Introduction: Installing a Killswitch Into a Guitar

Aint that Kelly a beauty? Now I'm gonna show you how I got that killswitch in there.

Step 1: About That Hole...

To give you a little back story on how this nightmare happened, I had a 1/4" hole already drilled into the guitar from a different button I installed months ago. For the new button I needed 5/8" but things got ugly when I tried widening the hole. Not to worry, I used a piece of a pickup to make a nifty repair.

Step 2: Cutting a Piece of Pickguard

I got the idea of cutting out a piece of a pick guard to cover the giant hole and also make a new spot for the button! In the next step I will be sanding the piece to make it nice and pretty.

Step 3: Sand the Edges

Using a handheld sander I went over the edges of the plastic. I sanded at an angle for the top side of the piece so it will feel more flush with the body of the guitar. There is also a layer of black plastic in the middle so sanding at an angle made a nice border around the piece.

Step 4: Drilling the Holes

Using vise-grip pliers, I clamped the piece to a block of wood. This held the plastic in place nicely so I could accurately drill the 5/8" hole. I also put holes on the corners for screws.

Step 5: Fitting to the Guitar

Everything fits nicely. Now it's time to drill pilot holes for the screws that will hold the plastic piece in place.

Step 6: Wiring the Killswitch (Low Heat Soldering!)

The type of button you need for a killswitch is called a normally closed momentary switch.

Normally closed means the circuit is closed unless you push the button to open the circuit. Momentary means that when you release the button, it goes back to a closed circuit.

IMPORTANT: Because the red button is made of plastic, you must use LOW HEAT on your soldering iron. Otherwise you will melt the plastic part and destroy the button. I used about 15 watts on my soldering iron.

Step 7: Soldering the Leads to the Button

I forgot to take pictures while I was doing the soldering. Sorry guys! To make it up to you guys I'm going to be extra detailed about how I did the soldering...

First, I apply solder to both terminals on the button. This is important as to ensure a solid joint. Then, I screw the button into place so it's ready to have the leads soldered to it.

I split the lead that goes from the input jack to the volume knob. One end will go in the first terminal while the other will go in the 2nd. The guitars signal will now pass through the button in order to reach the amp.

I now touch my soldering iron to one of the terminals to melt the solder I put on earlier. Using needle nose pliers, I now grab one of the leads and slide the tip into the hole of the terminal. I first release my grip on the lead and then release the soldering iron. This is important so things don't move while the solder cools. Do the same for the other lead and you're finished! Now lets screw in the back plate and see how it looks!

If you want to buy the button I used, here is a link to the one I purchased on Amazon...

Step 8: All Finished!

Your killswitch is now fully functional. If you would like ideas on what you can do with a killswitch, check out a guitarist named Buckethead. He does tons of awesome stuff with the killswitch.

I hope you enjoyed my instructable. If you have any questions feel free to message me!