Tuesday, 3 April 2018

The Piglet guitar build project, part 1


This is a guitar I'm building for the singer in the band I currently play bass in, Red & The Hogweeds. When Red had said he would like a hog-shaped guitar, I knocked up a design in PhotoShop. My first inclination was to ask a factory in China if they could build a one-off using my design, so I approached a factory that I'd seen recommended on the net. But on receiving their reply of, "No, we can't do that, but we have lots of other designs..." (but I want THIS design! I mean what kind of consolation is that?), I decided, sod it, I'll build it myself.

I'm not a luthier by any means, although I have put together several Frankenstein guitars and I have built a six-string cigar box style guitar that does actually play quite well (I've even recorded with it). I've designed this piglet guitar so that it should be easy to put together with just the bare minimum of power tools. All we're using is a jigsaw and a router, other than that it's hand tools. I say "we", by the way, because I've drafted in Hogweeds guitarist Gunner to help out.

The body is formed by 4 pieces of poplar (a.k.a. tulipwood) - two wings, and a centre section made up of a front and a rear piece of wood. This allows us to make an easy neck pocket simply by jigsawing the front piece of wood, then when it is glued to the rear piece the pocket is formed. Finally the timber will be sandwiched between two pieces of plywood for the front and back. It's all going to be painted piggy pink anyway, so I didn't see the need for anything posher.

Yes, I'm cheating with the neck and am using one I've bought in specially. I make no apologies for this.

Because it is such a big body, I've included several cavities - or "tone chambers" if you prefer - and these should keep the weight down. The cavities are rather crudely cut out; I will tidy them up a bit but won't worry about this too much as they are going to be hidden away inside the guitar and not seen. We're also hoping to put LEDs into the pig's eyes, so these and the battery will be housed in the large chamber you can see to the left of the design.

I'll post more photos as the build progresses.

G L Wilson

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