Making of "Hobo" electric guitar.
I wanted to make my own guitar but not have the experience or wood working tools, so I chose a kit. I picked a Muslady headless guitar kit from Ebay.
Below are the basic steps to assemble, finish and adjust what I call The Naturalist, or Hobo guitar for it's grunge yet natural look.
It plays surprisingly well and once adjusted and some adaptations made it is now my favorite guitar to play.
The guitar came in this box which was perfect to work in as a catch for the dyes and stains. It was surprisingly smooth and needed very little if any sanding. Being adventurous in creativity I wanted to use existing materials as much as possible and chose a blue pond dye. Later this caused some difficulty as even though it dries out, it is reactivated with water.
I realized that to prevent the blue from bleeding through to my hands and clothes, I would have to cover it. I chose a green wiping stain because I wanted a teal color. The color ultimately became exactly what I wanted. I was surprised and happy.
For the clear finish I used plain shellac and a brush and because of weather conditions, very hot and also windy, the finish had an interesting wavy texture to it. At first I was thinking it was ruined and horrible to not have smooth shiny finish, but I accepted it and decided it gave it character, After that dried, I assembled it and put strings and it played, But there were some problems, or adjustments that needed to be made.
Almost all the problems centered on the bridge. It is an Overlord of Music, zinc cast and machined tremolo and tuning bridge that is a copy or spin-off of a Steinberger. The height was too low and is probably because the neck socket needed to be routed out deeper to align correctly. But instead I raised the bridge by using some washers underneath. Another issue was the movement of the bridge when using tremolo requires the cavity be sanded out on corners to make room fro travel. The other issue was for the tremolo to be tuned, the strings had to be exactly right size. I had 10's on it and it was great for a while. I put 09's on it and not tune and then 11's and then it tuned great drop D, a full step down. You can lock the tremolo and make it fixed bridge and solve all this, too. Overall the problems were challenging for a beginner like myself, but I was able to overcome them with some ingenuity.
For the jacket, I hand sewn some black cotton that I stained brown with bleach and softened with fabric softener. Then used leather cord to finish. For the head part of the headless neck I used natural feathers and leather twine to attach to give it a "naturalist" look. I used black ink also to stain the fretboard naturally. Shown with old treated strings for looks only. The guitar plays fantastic. For less than 200 dollars including materials to finish and varnish and strings, I feel it came out well.
If you would like to hear some of the music I created with this guitar visit Skorzion page here.
Tags: DIY guitar build, finished guitar kit, hobo guitar, naturalist guitar, electric guitar kit, guitar project, grunge custom guitar, custom guitar, making of, how to, behind the scenes, rock music
Blog of Rybird with stories, behind the scenes and features of music, art, photography, and spirituality. Creativity and Inspiration along with some personal experiences.