How to Build an Electric Guitar (10 Free Plans)

How to build an electric guitar? Making an electric guitar is an interesting endeavor that combines craftsmanship, creativity, and technical know-how. How to build an electric guitar involves a series of meticulous steps that transform raw materials into a musical masterpiece.

Crafting an electric guitar allows you to customize every aspect of the instrument, from its design and wood selection to its hardware and electronics, resulting in a unique and personalized piece that suits your playing style and preferences.

Many dedicated musicians and experienced artisans learn how to make an electric guitar for the thrill of creation, the desire for a unique instrument, or the pursuit of their sound.

This detailed book will teach you how to make an electric guitar from scratch, revealing the secrets and practices. Our guide will inspire and educate you to create the ultimate electric guitar, whether a beginner or an experienced luthier.

How to build an electric guitar

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10 Top Electric Guitar

Here are 10 electric guitar plans:

1: Barn Caster Electric Guitar

How to build an electric guitar

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The Barn caster electric guitar has become my constant companion and source of joy. Whether stuck in a boring school lecture or unwinding at home, strumming its strings lets me express myself and find solace. My guitar journey began only six months ago, yet it’s transformed my life dramatically.

I can’t fathom a world without this instrument now; it’s my source of endless enjoyment and a means of self-expression that’s forever changed my perspective on life. The Barncaster’s music is my sanctuary, a constant reminder of the power of music in my life.

2: Electric Guitar Project

How to build an electric guitar

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An electric guitar project involves constructing, modifying, or customizing an electric guitar. This DIY endeavor allows musicians and enthusiasts to create personalized instruments tailored to their unique preferences and styles.

Projects can range from assembling guitar kits and upgrading components like pickups and hardware to entirely handcrafting a custom guitar from scratch.

Electric guitar projects offer a hands-on learning experience, fostering a deeper connection between the player and their instrument while enabling creative exploration of tone, aesthetics, and functionality.

3: Make an Electric Guitar

How to build an electric guitar

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Building your electric guitar has several exciting opportunities. The cost is one of the aspects that stand out the most. It will be far more affordable for you to construct your electric guitar than to purchase one from a retailer.


4: Handmade Electric Guitar

How to build an electric guitar

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A handmade electric guitar is a labor of love, meticulously crafted by skilled artisans rather than mass-produced in a factory. These instruments embody craftsmanship and attention to detail, with every component, from the body and neck to the electronics and finish, being carefully hand-selected and assembled.

Each handmade electric guitar has a unique character and quality, reflecting the builder’s expertise and passion. Owning one is like having a one-of-a-kind work of art that not only produces beautiful music but also represents the artistry and dedication of its creator.

5: Custom Electric Guitar

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Another advantage of building your electric guitar is personalizing the instrument to meet your specific requirements and aesthetic goals. This flexibility extends to the design of the instrument’s body, neck, pickups, and other components.

As you gain more expertise playing the guitar over time, you will finally be able to construct an instrument that better matches your current level of competence.

6: Electric Tenor Guitar

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An electric tenor guitar is a unique stringed instrument that combines the features of a tenor guitar with electric amplification. Unlike its acoustic counterpart, the electric tenor guitar has pickups and electronic components that allow it to be plugged into an amplifier for louder sound projection.

It typically has four strings and is tuned differently from a standard six-string guitar, usually in a higher pitch like CGDA or GDAE. This versatile instrument is popular in various music genres, including jazz, folk, and rock, offering musicians a distinct tonal range and the ability to explore new sonic possibilities in their music.

7: Electric Guitar Pickup

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Building your electric guitar at home is an excellent method for getting started on the guitar. They are also less expensive than standard electric guitars, which is a plus for novices since it may help them save money.


8: Cardboard Electric Guitar

How to build an electric guitar

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A cardboard electric guitar is a musical instrument made primarily from cardboard materials. This innovative creation combines an electric guitar’s traditional design and functionality with sustainable and eco-friendly materials.

While the body and neck are constructed from cardboard, essential components like pickups, strings, and electronics remain intact, allowing it to produce music like a standard electric guitar.

Cardboard guitars are lightweight, cost-effective, and a creative solution for musicians seeking a unique and environmentally conscious alternative. They represent a fusion of artistry and sustainability, appealing to music enthusiasts and those interested in sustainable design.

9: Miniature Electric Guitar

How to build an electric guitar

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A miniature electric guitar is a scaled-down version of a standard electric guitar designed for portability, practice, or novelty purposes. These tiny instruments typically maintain the same structure, appearance, and functionality as their full-sized counterparts but in a much smaller form.

Miniature electric guitars are favored by musicians for travel or practice on the go, as they’re lightweight and easy to carry. Additionally, they make charming collectables or decorative items, often chosen for their aesthetic appeal.

While they may not produce the same volume or tone as a full-sized guitar, they serve a unique niche in musical instruments.

