Three months ago I moved to another country. About a week ago I realized that I had forgotten my guitar capo! (you never miss these things until you need 'em!). I don't have money to spend in extra stuff so I decided to make one! (specially because I already have two back home: I still have a life there... but this is another story).
- A pen (you don't mind destroying)
(Bic pens are the best: http://www.bicworld.com/img/gallery/large/BIC_Cris...)
- Elastic band / strap (like those you put on a skirt's waist, for instance)
- A hook (the partner of the eye)
- Hot glue
- Hot glue gun
- A cutter (or a similar tool)
Once you have the materials ready, take the pen and dismantle it. Then, with a ruler and a cd pen, mark the middle of the plastic tube.
Take the cutter and with A LOT of patience and being very CAREFUL cut the plastic on the mark you've made (if you cut your finger you won't be able to use the capo!)
Then, take the rubber band and make a SMALL hole on it (remember that the band is elastic so the hole will also be elastic). Once you've made the hole, insert the plastic tube inside.
Time to glue! As you can see on the pictures, I folded the band (the strap) to hide the pen and also to make the capo stronger. So, you'll need to fold the end of the rubber and glue it. I hope the pictures are clearer than my explanation!
Then, on the other side of the band, glue all around the pen (see picture to understand this step)
I thought about adding a little hook to avoid the capo from falling. So, I used a hook (from a sewing hook and eye, but I used only the hook). With a plier I bended it a little in order to fit inside the pen and to allow it to hold the strap firmly into place.
On the pictures you can compare the changes I made with the plier. There's a picture where you can see the hook before and after my "intervention".
You'll understand this step much better when you see how this capo works.
Then, put some hot glue inside the plastic tube (the side which is not glued onto the band, obviously) and insert the hook facing the rubber band. WORK QUICKLY! If the hot glue dries inside the tube you finish inserting the hook you will have a problem.
Now, you need your guitar. You should place the capo on a fret (the one you use more often), to stretch the band until it presses the strings correctly. With the hook you glued, make a hole on the rubber band. You can make all the holes you need, simply let some distance between them to avoid having a big useless hole after using the capo a few times.
Due to the frequent use of the capo, the hole will probably become bigger and the whole thing useless. So I decided to put a hot glue spot next to the hole, to prevent this from happening and also to know where the hole is when I need to use the capo.
If you can't make the hole with the hook (due to the hardness of the fabric) you can use a gimlet or, even better, a tool to make holes on belts.
Yeaaaah! And here it is! Your new, cheap, and useful capo is ready! I'm very proud of it because I made up the whole thing from scratch and it works!
I noticed that the guitar may sound a bit differently, so I thought I'd put some hot glue all along the plastic tube to prevent the strings' vibration against the plastic. So it's up to you and your personal tastes.
Now... ROCK ON!
I uploaded a VIDEO to show how the capo works and also to let you listen to the guitar sound. Hope it'll be useful! The video's audio is not perfect... so, I recorded again only the AUDIO, but trust me, the capo is on the guitar the second time as well.