Removable Guitar Killswitch




Introduction: Removable Guitar Killswitch

About: Film maker, musician, tinkerer. Living in Philly.
If you're not ready to drill up your guitar to install a killswitch, here's an easy way to make one that you can take right off if you don't want it.

If you don't feel like reading, you can watch this video. Also, I played a little demonstration in the video.

Step 1: Materials

Here's what you need to make this.

Guitar Cable
Small Project Box
Electrical Tape
Guitar (Obviously)

Soldering Iron (optional)
Wire cutter/stripper

A note about the button. I got mine at RadioShack. MAKE SURE that the button is usually open. That means that when you aren't pressing it, it's off. If on the back of the packaging the button came in it says "Usually Closed" DO NOT buy that button!

Step 2: Attach Wires to Guitar Cable

Unscrew the metal casing from one end of the guitar cable. Take off any plastic or rubble protection inside it. Wrap two wires around the things highlighted in red on the picture. To make sure you did it right, plug the cable into a guitar, play a note, and touch the two wires together, if the sound stops, you're doing great so far! If not, make sure you have the wires in the right places.

Step 3: Put the Cable Back Together

Wrap anything that was originally covered in rubber or plastic in electrical tape. Run the two wires you attached under the metal casing and slide the casing back on. This part can be a bit tricky. If the wires don't fit, try thinner wires.

Step 4: Make the Box

Drill a hole in the top of your project box whatever size the button's packaging says to drill. Mine was 3/8th inches. Also drill a hole in the side of the box. Run the wires through the hole on the side and into the box. Put the button into the hole, then either twist, or twist and solder the wires onto separate pins on the button. Put the top back on the box and screw it back together.

Step 5: Attach It All to Your Guitar!

Now, using duct tape or velcro or something, attach the box on to a place on the guitar you can easily reach. Plug the cable into the guitar and try it out! It's a little tricky at first, but with practice, it'll sound good!

Try moving it to different places! Putting it in the lower left makes it easy to hit with your arm!

If you really like the killswitch and think you're ready to actually install one, check out this Instructable by pandaman0529!



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    102 Discussions

    The button needs to be always open, so that when you press it it will close the circuit.

    Wow, I can't tell you how great this tutorial is! I have an ok quitar, but i didn't want to drill into it just for the killswitch. I used speaker wire, so it wasn't as streamline, so I had to use electrical tape over the solder-ed spot, but it worked very well none the less.

    Thanks for a great and simple kill switch alternative!

    Last night i built your kill switch :) Though instead of a button, I used a toggle switch. It rocks. Thanks for this instructable!

    ooh ooh ooh!

    i saw you before a couple years ago when i made that cardboard head! i thought you looked familiar!

    still have that thing lying around. i put a wig and sunglasses on it and called it Wally.   but thats for another day...

    i wouldnt do an invasive switch for my FIRST tele but i would love to start playing around with my second guitar.  I am a Sentimental packrat so i have a first everything that i wouldnt touch. first CD, first CD with that sticker, first CD with that sticker and a mark on it.   i am talking about the same album.

    so i would like to do stuff with guitars. i would want to make my own one day but i am young and poor.

    oh, BTW you would make a cool teacher.  cause really we are all talking about the rubber thing and not the flux capacity or whatever its scientifically called.

    the kill switch works great, but when i put on high gain for a scratching solo like tom morellos, i get a really loud hum, is there anyway to eliminate this?

    Hey Camera, could you be a nice fellow and post the guitar tab for "Jordan", or show me how to play it? I'm having a hard time near the end of riff 1, and pull-offs are kinda hard with my quiet amp. Thanks!

    1 reply

    he isn't a liar.....that just means you spent your money on a more expensive cable.....mine was 8 bucks and something, and the killswitch works the way it should.

    That's very awesome.....I built this for my SG, and it only costs about 12 works perfectly, and i love using it now!! Thanks!!

    can't you just get it drilled and stuff at the store?i dont wanna break it!

    Because all your doing is sending the electricty back to the amp, aren't you????

    electricity goes back to the amp without this killswitch, thats how the signal gets sent.