10: Scrap Wood Electric Guitar

How to build an electric guitar

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A scrap wood electric guitar is a unique musical instrument crafted from reclaimed or discarded wood pieces. These guitars are born from sustainability and creativity, as luthiers and DIY enthusiasts repurpose leftover or discarded wood to construct the instrument’s body and neck.

Each scrap wood guitar is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, with the distinctive character of the reclaimed materials shaping its aesthetics and tone.

These eco-friendly guitars reduce waste and produce a distinctive sound, making them a popular choice for environmentally-conscious musicians seeking a distinctive and sustainable option in electric guitars.

How to Build an Electric Guitar?

You will need the following tools and supplies to succeed with your project.


  • Squeeze bars.
  • Several separate pieces of wire
  • Press for drilling.
  • Iron for soldering.
  • Sawzall Jig.
  • A good drill in its class
  • Bits for the router
  • Screws and pickup rings are also included.

Steps to Build an Electric Guitar

Step 1: Designing the Plan

In the initial building of an electric guitar, meticulous planning is essential. The primary focus is on designing a comprehensive guitar plan, which includes determining the scale length, which refers to the distance that can be travelled from the nut to the fretboard on an instrument.

To determine the length of the scale, you must first compute it, measure from the front of the nut to the fretboard’s center at the neck and add 3 inches for compensation. Utilizing a fret calculator for precision is advisable.

Alternatively, consider using a pre-made neck to simplify the process. Before drafting the final project template, ensure you have all the required hardware and knobs, allowing for error correction on paper.

Poster boards can be used to visualize the design and creating a grid on the picture helps maintain accuracy. While some prefer creative freedom, others opt for a traditional approach like a PRS body design. This planning phase is critical to avoid mistakes during the actual woodwork.

 Step 2: Shaping the Body

Now that your electric guitar project is progressing, it’s time to give your guitar body its form. After finalizing your plan, transfer it onto a piece of wood. Opt for a solid and relatively soft wood, considering that different woods can produce varying tones, but you need to avoid splurging on expensive options.

Consider creating your body blank using a ¾-inch plywood piece. Cut it into a 4×2-inch board, forming two rectangular sections to accommodate your design. Apply ample glue to ensure no gaps, and then use a clamp to secure the pieces of wood together firmly. Let it thoroughly dry for two nights.

Following this, you’ll have a sturdy body blank suitable for your electric guitar. Although you’ll apply solid-color paint later, the result can make it tricky to distinguish between the wood and a solid wood blank. You can purchase a small piece of birch with a thicker body. Before gluing the plywood pieces, ensure no wires are in the ¼-inch plywood.

For creating the neck pocket, utilize a ¼-inch bit and determine the neck heel’s thickness to gauge the routing depth. Measure the bridge’s height from the bottom to the top section. Lastly, trace your preferred pattern for the control cavity.

Step 3: Drilling Holes

As your project approaches its midpoint, it’s time to drill holes for the control plate and neck, where a handheld drill becomes essential. Ensure you select the right-sized drill bit for the holes.

Check the screw thickness and compare it with the threading, opting for a drill bit slightly smaller than the screw. If the hole you’re trying to drill is too small, switch to the next size on the drill bit.

When drilling, proceed with extreme caution so as not to penetrate the earth too far. A helpful trick is to mark the drill bit with a tape measure to indicate the desired depth. This simple precaution will prevent unintentional over-drilling, ensuring your holes are the right size.

Step 4: Preparing the Body

To achieve a solid color finish, pour filling is necessary; wood filler is your go-to choice. It dries quickly and may be sanded without much difficulty. During the process of applying the wood filler, make diagonal cuts both across and against the grain. By carrying out this method, any pores or spaces that might be present will be effectively filled in.

Use a sanding block and paper with a grit of 220 to obtain a level surface. When it comes to the rounded edges, you should sand them by hand to get the best results. These steps will ensure your guitar body is ready for the project’s next phase.

 Step 5: Painting and Polishing

To give your electric guitar an appealing and professional appearance, it’s time for the painting and polishing stage. Avoid mixing your polish with a water base, resulting in a cracked finish. Water-based paints, while effective, can be costly and aren’t necessary.

Hold the spray can approximately 8 inches away from the guitar body for the best results. You can move it in a downward or leftward direction, depending on how the nozzle is positioned. After applying each coat of paint, please wait at least half an hour for it to dry completely.

Installing the electric guitar’s body onto a stick made of wood will make this operation go much more smoothly. After completing the wet sanding, you’ll achieve a smooth and polished surface, enhancing the guitar’s visual appeal.

 Step 6: Assembly and Wiring

The final step involves assembling all the components. Opt for shielding paint, which is simpler to work with than copper tape. When wiring the electric guitar, follow the pickup manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure proper functionality and sound quality.

This phase combines all your hard work, resulting in a fully functional and ready-to-play electric guitar.

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