Introduction: 3 Guitars Made From a Table. #1 the Slide Guitar

About: Tries to make usable things of leftovers and thrown items.

I wanted to make an electric bass guitar using hard wood.
Wood that has been drying long enough not to twist anymore.
A whole-wood table plate sounded perfect for this.
I found an old one, made of birch, for free on the internet, I only had to fetch it and say thank you. Brilliant.
It turned out this gave me material enough to make 3 guitars.
This is the first one, a 3 string slide guitar hugely inspired by this instructable: 3 String Slide Guitar.


Pickup: No brand prewired with volume, tone potentiometer and 1/4" jack 8$
Tuners: LP clone 8$
Strings: Alice steel plated light tension, 4$
Nut and bridge: Discarded heatsink 0$
Assorted wood screws.

Step 1: The Shape

I loved the shape of lennyb's guitar, and wanted to make mine similar to his.
The curved part I made by drawing it by hand on the wood, drilling holes, cutting, filing and sanding.
The first attempt of main body was a complete failure, since the wood grain was vertical to the neck making it unstable and weak.
I did not manage to get hold of enough enameled wire to make my own pickup, so I bought one of the internet.
I had to start over making a new body, now with the wood grain parallel to the neck and I could draw a new shape that could contain the wide pickup.
The pickup has 6 poles, even if only 4 are visible, so I decided to tilt it and let the 3 strings pass between 2 poles each.

Step 2: Electronics

The body is 2 plates of wood laminated together, so I could hide all the electronics inside it.
I made some sketches to find a shape I liked, making it as small as possible, but still containing everything.
I mounted the pickup, the tone and volume pots and the 1/4" jack in the main plate.
I rethought the routing of the wires away from my first attempt, when I remembered that the bridge would be screwed in place, as well as getting holes for the strings through the body exactly there.
I soldered an extra ground wire to the jack, to ground the bridge, and drilled a hole for it to come up under the bridge.
After testing that all the electronics worked, by connecting it to an amplifier, it was time to clue the 2 plates together.
The wires and pots were covered with hot glue, to make sure nothing would rattle inside the guitar.
All the old lacquer was sanded of the plates before gluing, to get a string bond.

Step 3: Nut, Bridge and Body Shaping

I found a large aluminum heatsink from my discarded pile of electronics, and cut 2 pieces out of it.
This would be used as nut and bridge.
The bridge got 3 holes at an angle to thread strings through, securing them on the back side of the guitar.
A small needle file was used to make a small groove in the nut and bridge to steady the strings.

The mid string was my guide to where everything should be placed.
I cut a rough shape after drawing my envisioned shape onto the wood.
I made a test assembly with strings attached to see how it looked, and decided on a final neck width and thickness.
Then I could use the planer, and the wood file to make the final shape.

Step 4: Fret Markers

Since this is a slide guitar, the strings are not pressed against the neck, and there are no need for frets.
But I need a visible aid to where the notes are, so I made fret marks on the neck face by cutting small slots with a hack saw.
The slots position was determined by using a fret calculator, I used this one
I clamped a ruler to the neck to get the slots so accurate as I could.
I also got hold of black side dot markers that was glued into predrilled holes, and sanded flush with neck in the same operation as the finishing sanding of the whole body.

Step 5: Mount Body Parts and Start Playing

I used 2 long wood screws to secure the 2 parts of the guitar.
I added some nuts between the 2 parts to get some air between them, just for a visual effect.
I learned how to make a slide from this instructable:
and it was time to connect it to an amp, and slide away.
For a protective finish I used linseed oil.
A brand and number was engraved using my soldering iron.

Anything Goes Contest

Participated in the
Anything Goes Contest