DIY Guitar // Part 2: Sketching + Woodburning

TITLE INTRO Hi guys! I hope you enjoyed last week's post that was part one of our new series, DIY Guitar! Now, it is time for part deux! This will cover my sketching process to come up with the perfect design, and then about the wood burning process and some tips. Enjoy!

guitar sketch 1

Jake and I threw a lot of ideas back and forth about what kind of design to put on this guitar. At some point, we settled on a koi fish because we both like Asian art and Japanese tattoos. We also thought the shape of the koi body would flow well with the shape of the guitar. This was one of our final sketches, which I drew on a guitar body template I made up in Photoshop.

guitar sketch 2

However, at the last minute, I think both of us knew we weren't crazy excited about the koi fish design. Although I was the one drawing, the whole sketching process was very collaborative between Jake and I, especially because he will be the one playing the guitar! One day we had an aha moment. One of our favorite bands is Four Year Strong. They have a lyric that goes "We built this city on heart and soul," and once we started discussing that as a possible design, we were hooked. This was one of the original sketches, but we improved it before getting started.

guitar sketch 3

Here is a refined sketch before we began wood burning. It incorporates a city and sunburst, as well as stars and a planet to make it a little more etherial. As you can tell, I didn't draw out the entire design perfectly before sketching it on the guitar in pencil, but that is kind of how I work. I usually save the final sketch for the final product, and do it freehand.

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We were now ready to begin wood burning! I used a Walnut Holly Creative Woodburner, which has lasted me over 6 years and it has always been reliable and awesome.

woodburning tips

If you're unfamiliar with wood burning, here is a little guide to get you started. There are a ton of different tips you can purchase for your woodburner, and most come with about 4 when you buy it anyway. The ones I use most commonly are these three.

The universal tip: this is what I used for the majority of the guitar design. It has a very straight and sharp edge that creates clean, straight lines. Curves are a little more difficult with this baby

The point tip: This was a new tip I picked up, that I now love! I used it for all the stars because it makes nice little perfect circles. I also used it for some of the curves, like in the planet and lettering.

The shading tip: I didn't do any shading for this project, but it's a great little tip. The harder you press, the darker your shading will be!

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Here is how the design turned out. I was very pleased with it considering I hadn't woodburned a big project since this longboard.

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Here's our whole design! We love it! Let me know what you think of it in the comments, and if you have any questions about wood burning guitar projects, let us know! Stay tuned for Part 3: Staining! x. Paige