Intro: A Mini Guitar
This is a little tiny acoustic guitar that you can play and build in about an hour with basic tools!
Step 1: Materials and Toolz!
To build this li'l guitar you'll need a few basic tools and materials.
1/8" x 4" x 12" balsa wood
1/8" x 1" x 8" balsa wood
1/32 x 1.5" x 12" vanner
1/8" aluminum rod
Stain of choice(I used a dark mahogany)
Small eyebolt (4)
Drill or drill press
Coping saw or bandsaw(Any saw that will allow you to get precise cuts)
1.5" Forstner drill bit
Step 2: Cut Out the Body
To make the body of the guitar we first need to make 2 panels. You can find the template here. I first glued down 2 of these printouts to my 1/8" balsa wood. I then took it over to the bandsaw to cut them out but you can use any tool where you can get precise cuts.
Step 3: Sand Down the Body
After I cut out the body, I sanded down to the line on the template. I first started out with a rasp to remove material quickly then I went to sandpaper to make it smoother and cleaner. This will make gluing on the vanner much easier.
Step 4: Drilling the Hole
After I sanded down and cut out the 2 panels for the body I took a 1.5" Forstner bit to drill out the center hole. Make sure to do this to only one panel!
Step 5: Put Spacers Between the Panels
Before we wrap the body of the guitar, we need to put spacers between the panels. This will make sure the guitar maintains a fixed width while wrapping. I cut mine to 3/4" since the width of my 2 panels combined was 1/4" and the width of my wrap is 1". You can really use and scrap for spacers but dowels work the best(I didn't have any so I used chopsticks).
Step 6: Wrapping the Guitar
To wrap the body with the veneer, we need to first heat it up. To do this, we need to cover it in steaming hot water. This will allow us to bend it extremely easily. After I did this I glued one end of the veneer to the top of the guitar. I then kept wrapping the guitar with the veneer and gluing it down until I reached the end.
Step 7: Make the Neck
To make the neck, I used 3/16" x 1" balsa. I trimmed this down to 6.5". I then added pieces to make the "Heel" on one end.
Step 8: Make the Notches for the Frets
For the frets, we needed to make notches so they would sit properly. To make the notches for the frets I found that the best tool was a square file. By dragging the edge of it, you could get very straight lines quickly.
Step 9: Making and Gluing the Frets
To make the frets, I cut 1/8 aluminum rod. I then glued them into the notches with super glue.
Step 10: Glue Neck to Body
Now that most of the neck is done, Its time to attach the neck to the body. I just used super glue for this.
Step 11: Finish the Guitar
To string the guitar we have to drill holes to thread the eyebolts. I drilled 4 small pilot holes and then screwed in the eye bolts. I then knotted strings on the bolts and ran them to a small piece of wood under the hole on the top panel. I then stained the guitar, then finished with 2 coats of polyurethane.