DIY Gibson Tenor Guitar

By September 24, 2018DIY Projects

For a guitar lover it was a lucky discovery — finding a vintage Gibson guitar neck that was never used.

The neck was purchased after it’s original owner had passed away, whose son said his father played a 5-string banjo, but (he) never knew there was a 4-string neck hiding in the case for many years. Upon receiving this incredible neck, I began to design a body that would provide a perfect match and bring this instrument to life.

The body was designed after researching classic building techniques, which were incorporated into the design. The Gibson look and feel are incredibly present, with the build structure loosely resembling a Fender Telecaster Thinline — semi-hollow body made from pine, flat-topped with f-holes and capped with birch laminate.

The sunburst finish was hand sprayed using a mixture of aerosol lacquer and dyes — tobacco brown, amber and red mahogany. Multiple masks were cut and used to feather the sunburst layers before applying aged lacquer to the entire body.

After the finish cured for over a month, the body was wet-sanded starting with 320 grit sandpaper and working up to 2000 grit, before applying rubbing compound and a final polish for a mirror-finish.

This guitar features a Fender Mustang bridge with custom-cut saddles, a Bigsby-style vibrato and a noiseless Kent Armstrong P90 pickup. All wiring is vintage style, including vintage capacitors and 1950s wiring. It sounds amazing.

Checkout my blog for more music and guitar projects!