How to Make a Dirt Simple Guitar Capo!




I think my favorite DIY capo has got to be the rubberband-and-pen capo just because it's so easy! But that capo left a dent in my (cheap) guitar neck... so i've devised a new way to make a capo that's incredibly simple and totally cheap!

Thanks DarkMuskrat:
"Hey, this is pretty good for any guitarists.
And i'm pretty sure that part/tool is just called a "plastic cabinet handle"
you can buy them anywhere so maybe check at home depot or somewhere."

so if you ever see the words "weird unnamable tool" just remember, it's a plastic cabinet handle!

here's a super helpful tip from gmoon:
"I like your capo (+plussed) ...might I suggest you replace the screws with a threaded shaft (cut off the screw head), then use wing nuts to tighten / attach the wood piece?

Then you could take it off and tighten it without a screwdriver..."

and remember to rate my instructable! thanks.

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Step 1: Gather Your Materials

You're going to need:
1. an Unnamable tool, see picture one, and someone please tell me what it's called! (it should already have screws)
2. A ruler or some small piece of wood
3. plastic washers (if you want)
4. clamps (optional)
5. CD-Spindle foam cylinder
6. cutting tool (old knife or superlong dremel cutter tool)
7. Rubber sole from an old shoe
8. Electrical tape
9. Tea Candle and matches

Step 2: Extracting Rubber From a Shoe

You're going to need an approximately 2-3 inch by 1 cm piece of rubber. I had no idea how to approach this step, so i went ahead and grabbed the dremel and cut into the rubber. This is where i got some problems. The rubber melted and the dremel wasn't long enoguh to cut the rubber sole all the way through. So i went and got an old knife no one uses (you might mess up your knife unless you can somehow get the rubber off) and tried cutting it, but it was quite difficult. So i grabbed the tea candle and heated up the knife and it cut the sole like butter...hard butter. But it went in easily nonetheless.

Naturally, being the semi-pyro i am, i ended up playing wiht the wax and a bunch of matches and afterward realized i just burned a big spot into my dad's work table. Woops.

After that, i extraced the rubber then cut it up to a good size.

Step 3: Cut Up Your Ruler

Hooray for rulers! For this, just find 10 cm. on the ruler and cut the ruler apart there.

Now lay the weird unnamable tool onto the wood, and make it centered. (see picture two)

Mark right underneath it where the screws are laying and remove the weird unnamable tool. Now find halfway in the short way of the ruler. Make an "X" where the two marks intersect. Grab your drill and make a 1/8 hole. This SHOULD fit the screws.

You can now hot glue the rubber centered onto the ruler. If you don't have a hot glue gun, but have the glue sticks for some reason, see my other instructable A Collection of Random Useful Tips, or just do the easy thing and read this: heat up the glue stick wtih a candle and smudge it onto the spot you want the rubber. Easy.

Now you're done with the top part of the capo! easy!

Step 4: Make the Base

You're going to need the weird unnamable tool, the CD-Spindle foam, electrical tape, and the knife.

Cut a 1/2 inch by 2 inch by 1/2 inch rectangle of foam (you can estimate to wahtever you want). Place it centered on the bottom of the U of the wierd tool. Tape it in place with the electrical tape nice and tight so that it doesn't shift.

Step 5: Conclusion

Congratulations! You have just made your own guitar capo! You just saved 15 dollars! :-)

To use it, simply put the weird tool part on the underside of the guitar neck and the ruler part on top. Put plastic washers on the screws for looks and so the wood doesn't break.
Screw the screws into the weird tool where they belong and tighten it over the fret you want to capo it!

To put it on easily, keep one screw in and the other out so you can just pivot it over the neck, squeeze the pieces together, and tighten them! That was simple, wasn't it?

I found a cool white weird tool that somehow became yellow... that would've looked nice :-)

The Capo doesn't really inhibit my fingers from playing any chords or tabs or anything so in all, i believe this project was a success...apart from my stink from the burning wood...

I'm not sure if this qualifies for the Tools Tips Contest, so if it's not, I'll remove it from the group. I just figured that the capo was a tool itself for a guitar and i was giving you tips on how to make one on your own! :-)

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    17 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Not a bad "prototype" : The fundamental strength needed to grip all 6 strings across the fretboard has been addressed. But like all prototypes, its only when you play vigorously that you'll know if it's got what it takes.

    Both foam padding and rubber strip can be thinner, making the design less "chunky". Great idea to use "shoe sole" rubber, because that's hardened for long-term use.

    I'll refine this design by curving the wooden ends, painting the washers black, or inking them black with a marker. Spray the "cabinet handle" gold (and the screws) - I'll also try to put a slot in one end of the wood, so the capo can be easily taken off / or attached. (that might be tricky if the clearances aren't right).

    Only real down side is you might dent guitar neck if it's over-tightened. Wouldn't use this on a vintage gib, initially!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    This might actually work! Maybe you could make it look a bit simpler so it doesn't stick out too much and ruin the look of your guitar.
    Still, Good job on this!


    LOL yeah id rather buy one. BUT this thing has actualyl saved me a few times. I lost my capo and i had to play for church and i happened to bring this one day. Worked like a charm mauhahaha


    11 years ago on Introduction

    You could probably mod a chip bag clip to make a capo, it would take some work, but who knows...


    11 years ago on Step 1

    i don't know how that "tool" may be called in english, but you can i.e. open cupboards with it...

    1 reply

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Instead of a hole on the lower side of your capo, make it a slot, then you can swing the capo for quick release and re-fit etc. Glue the washer to the head of the bolt on that side to keep it in place. Great capo.

    1 reply

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    reply! yeah i was thinking that too because i have one of those capos, but i lost it... and for some reason, i had no idea how to do it -_-. now i do haha. -_-


    11 years ago on Introduction

    A piece of a wooden paint stirring stick, which is free at any home center or paint store, is probably just the right size for your application. Sometimes they are plastic, so YMMV.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Hey, this is pretty good for any guitarists. And i'm pretty sure that part/tool is just called a "plastic cabinet handle" you can buy them anywhere so maybe check at home depot or somewhere.

    1 reply

    LOL yeah i just asked my dad and he told me it was a plastic cabinet handle too -_- ahha i seriously was convinced that it was some sort of something. Like those hooks... anyway. thanks for the input :-)