Make Custom Guitar Cables on the Cheap




About: Engineering Enthusiast

Hi there

I just want to share a Quickie project , Guitar cables on the cheap
Great for the guys that like to have exactly what they Want , using The
'The 3 B's Technique ' :
Bonito y

That means Nice , Cool And Cheap in spanish

Soon (in the next step) i'll be posting the Complete details

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Step 1: Find Your Stuff (materials)

This is the mandatory list of materials , i'm giving several examples
of raw materia to properly fit your needs or taste

For The plug :
use a 1/4 inch connector not to big and must be take-apart-able (that word exist?)
Option A) A regular plastic body , plug
Option B)A Metalic body , plug (Recommended)
Option C)A silver body And Silver (Ag) plug
Option D)A Gold (Au) plated body and plug

For The Cable Itself :
Must be single Conductor core And Shield (A copper mesh around the core)
Option A) Normal duplex style wire
Option B)Audio microphone cable (recommended)
Option C)Silver Core , Oxygen-free Shielded Cable

This Cable is as You like It , Cheap , Good or Nice
I decided for the good quality cable
The Final cost was:
About 2 dollars of 6 feet of wire
About 1.5 dollars For Each plug
And 3 dollars of silver solder and Heat shrink tubing

I also took some Zipties from my junkbox

So for Everything was 8 bucks , Great!

Step 2: Tools Needed

For the Proper assembly you will need :
@Soldering Iron ( 30 - 45 watt recommended)
@Needle Nose Pliers
@Wire Cutters

}A Lighter
}A small cloth
} Small , Precision scissors

Optionally you can use
A wire stripper
A hot air gun
Some hemostats
And a Multimeter to test connections

Step 3: Strip and Twist the Wires

Using Your Wire Cutters (stripper) Remove the Black , Principal Insulation

Then You'll See A small Cable surrounded by A thin Copper wire mesh

Grab and twist together the copper mesh strands

Then peel The Small Cable (core ) , And Twist The Strands

Optional : dip the wires in solder paste to achieve better tining and soldering

Repeat With the Other End

Step 4: Plug in the Soldering Iron and Tin the Wires

Plug in The Soldering Iron
Wait 5 minutes And Tin the Tip

After That
Put the cable in your Repaireed helping hands if Desired

Put The Tip of the iron in thevery end and slide the solder from front to the back
Here's A Video Demo

Apologize my dirty soldering skills

Repeat With the other Side

Step 5: Cut a Piece of HST and Dry Fit the Plug

Cut A small piece of shrink tubing , of the size of the Small (Core) insulation ,
the Picture will give you instructions on how

Then Put the Plug on and insert the wires in their respective holes
The small tab with a hole in the center of pother lug is for the wire were
you insert the tubing ( The Core ) And the Other strand to the body of the plug

The pictures will give reference

Step 6: Solder , Shrink and Crimp

Solder the wires to their respective tabs , clip the excess wire

Then using your lighter or Hot air gun , shrink the tubing were the connection was made (Use Picture As Reference )

Using your pliers , crimp the wire , were the strain relief tabs are .

Step 7: Apply 1/2 Inch Heat Shrink Tubing

Then Slide a 2 inch piece of 1/2 heat shrink tubing And Shrink it With Your Lighter or heat gun

Step 8: Add the Second Layer of HST

Now Slide As much as you Can a 2 inch piece of 1/4 HST , Then Shrink With a Heat Source

Step 9: Insert the Metallic Body and Spring Strain Relief

Now Insert The Spring And The Round Metallic Body . Screw It And Clean With A Cloth

Congratulation You've Finished The First Side


Before Doing Anything else Insert The HST and The Body Before Soldering . Or else You'll have to desolder everything and start again

Step 11: Cutting More HST and Soldering Again

Cut The Small HST for The Other Core Cable , Slide It In place

Solder The Connections , like about ten minutes before (Shield to body , Core To Tip)

Clip Excess Wire

Shrink The Tubing

Step 12: Slide and Shrink More HST

First , Slide some 1/2 inch HST , Then Shrink

Then,Slide 1/4 inch tubing And Shrink

Pretty Self-explanatory , Isn't it ?

