Instructables

Conker-X is learning the guitar.  He's quite motivated because we have told him that he can have an electric guitar, but only when his guitar teacher tells us he's good enough for one.

The guitar he's learning on is fourth-hand, and was getting quite tatty.  Add to that a UK DIY chain going bust, and their local branch selling off their spray paint at 80p a can, and the result is what you see above.  As a bonus, I managed to get it tuned and ready to play for the morning of his birthday (the date of publishing).

We made mistakes on the way.  If you want to skip the mistakes, and simply find what we did right, then skip straight to step 5.

Please.
 
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Step 1: Materials


Aside from the guitar, we used:

Sanding materials, both hand and powered (coarse, medium and fine)
Masking tape (wide and narrow)
Old newspaper
Various paint aerosols.  The final colours we used were "Hammered Metal", "Chalkboard Black" and "Gold Glitter".
Clear spray lacquer.


Step 2: Preparation, the wrong way.

The first thing we did was unstring the guitar

I have no idea why, but we did not completely remove the strings.  We just wrapped them in paper and tape, and left the bottom end strung in.  This was bad, and ruined the strings.  The glue of the masking tape did something funny to the strings, and they went all gummy.

We knew the paint needed a "key" to stick properly, so we cleaned the guitar with a damp cloth, dried it, and went over it lightly with a detailing sander.  This was also a mistake.  Read on to find out why.
The Jamalam3 years ago
That's a classical guitar, not an acoustic. ;-)

Anyway, this is a comprehensive and well made instructable. I've been thinking of doing this to one of my own for a long time - I will need wood filler as well, as it's covered in scratches. Not sure what that will do to the sound, but I'll give it a try.
Kiteman (author)  The Jamalam3 years ago
What's the difference between a classical guitar and an acoustic, then?
A classical, or spanish guitar, is generally smaller and thicker in the neck than an acoustic guitar. They tend to have open-geared headstocks and different bridges. Acoustic guitars often contain a solid headstock, truss rod, larger sound hole, deeper body and a thinner neck. Wikipedia describes these differences quite nicely. They don't look all that different; the main difference is how they are played (completely differently). But it's easy to tell id you know what you're looking for.
Kiteman (author)  The Jamalam3 years ago
OK.

Bjarke Kiteman1 year ago
But both an "acoustic" and an classical are both acoustic guitars.
Acoustic sort of means non electric, but is commonly asociated with dreadnought guitars.
plus, most clasical guitars have nylon strings
Kiteman (author)  freeza362 years ago
This one had 3 of each when we started.
the bass strings on a classical are steel wrapped nylon, and the treble are nylon. I am taking an old classical guitar and converting it into a resenator guitar very soon. I plan to use the instrctable below as a guide.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Resonator-guitar-converted-from-old-acoustic-guita/
mdog933 years ago
Which chain has gone bust?? are they still having sales, I'll go down and buy some stuff
Kiteman (author)  mdog933 years ago
It was Focus - too late now, they're all shut down.
rimar20003 years ago
Congrat, Kiteman, good work. Especially thanks for sharing the mistakes, that is very useful for us.

And be glad, your son is cuter than you!
Kiteman (author)  rimar20003 years ago
I regularly worry about the day he discovers that girls are not icky - he's going to be spoiled for choice.
I understand you! Beware!
sunshiine3 years ago
He looks like he is enjoying himself so much! My son has custom built several guitars. It is his love! He plans to be a guitar builder some day. You made it shine there kiteman! Thanks for sharing.
Sunshiine
Kiteman (author)  sunshiine3 years ago
Thank you.
colorex3 years ago
I built my own classical guitar back when I was 6-7 years old, with the help of a school teacher. I studied in the only school in my province that had carpentry classes.
Anyway I now have bought (with my sweat and tears) my own electric guitar, I'm still in learning mode, however I have nailed this song.
Remember, an electric guitar is only a guitar with a speaker... You'll need an effects pedal for it to sound "great"...
Oh, and some friend of mine painted their guitar black with polyurethane paint gloss finish. They had the silvery glitter added to the paint. Oh, and they painted with a professional airbrush/compressor. (they repair/repaint fridges and gas stoves)
Kiteman (author)  colorex3 years ago
Cool.
colorex Kiteman3 years ago
Short reply to a long comment! LOL
Kiteman (author)  colorex3 years ago
:-)
Kozz3 years ago
Excellent work on the photos and write-up, Kiteman. And I appreciate that you've included your mistakes as well -- they can be doubly instructive for all readers. We learn even more from our mistakes then our successes, no?

(note: some of the photo caption boxes have oddly spilled beyond the borders of the images themselves, preventing me from clicking subsequent photos; checked it in both Chrome and FF. I wonder if they can be fixed, or if it's a bug?)

Happy Birthday, Conker-X!
Kiteman (author)  Kozz3 years ago
Thanks - See what you mean about the boxes. That's not where I drew them. Should be fixed now (if it's not, then it's a bug).
PKM3 years ago
I drew patterns on my electric in UV security pen- they'd look great at his first gig :P

There's always the classic steampunk stratocaster, if you feel like doing some metal etching.
Kiteman (author)  PKM3 years ago
He has his eye on a particular metallic-grey angular thing (he held it in the shop, and it suits him), but he has seen a steampunk "flying V", and fancies a go at that.
Nice one it looks good :-)
Happy birthday Conker-X I look forward to seeing the laser engraved electric guitar one day :-)
Kiteman (author)  Nostalgic Guy3 years ago
If I win the laser cutter (with any of my entries), I promise that I will use it to make an electric guitar of some description.