Introduction: How to Make a Mini Wooden Guitar
This is my first Instructable so if anyone has something to tell me to improve or do better let me in the comments. I ended up making this Guitar because I started making Guitar picks out of wood... Then I thought "Why don't I make an actual Guitar... just mini" Well, it happened to work out very well and I am very happy with the end result and I hope you are too. I'm just sorry that all the pictures turned out to be sideways! My apologies!
Tools needed for this project:
- Belt sander
- Cordless drill
- Dremel (I used the Dremel 3000)
- Bench clamps
- Stanley Knife
- Wood Saw
Materials needed for this project:
- Wood (I used some kind of Hardwood)
- Wood glue
- Dark wood stain
- Clear varnish
- Nails with small head
- Fishing line or wire (I used fishing line because I had no wire)
- Super Glue
- Rubber bands(Strong)
Step 1: Choose Your Guitar Design and Draw It on Your Wood
For the design of my Guitar, I choose one with the bottom side half chopped out as shown in the pictures. This will make it harder to cut out on the bandsaw and harder to sand, but I like this design way better. To transfer it onto wood, I just printed off a picture, cut it out, then traced it onto my wood.
Step 2: Cut Out Your Guitar on the Bandsaw
Once you have your Guitar traced onto wood, it's time to cut it out. There's not a whole lot to say about cutting it out apart from being careful and unless you've got a really thin blade, don't attempt to cut it out in one single cut.
Step 3: Sand Around the Edges of the Guitar Then Make a Second Guitar Blank
Once you've cut it out on the bandsaw, it's time to sand. Sanding is probably what takes the most time when making this Guitar. When your sanding your Guitar, it would be better if to use the disk sander on the side of the belt sander but unfortunately, I don't have one. The only trouble with using a belt sander is that you can easily make the sanding crooked. I also used a Dremel to do all the sanding on the wavy edges of the Guitar. (Makes life much easier) Now that you've done some rough sanding, check and compare your Guitar blank to the template you are going by, try to match it up as perfectly as possible. After you have completed one of them you will need to make a second one as identical as possible. (Repeat steps: 1, 2 and 3)
Step 4: Take One of the Guitar Blanks and Hollow Out the Middle
Once you've got your two Guitar blanks ready to go and all sanded, take one of them (I prefer to choose the one with the worst wood grain on it... Leave the other one for later) and start cutting out the middle of it on the bandsaw. Make sure you refer to the pictures and cut into the Guitar blank where shown in the image. When you are cutting it out, leave about 1cm of wood around the outside. When you've finished on the bandsaw, attack it with a Dremel to make everything look smoothish and flush.
Step 5: Glue Your Hollowed Out Guitar Back Together
Because in the previous step I cut into the Guitar body, I need to up the cut again. there's not much to say on this step apart from apply some glue to the cut, then spread it out a little bit. Then simply press it together tightly overnight. I used a thing that was meant to seal chip packets and things, but that is because I had no strong rubber bands on hand.
Step 6: Take the Second Guitar Blank and Cut in Two
Now that you've hollowed out one of the Guitar blanks and glued it back together, it's time to take the second one and cut in half lengthways. First of all I made some starter cuts using the bandsaw with a ripping fence positioned at roughly half the width of the Guitar. Once I had cut about 1 cm deep around most of the Guitar I put it into my vice and started cutting it in half with the hacksaw. Take your time with this step and cut it as cleanly as possible by cutting from different sides every now and again. Now that you've got two nice clean, thin pieces of wood shaped as a guitar, you will have to sand, sand and keep sanding these until they are about 2-3mm thick. These are going to be the sides of your Guitar, hence why I said to leave the blank with the best wood grain for later.
Step 7: Take on of the Guitar Sides and Drill a Hole in It
Now that you've got two nice and sanded Guitar sides, take one of them and drill a hole in it. I cut the circle out of the template using a Stanley Knife. Then I drilled the hole out with the biggest drill bit I had. After that I carefully made it bigger and smoother with my Dremel. In the end, you want to have a perfectly sized hole, so all the time I was doing this, I was checking and comparing with the template.
Step 8: Glue Up Your Guitar Body
Now that you've got two Guitar sides and a hollowed out body, it's time to glue them all together. I applied a fair amount of glue to one side of the Guitar body then evenly spread it out using a nail. Then I placed the Guitar sides on it and let it dry for about 10 mins. By doing this, it means that it shouldn't move when you put it into the vice. When you clamp it in the vice be careful to not do it up to tight and make sure the the position of the Guitar sides are as perfectly as possible lining up with the guitar body.
Step 9: Sand Guitar Body
Now that your Guitar is all glued up and dried and ready to go, it's time to do a good bit of sanding. I used my linisher for as much of the sanding as possible, then used my Dremel to do the rest of the sanding. Some things to be careful and aware of when doing the sanding is to keep the edges as square as possible to the sides using a Square.
Step 10: Make the Guitar Neck
Now that you have got your Guitar body glueing, it's time to make the guitar neck. Now, there no real rules for making this neck apart from matching it to the template and size of Guitar. Make the neck of the guitar however you want and make it look however you want. For the neck, I shaped the entire neck using the belt sander and the Dremel... Yep the Dremel is probaly the most used tool in this project.
