Magazine article Acoustic Guitar

Perfect Match

Magazine article Acoustic Guitar

Perfect Match

Article excerpt

This one-of-a-kind 1937 guitar was made entirely with used matchsticks-14,000 of them painstakingly glued together by the late Jack Hall, a seaman in the Merchant Navy who spent the better part of the 1930s aboard the steamship Eastwick.

Hall began building his matchstick instruments-the first was a fiddle, followed by two mandolins, the guitar (pictured), and a banjo- in response to a challenge made by one of his shipmates. His designs were based on pawnshop instruments he checked out while his ship was in port.

The burnt matches were cut and shaped with a knife, a file, and a straight-edge razor so that they could be carefully glued together (with approximately three pounds of carpenter's glue) with the burnt ends forming decorative diamond-shaped patterns. Matches used for curved portions of the guitar were presoaked and bent, and the glued-together sections were weighted into shape with the aid of flat irons, fire bricks, pans of water, and other improvised tools. …

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