Why would you ever need a homemade guitar? Isn’t it cheaper to just buy a beginner-level instrument at the local music store? Well, there’s no straight answer to that. It all depends on your skills, needs, the budget you’ve got, and prices at the store. To put it simply, if you’re planning on playing the guitar for years to come, then it would be wiser to spend as much as you can on it (that means buying an instrument made by professionals). On the other hand, if this is just an interesting project for you, or an axe to get you started, then a homemade guitar might be a wiser choice. Again, it all depends on your personal preferences and the current situation.
The biggest question is – can you really make a decent guitar at home, or is it not possible without some pro skills? The short answer is yes. As for the long one, you’ll find it in this article! It might seem like an almost impossible DIY project, but if you follow our instructions carefully, everything will be just fine. Picks, capos, stands – it’s all “doable”; all you’ll need are some basic skills. Note: our guitar will be made of wood, which means some beginner-level skills will be required. Don’t worry, though, because you’ll get the hang of it sooner than you think. Ok, let’s get right to it!
How to Make a Homemade Guitar – A Step-By-Step Guide
Alright, get yourself ready for a 2-hour-long manual that will not only improve your DIY skills, but also help you build an instrument that looks, acts, and sounds pretty decent. As mentioned earlier, the guitar will be made out of wood. For the body, use a 2×4 piece – a nicely polished one, of course. Pine lumber isn’t the cheapest material out there, but it will be perfect for this. Make sure the length is 32”. Along with the wood, we’ll also need a pack of strings (six of those), a pickup, and several all-thread rods. And what about the necessary tools, you might ask? The set is pretty standard: a saw, an electric drill, and a screwdriver will do just fine.
Getting To Cutting and Marking
Are you happy with the lumber? Good, then go ahead and “cut out” the headstock of the guitar. Have you ever heard about dado blades? They’re available in stores around the glove and will be ideal for this task. You’ll need to make a mark +/- four inches away from the left end and draw a 5/8-inch line (a horizontal one). The tuners come next, and they require 6 identical holes. Put the guitar on its “stomach” and let’s mark the spots for the bridge (3 inches), the string feed (1.5 inches), the nut (26 inches) and two for the gaps (4.5 inches and 6 inches). And don’t forget that the strings also need 6 holes.
After you make room for the pickup cavity, the piece of wood will start to look a lot like the real thing. Now arm yourself with a ruler and a pen (or, rather, a pencil) to mark the frets – nothing hard about that. The pickup, in turn, might be a bit tricker to fit. Grab 2-3 good screws and use them to mount the pickup to the piece of wood. If you manage to place it ¼-inches away from the strings, that will be perfect. Can’t seem to find a way to do that? Try putting a piece of cardboard under it. Are the strings in? Awesome, the all-thread bolts come next.
How to Make a Homemade Guitar – The Verdict
Oki-Doki, we’re done here! Take a minute to tune the axe and take it for a spin. Yes, this is a lap steel guitar, and you probably won’t have as much fun with it as with an expensive electric guitar. However, for some home practicing and even recording, it is quite alright. Besides, it cost us almost nothing compared to a solid instrument at the store. One final thing: if the strings are constantly coming out of the threads/holes, we highly recommend using wood screws. That’s right: put them as deep as possible into the guitar. That way, the strings will never be able to “escape.”