Student creates unique guitars out of hubcaps

A lifelong music fan from Shrewsbury, has turned his passion for music into a unique hobby.

Mike Evans, 27, is currently studying a Foundation Degree in Electrical Engineering at Shrewsbury College, but alongside his busy life at college and his part-time job, he makes and sells custom built guitars out of hubcaps.

“I’ve always loved music, in particular the blues, and I previously studied Music at college.” Explained Mike. “As a fan of music I was aware that home-made instruments were quite popular, and American Blues singer Seasick Steve, has his own version of a hubcap guitar – with a broomstick for a neck. So in early 2014 I decided to try my hand at making my own custom built slide guitar using old Morris Minor hubcaps.

“I wanted to take the guitars one step further and build from scratch, good quality necks. With help from my uncle, who is a carpenter, and my dad, who owns a lot of the tools required, I slowly learnt the skills it took to build quality instruments. “

Mike produces a wide collection of slide guitars using various hubcap brands like Morris, Riley and Wolseley. Combinations of different necks, pickups and other hardware are used to make every guitar as unique as possible.

Friends and family members were so impressed with both the look and raw tone of his prototypes, he soon started receiving order requests.

“With some help from a friend I set up my own website and I’ve received quite a bit of interest. I’ve sold around 50 guitars in the last year or so, and currently have more guitars on order.”

Mike has sold guitars across the world, as far as America and Australia and has received an abundance of great reviews, with people describing the guitars as “masterly crafted instruments”, “a work of art” and one customers describing it is “a joy to own one of these hand-crafted guitars!”

“My philosophy is to combine the rustic feel reflected in the retro hubcaps used for the body and raw tone of the guitar, with a sleek and polished finish that adds a touch of class.

“Although I really enjoy building the guitars - and can now make one in three to four hours, I hope to keep this as a hobby rather than a full-time career. I really enjoy the technical work, which is why I decided to return to college to do a Higher Education course.

“The foundation degree has given me the chance to build on my knowledge and I’ve pick up a lot of new skills. We’re currently working on a project where we’ve been given the chance to choose our own brief, so I’ve chosen to build a proper electric guitar.

“I’m keeping my options open for the future, but I’m hoping this course will enable me to gain a career that combines my skills and my passions.”

Electrical Engineering tutor, John Watts, said: “He has a very impressive natural talent. His hubcap guitars are brilliant!

“The nature of this foundation degree is that students are given more freedom and more challenges, so the current project Mike is working on, gives him the perfect opportunity to work on something which he really enjoys.

“As a first year student, Mike has set the standard with his determination and hard work.”

For more information about Mike’s hubcap guitars, you can visit his ‘Hubcap Slide Guitars’ website - 

For more information about Higher Education courses at Shrewsbury College, please call 01743 342411, or you can follow the college on Facebook: /shrewsburycollege Twitter: @shrewsburycol and Instagram: shrewsbury_college

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