Introduction: The Skateboard Guitar (Skatar)
How to turn a solid body electric guitar into a playable/ride-able skateboard. A Skatar.
For this project, I started with a Squier Jagmaster (made in China). My friend had painted it, taken it apart, and routed some holes (for parts that he wanted to add) before he gave up on it.
So I got all the parts for free, and since I already own plenty of guitars, I decided to add some trucks and wheels and see if I could skate it. The important thing for me was that it remain fully playable.
I suppose I could have just slapped the trucks on with wood screws, but that would have been too easy, besides, this guitar already had a big hole routed in the front of the body.
Warning: I would never do this to a quality guitar, and never even think about doing this to anything rare or vintage. That would be wrong.
Step 1: Disassembly, Placement of Screw Holes
After disassembling the guitar, figure out where you want the trucks to go. This guitar already had a big hole routed in the body, where a Jaguar vibrato would have gone, so I drilled the holes there. I would have preferred to have had the wheels spaced a bit farther apart, but it worked out pretty well.
On the neck side, I drilled the holes as close as I could to the neck. They wouldn't fit in the neck heel cavity itself, so they went under where the neck pickup goes.
I marked the holes on the front of the body, with the trucks in place, upside down in the pickup cavity and body rout (sorry no picture of that), drilled a small guide hole, then hit it with the 3/4 in. bit, making sure not to go too far.
I used the hardware that came with the trucks.
If I had just used wood screws, at least for the body side trucks, it wouldn't have ruined the look of the body, but this guitar already had the big rout. I suppose I could have filled it with Bondo auto body filler or wood filler and painted over it, but as you will see, I found a simpler solution.
Step 2: Mount the Trucks, Test Drive.
After successfully mounting the trucks, I took it out to the driveway to see how it felt and make sure it wouldn't break right away.
It seemed fine.
The wheelbase is shorter than a regular skateboard, so that took a little getting used to.
I used Thunder trucks and Spitfire wheels. I hear those give the best tone.
Plus they were free.
Step 3: Reassembly
I screwed the old strat style bridge back on as a hardtail (the trem cavity had been filled in).
Before screwing the pickguard back on, all I had to do was connect one ground wire to the bridge.
The advantage of the Jagmaster is that all the electronics are attached to the pickguard, so there was only one solder connection to make.
Grounding the bridge prevents the guitar from humming when you're rocking out on it.
It seemed like all that was left to do was screw the neck back on and restring it.
Step 4: Test the Wiring, Add Griptape
Once it was restrung and tuned up, I plugged it in and jammed on it for a while.
It sounded pretty good for a Chinese Squire.
It didn't occur to me until then that it needed some griptape.
So I took it back apart, removed everything from the pickguard (should have done this at the beginning), traced the pickguard onto the grip tape, traced a coffee can onto the grip tape (to cover the ugly rout in the body), and cut them out with a box cutter.
Step 5: Ride and Destroy
I took it down a bunch of hills and got some good footage. Then one of my friends fell off it and it skidded into a curb with a sharp corner and the neck split from the headstock to the fifth fret.
I wasn't mad. We had proven that it could be done, and had fun doing it.
I would like to put up some video, but don't have a way to edit it at the moment.
guitar (as box of parts) $0.00
wheels and trucks $0.00
grip tape $5.00
total investment = $8.00
I have since fixed the neck, sprayed it black, filled all the holes in the body with Bondo body filler, and am currently refinishing it in silver and turning it back into a regular guitar. I'll probably add some photos of that when I'm done.
But I'm leaving the grip tape on the pickguard.
Want to see where the neck and body are now?
Want to see what happened to the electronics?