How To Design And Build Your Own Guitar Head

Are you an amateur luthier who would like to know how to design and build your own guitar head?  If you have the design dancing around in your brain, here are a few pointers.  Put your own individuality into it and soon you will have your own unique instrument.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Large block of wood
  • Circular saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Sandpaper
  • Guitar hardware
  • C-clamp
  • Sketchbook and pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Hand drill
  • Paint brush
  • Clear coat
  1. Before you do anything else, you need to sketch out a design.  Make exact measurement calculations and design the guitar head on paper before you attempt to carve it out of wood.  Work with several drafts until you have the exact design you want.
  2. Transfer the sketch onto the block of wood.  Make clear notes of exactly where each pickup will be, label for each piece of hardware that you will need.  Measure and measure again to be sure the guitar meets the exact dimensions you want.  Do this before you attempt to cut it out of the wood.
  3. With safety glasses in place, carefully cut the head out of the wood block.  Go slowly and use extreme caution with the circular or table saw. 
  4. Use the jigsaw to cut out the place for the pickups.  Use the jigsaw to go around the outline and clean up any wood notches left by the table saw.  Secure the head to a workspace with a large c-clamp for easier maneuvering. 
  5. Measure the hole needed for the guitar’s neck.  Using extreme caution, use the jigsaw to hollow out the neck hole.  Proceed carefully; you do not want to make a mistake and ruin the entire head.
  6. Mark the holes necessary for the pickups and neck screws.  Carefully drill out these holes.  Be careful not to make the drill holes too large.
  7. With a high grit sandpaper, begin smoothing out the guitar head.  This is an arduous task.  Take the time to do it right.  Once the sanding job is completed to your satisfaction, brush away the saw dust and apply a layer of clear coat.  Allow it to dry completely.  Add a secnd coat if so desired.
  8. Follow the package instructions and install the guitar head’s hardware.  Be careful not to strip the holes drilled for the nuts and bolts.

You are now ready to add a neck and strings.  Add paint or other designs to the guitar as you wish.

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