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Guitar Of The Month - January 2017

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Welcome to the first Guitar Of The Month contest for 2017!

ProjectGuitar.com's Guitar Of The Month contest is a showcase for members to exhibit their creations and to vote on their favourites. The contest is open entry for any and all members, new or old. Winner(s) receive a featured article at the head of the ProjectGuitar.com homepage, a photo posting to our Facebook and elevated member status. ProjectGuitar.com receives tens of thousands of unique visitors monthly; Guitar Of The Month is a great way to showcase your creation to the world!

Submissions are open throughout the month with public voting open in the last week. Polls close on the 1st of each month.

Lastly, if you didn't win a previous month's Guitar Of The Month contest, you are encouraged to enter your build again the next month for a maximum of three consecutive months. Sometimes one entry just hits it out of the park and eclipses everything!

Tips and Guidelines

  • Upload a maximum of eight photos for the instrument in your post
  • Ensure that your guitar has a name otherwise we'll make one up ;-)
  • List additional descriptive information specific to the build; for example....
    • The woods and materials used, especially if there is something unusual in there!
    • Scale length(s) and other specific configuration details
    • Electronics, pickups, etc.
    • Is this your first build, fifth or five-hundredth?
    • A bit of information on your own background as a builder helps give context to your build.
    • Was it built in the garage, at school, work or in your own shop?
    • A summary of the build's history. Was it built for yourself, friend/family or a client? Did you design the instrument and its specifications or was it built to spec?
    • What were the inspirations behind the instrument and why were various build aspects chosen?
    • Any background on what makes it special?
  • Posting a link to your guitar-building website, Photobucket, Facebook, etc. is fine, even if it is your business. In the spirit of fairness we encourage instruments made by professional builders to have that disclosure made so there is a more even balance between weekend warriors and grizzled veterans.
  • If you documented your build in the forums, post a link to the thread! Instruments with a build thread shared tend to attract more votes from the general community.
  • ProTip: Voters vote with their ears as well as their eyes....if you have any soundclips of the instrument or even a YouTube video, do post it! Everybody loves to look at beautiful instruments, but hearing them demo'ed is 10x as important.

Unsure what to write? Have a look around the entry archives for suggestions.

If you have any questions about the contest, either PM me or ask forum members; we're a helpful bunch!

This thread is exclusively for entry posts only - any post that is not an entry will be deleted. We love to hear your discussions and opinions on the month's entries whilst the polls are open. Alternatively, head over to that instrument's build thread if one has been made in the entry post.

Good luck to all entrants!


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  • 2 weeks later...

This is the result of my first build.  I spent years (probably close to 15 years) wanting to build a guitar and would occasionally ask for various components.  Finally, a buddy's woodworking shop allowed me the use of some power tools (bandsaw, planer, etc), that I otherwise would not have had access too.  Originally was going to be all poplar that I would paint, but he had a scrap piece of walnut with some figuring in it he gave me.  This was the end result.  Design was inspired by a Hembry bass I saw searching Iceman images on Google.  Top countours were hand carved using an Ibex finger plane.  Also decided to give Inlay a try.  I figured if I were to ever have a custom guitar side business, I'd call it Stone Heart Beating custom guitars... Hence the inlay, and the name: SHB-1

Name: SHB-1 

Neck: Carvin BN-1, 

Truss Rod Cover: Walnut with Custom Inlay using Cherry and synthetic stone

Body: Poplar back with Walnut cap

Finish: Minwax Poly Wipe On

Pickups: Dimarzio Liquifire and Dimarzio CrunchLab; 3 way toggle with coil tap



It is a pretty heavy guitar, but ended up perfectly balanced when on a strap (doesn't nose dive or pull the neck up).  Sounds fantastic, plays fantastic... extremely happy with the results of my first build, and on my way for #2.  Thank you to many of you who provided information (whether you knew it or not) that helped me actually accomplish a 15 yr. dream.







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First Build: the Swel ZebraCaster

Just missed the December 2016 deadline because I had to get some good pictures taken by my wife,, but finally I am able to post here!

I initially started with a refinish/customizing project, but ended up building a guitar from scratch with raw wood, which I didn't think was do-able for me yet, so I'm thrilled already to be able to post in this topic!


The guitar specs:

  • Tele-style body of Mahogany with 6mm Zebrano top
  • 25 1/2 "" scale
  • 250mm neck radius with assymetric 'thick' D-profile
  • Birdseye maple neck with rosewood fretboard and Swallow-bird inlays
  • Jumbo 6100 frets
  • Zebrano-headstock finish
  • Ibanez Edge floating Trem with top-Lock
  • Dimarzio Paf Joe and Paf-pro humbucking pickups
  • 1 Volume (push pull) for high-pass filter and , 1 Tone (push pull) for single coil switching
  • Gotoh tuners
  • Tung - oil finish

I designed/built this guitar for myself. Specs were based partly on my Peavey Wolfgang (neck) and on the specs of an Ibanez Satriani JS10th (electronics, radius). the looks were inspired by Searls' guitars. I used the JS10th specs as I once owned one and really liked the radius of the fretboard and the versatile pickups. The Edge trem I had available and I really love Floyd trems, so that was an easy pick. Finally the birdseye maple neck because I love my Peavey wolfgang neck and because I'm a sucker for birdseye maple, so it will probably end up in every guitar I'm going to build! 

