Introduction: Oil Can Guitar

Picture of Oil Can Guitar

I decide to do this project when i first saw people doing them in Africa just for something to play around with. i also saw you could buy them so went to see how much they were which came up to be about £150 to £300 plus as there pretty unique.

Now me being a poor apprentice engineer who had just finished school like a year ago i decided to make my own one and was able to at a 5th of the price.

Step 1: Collecting Parts

Picture of Collecting Parts

I built the guitar around a donor guitar which i got for free and a 1 gallon/ 5 litre oil can which i got from a mate i new at college.

The individual parts needed are stated bellow...

  • A 1 gallon oil can
  • A guitar neck with six machine heads - doesn't matter what kind, i choose a fender stratocaster copy so i could make it look like one.
  • 50mm (2") square wooden block - this goes straight through the guitar which the neck and everthing else is screwed onto to prevent any bending and it coming out of tune.
  • 25mm (1") thick wooden bored cut to fit can - this is what the can screws on to which is screwed onto the can.
  • insilation tap and foam - this will be used to insulate the can from the circuit
  • fender style bridge - I choose the standard series with a whammy bar attachment
  • 3 pick ups
  • 5 way fender switch - this is used to change between pick ups to make a variety of sounds without having to touch the amp.
  • 3 potentiometers - these alter the voltage passing through which intern alters the sound made - i had one for volume and two for tone like a standard fender stat.
  • 1 auto jack

  • 1 2A473J capacitor
  • some wires - i used several different colors on mine to make it easier when it came to construction.

Step 2: The Can

Picture of The Can

I started by playing around with the oil can by cutting it out to suit an old scratch plate which i used as my template.

Step 3: The Wood Work

Picture of The Wood Work

i now started playing with the inside of the can which i used some piece of wood which i had in the shed.

The board i wanted to fix the can to and also all the electrics with the bridge.

I then used a router to mill the boarded to slot everything into.

I then fixed the board to the wooden block which i then intern fixed the neck to using four heavy duty screws.

Step 4: Electrics

Picture of Electrics

I then began working on the electronic of the guitar, unfortunately i haven't got many photos of this but i used the circuit diagram from another guitar which is off a genuine fender strat.

circuit diagram found on site bellow...

Step 5: First Assembly

Picture of First Assembly

Once i had got the main parts done i was able to assemble the guitat for the first time to get a feel, see if it worked and if it sounds ok which i was then able to disassemble it then paint it

Step 6: Finishing Toaches

Picture of Finishing Toaches

I then painted the can with the classic red which fenders are known for then modified the scratch plate and added a scrap and a set of stings.

The guitar of course has its own unique theme with regards to sound with a kind of tiny affect which makes it great for western or rock and roll. but it does work well with other guitars in a group while turning a few heads in the process =D.

If you have any questions about or anything to do with it just leave a comment and il try and help the best i can.

Step 7: Audio

Here is some audio of the guitar

I just did a few basic things as i'm not that experience with playing guitar.

hope it sounds ok =D


FlavioM2 (author)2016-06-29

can you post some audio? I'm very curious...

James B warren (author)FlavioM22016-07-03

Just added some audio, see what you think

FlavioM2 (author)James B warren2016-07-03

The file seems to be corrupted... I have downloaded it two times to no good...
If you feel comfortable , it's better to upload to youtube or other video service and put the link here. It will also save bandwith for instructables site.
Even more curious now :)

James B warren (author)FlavioM22016-07-01

will do mate, i'm away at the moment so il try and get some on by sunday

lappalainen (author)2016-06-30

Well done, as FlavioM2 curious about sound...

Just added some audio, see what you think

will do mate, i'm away at the moment so il try and get some on by sunday

Kentironman (author)2016-07-01

Looks cool James, nice job

Cheers mate =D

gilbequick (author)2016-06-29

Looks great!

Will you post a picture of the top (bottom) of the oil can from the neck side of the guitar? I'd like to see how you finished that part


James B warren made it! (author)gilbequick2016-07-01

here you go

the bottom is the top of the can so i could use the lid for the auto jack and the top is a piece of plate made to fit (ish) =)

tomatoskins (author)2016-06-29

This is awesome! How long did it take you to make?

took about 3 months =D

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm an apprentice toolmaker based in Swindon, UK
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