Making a Guitar from Scratch

In high school, I spent as much of my precious free time working with my hands as I could. For my last piece of artwork before heading off to college, I decided to start what ended up being a two and a half year journey, to teach myself woodworking and build a beautiful guitar. 

Summary: This is a project I started on the tail-end of high school, and worked on throughout my first two years of college. Starting with no woodworking or electronics experience, I designed and built a working guitar completely from raw cut woods, and it sounds incredible.

View the attached videos to hear it played! 

What I learned: 

This project helped develop my independent learning skills more than anything. I learned all the woodworking through online research. I learned to carefully plan my steps ahead of time and figure out exactly how I would perform each step before attempting it.

My attitude was to make the best guitar I could on the first try, so I couldn't afford to make any permanent mistakes (I made plenty, but managed to fix them all... there's nothing quite like the adrenaline rush of routing deep into the face of your precious 2-year project during the final pass, and then finding a way to fix your mistake).

The most important thing I learned from this project was that we can learn to do anything – I had people telling me this wouldn't turn out, to buy a neck, there was no way I could make it straight and have it sound right... If you put in the time and effort, you can make it happen. Every string sounds beautifully in-tune on every fret. This guitar has been played at a house party by Vulfpeck – my all-time favorite band – and THE Theo Katzman was raving about it to me. There's no greater feeling than that. 

Demo Videos: This guitar has been played by some of my favorite musicians – my good friend Nick Vinsonhaler, and Theo Katzman/Jack Stratton from Vulfpeck (listen with some good speakers).

Click the slideshow to flip through photos