Saturday, February 15, 2020

How to make a chess box electric guitar

Tools and materials:

I made this experimental DIY guitar out of beech wood and a cheap chess box. I really enjoy making these cigar box inspired blues guitars. They are really cool for playing slide and kind of inspire me to play guitar out of my comfort zone. 

I begun by squaring a piece of beech on the jointer planer. 

I then took the box apart. With a series of cuts on the table saw I removed wood to make the joints that would receive the neck. 

I then cut the necks’s shape on the bandsaw. 

I cut the neck at an angle to make the joint for the headstock. I finished the cut with a handsaw. I temporarily clamped the headstock on the neck and drilled two holes that would receive bamboo sticks. These sticks prevent the pieces from moving around while glue up. 

I glued the headstock on the neck and cut off the excess wood with handsaws. I also used a hand plane to remove excess material. 

I then used an offcut piece to make the fretboard on the table saw.

I shaped the headstock on the bandsaw. I used a hand plane and my belt sander to finish shaping.

To shape the neck, I removed as much material as I could using my spokeshave. I then finished the areas I couldn’t reach with rasps and files. 

Using a fret saw I opened up  a hole for the pickup. I cleaned it up with my rotary tool. 

I then made the pickup’s case out of a scrap beech piece. I created the holes needed on the drill press and I counter sinked them. 

I then soldered all the electric parts. I used heat shrinking tube in the areas where naked cables could touch each other. As a ground I used an old metal spring which I hot glued in place. 

I then made pilot holes for the tuning pegs. Then I drilled the holes. 

Using a sanding block I flattened the neck before glueing the fretboard. 

I then glued the neck on my guitar’s top. 

I cut the fret slots. With a lubricated saw I cut the slots. 

I then glued the fretboard in place. Again I used bamboo sticks to prevent the fretboard from moving around while glue up.

I glued the fret indicators in place and cut them flush. 

I hammered the fret wire in the slots. I then used super glue to the frets. Then I cut the excess wire and filed the frets sides flush. 

I used sanding blocks to sand the sharp edges of the frets. 

I installed the hinges and the string guides in place. 

I then drilled some holes to place the string holders on the back end of the neck. 

Finally I made a bridge and shaped the nut and bridge bones. 

My guitar was ready. I still need to set up the action a little bit but overall I am really happy with the way it came out. 

But anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed this project, because that was it, see you soon with a new project video. 

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, that at no cost to you, I get a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.

1 comment:

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