• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Stop wasting time looking for files and revisions. Connect your Gmail, DriveDropbox, and Slack accounts and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio will automatically organize all your file attachments. Learn more and claim your free account.



Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 10 months ago

Nick K Guitar Hack


For my hack I decided that I would like to build an effect pedal into a custom guitar. Having the effect pedal built into the body of the guitar would eliminate extra wires on the ground to trip over, and the knobs to change and turn on the effects would be right there on the guitar instead of ten feet away from you on the ground.


I dug and old guitar body out of my closet, which had about 3 seperate paint jobs on it. First I sanded down the body completely to take off all the old finishes. There was also about a quarter of an inch of laminated wood on every face of the guitar body.



Once I removed the old finish and sanded off the laminated wood, I planned out the location on the back of the guitar body where the cavity will be made to house the effect pedal circuit board.


  • The cavity on the top right of the back of the guitar body is the one that I cut for the circuit board.


In order to wire the effect pedal circuit board to the controls of the guitar, I would have to make a tunnel from the circuit board cavity to the controls cavity for the wiring. To do this I drilled a hole from the new effect cavity into the pickup cavity which already had a hole between that and the control cavity.






In the next step of my process, I used a rotozip tool with the grinding adapter on it and I reshaped the edges of the guitar to give it a smoother, rounder shape.


I then sanded the newly shaped body so that it was smooth and ready to put a finish on it.


I found some wood stain in my garage and stained the body. I left it up to dry overnight.


The next day when the finish was dry, I ran out to the music store to buy some pickups, potentiometers, a selecter switch, and some hook-up wire.


The next thing I did was I took apart an effect pedal I had and I removed the circuit board from the metal pedal case. I then unsoldered the origional foot switch and the audio inputs from the circuit board. I ran hookup wire from the new cavity for the effects board to the control cavity. I soldered the audio inputs on to the new wire in the controls cavity. I bought a different push button switch that I could hook up to the front of the guitar to turn the effects on and off. Here is a picture of the circuit board installed into the back of the guitar:





The next picture is of the control cavity where I soldered the wires from the pickups to the pickup selector switch and volume pot. I was going to also wire in a tone pot, but I always play with the tone knob turned all the way up and it ends up just in the way, so I to not put it in, which also made more room inside of the cavity. This cavity is also where the new wires from the effect circuit board to the new location of the audio inputs. each switch, potentiometer, and input has a ground wire running off of it and are connected to a ground wire running to the bridge of the guitar.




I used the existing cover for the control cavity, and made a cover for the effect cavity using the plastic from a storage tub.





The effects controls were rewired so that they were able to be placed on the front of the guitar for easy switching. I used the origional potentiometers, knobs, and the little metal plate that fits under the knobs to tell you what each knob does. I fastened the on/off switch, potentiometers, knobs, and plate to another little plastic plate I made. Here is the picture of the effects controls on the front of the guitar:






Now here comes what you all have been waiting for..




I bolted an old fender stratocaster neck onto the body. I was so proud I even signed it like a peice of art ;)




There it is again!



The guitar has a really nice, warm sound to it. After I put it all together I couldnt put the thing down. I am also taking a class in school called jazz/rock improv and this is the guitar that I will be bringing in to use.


This one last picture is of the guitar in actionnnn:






The tools I used for this project included:

  • Electric sander
  • Rotozip drill for cutting and filing down the wood
  • Soldering iron
  • Electricians pliers
  • Screwdrivers (phillips and flathead)


The materials purchased were:

  • Electric guitar pickups
  • Selector switch
  • On/off switch for effects
  • Two 500k potentiometers (ended up using just one)
  • Strings



The project took me a couple of days to complete, but I have been modifying, taking apart, and repairing guitars for a long time so I know about the wiring of an electric guitar. There are a lot of books and websites that have a lot of good information about guitar building and repairing guitars. I am already in the process of building another guitar but completely from scratch. I will be sure to add pictures of that project too.



Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.