Make Your Own Guitar Plans




Introduction: Make Your Own Guitar Plans

About: Ancient war god, incessant tinkerer, scientist, commited metal head, backyard engineer, chain smoker, guitar builder

Hello, if you are a hobbyist electric guitar builder on top of all the costs the one that always gets me is plans. On top of being very difficult to find they're usually $30-50 just for the paper plans. So im gonna show you my method for using an art projector and and various other cheap readily availible materials for cooking up your own full sized plans. This method is also good because you can make guitars that are no longer manufactured.

Step 1: Materials Needed

3.carbon paper projector
5.poster board
6.picture of the guitar being made, music distributor websites are a free source, photo bucket etc. sharpie or marker

Step 2: The Pickup Template

Take a piece of computer paper and measure a square 1 7/10ths by 3 5/10ths .This is the outside diameter of the pickup rings. I never use single coil pickups but im certain you can measure the overall width and height and measure your template from that. Or if you have a single coil insturment lower the pickup until it's recessed inside the body and trace the route of the wood. I'm sorry i don't have a single coil insturment to use as an example. Sorry about using tenths i use a machinist rule for everything

Step 3: The Guitar Plan Small Scale

Obtain a pic of the guitar you intend on building and print it out. In my case it was out of a book that i had. Now place a piece of carbon transfer paper behind the pic and a piece of unlined paper behind the carbon transfer. Now carefully trace the body style and at least one pick up position. I wouldn't worry about drawing out the bridge and neck. Because you can't construct a guitar neck using this technique as a template and bridge placement is based on the scale length. This is just for getting the body right.

Step 4: The Full Scale Plans

mount a piece of posterboard on the wall with thumb tacks and resize the projector by moving it back and forth and adjust the focus lens. It will help that you darken the room by placing blankets on all the windows and shutting off the lights.Keep adjusting until your pickup template fits the projected image. You think that this part is the easiest but you'll be suprised at how many adjustments it takes to resize an image to the proper scale.

Step 5: Straighten It Out

By now you traced the outline of your guitar body too scale you realize that your lines aren't as straight as when the image was only a couple of inches big. Use your ruler for the straight parts and carefully draw out any curves. Then when you streamline your plans outline with a black sharpie.

Step 6: Make a Body Template

Carefully cut out the poster and glue or tape it too the template material(MDF,plywood acrylic) and cut out the shape with the cutting method of your choosing. There you have it, full scale plans for a couple of bucks. You can also use the pickup ring template when you start fashioning the body to make sure you have clearance for the mounting rings. At this point i would draw in pickups,bridge and where electronics would mount but i made this just for the sake of the lesson, 
Good luck and happy guitar building.

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    6 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    This guitar is called an Ibanez XV500 i chose to use it for the lesson b/c it has been discontinued, which just makes you want too make it more LOL


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

     I think this is an Ibanez.
    It says X series in his plan, so im just guessing.... (the x series is all cool shapes and experimental stuff)
    It may be discontinued.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    i beleive these pickups were called hot rails,I once had a kramer with a similar pickup config and those where hot rails