Instructables

Build a custom electric guitar

This is a picture of my "not so complete guitar" but it is a start... I always loved old school rock and also most modern rock and recently am learning I just thought my old used guitar could use a "makeover"
 
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Step 1: Design

Find a design. I used a Paul Stanley aka Star Child design, but you can Google different designs. find one you like next sketch the design on to a poster board. make sure you like the look, feel, and make sure that it will be comfortable!!! next get some MDF from home depot. I used 1/2" and another piece of 3/4" (shown in picture). but trace the design you drew onto both pieces wood. now the power tools!!! cut the designs out w/ either a 1. a ban saw 2. a saber saw or 3. scroll saw. both of the pieces don't have to be perfect just similar. (I'll explain later)

Step 2: Gadgets

Picture of gadgets
I used old switches and gadgets but I'm pretty sure they can be bought at Radioshack (I love Radioshack) but I have 1 switch 4 knobs and one female / output jack. to put it together you will need some wiring diagrams (below) these are the wiring diagrams I used not to hard to understand. after your drive to Radioshack stop over at Lowes or home depot and pick up some heavy duty plexi glass. this is where the hum bucks and knobs etc are going to go.
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Danmo Ma4 months ago

看起来不错,但我觉得应该采用双线圈拾音器。

Aron3132 years ago
Nice job! :D
freeza362 years ago
that looks amazing
genghistron2 years ago
Just a couple notes on Gibson wiring diagram. Gibson typically uses linear taper (B) pots for volume, instead of the log taper (A) that are illustrated here. Audio, or logarithmic taper (A) pots work fine, they will have more a useable middle/low volume 'sweep' but the top/high output is more sensitive, in other words the volume will drop will be more dramatic in the first few degrees than using a linear taper pot.
Gibson's also generally use .022uF capacitors for tone control. Single coil guitars like Strats/Teles/etc will typically use the .047uF caps because they roll off more high end. In a humbucker guitar the higher capacitor value may leave your pickup sounding quite dark and muddy.
Tyrssen2 years ago
Very nice!!! As to what design to airbrush on it: ooh, tough one. It all depends on what you're into. You've dared to be an individual in crafting your own guitar, why stop now? I've done plenty of custom car and motorcycle painting, and suggest you look to the world of custom automotive painting for ideas. I've been playing for about 40 years, and might even get good some day; but the only one I ever "built" was a Saga kit that I quite like, actually. Next I'll up the ante a bit with an explorer kit from BYOguitar.com. I'll probably shoot a metallic gold finish for a base (over primer of course,) maybe dab it with Saran wrap for a "crinkle" effect while it's still wet, then shoot a candy maroon over "most" of it, sunburst-style. All this can be done from spray cans. I think.
wolf17283 years ago
I see my website has been referenced.
Unfortunately, the domain name 1728.com was stolen from me last month.

The link should now go to www.1728.org/
static9113 years ago
i wish i would have found this befor i spent $72 on a poplar body blank but yall should look at projectguitar.com they have a tutorial and suplies section that can be really helpfull in building your own guitar
kicker1094 years ago
Is it okay if you can draw a proper schematic? because i cant really understand it... Sorry if I sound a bit rude
i have a really bad idea, could you take an icelolly stic or summin like that and attach the two single coils together and put a new hole in and make a humbucker?
gtrgy4 years ago
hey i was looking at the wiring diagram and had a suggestion. Instead of using 500k ohm potentiometers, you should use 250k. This is because with single coil pickups that produce a sharper sound, the 250k bleeds of some of the harshness to ground , giving you a warmer tone.
Those are actually single-coil pickups, not humbuckers. A humbucker is a pickup that (most often) looks like two single-coil pickups stuck together. The reason they are called humbuckers is that they cancel (or buck) the 60Hz hum that a single-coil pickup will produce when plugged in to an amplifier by adding together two signals that are out of phase with each other. Also, with single-coil pickups, 500K pots (those are the "knobs") are way overkill; for single-coil pickups 250K pots are preferred. If those were actual humbuckers (which a Les Paul-style schematic assumes) then 500K is the way to go. I'm sure that if you're using all the hardware that came with your guitar you should be fine, but if you're putting things together yourself, then you should be aware of these sorts of things.
slimguy379 (author)  TheMadTinker6 years ago
dude read the comments on the FIRST page, god damn!!
this is a better page than the first page to point out a thing that only noobs would do, look at it this way, less people see his competely true comment so you look less like a noob
JAZ974 years ago
does any one know how to wire the guitar let me know and try to comment on my profile if you can ..
JAZ974 years ago
i cant really read this you think you can explain where goes what and what goes where comment on my profile please
jacobguitar4 years ago
im doing something similar, the sanding is taking forever....what material did you make the pickguard with and what did you use to cut it?
pyroninja214 years ago
i want to make a blue sunburst guitar with double humbuckers it will be sssssoooooooo sweeeeet
The Jamalam4 years ago
That is a really nice guitar you made. 4.5 stars!
the mahogany or walnut does not have to be expensive--re-cycle old furniture--beware of veneers and nails---old dining room tables can supply lots of wood, not to mention modern maple chairs with broken legs thrown out ....caution---do not destroy antique furniture--lots of other stuff around.
bigredlevy5 years ago
yeah, those are single coil pickups mate. it's easy to make a circuit to wire them in parallel so they would sound similar to a humbucker.

