LumberJocks

Guitars - Classroom project #1: Shop assembly

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by unisaw2 posted 1624 days ago 922 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Guitars - Classroom project series no next part

I have volunteered to help the kids make their own guitars in class. The children are 9-10 year olds, and they are learning about sound. We want them to assemble/make as much as possible. The goal is to make a 4 string guitar that can be tuned. Notes will be A-D-G-B.

The basic design is a 4 string neck, sauna tube body, and 1/8”mdf sound board. We are using real guitar tuners and strings, but everything else is going to be made in the shop, or in class. Need to make a total of 15 guitars. Wood, strings & shop labor are being donated, so tuners are most of the cost.

The photos are of my second try with 1-1/4” thick Oak necks, heads and fret boards. I found that you need a strong rigid neck or the strings cause the neck to bend and cause the other strings to get out of tune.
Guitar Head

Kids will glue the box together, decorate, and install the tuners & strings. Then tune the instruments. Some of them can play.

Front:
Front

Side View:
Side View

Inside:
Inside

So far I am able to get the D and G notes to tune, but the amplification is not as good as a regular guitar. I have never made a guitar before, and don’t play.

I would also like the kids to participate in more woodworking, but there is not much they can do in class other than assembly.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

-- JJ



8 comments so far

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2697 posts in 1920 days


#1 posted 1624 days ago

Cool idea. I bet the kids have a ball.

Thanks for sharing

-- She thought I hung the moon--now she just thinks I did it wrong

View jack1's profile

jack1

1919 posts in 2661 days


#2 posted 1624 days ago

If you have access to a guitar or violin, viola etc., look inside as best you can through the fret holes. I thin yours has circles stopping the back from vibrating/sounding louder. I also believe the neck is only attached at the top. strength is gotten by cross braces on the inside of the front and back (2 or 3) kinda like “cleats’. The are glued on and I don’t think they are supposed to touch the sides so they give strength without cutting out too much vibration (sound). The box that the body is is like those tables people were making (forget the name) with all the cells in them for structure/strength. I’m sure there are instrument makers on our site. Good luck.

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View unisaw2's profile

unisaw2

179 posts in 1669 days


#3 posted 1624 days ago

Thanks, I’ll try cutting out the intersecting sections of the sauna tube to make it louder.

-- JJ

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13337 posts in 2306 days


#4 posted 1624 days ago

Cool idea.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2383 posts in 2071 days


#5 posted 1624 days ago

I’ve made guitars. This design is challenging to get sound out of. If I were you I’d make one sauna tube section sort of like a banjo. With this design 2 won’t make it any better. If you want to keep the price down I’d use some thin luan plywood or even hardboard (the brown pegboard without the holes) 1/8” would be best. Glue it to the sauna tube. you can run the neck through the tube but it shouldn’t touch the soundboard. Cut a small maybe 2” sound hole at high center and glue a base bar on the underside of the soundboard parallel to the neck located on the side of the sound hole parallel to about where the base string might be. It should be about 1/4” to 1/2” square. Glue the bridge in the right place but also glue a 1/8” plate underneath it about an inch wide and as long as the bridge. Or have a floating bridge like you’ve got now with a tailpeice. It will make a sound but will be louder if you glue another piece of hardboard to the back.

Another option is to make the whole thing just a long neck with strings on it and a guitar pickup underneath the stings. Of course you’d need an amplifier and a guitar pickup.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2527 days


#6 posted 1624 days ago

if you can pull off making a free kit, .......guitar, a bunch of nine and ten year olds can put together?

my hats off to you.

it should be fun regardless of the outcome and inspirational to the kids. You should “U Tube” it.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View OutPutter's profile

OutPutter

1194 posts in 2624 days


#7 posted 1623 days ago

JJ, it will not matter what the results are in terms of playability, the kids are gonna love these guitars. The best part is the air guitar at that age anyway. Keep it fun, try the advice given, but keep it fun.

-- Jim

View unisaw2's profile

unisaw2

179 posts in 1669 days


#8 posted 1623 days ago

I cut out the interior of the body, and the sound is better. Although I have not figured out an easy way to get the neck off of the soundboard, I will cut a 2” sound hole. I do like the idea of a pick up, and small amplifier. After the kids have finished their work, I will have them hook their guitar to the amplifier, one at a time. Should be fun.

Thanks for the advice.

-- JJ

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase