Buck Owens Tenor Guitar

By August 30, 2016DIY Projects

After a year of hard work, it’s time to go buck wild with a custom-built tenor guitar in the style of a vintage Buck Owens American!

This guitar began it’s life as a Blueridge Tenor Guitar — a great instrument and the perfect platform for this custom build.

The headstock of the Blueridge required additional wood to be added so it could be crafted to the appropriate shape — small dowels were used as reinforcement to increase the overall strength of the headstock.

Designing the headstock template was challenging — staying true to the original design, while reducing the original size by 35% for the small-bodied tenor guitar. Multiple versions were produced with different-sized stars, before settling on final version.

The excess material on the headstock was removed with a jigsaw before being shaped with various grits of sandpaper, starting with 80 grit.

Fortunately, the original design of this guitar was kitschy and cheap, so the painting process was easily started with plain, flat-white spray paint.

Faux binding is essential to the overall look of the Buck Owens, which required special attention to masking the entire body and sides of the fretboard to achieve the faux binding around the guitar. The faux binding looks amazing when aged lacquer is applied over the plain white!

The red paint and the blue paint were much easier to apply than the white, since there was no concern for preserving the binding around the edge of the guitar. Again, both paints are flat colors in blue and red. Adding aged lacquer over the paint warms up the entire guitar, adding shades of orange, green and yellow.