Rustic Popcorn Popper Electric Diddley Bow Guitar


I found this old popcorn popper; it looked enough like a guitar, so I strung it up. The handle appeared to hold up under the pressure and it kept its tune, so I added some electronics.


I installed a couple of Junk Shop Audio Nd144 pickups in the neck and the bridge; it seemed like overkill for one string, but fewer strings may require rhythm and treble options to keep things interesting; plus, I had never installed two pickups in a build like this. 


I also added two mini switches for selecting the neck pickup, the bridge pickup, or both—this made installing the two pickups completely worthwhile. Plus, I added a quick strap button made from a 1/4 aluminum spacer, a galvanized sealing washer, a stainless bolt, and a lock nut. I’ve used this strap button configuration on other builds and it allows for a variety embellishments, through the use of stainless, brass, or even old, rusty bolts or screws.


The popper itself was well-used, scorched and beaten, so it already had a great, rustic look. I added another strap button on this end.


The handle already had a small eyebolt screwed into the top for hanging, so I placed another eyebolt through the existing eyebolt and fastened it tight with a nut. Then, I installed one of my simple machine tuners (a ground-to-shape thumb screw, 1/2″ steel spacer, and a rod nut) through the top eyebolt. I measured out the scale and installed a brass screw in the handle at 24-3/4″ serve as an adjustable nut.

Stringing it up was a cinch. I drilled a hole just below the lip of the pan and fed the string through the hole and over the lip a couple of times and then fed it through the string loop a couple of times, much like tying off a classical string. The edge of the grate, above the lip of the pan, served as the bridge and the string tightened without incident.

Check out this quick and dirty video:



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