I used this circuit to wire single coils in one of my guitars:
http://www.1728.com/supr7-1b.gif
it can switch the p-ups in series parallel or individually.

also, with the size of the cavities routed in the body of your guitar, i would not have recommended mdf. pine would have been a stronger option.

funky design though. nice work mate.
abadfart5 years ago
those aren't humbuckers a humbucker is two put together
486dx45 years ago
what did the neck come off of? it looks like a harmony or national. you should look it up on ebay, every once in a while those can be worth a pretty penny!
How much did this project end up costing?
slimguy379 (author)  FunkNattidelic6 years ago
my original guitar (aka crap) I bought from my friend for 20 bucks (all the dials, switches, etc.) mdf runs a bout 8 bucks a sheet so 2 of them and plexi glass is 8 bucks so about 44 bucks maybe 50!!! for the end result (well near complete) I think its well worth, also the brag rights are awesome. only thing is is to talk to chicks about guitars, you can only really talk about how well you can play the guitar, not about building one, cause the look at you and start to loose interest and start to drool..... I find this happens when ever you talk about anything to do with instructables. Or maybe I hang around to many stupid girls or maybe too many blonds. *AAAAAAAAHHHH it felt so good to say that*
heh, i know what you mean about talking to girls about building stuff. Most give you that zoned out ' im gonna pretend i get it...' type look eh? my friends whom are girls dont lose interest but most of them definitely don't get what im talking about =P . 50 bucks is a way cheaper cost than gbuilders instructable. But probably because he used solid hardwood and stuff. What turned me away from his was the outcome of 200 dollars! this is alot more affordable, great instructable by the way.
slimguy379 (author)  FunkNattidelic6 years ago
personally I hate this instructable it is very vague with not to many pictures, (compared to my others) but yes alot cheaper and even if you want you can go toyour local music shop, (we have a place called Big Apple Music) that carries parts such as necks, dials, etc. OOOh yeah I understand the "im gonna pretend i get it...' type look". thanks a lot!! keep on rock'n!!!
necks can get expensive sometimes, how much are they selling them for?
EVHphan 486dx45 years ago
depends where you get the neck from.
slimguy379 (author)  486dx45 years ago
idk, as i said i took mine off an older guitar
thats what i alwais do, but ive been planning on trying to make one one of these days.
its true, a solid body guitar can end up getting spensive!, a compromise is to use two sheets of wood, and secure them togather with a lot of glue and maby even a couple screws. i tried that with an old shelf for my first guitar, it worked ok but i did a crumby job of it and it started splitting. i used elmers glue and a couple screws, so yah, ive been better about that since
haha, not all girls are like that though! I'm a girl and this is my instructable. :) But really everyone should have GSL- guitar as a second language. I'll be trying to talk to the non-guitarists of my family about a really cool piece of gear or new picking technique and *deer in headlights*. sigh.
i have that problem with most people they just don't speak guitar
jackillac926 years ago
first off I think you should have sanded the body a lot more on the sides, second off I think that you should have used a good quality wood for your " guitar " and last off I think that you should have bought a SAGA guitar kit instead of jumping the gun and building a guitar straight up. my 2 cents?
wheres the fun in that?
pyrohaz 486dx45 years ago
Agree with you there :)
shawbob5 years ago
I have no idea what an air brush is but you could try putting 2 bits of tape parallel and "air brush" it of flick a paint brush over it then remove the tape to get a cool finish Maybe I want to build a guitar my self and do that over an unfinished Explorer body for my GCSE
pyrohaz shawbob5 years ago
Woah!! Where did you get an explorer body from!?! I have always wanted an explorer bass
axmon5 years ago
Why the hell would you want to make a guitar from custom wood
Why the hell would you join Instructables?
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