Step 11: Make the Guitar Head
With the Guitar neck made, let's make the Guitar head. First of all, draw it onto wood an sand it on the linisher the your desired shape. Make sure that it's the same size as the template that your going by so that it's all in proportion. Once you've got the shape of your Guitar, do the chamfers on the sides as shown in the pictures and the curved top. I went for the curved top because it very easy, but any other design is possible for your Guitar. For my Guitar I decided to only have 4 strings as it is so small, I doubt I would've even been able to do 6 strings. mark your 4 holes on the head and drill them out with a 1/16" drill bit. Then using a Dremel, cut 4 ends of some nails that fit nice and snug in the hole your have just drilled. Then slot them into the holes with a dab of superglue. Once this is done give it a quick sand on the linisher to even the nails out on the top and on the bottom.
Step 12: Make the Guitar Fretboard
Now it's time to make the Guitar Fretboard. Start by using the template as a guide and cut the Fretboard to size. Then you will have to do a lot of sanding to get this the thinness that you want. I carefully sanded mine down to about 1 mm thick. Then using a pencil mark the position of the frets. Then take a chisel and very carefully make a slight cut with the chisel when the frets will go. Then very carefully again take a saw with a very thin blade and cut the fret slots slightly wider and deeper. With that done, take a Sharpie and colour the entire thing black. Then take some Staples and straighten them out with some Pliers, once straightened out, take some more Super glue and glue them nice and snugly into the slots that are ready made. Once that has dried, give the whole top of the Fretboard a generous dosing of Super glue to make sure they are there to stay. Then, when it's dry snip of the straggly ends of the staples with some Pliers and then sand them flush on the linisher.
Step 13: Make the Bridge/Saddle
To make the Saddle, I cut a thin piece of wood and drew a rough shape of the Saddle. Then I attacked it with my Dremel to make ot the perfect shape and size. Once again, there are no particular steps or rules, just make it to your liking and to match the template you are going by. Once it's sanded, take a Sharpie again and colour the whole thing black. Then, mark some holes in the Saddle with a 1/16" drill bit. Then, take your Dremel again, and cut of the heads of 4 nails as shown in the pictures. After that you will need to Super glue them into the pre-drilled holes. Once again, give the whole thing a generous coving of Super glue. Making the Bridge is definitely the easiest part of making this Guitar. Simply cut a very small piece of wood and sand it to the same size as the far end of the neck of your Guitar and the same size as your template shows. (Refer to pictures)
Step 14: Assemble the Neck, Fretboard and Bridge
Now it's time to assemble the entire Guitar neck. First of all, using a 1/16" drill bit, drill a hole in the centre of the end of the Guitar neck. (Or as close to the centre as possible) Then, repeat that on the head of the Guitar. After that, cut about 1.5 cm off the sharp end of a nail. then, stick half of it in a vice and hammer it slightly to one side as shown in the pictures. After that, apply a small amount of Super glue to the nail and inside the holes, then push them together tightly and remember, with Super glue, once you put it together it's stuck. Once it's stuck, put another dab of Super glue in position for the Bridge, then place the Bridge in position and let it glue tight. Then give the Neck piece a generous dosing of Super glue and glue the Fretboard neatly on top of the Neck piece. That's the Neck assembled and ready to stain like the Body.
Step 15: Time to Stain and Varnish!
Now it's time to do the Staining and the Varnishing... Finally! First of all, take the Guitar body and apply the Dark stain on the back and sides of the Guitar and let it dry overnight. Once it has dried, apply the Varnish on the front of the Guitar. I hung up the Guitar by a piece of wire through the hole in the Guitar and let it dry overnight again. I like to let the Guitar body dry first before I start putting Stain on the Guitar neck as to allow room and not stress out because I'm trying to do two things at once.
Step 16: Assemble Guitar and Attach Strings
Now it's time to assemble the entire Guitar. First things first. make sure that your Guitar is completely dry before handling as it can leave fingerprints and marks. When it's dry, apply Super glue to the insides of the Guitar neck as shown in the pictures and place it neatly on the Guitar body as shown in the pictures. This is definitely the most exciting part of building a Guitar but also the most tense. Once it has tried completely, apply Super glue to the bottom of the Guitar Saddle mad in the previous steps. Then position it in the perfect position to the Guitar Neck. Now it's time to attach the Guitar strings. First I just simply tied it to one end, then I pulled it nice and firm, then I wrapped it around the other end which was the Saddle, then I applied a small amount of Super glue to each string to hold it firmly in place.
Step 17: FINISHED!
Finally done! I hope you all enjoyed this Instructable and MAKE SURE YOU VOTE FOR ME!!!!!
Participated in the
2 years ago
That looks really professional :)
Reply 2 years ago
Reply 2 years ago
Do you have a picture of you holding it to get a better idea of scale?
Reply 2 years ago
Yep will send some soon.
Reply 2 years ago
It's about 20cm long.
Reply 2 years ago
Thanks for sharing the pics!
Reply 2 years ago
No problem, hope they helped.