Hand Crafted Guitar From Recycled Wood





Introduction: Hand Crafted Guitar From Recycled Wood

About: I am physicist. I am work a developer. I like to build musical instruments.

Hi everyone. Since my high school years I’ve had an idea to build my 8 string guitar. In 2001 I built my first guitar. It was awful. Some time ago I decided to build a new one. I started with searching for information everywhere, and I found Instructables. But I didn't find any topic about 8 string baritone hence I’m writing my own.

Step 1: Design, Materials and Instruments

I take a big piece of paper and make a drawing at a scale of 1:1. I choose a string length of 685 mm that will result in more overtones in the sound. I want to have 27 frets, that’s why the neck is longer than normal.
Why 27? Simply because it is 3^3, and it looks nice :)

I don't include all the calculations, because it is a simple math, and you should be able to calculate all the dimensions for guitar with any number of strings, just remember:

- leave 4 mm between the string and the edge on both sides of the neck.

- choose different spacings between strings on the bridge and the neck end (10 mm and 7 mm in my case). Materials:

- any hardwood from the trash. Here it is an oak, beech and birch.

- fingerboard - wenge.

- some noname pickups.

- noname bridge and head-machines.


- drill.

- little carpenter’s plain.

- a lot of sandpaper :)

- chisel 6 mm

- clamps and bricks

- small hummer

Step 2: Neck Workpiece

First of all I make a neck. I decided to make a neck through, for longer sound time, and it look nice.
I glue first piece together. Make cut for necks head. This workpiece I cut on axel, put inside birch board, and glue this sandwich.

Step 3: Building Body

For body I take a lot of different pieces of wood, which I collect, glue them together. In that moment I had only 2 short clamps, and can glue only one side of body. For gluing another side I use bricks.
After gluing I cut off excess with drill. Inequality remove with extra large sand paper. After I sand, sand and sand like sand-machine, and made smooth shape. I covered holes with little pieces of wood.

Step 4: Inserting Tossrods

I waited a long time for carbon toss rods delivery. I choose carbon for ultimate sustain.
With chisel I made grooves, and glue with epoxy. I did the same with regular rod, but did not glue it.

Step 5:

For fingerboard I chose wenge. I can buy it in local shop. Hard and tough wood for working.
I had to make my own DIY round-block to shape its profile. I made it with old bicycle rim, 26". My fingerboard have 12" rounding. I, actually, bought one round-block, but it was to thin, my fingerboard too wide for those round-block. In JS I calculate 27 elements of geometric progression root of 12 degrees from 2. I can use fret calculator and had same result. I used piece of metal saw 0.5mm-wide to make grooves for frets.

For hitting frets I use little hummer and piece of wood. And of course, I glue frets.

Level all frets with flat board with sand paper. After that I sand all guitar. First layer of lacquer was flaxseed oil. After 16 days of drying and polymerization I make another 5 layers of lacquer.

Step 6: Finishing

Finally, sanding with ultra thin sand paper (800, 1000, 1500 and 2000) and polish with polishing for cars.
I made electric shielding for pickup niches using copper tape. Connect all and test. I think look nice. And sound pretty nice too.

Step 7: Sound Sample

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    44 Discussions

    looks fantastic, sounds good too
    Are those things called Toss rods or Truss rods?

    1 reply

    Truss rods.
    I will change in text.
    Thank you.

    You should put this in the Reclaimed Contest: https://www.instructables.com/contest/reclaimed2017/

    1 reply

    I can't comment on the Instructable. I can't concentrate! Why is the grass greener on the...

    Is the grass really so green/without editing!?

    2 replies

    Toodays cameras make photos more plesent than it's look in live.
    But, my guitar ln real looks wery nice too :)


    9 months ago

    Well done!

    That looks great, but I'm curious... I've made a few guitars in my life—classics and solid-body.electrics. I've only seen one 7-string guitar, played by an Australian Jazz guitarist, George Golla. I kind-of understood that need, when I heard him play live.

    I'm wondering why there is an actual need for 8 strings. I've seen many double-necked guitars {'Kontragitarren'], which are popular in Bavaria (and, perhaps, Austria) which appear to have a fret-less neck, with (4-6) bass harp-strings above the normal, fretted 6-string guitar keyboard. I'm interested to hear your response.

    Once again, nice design!

    3 replies

    thank you!
    As for me, 8 string gave you more place for imagination :)

    Thank you for your reply.
    I guess I need more 'imagination' in my life.
    I've always struggled with some 'jazz' chords on a 6-string guitar, so an 8-stringer is probably beyond my skills. But then again, there are WAY more than 88 strings on a concert grand piano, true? More CAN be better!
    Thanks again, Katod and congrats on a good job, well done.

    I mean, with this 8-strings guitar, when I take and play, I make up wary interesting things, new melodies, rifts.

    With 8 strings and 27 frets you have huge diapason of timbres of same note. And you can play with this.

    And, of course, I want play on guitar always.

    I have been wanting to build an electric guitar and electric bass guitar for years, but I do not have the money to buy the parts, tools and to get the wood I would like. So I like the idea of using scrap wood that you can find or that you have laying around from other projects.

    Nice build Hope it lasts for many years!

    2 replies

    Just do it man! Never let the lack of ideal materials stop you from building something you love. You can get tuners and pickups for next to nothing on eBay. Scrap wood can be had, or good maple isn’t very costly, makes a great neck. OR, Start with an electric CBG, get a free cigar box at the smoke shop, one 1x2 of maple for a neck, and a piezo pickup- sounds great! Here’s some more inspiration:

    Thank you!
    My pevios project was chiper than that. Actualy, for tossrods I use two steel ankers through all guitar. And it's work

    Just for statistic's sake:

    A Chinese "Duxianqin" has 1 string.

    A Chinese "Erhu" has 2 strings.

    A Chinese "Sanxian" has 3 strings.

    Any range of stringed instruments widely used in the USA have 4 strings, usually.

    A standard flat-top Guitar has 6 strings.

    A Viola-da-gamba has either 6 or 7 strings, depending.

    Your 8-string baritone has (well duh!) 8 strings.

    A Mandolin has 10 strings.

    2 replies

    A Bandura have from 58 to 64 strings :)
    Mark Sandman played on 2 strings bass.
    For statistic's to

    True. However, a Bandura is a variation of a harp, so each string is one note that isn't changed, as opposed to other stringed instruments, where each one-note string can be held to be played higher. Harp-like instruments only play the initial note.

    Stunning piece of work right there!