Introduction: How to Build a Guitar Case
First off I decided to build this because i was tired of carrying my precious Les Paul around in a stupid gigbag afraid that I would run it into a wall or something and crack the headstock. So I built a heavy duty plywood guitar case that would hopefully protect my guitar in the case of me slamming it against something.
P.S. This is my first instructable!!!
Step 1: Gather Tools and Materials
ok so gather all the tools and supplies you need for your build. This will make your build much faster and hopefully keep you from losing your mind.
hot glue gun
mod podge (a type of glue mostly used for collages) i found some at walmart
styrofoam (either contractor boards or great stuff)
I was able to find most of these supplies at a new home build up the street. Contractors throw away EVERYTHING.
Step 2: Cut All of Your Boards Before Building
For my les paul guitar i needed
Two 15 inch X 41 1/2 inch boards
Two 3 inch X 40 1/2 inch boards
Two 3 inch X 15 inch boards
Two 1 inch X 40 1/2 inch boards
And Two 1 inch X 15 inch boards
Your measurements may be different depending on your guitar. Try to have no more than a half inch extra on all sides. Be sure to take into acount the thickness of your wood. the thicker your wood the easier to work with and the stronger it will be. The thinner the lighter and easier to carry it will be.
Step 3: Make the Bottom
make a frame out of the two 3 inch X 40 1/2 boards and the two 3 inch X 15 inch boards. See below. Use screws and glue the meeting points so that you can ensure a nice strong fit. Also make sure to drill a pilot hole for each one of the screws or your board may crack.
After you have completed the frame place the 41 and 1/2 inch X 15 inch board on top of the frame and glue and screw the board onto the frame.
You should now have a bottom half of a guitar case.
Step 4: Make the Top
Once you have completed the bottom you can now start on the top by making another frame out of the Two 1 inch X 40 1/2 inch boards And the Two 1 inch X 15 inch boards. Again glue at the meeting points and screw it together. After that attach the last 15 inch X 41 1/2 inch board to the top of the frame and glue and screw it on to the frame.
You should now have a top and a bottom.
Step 5: Foam Insert
Next you will want to make a foam insert. If you are using contracter blue foam read on if you are using great stuff i will tell you how to do it in a second. Cut three strips of blue foam the width and half of the length of the inside of your case. You can use a razor or utility knife, a jigsaw , or a hot wire cutter. My personal recomendation is a fine tooth jigsaw. Now trace the body of your guitar and part of the neck onto the foam and cut it out with a jigsaw.
Now if you use great stuff. I did not use this but i have heard of other people doing it this way. Take two plastic bags and lay one in the bottom of the guitar case. now put your guitar in the other bag spray great stuff onto the bag in the bottom of the case and place your guitar with the bag arond it into the foam making a decent impression of the guitar. I am not responsible for any damage to the guitar.
Step 6: Fabric
First you want to take your foam cutout and run a strip of fabric around the inside of it where the guitar sits and glue it in then take another peice of fabric that is the size of the top of the insert and a little bigger to go over the edges and cut the shape of the guitar out of the middle of it. Now take the top piece of fabric and glue it on to the top and fold the edges like a present and staple the present wrapped corners in place. you should now have a foam mold wrapped in fabric.
Now in the bottom and in the top of the case staple a peice of fabric onto the bottom of each. So that the is very little excess on the sides of the bottom and top of the case.
Step 7: Cardboard Sides
after you have the majority of the fabric done take some cardboard and cut it to match the width of the walls +1/2 inch on the bottom half of your case. The extra 1/2 inch is for the lid to fit on to the bottom Take some fabric and wrap it around the cardboard so that there is a little excess and glue the excess onto the back of the strips of cardboard. Then slide them into place in the bottom of the case and staple them in. Dont worry about the top we will deal with that later.
Step 8: Test Fit All Hardware
Test fit your hardware. First place your hinges on the back of the case and drill the holes for the screws. Then your latches. Last your handle and any extra things you have. Make sure that when you place your guitar in the case that nothing will be poking through from the screws. If so grind them down with a cutting wheel or file. Secondly when positioning the handle place the guitar in the case and put a small block underneath the case to balance it correctly.
Step 9: Outside of the Case
You should now have a wooden case that looks pretty awful with just the plain wood. You will want to get a paintbrush and mod podge and cover your case in a collage like finish. I used old newspaper and glued it on with mod podge. Remember to have a little extra off the sides so that you can glue it around the inside edges of the top. After the glue dries you will want to coat it in one more coat for durability. Now after everything is dry find the holes where the hardware was and poke them with a utility knife so that the screws can be put back in. Then put all the hardware back on and you have a case.
Finished product looks good. Works well but a little bit heavy. Atleast i can through my guitar down the stairs without hurting it.... although it would crack the tile at the bottom and maybe break the concrete ;-)
Participated in the
Craftsman Workshop of the Future Contest