Gas Can Guitar or call it the...

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Project by Brett posted 04-05-2012 06:25 AM 5245 views 7 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch


Hey everybody, this was a super fun project to make! It is a 4 string guitar made from an old gas can that I used to use for R/C airplane glow fuel.

This is not my original idea, there have been many other guitars made from an old empty can. In fact, I saw my first canjo on Youtube from this guy Richard Peek. He was playing an oil can banjo that he had made and I thought that it was amazing!

Since seeing his canjo and his playing, I have always wanted to make one for myself but, I don’t know how to play and I really don’t want to take the time to learn. Lazy I guess. So the idea just sat there taking up precious space in one of my two brain cells that are left.

Well, I will tell you that I have a brother-in-law that, around any gift giving occasion, will usually give me a thoughtful gift. Me on the other hand, when it’s my turn to return the thought, pass off the responsibility of getting him a gift to my wife. I don’t know what to get him. I am easy to buy for. Just get me a gift card to Rockler or a tool and I am good. ha ha

Anyway, he has had a birthday recently and we weren’t able to get together to celebrate it yet so I had some time. He plays guitar and I thought that now would be the perfect time to make him one out of my old gas can. If it sounds bad, at least it would be a really unique gift, hopefully something that he has never even seen before.

Well what you see in the pictures is what I came up with and I hope that he likes it. The letters on the head are his initials. The neck is made from a piece of madrone. The frets are finish nails that I blue with gun blue. I bought the geared tuners from a local music store. Of course the “theme” of the guitar is of miscellaneous screws and nails, kind of a hillbilly look. I like the fork that was used to attach the strings to, an idea that I got from rpeek.

Here are some links to my blog here on LJs to a couple of videos that I made for the build of this guitar. I still have one more video to go to complete the series. I hope that you will get something from them. 1st part 2nd part

Tell me what you think and thanks for looking!

-- Hand Crafted by Brett Peterson John 3:16

10 comments so far

View BigTiny's profile


1667 posts in 1924 days

#1 posted 04-05-2012 09:41 AM

With the price of gas these days, this is a better use for these things. :)


-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Wolffarmer's profile


400 posts in 2274 days

#2 posted 04-05-2012 11:32 AM

Now I know why I have been saving all those Coleman fuel cans from one of my other habits ( hobbies )
Cool idea man.

-- That was not wormy wood when I started working on it.

View JJohnston's profile


1613 posts in 2327 days

#3 posted 04-05-2012 12:01 PM

The faded K-mart price tag is a nice touch.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View dakremer's profile


2557 posts in 2127 days

#4 posted 04-05-2012 01:03 PM

This is awesome, Brett! I really enjoyed the 1st two videos! This project turned out great! Can’t wait to see the last video! Thanks for sharing it with us

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View StumpyNubs's profile


6569 posts in 1836 days

#5 posted 04-05-2012 01:30 PM

Someday that thing is going to be on Antiques Road Show and sell for a billion dollars as a piece of folk art!

Thanks for posting!
Jim; aka “Stumpy Nubs”
New episode of Blue Collar Woodworking is now online!

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at:

View Jero's profile


75 posts in 2022 days

#6 posted 04-05-2012 06:23 PM

That reminded me of the upright bass that one of the members of the punk bluegrass band “Split Lip Rayfield” uses. Homemade from a gas tank off of some vehicle. Great live band to see!

-- Jeremy - Marshfield, WI

View Hacksaw's profile


185 posts in 2412 days

#7 posted 04-05-2012 07:25 PM

Cool !any idea how it sounds? I LOVE Splitlip! the 20 gallon Chevy Bass Rocks !

-- Nothing's just gets expensive

View Philip's profile


1208 posts in 1575 days

#8 posted 04-06-2012 03:13 AM

Absolutely fantastic! You hit this one on the head. Can’t wait for the third video!

-- I never finish anyth

View Brett's profile


919 posts in 1795 days

#9 posted 04-06-2012 11:11 PM

Thank you to everyone for the compliments! I am really excited to give this away to my brother-in-law this weekend. I want to hear what it sounds like when someone that can play it, plays it.

-- Hand Crafted by Brett Peterson John 3:16

View Roger's profile


17667 posts in 1840 days

#10 posted 02-05-2014 11:50 AM

Jam on Brett. Your rifs will be on fire..

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

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