Electric Acoustic Hybrid Guitar

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Project by Kyle VanMeter posted 05-24-2011 09:11 AM 4236 views 2 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is my first attempt at constructing an acoustic electric hybrid guitar. I made the top out of quartered sycamore that I purchased from a friend who harvested the tree and cut the lumber on his Woodmizer sawmill. The made the side pieces are made from wavy hard maple that were formed using a electric bending iron. The horns on the body are hard maple and honduran mahogany.

I made the neck out of honduran mahogany with a canary wood fretboard with rosewood fretmarkers. I used lacewood for the edgebanding around the top. To bend this edgebanding, I tried to get adventurous and make a bending iron out of a piece of steel pipe. I used a blowtorch to heat the pipe when needed. I recommend using this type of setup for a bend if you don’t want to drop the money on an electric bending iron. The electric one I have pictured is not mine :(

Any comments are welcome, especially if anyone has any recommendations for improving the design. I plan on making a few more in the near future. Thanks!

13 comments so far

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 3182 days

#1 posted 05-24-2011 09:28 AM

That’s why the Irwin stock jumped !!! j/k

Nice guitar. Personally, I like the maple sides and I like the maple and mahogany on the cutaways, but not both on the same guitar. Very unique, though… and well done I think. Does it just have the one pickup ? Or did you also put a Fishman (or other) piezo in the box ?

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View Ken90712's profile


17784 posts in 3731 days

#2 posted 05-24-2011 11:34 AM

Wow, 1st attempt really? Looks beautiful,,,, Very nice!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View manta's profile


25 posts in 4567 days

#3 posted 05-24-2011 01:02 PM

sycamore makes beautiful electric guitar tops. I have some that I am saving just for that use. nice job

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3601 days

#4 posted 05-24-2011 02:22 PM

Nice looking guitar. I really like the look of th QS Sycamore. How about a sample of what it sounds like? I’ve never seen/heard an acoustic electric hybrid. At least not quite like that one. As a guitar player, I would really like to hear how it sounds. Can you switch between electric and acoustic sound? Can you have both simultaneously? Can you mix them independently?


-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View Rob W's profile

Rob W

434 posts in 4078 days

#5 posted 05-24-2011 02:34 PM

Beautiful guitar

-- Rob — I've cut it off twice and it's still too short!,

View Jeffrey Alexander's profile

Jeffrey Alexander

114 posts in 3234 days

#6 posted 05-24-2011 04:24 PM

Love that QS Sycamore!

-- "--Build Beauty to leave to those who appreciated it , not to ungrateful kids..."

View resonation's profile


60 posts in 3979 days

#7 posted 05-24-2011 06:41 PM

nice guitar. Does it play well?

-- Chris, Pennsylvania

View Bertha's profile


13567 posts in 3235 days

#8 posted 05-24-2011 06:54 PM

Outstanding! I love how you made the external controls very diminutive so as not to detract from the overall balance of the piece. Really nice work.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Hersh's profile


106 posts in 4257 days

#9 posted 05-24-2011 07:24 PM

Wow. That’s a really nice guitar. Looks like it would be a fine playing instrument.

-- Hersh from Port Angeles, WA - Gotta Complete That Project!

View Kyle VanMeter's profile

Kyle VanMeter

10 posts in 3103 days

#10 posted 05-25-2011 12:54 AM

It has a piezo pickup along with the double coil. I can blend the two pickups, or select one or the other. It is a pretty thick guitar and it sounds and plays great. And David, you can never have too many quick grips!! j/k.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4530 days

#11 posted 05-25-2011 05:43 PM

Very cool looking guitar!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Willie1031's profile


141 posts in 3079 days

#12 posted 06-21-2011 05:10 PM

Nice, did you make the neck too? I like the choice of wood. She has a Rickenbacker feel to it.

-- A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval. -- Mark Twain

View Scrape's profile


21 posts in 3359 days

#13 posted 02-24-2012 02:41 PM

Never tried it, but another technique I’ve seen for a bender is to put a 100-W or so lightbulb inside a steel pipe, and surround it with steel wool. Like I said, never tried it… the only bending I’ve done was some binding, and after wetting it down, I bent it around the tip of my soldering iron.

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