How to Make a Wooden Guitar

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Making your own wooden guitar can save you over buying a custom model from one of the many skilled luthiers in the guitar-making world. By choosing your own components and buying some pre-made parts, you can create your own custom model that suits your needs with no compromises. With a little woodworking experience, you can accomplish this goal with minimal effort and have a guitar that will last for decades.

Things You'll Need

  • Body blank
  • Saw
  • Router
  • Orbital sander
  • Paint
  • Pickups
  • Neck
  • Bridge
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Cut the body shape out of a body blank made of alder, ash or mahogany. These are three of the more popular choices of wood for guitar. Draw the shape of your choice with a pencil directly onto the wood blank and use a vertical saw or jigsaw to rough cut the body.

  • Sand the rough cut body to its finished shape. You can alter your design at this point, but make sure to sand the edges well and use the orbital sander to create contours such as those seen on the back of the body for comfort as the body sits against your body while playing. You should also consider a contour on the top of the body where your picking arm will rest while playing as well.

  • Rout any cavities for the body including those for the pickups, neck and control cavity. Make sure you measure the heel of the neck before cutting the neck pocket as the neck should fit tightly in this rout. Also, make enough room for the electronics if you plan on using active pickups. You will need to access them for adjustments, so make just enough room to accommodate the knobs and this module.

  • Paint the guitar or have it painted by a professional. A professional will most likely do a better job, so it may be worth the extra cost to have it done this way. If you want a natural look, consider staining the guitar with a colored stain. Apply liberally, and then wipe off with a clean cloth for the best coverage.

  • Attach the bridge and drop the pickups into their places in the body. Attach the neck with at least four large wood screws, and make sure that the neck is stable and does not move. You can get a pre-made neck from an online music retail store in many different styles and woods.

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