Step 13: Finishing and Final Thoughts

Slide The Spring , Then Screw the Body And....

YOU"RE DONE !!!11!

In the last 30 minutes you've done a Quality , Custom Made guitar Cable
Spending less than 10 Bucks , Could it be better ?

The Resistance (impedance) is comparable with Fender And Yamaha Cables (1.7 and 1.9 Ω )
Having just 2.1 Ω average , Great

Here's the video test

Thanks For Watching

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    33 Discussions


    1 year ago


    should be step one :P

    Muy buen tutorial!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Im wanting to make some cables like this with a contact mic on one end and 1/4 inch connector on the other. I already bought the cable, but now i realize my cable has two shielded wires, plus the copper wire mesh (frayed copper). should I buy new cable or could i still use this? THANKS:)


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Just saying, but if you need a cable to play gigs and to bring it everywhere and stuff it in your guitar's case (like i've been doing for years) you might wanna get neutrik plugs. they have a little plastic thing that screws on and ''jams'' the wire into place. Honnestly, in my 10 years of playing, Never have i seen a neutrik plug acting out (not saying it won't happen) so it's very unlikely to, and we're rough with those things. Otherwise, Very nice instructable buddy!!!! keep up the good work!!!


    9 years ago on Step 1

    would it be possible to use speaker wires from a surround sound system? I'm not looking to use it for my guitar, I would be using it change channels on my amp from a footswitch and for function switches

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Yes. If you are using the cable for a switch that does not actually carry audio, you should be fine using nearly any wire that can handle a few volts. The speaker wire might even be arguably better for that application than the mic cable used in this 'Ible.


    9 years ago on Step 8

    One of my cables has the connection surrounded by translucent goop.  Is this wax?  Silicone?  What's the term for this?

    wow chingon tuto lo padre de los mexicanos es que nos las ingeniamos para resolver todo estoi orgulloso d nuestro ingenio hehe :D


    10 years ago on Introduction

    what is the reason for needing the coax? Could you just use a side-by-side pair cable?

    1 reply

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    It's not the TV coax , is Microphone Cable , And yes , you can use one any cable that has 2 (or more!) conductors , Remember one cable for signal and the other one for Ground (anyways , non-shielded wire may cause unwanted hum )


    10 years ago on Introduction

    hey there acaz93 what is that project that you made ???? because i have no clue what it is!!!!!


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    i've finally got everything to make an APC, but have only soldered stuff for circuit bends and am apprehensive bout building my 1st circuit. I actually gradually amassed parts for a WSG 1st, then saw the APC and it looked a lil less complicated so...


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I also upload'd Some Pictures as Reference on building your own


    11 years ago on Introduction

    i have the exact same iron!didnt know it was that cheap


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Silver Solder (AKA silver bearing solder) is overkill for soldering connectors on cables. Also, your 45w iron quite likely won't get hot enough to melt silver solder, you'll need a higher power iron or a small torch for it, at which point the insulators in the plug may start melting (as well as the cable insulation if not rubber). Despite the convenience of the stores (often the only source in town), avoid the phone plugs that Radio Shack sells, their terminals are chrome plated (or something similar) rather than tinned, and are nearly impossible to solder to (by which time, the insulation is melting). If you've found this problem yourself, please write a complaint to the corporation about it. Perhaps we can eventually get them to restock with solderable parts.

    3 replies

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    ok ,
    first , Silver has less resistance than copper , my chemestry teacher and google prove that ,

    second ,
    this silver "bearing " solder , melts at low temperatures , (it's made to solder SMT after all ..),which makes it easier to solder and set

    Third ,
    it is not 45Watt is just 25

    and fourth ,
    i havent bought plugs from the 'shack i bought them at Steren


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I Bought it from a local E-Shop (fix Electronix) They Sell EVERYTHING you will ever need , well kind off , i'm not quite dhure where you can find it online , a little googling (New verb , YAY1!) May Come in handy