DIY

Using 1200 Colored Pencils In Making An Electric Guitar

January 29th, 2019

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.

swiggle1 dot pattern2 pencil guitar
flyjumper via imgur Source: flyjumper via imgur

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.

Supplies!

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.

swiggle1 dot pattern2 pencils
Burls Art via YouTube Source: Burls Art via YouTube

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.

swiggle1 dot pattern2 saw
Burls Art via YouTube Source: Burls Art via YouTube

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.

swiggle1 dot pattern2 wax
Burls Art via YouTube Source: Burls Art via YouTube

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.

swiggle1 dot pattern2 stacking
Burls Art via YouTube Source: Burls Art via YouTube
swiggle1 dot pattern2 epoxy
Burls Art via YouTube Source: Burls Art via YouTube

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.

swiggle1 dot pattern2 mold
Burls Art via YouTube Source: Burls Art via YouTube

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.

swiggle1 dot pattern2 shape
Burls Art via YouTube Source: Burls Art via YouTube

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.

swiggle1 dot pattern2 drill
Burls Art via YouTube Source: Burls Art via YouTube

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.

swiggle1 dot pattern2 sand
Burls Art via YouTube Source: Burls Art via YouTube

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.

swiggle1 dot pattern2 shaping
Burls Art via YouTube Source: Burls Art via YouTube

The pieces

Using a drill master, Flyjumper then went on to cut the cavities and neck piece of the guitar.

swiggle1 dot pattern2 drilling
Burls Art via YouTube Source: Burls Art via YouTube

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.

swiggle1 dot pattern2 spraying
Burls Art via YouTube Source: Burls Art via YouTube

This is followed by more sanding with the 800 grit.

And even more sanding with 1000, 1500, or 3000 grit…

swiggle1 dot pattern2 sanding
Burls Art via YouTube Source: Burls Art via YouTube

At this point, you can tell we’re making progress. He used a polishing compound to give the body that glossy look.

swiggle1 dot pattern2 polishing
Burls Art via YouTube Source: Burls Art via YouTube

The hardware!

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.

swiggle1 dot pattern2 parts
Burls Art via YouTube Source: Burls Art via YouTube

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!

swiggle1 dot pattern2 playing guitar
Burls Art via YouTube Source: Burls Art via YouTube

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.

swiggle1 dot pattern2 back
Burls Art via YouTube Source: Burls Art via YouTube

You don’t have to build a guitar of your own to forget about the stresses of everyday life, but why wouldn’t you??

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Source: Flyjumper on Imgur

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