Introduction: Scratch Built Electric Guitar

The final for a music class I took was building an instrument. So I built this.

Wood:
Maple-Neck
Paduak-Body, headstock
Unknown-fretboard
Walnut-inlay

The electronic components were purchased as a set and then soldered together. The pickups were purchased separately. I added another switch to select either one or both of the coils on each pickup. All the control knobs except the smallest switch were machined on a lathe from aluminum.

The sound is not exceptional and there is some fret buzz, but you can plug this in and play it.

Please comment with any questions about the instrument and the building process.

Comments

author
astropapi1 (author)2015-01-17

I think I've fallen in love with that guitar body. Good mixing of wood tones can make results much more beautiful than any acrylic stuff. I'll probably do something like this for the body of a "guitar" I'm currently designing. I'm not sure what to call that thing, to be honest. It'll have 3 strings (open G tuning, for cigar box guitars), but the body will be custom made, kinda looks like a Flying V with a flat bottom.

author
jakobm3 (author)2014-05-21

where can you find the stuff for the insides?

author
benthekahn (author)jakobm32014-05-21

Stewart McDonald has lots of guitar electronics and other tools, supplies and information. I'm sure there are cheaper sources too though.

author
Tunesrlife (author)2010-07-28

How and where did you make space for the electronic innards? I'm thinking about making a guitar myself and I'm wondering if I have the tool laying around for that or not.

author
jrg3ni0us (author)Tunesrlife2011-03-15

Could someone please answer that, because I have the same question

author
benthekahn (author)jrg3ni0us2011-03-15

The electronics are housed in a cavity opened from the back. A router is the tool needed to create such an opening.

author

If you dont have a router, you can use a drill press and a spade bit, but it takes alot longer, and it is quite messy! I professionally build Custom guitars, and I used that Technique on 5 of my older models... But they still turned out fine!

author
David-Yezbak (author)2011-07-06

guitar making is fun i make guitars i add a zero fret so i don't have to line the nut up correctly with the strings it's a good day out of making the guitar and it makes it sound better.

heres a pic of my guitar


your guitar is very good the design is very unique i should have done something like that all i did was add the rear end of the ghost from pac man to the head stock good job man.

100_1502.JPG
author
freeza36 (author)David-Yezbak2012-02-02

just a single humbucker. it looks almost empty without more pickups or a pickguard

author
frikkie (author)2011-02-24

I cant even play guitar,but seeing your instructable can always change my mind.
Freaken awesome!

author
mcshawnboy (author)2010-11-12

Is there an 'ible? Build photos? Do you sell plans? It looks cool ! I told a nephew I'd try to build him one, as both of his parents sell his stuff for their habits. I figure if it's not a name brand maybe he can hold on to it. Maybe I should buy the pick ups. Have you tried building an amp? He's also interested in a flute. Thanks!

author
NiceBeats (author)2010-07-04

that is insanely beutiful!

author
Cru2o (author)2010-06-03

Totally awesome!

author
mechaghostman2 (author)2009-12-04

Did you build the pickups or did you buy them? I built an electric guitar, but I'm wanting to build another pickup for it, not just buy one.

author
iamtoats (author)mechaghostman22010-05-31

 Those are EMG Selects.
Not amazing sound.
I personally would go for EMG 81/85s or even better, Duncans.

author
aceLED (author)2010-02-28

how do u make the kneck and the headstock yourself?

author
benthekahn (author)aceLED2010-02-28

 The neck is made out of a single piece of maple that continues into the headstock and into the body. I shaped the neck first with a bandsaw to get the rough shape, and then smoothed it with rasps and sand paper. The sides of the headstock are made from padauk. They are attached to the maple via aluminum rods running through the maple and into the sides.

author
antitaengbasuraman (author)2010-01-21

can i use palochina for the neck?

author

 I can't say for sure as I don't know the characteristics of it, but if it is a strong hardwood you shouldn't have any trouble.

author
bloke2022 (author)2009-12-06

pretty cool.

author
rokkit (author)2009-09-08

think its possible to build just a neck 2 fit an existing guitar?

author
benthekahn (author)rokkit2009-09-08

Yes it certainly is possible if the current neck is removable (Via bolts or screws). It certainly would be difficult to make it attach with no wobble and accuratly however.

author
AquariumFish (author)2009-08-04

I like the "No Finish" finish, I think it looks cool, and is that a neck thru?

author
benthekahn (author)AquariumFish2009-08-16

Thanks, and yes, the neck goes through the entire body.

author
cormac3050 (author)2009-07-30

Awesome!! How much did it cost altogether??

author
benthekahn (author)cormac30502009-07-30

Under $200 as I had the tools already.

author
ajleece (author)2009-07-29

Wow!! I am very impressed. This looks very precise and professional. Any way we could hear it?

author
benthekahn (author)ajleece2009-07-29

Surprisingly enough, I don't play but I could have a friend play something and record it at some point.

author
ajleece (author)benthekahn2009-07-29

Awesome!

author
jeff-o (author)2009-07-29

Excellent craftsmanship! Any ideas on why the sound isn't so hot?

author
benthekahn (author)jeff-o2009-07-29

Cheap pickups and the intonation is slightly off.

author
jeff-o (author)benthekahn2009-07-29

Well that'll do it. :)

author
The Jamalam (author)2009-07-29

Brilliant! Is this a first attempt? I'm jealous lol. Just one thing, you might want to try using lacquer to make a smooth finish. Other than that I love it! 5 stars!

About This Instructable

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Bio: Hi, I'm Ben. I like mechanical engineering, and using free stuff/"junk".
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