Our lives are so complex and demanding that it’s only natural that things like hobbies get ignored. Bills, studies, work, family, relationships, and more bills are just a fraction of the forces that drive how we spend our time.
But sometimes, you just have to stop and make an electric guitar out of a massive pile of colored pencils.
Here’s the story of a man who did just that.
An idea is born
Having kept his real name and identity off the internet, the man in question simply goes by the handles Burls Art on Youtube and Flyjumper on imgur.
Flyjumper (not his actual name) admits that the idea to build a guitar was inspired by people building bowls from scratch using colored pencils. He thought the bowls were cool but felt it would be better to build something that he would actually enjoy using, hence the guitar.
The process begins
While I am sure that a lot of planning and research went into this particular project, Flyjumper didn’t share much on his thought process before starting to build this guitar. He did, however, share a 10-minute video demonstrating how he built the masterpiece.
First, his journey started off with buying 1200 colored pencils. Aware of how expensive this whole project could be, Flyjumper deliberately picked the cheapest pencils he could find on Amazon.
Prepping the pencils
Next, he cut all the pencils into uniform sizes using a cheap harbor freight mini miter saw. He admits that this was the most tedious and repetitive part of the entire process.
Creating the slab
Contrary to what I first thought, he didn’t build the guitar by gluing every pencil together with his hand. That would have been grueling. He molded a slab of the pencils using a wooden box and epoxy resin.
He started off by covering the base of the box with packing tape and then lining the inner surfaces of the box with carnauba wax. This would act as a mold release. The mold release makes it easier to remove the slab from the box once it solidified.
Having cut all the pencils to size, he arranged them one by one in the box and then poured resin onto it to form the mold that would act as the body of the guitar.
Using a plywood lid and a few weights, Flyjumper let the mold sit for 24 hours to make sure it dried.
He then took the slab out of the box… Well, it’s more like he took the box apart. As you can see, the tape and wax helped to keep the slab from sticking to the box.
Cleaning up the slab
As you will see through the rest of this process, building this guitar presented a few challenges. Flyjumper needed to plane the surface of the slab but didn’t have all the tools he needed to do this. So he built a makeshift milling jig to take off ⅛” of the slab.
Some of the pins of the pencils came undone during the cutting process. To even things out, Flyjumper used wood filler and sanded the surface to make for a smooth finish.
Cutting into it
Using a wooden template of a real guitar, Flyjumper then goes on to trace it onto the slab.
Here, he suggests using a table saw to cut out the mold. But since he didn’t have one, he got creative and instead drilled out the pencil cores and cut out the shape using a jigsaw.
Cutting out the traced marking took time, but the shape was starting to look like an actual guitar.
The resulting mold hard rough edges to say the least. Flyjumper started off by sanding it using a makeshift jig built out of a mounted sander on a workbench.
Some corners couldn’t be reached by the mounted sander forcing Flyjumper to do it the old fashioned way.
To finish it off, he used the wooden template and a table router to get perfect edges and a perfect shape.
Using a drill master, Flyjumper then went on to cut the cavities and neck piece of the guitar.
Some of the edges of the mold broke out during sanding. So he had to fill those parts with wood filler and sand them again. He then went on to drill the neck mounting holes using a portable drill.
Coating and sanding…and sanding…and sanding
Onto the next phase, 5 layers of coating using spray enamel. Remember that it’s important to protect yourself when using heavy chemicals.
This is followed by more sanding with the 800 grit.
And even more sanding with 1000, 1500, or 3000 grit…
At this point, you can tell we’re making progress. He used a polishing compound to give the body that glossy look.
He finally starts to install the hardware into the guitar. He starts off with the tremolo and the input jack before installing the front plate and the rest of the wiring.
For the neck of the guitar, Flyjumper used a rosewood squire neck he had from one of his instruments.
The last piece of this puzzle is the strings.
And just like that, you have yourself a working electric guitar!
Showing off the artwork
You’ll notice in the video he doesn’t add a back-plate for the guitar. He does this deliberately to show off more of the color pencils since it doesn’t affect the guitar’s ability to play. He then goes on to skillfully play a tune to show that it actually works and isn’t just for show.
You don’t have to build a guitar of your own to forget about the stresses of everyday life, but why wouldn’t you??
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Source: Flyjumper on Imgur