The Mili-Tele

This was my #1.   I've never been a finesse player, and I wanted to build myself a guitar that I could beat up, so I built something rugged.  The military theme for this one sprung from the desire to honor my family and friends who have served or are still serving, and there are some very special pieces tied to this guitar.

The strap is made from a general purpose Army strap from 1945, and it still has the year and location of manufacture stamped on it.  It was made by Ackerman Canvas MFG in Topeka, KS.  It's pretty cool to think about the history behind the strap and how, here in the middle of no where in the midwest, we were doing our part to support the war effort.  The CID patch on the strap represents my grandfather who was in WWII and Korea, and the Big Red 1 is from one of my closest friends who is currently a Lt. Col in the Army.  He comes from a long line of military men with his father retiring as Lt. Col, and his grandfather retiring as Col.  He also gifted me with something extraordinarily special.  The crossed cannons insignia on the headstock was his grandfather's from WWII, and I considered it a great honor that he would give it to me for this project.

The body wood is from an old church that was recently relocated to a territorial plaza in the small town where I live.  Payne County Oklahoma is where the state started with the Land Run of 1889, and so there are some very old buildings still around.  One of which is the church from which this wood was taken. This isn't wood from the original structure, but from a later addition that was removed when the building was relocated.

I made the control plate, neck plate, and jack plate from a .50 cal ammo box, and after these pics were taken, I fashioned control knobs out of .50 cal shells.

Here are the specs:

  • 25.5" scale
  • Pine body
  • Hand-carved cherry neck with walnut fret board
  • Hand-made strap
  • Hand-made hardware


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