Introduction: Silent Travel Guitar for $1.

Picture of Silent Travel Guitar for $1.

I wanted a thin, light nylon string guitar to fit in my backpack to take on my travels - mainly for practicing left and right hand technique, rather than for performing to others. I hunted around and found "Silent Guitars", but they cost upwards of $300. Mmmm. Not paying that! I wondered what I could do with an old guitar that somebody gave me because the front (tapa) was splitting away from the body. I also found an old skate board deck. I 'married' the two and this is what I came up with. And the $1? I had to buy a bolt to join the neck to the 'skateboard' body. I can't say it would be any good for the concert hall, but it suits my purpose just fine. There are still various mods I am thinking through - fitting a pick-up and a strap, and improving the finish maybe?

I can loosen the strings and then undo the bolt holding the 'body' to the neck, halving the length of my 'silent' guitar.

I would love to hear comments and suggestions or improvements.

Step 1: Find Beat Up Guitar.

Picture of Find Beat Up Guitar.

Here is the beat up guitar before I started.

Step 2: Remove the Top Plate.

Picture of Remove the Top Plate.

I prised the top off gently with a chisel.

Step 3: Cut Off the Bottom of the Sound Box.

Picture of Cut Off the Bottom of the Sound Box.

Picture says it all.

Step 4:

Picture of

Step 5: Separating Neck and Body.

Picture of Separating Neck and Body.

Step 6: Cleaning the Neck.

Picture of Cleaning the Neck.

Step 7: Shaping and Attaching a Mount.

Picture of Shaping and Attaching a Mount.

Don't really know what to call this step, but I shaped a mount and attached that to the shaped skateboard deck - four screws and glue. Then I drilled a hole through this mount into the heel (still attached to the neck). The hole was slightly undersize for the bolt. The bolt runs through this mount and into the heal. The bolt has threaded into the heal and so far this has easily enough grab to be able to hold the mount to the heel. This provides the primary strength of the instrument. The pull of the tensioned strings provides the final piece of the jigsaw.

Step 8: The Underside.

Picture of The Underside.

Here is the view of the mount from underneath.

Step 9: The 'finished' Guitar - So Far.

Picture of The 'finished' Guitar - So Far.

Step 10: Compared to My Main Guitar - Face On.

Picture of Compared to My Main Guitar - Face On.

Step 11: Compared to My Main Guitar - Side On.

Picture of Compared to My Main Guitar - Side On.


Hambone22 (author)2016-10-09

I've never heard one of these. How does it sound?

Blake15trans (author)Hambone222016-11-16

It's pretty quiet, but it sounds alright. It's good for practice mostly or if you like jamming while other people in your house are sleeping.

SpencerC2 (author)2016-10-09

Not as loud as a guitar with a proper sound box, but I was surprised that it can be heard clearly in a quiet environment. It is easy to add a pickup and preamp, to listen using headphones or through an amplifier.

Quadrifoglio (author)2016-06-21

“if it’s no longer useful, transform it into something that is.” It certainly does that and I voted for it.

p_282 (author)2016-06-19

Really nice work, especially on the heel. Does the bolt mean you can take it apart to fit in your backpack?

SpencerC2 (author)p_2822016-06-19

Yep, I can loosen the strings and undo the bolt and I have two halves! Fits into backpack easily.

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2016-06-19

That looks great. Awesome rebuild.

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