First Attempt at an Electric Guitar

I've wanted to build an electric guitar for a long time and this summer I took the initiative to do so. 

My uncle does a lot of wood work and sent me a blank of swamp ash. I took my initial guitar design, redesigned it so the scoop was on the right side, then set about building the body.

I imported my drawing into SolidWorks and made an outline which I had printed from Staples. I wanted part of the body raised so I started by outlining the guitar and milling everything except that section down. 

I used some Power Grip hand tools and a Denker carving shave tool to get the curvature right on the raised portion. 

From there I made another outline and started cutting the body out. I got the band saw blade stuck in the wood and decided to make some cuts perpendicular to the outline so that once the blade passed a certain point it would just break away. I used a scroll saw to get the tighter sections.

I used some double sided tape to attach sand paper to a circular saw bit to get at the parts the belt sander couldn't, as well as hand files. Then I used the Power Grips and Denker again to shape the cutaways. 

There were a couple spots that either chipped or I had taken too much material from so I got a piece of left-over swamp ash, put it on the belt sander, collected the saw dust, and added some wood glue to make a putty and filled in where needed. Thanks to BrendanMH for the idea!

The neck was purchased from Stewart MacDonald ( 

I am currently sanding the entire body down with 80, 150, 320, and 600 grit sand paper.

UPDATE 10/24/13:
The body shape is just about finished, I just have to sand down a couple last spots and it's ready for pockets!
I've added three pictures from early October and 4 pictures that aren't the most recent progress, but close to it. More to come.



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    7 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Your guitar body design looks really Siiiiiick, I love it! \m/ ;{> \m/


    5 years ago

    Love your design. I hope to have a few of my guitar builds on here after awhile.


    Thank you! That was my plan. I'm going to stain the entire thing red, tape off the cutaways, then have a sunburst effect with red in the middle fading to black or dark brown.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Haven't read through yet, but I LOVE it! I remember cutting my electric body out of an old butcher block. It's a ton of work, but totally worth it