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A 2" x 4" Guitar

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Project by Foghorn posted 03-27-2020 09:15 PM 775 views 1 time favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Every year, our woodworkers club has had a 2” x 4” contest. The contest originally was to use an 8’ SPF stud to build anything you wanted. It evolved over the years to require the equivalent board feet of a 2” x 4” using SPF and up to 20% accent woods as a lot of time was going into some of these projects and people wanted to use some higher quality parts.

At the same time, a luthier forum I was a member of had the $100 challenge where you were required to build an instrument where the materials used did not exceed $100.

I decided to build a guitar as it would work for both contests. It is based on a GAL plan for a 1918 Martin parlour guitar.

Materials for the guitar were two 1” x 4” x 8’ pine boards. I picked through the stack and found two more or less clear of knots and as close to the quarter as I could. One even had a bit of interesting grain and color. The fretboard, bridge and headplate came from a piece of rosewood that was given to me. Binding is walnut from my offcut bin. Neck is bolted on using hanger bolts. The tuners were from a garage sale and cost $2.00. The saddle and nut are made from one of my dog’s bones that whitened in the back yard for a year or so.

I resawed the boards and joined the pieces to make pieces wide enough for the back, top and sides. The neck was a 3 piece laminate using three pieces of 1” x 4” glued up. I routed a slot in the neck to accommodate a few hacksaw blades epoxied in to add stiffness to resist string pull.

Finished it with a few coats of lacquer. I figure about $20 to $30 in materials were used including shop supplies. It actually plays and sounds great and the neck is straight still after a few years. I had enough wood left over to make the stand for it.

-- Darrel





21 comments so far

View JCamp's profile

JCamp

1129 posts in 1282 days


#1 posted 03-28-2020 12:08 AM

Awesome little guitar and cool story to god along with it.

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View Foghorn's profile

Foghorn

449 posts in 118 days


#2 posted 03-28-2020 12:08 AM

Figured I’d add a few construction pictures. A pretty simple build that doesn’t require a lot of specialty tools if any. Making a bending pipe can be a very simple process as well.

-- Darrel

View Foghorn's profile

Foghorn

449 posts in 118 days


#3 posted 03-28-2020 12:10 AM

Carving fixture.

-- Darrel

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Foghorn

449 posts in 118 days


#4 posted 03-28-2020 12:11 AM

Scrap maple drilling jig for the tuners.

-- Darrel

View Foghorn's profile

Foghorn

449 posts in 118 days


#5 posted 03-28-2020 12:12 AM

Bolt on neck with common hanger bolts (wood screw on one end)

-- Darrel

View Foghorn's profile

Foghorn

449 posts in 118 days


#6 posted 03-28-2020 12:13 AM

Taping a glueing walnut binding.

-- Darrel

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Foghorn

449 posts in 118 days


#7 posted 03-28-2020 12:14 AM

Spacing the bridge holes with a proportional divider.

-- Darrel

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Foghorn

449 posts in 118 days


#8 posted 03-28-2020 12:15 AM

Chamfering bridge holes.

-- Darrel

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Foghorn

449 posts in 118 days


#9 posted 03-28-2020 12:16 AM

Template routing the headstock slots.

-- Darrel

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Foghorn

449 posts in 118 days


#10 posted 03-28-2020 12:20 AM

Edge glueing the thin (.100”) plates for top and back. 3M 233 tape is great for this. Just the right amount of stretch. Elevate the sides of the plates 3/4” or so, tape the seam, apply glue (Titebond orig original in this case) take out the side spacers and place a weight. The plates pull together perfectly.

-- Darrel

View Foghorn's profile

Foghorn

449 posts in 118 days


#11 posted 03-28-2020 01:39 AM

The hacksaw blades. :)

-- Darrel

View pottz's profile

pottz

9378 posts in 1715 days


#12 posted 03-28-2020 02:00 AM

wow a great guitar from a “2×4”. foghorn you dont have to make a seperate post for each pic,you can add as many pics as you want to your project post.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View Foghorn's profile

Foghorn

449 posts in 118 days


#13 posted 03-28-2020 02:18 AM



wow a great guitar from a “2×4”. foghorn you dont have to make a seperate post for each pic,you can add as many pics as you want to your project post.

- pottz

Thanks Pottz. Still learning. I thought six blurry photos in the original post and then a picture in each comment. I’m learning slowly. :)

-- Darrel

View pottz's profile

pottz

9378 posts in 1715 days


#14 posted 03-28-2020 03:15 AM


wow a great guitar from a “2×4”. foghorn you dont have to make a seperate post for each pic,you can add as many pics as you want to your project post.

- pottz

Thanks Pottz. Still learning. I thought six blurry photos in the original post and then a picture in each comment. I m learning slowly. :)

- Foghorn


hey not a problem we a learn by doing,hell im still learning-lol.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View mikeacg's profile

mikeacg

1460 posts in 1788 days


#15 posted 03-28-2020 11:34 AM

Fun project Darrel! I am intrigued with instrument making and a guitar is certainly on my bucket list…
So you used hacksaw blades instead of a truss-rod? Is there any allowance for adjusting the neck (like shimming the neck where it bolts to the body)?
Thanks for sharing!

-- Mike, A Yooper with a drawl, http://www.artcentergraphics.com

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