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Meet the man who can make guitars out of literally anything, from shovels to bottles of Mountain Dew

Shane Speal
(Image credit: Jennifer Diehl)

Copper pipes, shovels...no, this isn't the shopping list of a nimble-fingered handyman who's just popped down to their local DIY shop; these are the objects that Shane Speal makes guitars out of.

As a matter of fact, Speal, who specialises in making cigar box guitars (he's even written a book about it), can make guitars out of literally anything. He's even been dubbed the "world's foremost master of the cigar box guitar".

For those unfamiliar with cigar box guitars, it's a simple chordophone that uses an empty cigar box as a resonator. Some of its earliest models had only one or two strings, while modern types usually have three or more. Clearly, Speal has taken this DIY philosophy and run amuck, but we're pretty gobsmacked at what he's been able to create.

In a video, Speal lists a wide array of objects he's used for his projects, including everything from boat oars to plastic from bottles of Mountain Dew. There's even one that looks closer to something of a violin made entirely out of matchsticks, which, as he explains, is a little too delicate to play. 

His other models, though, are in perfect working order, as he demonstrates within the clip. Speal is so confident of his unique talent that he even challenges his viewers to name the next object that he should use to create a guitar out of. 

As well as making his own instruments and being a spearhead for the modern resurgence of cigar box guitars, Speal fronts the Snake Oil Band, who all play on homemade instruments. 

In addition to performing and composing on cigar box guitars, Speal also opened the first permanent Cigar Box Guitar Museum in New Alexandria PA.  He additionally uploads lessons on how to play cigar box guitar over on his YouTube page.

Check out the video below and be sure to check out his Instagram account for more models:

A post shared by Shane Speal (@cigarboxguitar) (opens in new tab)

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Liz Scarlett
Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music. '10 bands that rip off Black Sabbath but get away with it' is her favourite article she's written with Louder so far. When not writing, Liz enjoys various creative endeavours such as graphic design, as well as reading about rock’n’roll history, art and magic.