Introduction: Scrapwood Electric Guitar


Now is the time to use all those boards lying around your garage! This instructable will show you how to make an electric guitar out of old scrap wood for only $10! It also requires no electric tools whatsoever, so no need for any fancy machinery.


Here are the stuff you will need to get started!

(All sizes in inches)


1x 3/4 inch board size 18 x 3

1x 3/4 inch board size 4.5 x 17.5

1x 3/4 inch piece size 3.5 x 1

1x Popsicle stick

Tools and Supplies


Wood glue

2x Clamps




Wire cutters

Drill (can be hand)



Tape measure

Calipers (optional but recommended)

Metal clothing hanger (or copper wire)

Paper towel (optional)

Oil (optional)

Wood file


Additional items:

Electric guitar pickup (link below)

Guitar tuners (link below)

1/8 inch jack (link below)

Guitar strings (link below)

Step 1: What's What on a Guitar

Above is a diagram explaining some of the guitar terms we may be using during the instructable.

Step 2: Marking the Fingerboard

Now we have to taper the fingerboard so the bottom will be wider than the top. First, lets mark off the parts we will keep. Make two marks on the top and bottom as shown above. The bottom width should be 2 1/4" and the top width should be 1 3/4".

Step 3: Making the Lines

Now align another piece of wood so the bottom is touching the bottom mark and the top the top. Next trace the edge with a pen. Do the same for the other side.

Step 4: Clamping the Guide

Now we have to make a guide to saw along. Take the same piece you used to trace the lines and clamp it to the fingerboard, along the line. Make sure there are a few millimeters between the line and the wood so the saw will have some space.

Step 5: Sawing the Fingerboard

Next, saw down the length of both sides using the guide to keep the saw straight. Your fingerboard should now be tapered!

Step 6: Rounding the Bottom

Next, round off the bottom using a file. How much you want to round it off is your choice. This will matter when playing, so spend some time on this step! Next go over the fingerboard with some sandpaper until the surface is smooth

Step 7: Staining the Wood

This is my favorite part! Take a bottle of oil from your kitchen, You can use any sort of oil, they all work! Pour some oil into the paper towel and spread it on the wood.

Step 8: The Nut

Next, snap a popsicle stick in half. Superglue the two sides together. Then, glue your nut on 1/2" away from the end. Last, saw off the excess with the saw.

Step 9: The Body

Now its time for the body! Sand off your bigger board and stain it as shown in step 7. Next, place your fingerboard over the body and position it so that the point where the two meet is eleven inches away from the nut. Then, trace around the fingerboard as shown.

Step 10: Gluing the Fingerboard

Now its time to attach the fingerboard to the body. Fill the area you traced earlier with wood glue, than put the fingerboard in place and clamp it. Finally, wipe off the excess glue with a paper towel. Let dry overnight.

Step 11: Marking the Frets

Using a caliper (or tape measure) and pencil, mark off were every fret will go. I recommend using the "from nut" column as it will be more accurate. This part is very important! A slight inaccuracy will change the pitch of your guitar! After marking the frets with a pencil, cut a small groove on every mark with the file.

Step 12: Making the Frets

Time to make the frets! First, take the hanger and wire cutters and cut pieces of wire the size of each fret. Remember, the sizes will be different as we have a tapered fingerboard. Than, fill every groove with superglue and insert the fret. The fingerboard is complete!

Step 13: The Pickup

Its time to install the pickup! First, position the pickup 3 inches from the fingerboard. Than, trace around the magnet at the bottom of the pickup. Next, dig a small groove with your chisel until the pickup sits flush with the surface of the body. Finally, nail it in.

Step 14: Wiring the Pickup

I really like these 1/8 inch jacks as they don't require any soldering, only a screwdriver. Take your 1/8 inch jack and wire it as shown above (the colors of the wires don't matter). After wiring, superglue the jack on to the guitar wherever you fell comfortable. Just bear in mind that the wire will be attached wile you are playing, so put it somewhere out of the way!

Step 15: The Bridge

This step is extremely important! Measure exactly 23 inches from the end of the nut, and mark with a pencil. Take your piece of wood that will be used for the bridge and superglue it onto the body. Again, this must be exactly 23 inches.

Step 16: Installing the Tuners

First, drill 6 holes for the tuners as shown above. Then nail the tuners on to the body.

Step 17: Making the Nut Notches

Now we have to make some notches on the nut for the strings to rest in. Mark off your string spacing as shown above. Then make the notches with the file. Every notch should just go down to the second popsicle stick (see step 8).

Step 18: Making the Bridge Notches

The bridge notches should basically line up with the dots on your pickup. I used the calipers to keep my line straight. After marking, use the file to make the grooves. the grooves should be about 1/10" deep.

Step 19: Making the Holes

Now we have to make a few holes for the strings to go through at the top. Simply align them with the notches as shown above.

Step 20: String It Up and Get Playing!

Were done! its time to string up your guitar. If your not sure how to do that, here's a great instructable on how to string a guitar.


Hand Tools Only Challenge

Participated in the
Hand Tools Only Challenge