So long story short, I’ve decided to attempt building a guitar by hand- mainly because I’m an idiot. It doesn’t have to be beautiful or well formed or even sound good, I just want to make my own. So… I went to Lowes, bought some wood, bought some tools, and got to work.

Supplies:

  • 1″x3″x4′ Poplar board.
  • 1″x4″x2′ Poplar board.
  • 1″x6″x2′ Poplar board.
  • 1″x12″x2′ Poplar board.

Tools:

  • Coping saw
  • 1/2″ chisel
  • Hammer
  • Miter box
  • Surform shaver

Note that the design I’m working on is lopsided-the bottom half is larger than the top half. The main reason was simply because I wanted to keep costs down and go with the 12″ wide board for the back.

Here’s the template I came up with- remember that I’m a lefty, so the horn would be on top and the ball will be on the bottom (and the strings would be facing us). Note that the big board here will be on the back, and the section of neck seen here will be tapering in like a heel cut.

The straight-through neck idea; I plan on gluing and clamping these three boards together, then clamping and gluing them on top of the larger board’s cutout, then sanding the edges down. Note the “teeth” at the bottom  of the lower board- that’s because I’m using a coping saw rather than a band saw, so I have to take small pieces off at a time.

The length you see here is the same as my Fender strat, so the scale should be correct. The small section of board above the neck was extra length from the neck.I’m debating using that as the headstock and attaching it at an angle like a Gibson.

Not pictured is the 1/4″ red oak laminate that I’m going to use for the fingerboard. I’m not sure what to do for the bridge, nut and probable pickups- I might just go buy a broken used guitar and strip out the electronics.

I’ll post more updates as I have them. So far I’ve put about 4 hours of work into it and <$100 in wood.