Friday, October 7, 2011

Mystery Guitar (until I found a better name)

It takes so long to conceive and build my projects that I decided to go for it and make a guitar as quick as possible, and keep it as raw as bearable! So I gathered some gear laying around, bought a cheap neck on eBay, sawed a piece out of a big planck I picked in the street, cut, routed, perforated, drilled, sanded, soldered, oiled and here it is, my new baby - of which I'm very proud, I must say!

Here is the flabbergasting Mystery Guitar aka the 2 weeks guitar (the time I spent on it) aka the Rough Planck.

Simple, elegant, combining rough authenticity and high-tec design, and trendy recycling.

Full-frontal pic - see the cool round sound holes!

Neck is bolted, and something makes me think that I should visit my friend Pedro in Brazil one of these days.

Electronics are installed on the pickguard.

I soldered the push-pull knob (to split the humbucker) without any help - I'm so proud of myself.

The planck is too thick for the neck screws, I chisel a cavity for the plate.

De-branded headstock.

The body is routed and sanded - to remove the dirt and the splinters -, the pickguard is also roughly sanded, and perforated.

Got myself to finally use my plunge router to chamber the body, scary but efficient.

Gear plus pickguard.

Cutting the alu pickguard - one cut; see my bathroom tiles!

Now I can place the gear more precisely.

Drawing of the chamber and the pickguard - with the same pens I use for my sketches!

The pickup is a slanted dual blade hum bucker bought on discount from Eastwood's e-shop.

All the pieces together for a first impression.

Used strat-like neck branded Charisma from eBay (super flat - no radius).

A construction wood planck I picked in the street - cut to dimension 46 x 24 x 4,5.


  1. Hey, congratulations for your new project. The body shape reminds me the one from Bo Diddley.

  2. thanks, the Bo Diddley is of course the source of this project!

  3. Dude, this is AWESOME! It's actually quite a beautiful instrument, given it's thrown-together nature. You have produced a work of art!

    I'd totally rock one of these on stage. Then again, I already have a square guitar... so I'm used to the craziness.

  4. thank you, I just come back from rehearsing with it for the first time and it sounds good enough considering, etc... - and the pickup is super hot!

  5. Hi
    Great looking guitar. The proportions of the pickguard against the body are spot on. do the holes near the bridge serve a purpose or just aesthetic? also I notice you have used Aluminium pickguards before do you earth it in any way It doesn't look like you have any earth even to the bridge or is it self earthing?. ( I made one and have terrible problems with noise and feedback)

  6. That's a really nice guitar.. I remember some time ago, we discussed who'd be the first to build a plank guitar. Mine is still stuck in the planning stage, so congratulations!

    The recessed neck plate is a nice touch. Good choice on having the knots of the wood in the bridge end of the guitar... The knots look good and you've got at solid structure at the neck joint.

    A little copper or brass on the guitar would be a nice touch, but that's probably just me and my nostalgic leanings..... I've noticed that you're more a chrome and alu type of guy ;-)

    Btw, if you're thinking about finishing the wood while keeping the rough look, this guy has tried a number of different methods with success:

  7. @Genghis > the guitar is chambered, these are sound holes - it gives the guitar a special reverb...

    and to be honest, I totally overlooked earthing, but the guitar is super quiet and has no feedback unless I want it... I think that the pickup - whose brand I forgot and was quite cheap - is much better than it looks.

    @Alex > you're right, I have a fetish for white metal (I also wear silver jewels!) but I enjoyed seeing copper on your projects - I might reconsider...

    @all > thank you for the support and the comments!

  8. Btw, wouldn't it be cool with a guitar shaped pickguard? Not that I don't like the present one (which is a bit guitar shaped already).

    But imagine a pickguard in the shape of a telecaster, cut in aluminium in around half size? I'd be curious to see how it works.

  9. I've always liked the idea of the pickguard shape counterbalancing the body shape, but in that case, the programme was to do as simple as possible: the alu plate required just one cut, and the round sound holes one drill each - and the result is pretty cool, isn't it?

    but I looked at the site and they have nice old school contoured pick guards there - inspiring.

  10. It's the Bertram-Bo! Or perhaps the Bathroom-Caster in honour of where you built it.


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