Introduction: Bamboo Guitar
This is an electric guitar me and my dad made back in 2014 out of a couple bamboo cutting boards.
Step 1: The Shape and Neck
This was my first build, so I decided to go ahead and buy a pre-built neck. Maybe next time I'll feel a bit more ambitious and make my own. I went with a maple neck with a Strat style headstock.
I started by outlining my telecaster on a large piece of paper, then slowly changing the lines until I got this funky fin shape. I ended up buying two large bamboo cutting boards for my wood.
Step 2: Pickups
I like the simplicity of the Les Paul Jr., so I decided to go with a single P90 pickup. This one was a Gibson pickup, but if I had it to do over again I might have gone with a Seymour Duncan. I also had to order the pickup as a "soap-bar" and get a separate "dog-ear" cover and plate.
Step 3: Layout
I used my Epiphone Les Paul as a guide on where to put the bridge.
Step 4: Cut-Out
I used a scroll saw to cut out both boards separately.
Step 5: Glue-Up
A generous amount of wood glue and clamped it up to sit overnight.
Step 6: Sanding the Edges
Gave it a whirl on the belt sander, and cleaned up any excess glue and cutting discrepancies between the two boards.
Step 7: Attaching the Neck
After the glue dried, it was time to route out the neck pocket. I looked up the angle Les Paul necks are usually set at, I believe it was 5 degrees.
I went ahead and put in the tuning pegs. I got Fender locking tuners, and am very happy with them.
Bolted in the neck.
I guess I could have saved a few dollars and gone with a generic plate.
Step 8: Placing the Bridge
We used a couple bolts and some washers to make a temporary floating bridge, while I found the proper spacing.
I strung up both "E" strings and finally got the bridge in a spot where they both intonate well.
Marked and drilled the holes to mount the bridge.
Drilled the holes for the volume and tone potentiometers too.
Step 9: Routing the Pickup Pocket
Now that I knew where the bridge was going to be, It was time to route out the hole for the pickup.
Step 10: Drilling a Hole for the Pickup Wire
Drilled the hole for the jack, as well as a narrower hole for the pickup wire.
Step 11: Sanding
Lots and lots of sanding.
Step 12: Stain
Alright, so this was my first go around. I bought “all purpose outdoor” wood stain from Sherwin Williams, not exactly the most traditional method. I was using sponges and old socks, so my coat wasn’t exactly perfectly even. Oh well, it’s “pre-weathered”.
Step 13: Wiring
Exciting, we're almost there!
I looked up the original wiring diagram for a Les Paul Jr. and just followed that.
I used tin snips to cut out a cover for the electronics. It's not fancy or sexy, but it sort of fits my rough stain job.