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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Sensational looking...!!

Raduken2 months ago

Duuuuuuuuuuuuude that guitar is so sweet I would definetly buy it if you sold it. Does it sound good?

Nice job!

thermallyme2 months ago

Thats incredible

zkamauf4 months ago
hey will the guitar work with just one pickup and a amp plug in spot
bulldawg137 months ago
Could I do this without a CNC mill and just do it with a router

Hey! My friend asked me to paint this type of rainbow design on his SG electric guitar. I have not done this before,I've only drawn on my brother's guitar. I know that I should prep the guitar body before painting with a primer and such,I don't have the best materials to work with but I saw that you could use acrylic paint on the guitar. I just want to know if the paint would be able to stick to the primer,and if a normal wood varnish would work,because I think the varnish would 'eat' the paint. Can you also please give me a few pointers to help me? I know I can do this,I just need to prepare the guitar in the right way,thanks!

Does the guitar body you are painting already have a finish or is it raw wood?

If you are using raw wood, you usually want to start with a grain filler to make sure the finished product comes out glossy smooth. On this build, I used swamp ash, which usually needs to be grain filled. However, I skipped grain filling because the players preference was to see the grain through the finish (which is unusual). Some species of wood don't need grain filling, because the grain is much smoother. Like maple, for instance.

After grain filling there are several options for finishing depending on the look you are going for. But most guitar finishes are lacquer. The one I used I bought clear and dyed transparent cherry red with a bit of transparent mahogany.

Since you want to paint a design onto the guitar the process is a bit different. I would say paint your design on after grain filling (If necessary). Then, clear coating over it with Instrument Lacquer. This would allow you to wet sand and polish your design, which would give it a glossy professional look. You can also make sharpie designs or distressing(scuff marks) permanent this way.

Hope that answers your question?


Thats fabulous


This is beautiful.

mousepaper1 year ago

Thats extraordinary...

Thats brilliant

Thats astounding

fastbobble1 year ago

Its impressive

gorgeddamp1 year ago

Its wonderful :)

Its interesting :)

illrings1 year ago

Its interesting :)

airbugger1 year ago



headlymph1 year ago


tealrink1 year ago


Thats cool

harechubby1 year ago


clapfilk1 year ago




Thats helpful


Danmo Ma1 year ago


sepperson11 year ago
Bad ass
mrmerino1 year ago
That's cooler than a polar bear wearing sunglasses.
Love this, super cool.
BunnyRoger1 year ago
Very cool indeed!!!
Wow! Nicely done!
MAApleton2 years 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)  bricabracwizard2 years ago
Thanks! Im going to look into that for sure. Thanks for the tip!

curbowman2 years ago
I'm a luthier, and I have to tell you this: BRAVO! Excellent work, my friend!
charlieCG (author)  curbowman2 years ago
Thank you. I recently finished the pick guard and guitar. Ill be updating this soon with some more pictures.
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