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home made guitar

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#1 OFFLINE   sheraton


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Posted 18 July 2012 - 06:37 PM

How'do folks :) i'm hoping to make more time, to post more regular on the forum again ;) thought i'd share this.

I traded my electro acoustic guitar for a couple of pedals recently, i was happy to trade, but i miss playing acoustic guitar.
so thought i'd have a go at throwin one together, using what i had, i wasn't expecting much.....lol

i had a piece of oak that i found a while back and kept, which i used for the neck. with an old beat up piece of mahogany, that i had used as marker board on the lapsteel i made (later changed to an L.E.D board on the lapsteel)
i was initially going for a square neck lapsteel acoustic.
i had a sheet of plywood, and some 50mm x 50mm pine, for the body.

i also wired up a speaker on the inside (roughly where a soundhole would be) this is wired to a jack to work as a pickup (not very good sound tho...lol..) it also affects the tone of the guitar acoustically, acts like a resonator.

i made a pickup as well, from a beeper/buzzer/sounder ..or whatever it's called... from an old smoke alarm. this sounds better, and goes on the outside so can be moved/adjusted to alter the sound, still need to work on a bracket to attach this properly

i ended up sticking some old frets on this, just to try it. i already had slots in the fretboard that were markers from being on the lapsteel i'd made, so easy to try it. it worked better than i thought, so i'm going to buy new fret wire and redo the fretboard. it wasn't an issue when i started, as i was doing a lapsteel so i left the board pretty ruff....lol...and the neck is still quite square, i did shape a bit off the bass side.........

the construction is rufffff...lol...but it does the job, i only used a few basic tools and what materials i had..glued together mostly with "no-more nails" adhesive...lol

here's some pics........i'll post a vid too


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#2 ONLINE   gasbag


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Posted 18 July 2012 - 06:49 PM

Wow, that is so amazing I don't even know what to say about it.
Ii must be rewarding to be able to do things like that.
Here you are building a guitar and I can't even pick my nose without
hurting myself. Very impressive............... :beer:

Cute pooch too..............
2 + 2 = 5 for very large amounts of 2

#3 OFFLINE   sheraton


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Posted 18 July 2012 - 07:11 PM

cheers gasbag , aye the dog's such a wee poser i had to put this photo on
i love messin about with wood n tools, making things..... and breaking things sometimes too...lol

here's a video testing the external pickup i made.........


#4 OFFLINE   eddiez152

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 07:16 PM

Thats pretty cool.
Nothin sweeter than the sound of music comin out of a 6 string box - EZ me Music / ASCAP "Music is a social act of communication, a gesture of friendship,the strongest there is"-Malcolm Arnold

#5 OFFLINE   carol m

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 08:46 PM

Wow, that is so impressive! How did you bend the sides to shape? And how does that bridge work - it looks like you threaded the strings from the sound hole side then over the top?

I think you should take up joinery (or guitar making) as your main work when your gigging life slows down - beats window cleaning in a Scottish winter, that's for sure.

In that last photo, it looks like the guitar has a halo - or it's own aura of golden light - I think that's an omen of great things to come....maybe. :D

Glad you're back.
One good thing about music is that when it hits you, you feel no pain - Bob Marley

#6 OFFLINE   mattz196

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 12:54 AM

Classic DIY at it's finest.
What's Rangoon to you is Grafton to me

#7 OFFLINE   mset3

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 08:13 AM


Not bad at all. You did a good job. How long did it take you from start to finish?


#8 OFFLINE   shonie777


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Posted 19 July 2012 - 09:41 AM

Now I really like that guitar! Got me thinking I should get back to making some guitars. It's been awhile since I built one.

You did a really good job on that bro! I'd love to see it when it's all done. Especially the finish. Any thoughts on what you are going to finish it with?


#9 ONLINE   micky mac


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Posted 19 July 2012 - 10:45 AM

wow thats deadly and you still sound way better than me lol
The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you. B.B. King

#10 OFFLINE   sheraton


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Posted 19 July 2012 - 07:29 PM

cheers folks.....it's pretty crudely constructed...to say the least, not that hard to throw together, the plywood top and back hide all the dodgy work..lol

hey Carol, if you look at pics 4 and 5 you can see the construction, the sides are solid wood cut to shape, and the internal hollow area is rectangular
i did try steaming the ply to bend it but it was still splitting, its pretty much 3 ply (layers) with a paper-thin layer front and back, (not sure if 5 ply with 5 layers the same thickness would be better)......so went with solid sides

took maybe a week to do this, it evolved as i went along, so mostly pondering......lol.....having daft ideas like using a speaker as a pickup....not the best idea

i probably leave it quite ruff and homemade looking, so probably just some teak oil rubbed in
i tried some silver paint on one side of the guitar,(all i had lying around) looked horrible tho
i'll sand the sides and shape the neck a bit more, i'm more interested in how it plays than how it looks, so new frets and some work on the board
maybe a nut, as i have a zero fret with a wooden string guide behind(to space the strings) for now was going with a nut, then got the idea to do a zero fret (like Brian May has on his guitar) kinda makes sense when you think about it ......

i'll post a pic of the pickup....when i take one...lol credit to Karcey for the idea to use a buzzer/sounder (i'm sure it was Karceys' post i read a while back for d.i.y pickups)


#11 OFFLINE   fly135

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 10:24 AM

That is so cool. What are the internal speaker and pots for? Do you have an amp inside?

#12 OFFLINE   sheraton


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Posted 21 July 2012 - 10:04 AM

View Postfly135, on 20 July 2012 - 10:24 AM, said:

That is so cool. What are the internal speaker and pots for? Do you have an amp inside?

the speaker is wired to the pots (volume and tone) and an output jack, and works as a pickup....not the best sound, but it does work.......no good for playing through an amp at high volume, as it will feed back easily...

the other pickup i made attaches to the outside of the guitar, i've been working on a bracket so that this can be attached to the guitar, then removed when not in use....i'll post some pics


#13 OFFLINE   sheraton


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Posted 23 July 2012 - 11:46 AM

here's a quick update on the guitars evolution......

i made a bracket to hold the pickup in place, and one to connect the output jack to the guitar - both can be removed when not in use

this is the best i could think to do, with what i had at hand.....

the pics show the sounder from the smoke alarm, i removed the plastic housing that it originally sat in, then glued a foam spacer and a brass eyelet to one side (the face down side) then wired up to a jack....

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last night i removed the frets and planed the fretboard down a bit, to try and tidy it up a bit and get rid of the fret slots and markers, and the bevelled edge.
i'll hopefully get some new fretwire soon - 2m of stainless steel jumbo wire on ebay for @ 6 quid .....bargain....i think...lol


#14 OFFLINE   starsailor

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 02:43 PM

You're a talented man Paul, this is very cool, can't be anything better than playing a guitar you've made yourself, nice one.
You don't stop laughing when you grow old; you grow old when you stop laughing.

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