Picture of Custom Electric Guitar
This is a step by step guide on how I built my Custom Electric Guitar. I designed this guitar for my dad as a Christmas present. This is my first instructable, so go easy on me. This is also the first time I have ever built a guitar, so if you notice something I'm doing wrong please leave a constructive comment. If you have any questions or suggestions, please post them or message me. In my conclusion, I discuss things I would have done differently and things people have suggested to achieve a better end result. You may notice several mistakes in the photos as you read this instructable. Those problems are addressed in the conclusion. 

MANY tools are required to complete this project, but in many cases alternative tool options are available to complete a job. I used a cnc machine I built on this project, however alternative methods can be used to cut out the guitar and parts. I only listed major tools and I'm sure I missed a couple things. The prices are pretty rough and vary depending on the supplier. Most of my parts were ordered off of Warmoth. The stains and such came from StewMac. 

BE SURE TO WEAR YOUR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT WHEN WORKING WITH POWER TOOLS AND PAINTING! I have worked in a lot of different shops, and been both a victim and witness to a few serious shop accidents. If something makes you nervous, you probably shouldn't be doing it. I almost lost my left index finger doing something seemingly straightforward with a drillgun, it was stupid. Don't be stupid. Its hard to make cool stuff or play guitar if you are missing fingers. 

Swamp Ash Blank (14 x 19 x 1.75") ~$90
Pickguard Material w/ Red Tri-layer (12 x 16") ~$10
Warmoth Neck (V-1) 25.5" Scale Length ~$220
Copper Tape
Tracing paper

Tune O Matic Bridge ~$20
Tune O Matic Tailpiece ~$20
Seymour Duncan SH-1 Pickup ~$80
Seymour Duncan SH-5 Pickup ~$80
Gotoh Tuning Machinges x6 (three left, three right) ~$7 ea.
Electrosocket Jack ~12$
Neck and Pickguard Screws 
Push-Pull Potentiometer (500k) ~$10
Potentiometer( 500k) ~$5
LP Switch ~$12
.047 uF Cap ~$1

CNC machine w/ various end-mills
Sandpaper (100, 150, 220)
Wet Sanding paper (800, 1000, 1500)
Foam Polishing Disks (for screw gun)
Drill Press
Screw Gun
Forestner Drill Bits
Soldering Iron
Screwdrivers (phillips and flathead)
Wire Strippers
Helping Hand
Heat Gun
Exacto Knife
Cutting Matt

Polishing Compound (ultimate compound, and scratch x)
Microfiber Cloths
Paper Towels
Alcohol (for staining)
Gloves (for painting)
Ventilator (for painting)

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Thats fabulous

motherprune2 months ago


cobbledbeard2 months ago

This is beautiful.

mousepaper2 months ago

Thats extraordinary...

Thats brilliant

amazedgreen2 months ago

Thats astounding

fastbobble2 months ago

Its impressive

gorgeddamp2 months ago

Its wonderful :)

clearedeager2 months ago

Its interesting :)

illrings3 months ago

Its interesting :)

airbugger3 months ago



headlymph3 months ago


tealrink3 months ago


grousebandit3 months ago

Thats cool

harechubby4 months ago


clapfilk4 months ago


cheshirecorn4 months ago



spongeraffle5 months ago

Thats helpful

workexaminer5 months ago


Danmo Ma6 months ago


sepperson17 months ago
Bad ass
mrmerino10 months ago
That's cooler than a polar bear wearing sunglasses.
Mariska Botha12 months ago
Love this, super cool.
BunnyRoger12 months ago
Very cool indeed!!!
Wow! Nicely done!
MAApleton1 year ago
This really is so so cool!!!!
Great build! I don't know if you are aware of this but you can get bolt/screw extractors. The way they work is you use a small drill (good quality that can drill through steel) to drill a small hole, you then screw in the extractor which cuts into the hole in the bolt anti-clockwise and the bolt comes out as you are screwing the extractor in...I hope that all made sense.
charlieCG (author)  bricabracwizard1 year ago
Thanks! Im going to look into that for sure. Thanks for the tip!

curbowman1 year ago
I'm a luthier, and I have to tell you this: BRAVO! Excellent work, my friend!
charlieCG (author)  curbowman1 year ago
Thank you. I recently finished the pick guard and guitar. Ill be updating this soon with some more pictures.
tonyvelour1 year ago
Question: Why did your bolts snap, and why do you think other people had the same experience? If I want to build out a guitar like this, how could I avoid that problem? Thx, cool guitar!!
charlieCG (author)  tonyvelour1 year ago
I should have drilled the pilot holes slightly larger. The screws would require less torque to sink all the way in. Also, screwing them in by hand for at least the last inch would help prevent putting too much torque on the heads. My screw gun has a clutch, but I didn't set it low enough. Thanks!
hertzgamma1 year ago
I know nothing about guitars, but I like how you made it! It looks like off the shelf, nice work.
friger1 year ago
Nice build, and as far as snapping neck bolts off, been there done that. What I ended up doing was to remove the neck and was fortunate enough to be able to grab the end of the broken screw with a pair of vise grips and back the bolt out of the neck then replace it...after a drilled the hole to the proper dimension.

I'm curious about your CNC machine. What horse power is the router and how thick was your blank. I am just finishing up the body of an ash Stratocaster and I've managed to destroy 2 very expensive Freud router bits and I think one of my routers may have pooped the bed over the job.
charlieCG (author)  friger1 year ago
My router is an old Dewalt. 2.5 horsepower, 25,000 rpm. I like it because its pretty compact, but has got a pretty serious amount of power. I used a swamp ash blank from Warmoth guitar parts which was 1.75 inches thick. I cut with a lot of passes, never went deeper than a quarter inch per pass. I used 2 flute end mills, at about 30 ipm.
JohnnyD771 year ago
"I snapped the heads of the neck bolts"
Ah, I had the same problem when I built my tele, but with just the one screw. Nice looking guitar.
abadfart1 year ago
very nice i have been thinking of building a new guitar and slapping one of these on it
burnok1001 year ago
Very nice !!!...
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