The Quarryman Guitar - a unique heirloom instrument hand-crafted by Ben Gitty
Here is your opportunity to own an amazing heirloom guitar whose roots go right down into the bedrock bones of the earth. Hand-crafted by Ben "Gitty" Baker, founder of C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply, this instrument features carefully selected reclaimed materials which together weave an intriguing story.
Ben says: "I grew up in Marblehead, Ohio, a rocky peninsula that juts out into Lake Erie. The center of that peninsula is one giant limestone quarry, where for nearly 200 years men have been blasting out the stone, cutting it into blocks for building and crushing down into gravel. On nearby Kelley's Island out in the lake, similar work was done. For many years dynamite was used to blast the stone free, and that dynamite came in beautifully printed wooden boxes and crates. With this build, I seek to honor that legacy of quarrying, and the many men (and some women) who have done the work over the years. That Marblehead limestone has been taken all around the country and all around the world, making cement, building breakwalls, building homes and businesses, and providing the grist for construction of all sorts. This guitar pays tribute to the hard-working people who risk their lives to blast out the bones of the earth that our modern world is built on."
The body of this guitar is formed from an old wooden "Red Diamond" dynamite crate, from Cleveland, Ohio - just the sort that might have been used in those limestone quarries back home. The neck is made from a piece of reclaimed white oak that Ben found in an old stone crusher complex over on Kelley's Island, just a few miles north of Marblehead out in Lake Erie. Those white oak planks were part of the mechanism that controlled the flow of crushed limestone from the storage bins into narrow-gauge railroad hoppers. The black walnut fretboard is from an old fence post Ben's grandpa salvaged from a field on the edge of the quarries (black walnuts once were plentiful around Marblehead). 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: 23 inches
- # strings: 3
- Tuning: G D G
- String Type: Phos. Bronze Wound
- Neck Wood: White Oak (reclaimed), fretboard Black Walnut (reclaimed)
- Tuners: Black Enclosed Gear
- Pickup: "Cap-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."