Thursday, April 7, 2011

Danelectro guitars - Masonite miracles

What can one say about Masonite? First off, it was invented in Mississippi by William Mason in 1924, and unlike other kinds of particle board, it's made entirely of natural ingredients (basically wood chips). If you were to grind it up, pour it into a bowl and add a little milk, it might be as good a breakfast cereal as anything you can buy in your local health food store. I don't suggest you try this at home, however.

The other thing about Masonite, is that most Danelectro guitars use it for their construction. Other materials used for the Danelectro include vinyl as well as that rare, exotic wood found in the outback regions of Home Depot, plywood.

First built in 1954, Danelectros originally cost $69 and could often be purchased at any Sears and Roebuck under the Silvertone brand name.

I own three Danelectros, all reissues, two of which cost less than $240. New, they are around $399 for a six-string and $449 for a 12-string (if you can find one). Also available are baritone and bass models.

When you buy a $3000 Les Paul with a beautifully carved striped maple top, Brazilian mahogany body and neck and rosewood fingerboard, you expect to pay big money. You don't have to worry about that with a Danelectro. Just thank William H. Mason for inventing Masonite which helped Nathan Daniel invent this inexpensive, great sounding guitar.

My '63 Reissue Danelectro (YouTube)
My '56 Reissue Danelectro (YouTube)
Danelectro celebs

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