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The Great Guitar Build-off

Shaun Cahoon

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A neon green weta insect faced guitar, and dragonfly guitar weren’t enough for me. I wanted to do a bass project and found a used Ibanez neck for sale for $75 online. The price was then reduced to $25 and I immediately contacted the seller and made the purchase. With a little research I found that it was from a five string Ibanez BTB 405. Inspired by the original BTB shape I set out to craft something unique. Baltic Birch was recommended to me by a carpentry master as he was assisting me on a previous piano shaped desk project. With a little more research I theorized that it would be great material to emphasize the contours of a future guitar build. Google showed me samples of the Gibson Freckled Clown Guitar and confirmed it was a good idea indeed. I discovered Europly which is essentially Baltic Birch with either a walnut or maple veneer applied to the outer surfaces. Availability of this material at Home Depot made it very accessible. Considering the limited thickness availability of this material; I considered how I might make this build easier by building it in multiple layers. I realized that the top layer could equal the thickness of the pickup and neck cavities and that I could easily cut these out with a jigsaw! A little more thought led me to the idea of making this a semi-hollow guitar as I could very easily cut the hollow section out of the middle layer and then minimal hollowing on the top and bottom layers. What shape to make the sound holes? Why a bass clef of course! I was able to use a thin layer of Honduras mahogany which I had used on my other two guitars to make these guitars genetic siblings. Upgrading on the neck included veneer cut from the Europly and dots cut from Abalone (Paua) bought in Napier New Zealand. Electronics while still not finalized at the point of registration intend to include a piezo pickup under the monorail saddles and then P2 sized pickups true to the original BTB Project was originally started in May as the first project of my Indie Musician’s Workbench DIY YouTube channel. Upon contacting the contest staff I have been informed that I can finish my bass and qualify it as part of the contest as well!


You can visit my YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa2X3hiug4_ZMYnIcLhmf9g

You can see the video of my final build here: https://youtu.be/E-U0tLV6Zpg

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