Have you seen the new Hubcap Resonator Cones from C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply? If you’re a maker or tinkerer, these cones will spark your interest. That’s because things like these always get you thinking, “What other everyday items could be re-purposed in innovative ways?”
The new Hubcap Resonator Cones are the product of Ben “Gitty” Baker. Ben was searching for a way to produce unique, affordable, and great-sounding cones to be used in handmade musical instruments, such as cigar box guitars, and stumbled onto this discovery. And it’s a pretty big deal. As Gitty wrote in a recent blog post, “(They’re) a big deal because the idea of re-purposing something (a paint can lid), into something else that makes music, really strikes at the heart of the whole handmade music movement: to take an everyday object, even a cast-off piece of garbage, and give it a voice.” Read the entire post here.
In case you missed it in Gitty’s quote above, the new Hubcap Resonator Cones are spun from paint can lids. And they’re turned right in the C. B. Gitty workshop in Rochester, New Hampshire. Using an old, homemade lathe inherited from his grandfather, Gitty and the shop technical genius Jeff Rich began the cone-spinning process using aluminum disks. But something about using the aluminum disks didn’t sit right with Gitty. Other makers had used them before, and Gitty was looking for something new. Something more in-line with the clever resourcefulness that is the foundation of the cigar box guitar community.
After some reflective moments, a light snapped on for Gitty. Off in a flash, he went to a corner of the workshop to find some paint can lids. With just a bit of doin’, Gitty and Jeff clamped one of those paint can lids to the lathe and got to work. In Gitty’s words, “As that metal began to smoothly shape itself to the form under Jeff’s steady hand, I had (a) EUREKA moment. That moment when in your mind you realize ‘holy crap, this is actually going to work.'” Of course, some adjustments were made to the form and to the lathe. Even so, Gitty’s “eureka” moment turned out to be an exciting innovation: paint can lids spun in-house to make resonator cones. And since those cones looked an awful lot like classic automobile hubcaps, the new product had practically named itself; The Hubcap Resonator Cone.
Not only to the new cones have a great origin story (about which you can read here) and a terrific, classic look, they also sound fantastic. Check out King of Cigar Box Guitars Shane Speal, giving a demonstration of a Hubcap Resonator Cone he installed in a new cigar box guitar.
As you can see, with a little time and a whole lot of curiosity, there’s plenty of innovations to be discovered using everyday items. It just takes some experimentation. To see and hear more about these new cones, make certain to…