The One-Way Ticket - a unique heirloom guitar hand-crafted by Ben "Gitty" Baker
There's nothing like a cluttered junk shop to set the handmade instrument builder's imagination to fizzing. For me recently, that inspiration came in the aisle of an antique/junk/hardware store in Farmington, New Hampshire. The battered old steamer trunk sat there forlornly, its traveling days seemingly over. The hardware was rusty, the bottom slats were rotted away... but I knew deep down that it had a whole new journey to undertake...
The guitar built from that old steamer trunk is like nothing else I have ever built. This build fought me every step of the way, but the result is an amazingly distinctive acoustic guitar that has a beautifully warm and rich tone, and a vintage look that just can't be faked. This is a true heirloom instrument, one that tells a story... a story of travels by sea and by rail, of foreign ports of call and crowded railway stations, of a different time and a very different world.
My hope is that the very special person who buys this guitar does so to play it, but I understand that it has just as much appeal as a piece of wall art as it does as a playable musical instrument. It is hard to sell something like this - it's almost like letting a child go. In fact, I won't be sad at all if it never sells.
- Scale Length: 25 inches
- # strings: 6
- Tuning: EADGBE
- String Type: Extra Light Acoustic (Phos. Bronze)
- Neck Wood: Mixed
- Tuners: Antiqued Gold Covered-Gear
- Pickup: Disc-o-Tone Embedded Piezo with Volume Control
See Ben's Builder's Diary for this amazing instrument here, where he walks 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 - this one especially. 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."