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Machine Your Own Electric Guitar

Machine Your Own Guitar: Another awesome DIY guitar project to add to the “how to build a guitar” list – this one is a bit more complex, using tools that you’ll likely only find in heavy duty workshops (mill, band saw, drill press, extra long drill bits). But for someone who has access to their high school/college/work workshop, the write up steps you through all the instructions in a very clear way.

The shape of the wood slab forced the guitar to be designed in a way that you don’t see often, with the grain perpendicular to the strings. I love the unique way that ends up looking, but can be a bit dangerous as the tension from the strings put a lot of strain on the grain and can cause cracking/breaking.

Because the creator already had a neck from another guitar, he was able to make this one for about $100 – but says that using better wood and electronics would bump the price up to the $450-$600 range. Still, a very decent price for a custom, sweet looking guitar.

– Approx. 1.5″ thick hardwood slab, large enough to accommodate your design
– Prefabricated bolt-on guitar neck
– Double coil humbucker pickups ($33 for two on eBay)
– Tune-o-matic bridge ($12 on eBay)
– String tail-piece ($6 on eBay)
– Jack plate ($3 on eBay)
– 1/4″ mono jack
– 2x knobs ($3 each on eBay)
– 2x 100k audio-taper potentiometers (pots)
– Les Paul rear plate ($6 on eBay)
– Strap pins
– Sacrificial piece of 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick plywood
– Wire
– Solder
– Triangle wood wedge
– Large sheet of paper
– Wood conditoner
– Wood stain
– Urethane wood finish
– Paint thinner
– Cloths
– Mill
– Assorted mill cutters
– Assorted Forstner bits
– Mill slot-clamps and assorted clamping bars/rests
– Drill press*
– An extremely long 3/8″ drill bit
– Band saw**
– Sandpaper
– Sanding block or palm sander
– Wood rasp
– Soldering Iron
– Bubble level
– Pencil
– Protractor
– Mallet