Saturday, 3 November 2012

ShonKy Graffiti

When I first starting making guitars I made up a pine body blank with the intention of making myself a Telecaster. (Pine is easy to cut and route for a beginner and cheap if it goes wrong. I never made that telecaster but the other day I found the blank which was made from 8 or so 40x40mm lengths laminated together. Since then my guitar making journey has gone on a much more artistic direction as soon as I was re-united with the blank I knew I had to do something wacky with it.
My aim when making a guitar is to not follow any preconceived ideas what a guitar should look like. I would almost like to say I'm a freestyle Luthier! Of course it should play well and I also believe it should be comfortable to play seated as well as standing up.
I came up with the shape by drawing straight onto the wood. Once I had this shape and fitted a neck to it It was soon apparent that a neck with a standard strat shaped headstock was going to look pretty rubbish so I cut of the Strat contours leaving a straight edge and spliced a piece of plywood to it which I then shaped to echo the body's wackyness.
Of course having such a bonkers shape just leaving it natural was not going to work so it needed some shouty colours. These where all hand applied acrylic and the top coat is 5 coats of sating water based varnish which leaves a lovely finish. It also makes the neck very smooth and slippery.

The Scratch plate is made from some old oak furniture laminate. It is Shielded with aluminium foil.
The Control Knobs are again  made  from plywood and they are seated on an aluminium cover plate.
The electrics are all new apart from the capacitor which is from an old phone socket.

The pickups are re-used. The neck is a USA Fender Strat Pick-up and the bridge is an unknown fibre bobbin, cloth wired Alnico Strat pickup. I think I'm going to swap them around as the Fender pick-up has a much fuller sound than the other one and be better suited to the bridge position.
It has  a new skeletal style hard tail top loading bridge and re-used but very good condition Jin Ho tuning machines.

Once I had put it together I thought it looked like a graffiti drawing of a guitar so hence I have called it the Graffiti. I have really enjoyed the whole process of making this guitar and I am over the moon with the finished product. Lets face it if you had this amongst several guitars on the wall this is the eye catcher despite its glorious Shonkiness. I have a feeling this is the first of a Graffiti series!

Anyway Here's the pictures. Now for sale On my ShonKy website. Or if you prefer Ebay



  1. I love your guitars! I wish I could afford one right now. This is exactly what I want to do, eventually. I have an idea for a 'tramp art' guitar that I think would be killer. Anyway, just wanted to commend you, and say 'thank you' for contributing something wonderful to the world. Hope it makes you feel good to know you're an inspiration :)