I was able (fortunately) to use a friend's workshop to do bandsawing and some bandsanding. Most of the work was done in my garage and back-yard however.


Some tools I created to get this done:

  • fret press
  • fret-slot duplicating jig
  • simple thickness routing jig
  • templates for body, neck, pickup cavity routing and trem routing


This guitar is special to me as it proves that with little professional tools but a lot of care and attention basically anybody can build a good guitar. I've had the idea of building a guitar for a long time, but just not felt comfortable doing it and stuck to customizing. In the end it's just a question of doing it! 

Special thanks to all  you guys on ProjectGuitar providing tutorials, tips&tricks and advice. Without this I wouldn't have been able to get this result. I've learned tons of stuff for my next projects.

Swel guitars

Swel is frisian ( local language ) for Swallow and is the symbol of my town so I used it as a name for my guitar(s) and hence also the inlays.

Thanks for reading!


link to a short video with crappy guitar playing ;-)


link to the build thread: 











Edited by 10pizza
added: tung oil finish
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My entry in January's contest is a custom black walnut semi hollow T style guitar...with a bit of a special story.  This guitar was crafted for a young man, a youth minister, with black walnut from a tree that had been felled in his grandfathers back yard.  This stash of black walnut had been sitting in a barn for at least 30 years...maybe more and I was approached about building a guitar from it.  I was allowed to keep the rest of the wood for any future builds.

My aim was to show off as much of the grain of this beautiful wood as possible,..so there would be no pick guard.  Also, because it's a semi hollow, I could book match the top for extra beauty.  I had recently gotten into CNC and I wanted to try my hand at doing some engraving.  I set about designing patterns for the control and neck plates and settled on the designs you see in the photos.  The neck plate design is especially meaningful to him.  I also used the CNC machine to cut the templates used to build this guitar.

Most of this guitar is the standard T style flavor with the exception of the dual rail humbucker in the bridge.  I added that to give him a broader choice of tones in the music he creates.

I know that when he plays this in church, it carry so much extra meaning into the music he's making.  It was very satisfying to hand the guitar off to him..

Some features of this guitar...

  • Neck
    • 25.5" scale, 21 medium-jumbo frets
    • Maple neck blank
    • Rosewood fretboard
    • Polymer clay position markers
    • Heel adjust two way trussrod
    • Aluminum nut
    • Finish satin wipe-on poly
  • Body
    • Black walnut
    • Semi hollow 
    • Book matched top
    • Finish satin wipe-on poly
  • Aluminum control and neck plates
  • Custom designed "f' hole
  • Wilkinson compenstated Tele bridge
  • Guitar Fetish Lil Puncher humbucker bridge pup, Guitar Fetish single coil neck pup









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Its been a while but time to post my latest.  Full build vids included in playlist.  

This is a Jack Daniels Barrel Top Guitar.   I purchased half barrel tops down in Lynchburg and could just get a tele top from them.  I resawed the top and let it dry, then pieced it together.  Back is reclaimed barnwood with an Oak Core drilled out.  Neck is a WD rosewood neck that is unfinished like the rest of the body.

Aged Chrome hardware with Bigsby trem and custom wound pickups.  Final vid has my terrible playing...  

Youtube Playlist







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This is my Photon prototype build.  I am hobby builder, working out of my garage.  I have built about 18 guitars over the last 16 years  This one is a design that was inspired by the thought of something in motion and by the bevels and thinness of the SG.  Because of what I wanted it to be, there are very few off the shelf parts here: the switch, pots, jack, and strap locks are the only retail parts.  I designed and machined the bridge, tuners, knobs, truss rod, inlays, pickup covers and I wound the pickups as well.  Some vital specs:

 - Zebrawood top on Sapele, 1 1/4" total thickness, grain matched cavity cover with rare earth magnets

 - Vertical grain Doug fir neck

 - Bloodwood fretboard, 24.5625-26" scale lengths

 - Magnetic truss rod cover

 - Firebird style humbuckers with A5 magnets inside of sapele/bloodwood covers

 - All aluminum hardware designed and machined by myself in my garage

 - Wave/particle duality inlays featuring photoluminescent powder inside of aluminum tubing

 - Separate volume controls and master 2-band passive EQ with onboard preamp

 - Finished with 2k gloss










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