been constructed with an assortment of materials.
I’m a collector, and one of the things I love to collect is wood. It might be the shape or color that inspires me to take it home and turn it into something else. Purchasing an antique dining table at a junk shop, I imagined a handful of unique, multi-layered guitar bodies like the Alembic and Moonstone guitars I drooled over as a teenager. A local church was torn down and its walnut planks ended up in a salvage yard. I bought as much as I could since it was well over 100 years old and rang like a bell when struck. Somewhere in the OZMA studio is a wooden wine box from Paris which will most likely end up in an instrument with a French theme, mimes and all.
I collect other things too. When I purchased a polyester jacket with a photographic print of birds I thought, “this would make the wildest guitar covering.” A 1950’s cafeteria tray made the perfect control panel for another instrument. I used a piece of horn from a deer that was shot in Salamanca, New York by my grandfather in the 1940’s, fashioning it into an adjustable bridge. Cast-off knobs and parts from antique machines are rescued by me from the junk pile and given new life as functional art.
Here’s a sneak peek of Wooden Rainbow. Each guitar is available for purchase until marked on the page. For more information, please contact jeffschreckengost [at] gmail [dot] com.
I just finished this one up for an old friend who I haven’t seen in well over a decade. It’ll be great to see him and reconnect when I deliver this awesome creation. I think he’ll be pleased.
Here’s a few shots before the final polish- more photos to follow
A while ago a friend of mine contacted me and asked me to build a guitar for her husband for his birthday.
Bam! Here it is! #12 is a semi-hollow walnut bodied monster that sounds like a chorus of angels- it should since the body wood was salvaged from a local church. The tremolo is from the 1960’s, but left unused until now and also includes a string trough body option. Just send a few strings through the trem and the rest through the body and it acts as a fake B bender giving some nice pedal steel sounds.
I really need to get into the swing of taking progress photos! There are alot of unusual things about this instrument and wish i had captured them as they were happening. One of the really cool things was how the body was constructed- it was done in two halves and joined together after they were hollowed out.
I had a blast making this one and the new owner is having a blast with it.
Happy Birthday Dave!