The "Baker's Friend" Guitar - a unique heirloom instrument hand-crafted by Ben Gitty
Just as A. E. Staley's baking powder worked wondrous transformations in bakers' recipes a century ago, so a hearty measure of artistry transformed an old packing crate into this beautiful heirloom guitar.
Wooden crates were once the mainstay of product packaging in the United States, and box-making factories abounded - many manufacturers even had their own box-making plants. Often these boxes and crates would be printed with branding and product info, making them both beautifully decorative as well as utilitarian. It was from one such crate that this new build was crafted by C. B. Gitty founder Ben "Gitty" Baker.
The body of this guitar is formed from an old wooden A. E. Staley Manufacturing Co. baking power crate, from Baltimore, Maryland - just the sort that would have been used to distribute the product to general stores around the country. The neck is made from a piece of reclaimed American chestnut that was salvaged from a 200-year-old barn in Shapleigh, Maine. The fretboard, box/body, nut and bridge are all crafted from the original crate, with other fine hardware added for decorative and utilitarian purposes.
Together, these deeply storied components form an amazing hand-crafted heirloom instrument that looks just as good hanging on the wall as it sounds when being played.
- Scale Length: 17 inches
- # strings: 3
- Tuning: G D G
- String Type: Silver-wound/nylon
- Neck Wood: American Chestnut
- Tuners: Antiqued Grover Open-gear hand-relic'd by John "Red Dog" McNair
- Pickup: "Disc-o-Tone" Embedded piezo with volume control.
If you are thinking of becoming the owner of this instrument (or are just curious), be sure to read Ben's Builder's Diary where he steps through the process of its creation.
A note from Ben Gitty: "It is hard for me to let any of these instruments I build go. So much time and feeling goes into each one, and the end result is so meaningful to me, that selling one feels somehow sacrilegious. But, I can't hold onto them all and I want to have a reason to keep building them, so I must let one go once in a while. This is not an instrument for a person who wants a shiny, new, perfect guitar. Go to Guitar Center and by a factory-made strat if that's what you want. This is also not an instrument for someone who just wants a cheap, basic cigar box guitar. These are hand-crafted and hand-decorated one-of-a-kind works of art that I pour my heart and soul into, something that I think is truly unique. I build rustic instruments, and by design they are not meant to be perfect, smooth and shiny. I try to build the sorts of instruments that actual hoboes might have built for themselves out on the train tracks. I know there are folks out there who will see the value of that, and who won't balk at the price I have chosen to put on my work. Please, don't buy this instrument if the words above don't resonate with you - I want these instruments to belong to folks who really get it. I know that's not the sort of sales pitch that will win any awards, but I'm OK with that."