Reclaimed Wooden Guitar

Maybe you’ll remember the junk pile at the edge of our property?  (Click here to see what I’m talking about) Well I pulled a bunch of wood from it a while ago and set it aside for later use. Old door jambs, window headers and such. It had such a cool chippy look to it I couldn’t let it go to waste.

I know, I know. You’re probably saying that’s all I talk about. Old wood, old things, blah blah blah. But when it’s 5 degrees outside there ain’t much else going on around the property, so I’m taking advantage of the time in the wood shop.

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So, chippy wood. Isn’t it cool? Let me show you what I did with some of it.

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This wood had been sitting in the dirt and weather for who knows how long. So before taking it through the planer I made sure to scrub it down with steel wool. Dirt and grime will dull your planer knives before you know it. I also pulled a grip of old nails  from each of the boards, making sure to look for anything broken and hidden underneath the paint.

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I’m always amazed at what lies underneath the weathered surface of old wood. The elements and time have brought such character to this old pine, just waiting to be revealed!

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I thought the grain pattern in these boards had such a lyrical motion to it that it would look pretty cool on an instrument. While I’m not a master guitar maker, I did think a guitar wall hanging might be neat. So that’s what I set out to make.

You can see in the pic above that I’ve chosen a few of the boards with the best grain and I’ve laid them out side by side. I’ve also drawn out the guitar “pattern” with a pencil, keeping the lines distinct but simple. Using my jig saw, I simply cut out the guitar shape. I tacked on a couple braces to keep the four boards from moving while I cut out the shape, one at the top and one at the bottom.

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Once the shape was cut, I had four pieces that I edge glued together. I cut three small strips of wood, about 3″ wide, to use as cross pieces. I glued and then nailed these on the back of the guitar to hold everything together, one at the bottom, one in the middle and a smaller one right at the top. I sanded with 80 grit and then 120 grit, easing the edges so the wood wouldn’t splinter later on. After that, I wiped on some mineral spirits to clean up any dust and to open up the grain for the topcoat.

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I applied two healthy coats of Tung Oil as a finish. This brought out the grain pattern and the distinct differences between each of the boards, adding dimension to the piece. It will also give a layer of protection so the wood doesn’t fade over time.

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I though this old chain lock was a neat addition. I pulled it off one of the boards before running it through the planer.

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So here’s the finished project. This one was pretty simple and only took me a few hours. I like how it turned out. If you have a musician in the family, this would certainly make for a great gift!

Thanks for checking in. Until next time…

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