Charles Atchison

Infrequent Newsletter

All of the instruments played in this video were created using mostly repurposed materials. 


Let me say it was vastly easier to build and record these than it was to make a video showing me playing each one...

Anything you can play, I can play with only 3 strings ;) and I'll show you how as well and for free.

I use a non conventional tuning (DGD) that I believe makes transcribing classic rock songs a piece of cake. 

Click here for my free tutorials and let me know if you have any questions.


I've been a magician longer than I have been a folk artisan, and I am a member of The International Brotherhood of Magicians


There have been occasions when I've combined the two arts...


Charles Atchison Magician Haunted Instrument Justin Johnson
2022 Baritone Baromitar Haunted Instrument by Charles Atchison
Charles Atchison The Folk Art Instrument Builders Reference

I built this custom baritone 27” scale, lap steel guitar for Justin Johnson using a 100 year old barometer, and a neck from an old, Johnson brand guitar. I added added a new fretboard, used red and white fret position markers to give the feeling of mercury rising up the neck.

I also developed a new method for semi-mounted repositional pickups. Basically, this pickup can be moved, even during play, to any point under the strings, between the neck and the bridge position.

The floating bridge sits atop the metal face plate, above a big hollow cavity, which served in making this a resonator/dobro style guitar and adds to its deep, haunted, tone. This instrument by far took the most thought, planning, consideration, and focus than any other instrument I’ve ever built. Unfortunately, there are other features and hidden gems that I just can’t describe here because a good magician never reveals their secrets.

The sound is out of this world and Justin utilizes the space behind the bridge and tailpiece to add some insanely cool vibrato/pitch changes using his hand.

Learn more about Justin at

How to build a cigar box guitar and many other folk instruments

The Folk Art Instrument Builders Reference, written nearly a decade ago, is now available in many local libraries.

It provides a brief history of this style of instrument building, which began in the mid 1800's, and then guides you through building your very own instruments, and many other, fully functional instruments.

Also available online @ Amazon, Walmart, and Target. 

If you would like a signed copy click here:
The Folk Art Instrument Builders Reference

In addition to building instruments and folk art, I also collect and sell authentic vintage cigar box instruments, memorabilia and ephemera ranging from books, postcards, records, cigar boxes, cups, plates and more.
Check my online Store​ to see what is currently available.