$30 Guitar Build Shows What You Can Do With Amazon Parts

Most guitarists buy their axes fully assembled from big names like Fender, Gibson, and… maybe Yamaha? Sure. But there are a dedicated set that relish in mixing and matching parts and even building and assembling their own instruments. [Danny Lewis] decided to see what he could do with the cheapest guitar parts from Amazon and a body of his own design, and he put together something pretty passable for just $30.

The wood for the body was cut on a bandsaw, and was essentially free scrap sourced from old furniture. [Danny] went for an unconventional design using a roughly Telecaster outline and large cutouts either side of the bridge. The neck was free, by virtue of being an old Harmony neck sourced off Craigslist. We’d have preferred to see what could be done with a cheap Amazon neck, but it nonetheless fits the vibe of the build.

The guitar then received a $9.99 pickup and controls, an $8.80 solidtail bridge, and $11 tuning machines for the headstock. Strung up, it actually sounds passable. We’d want to throw it on a proper amp and give the whole thing a setup before fully assessing it, but hey, for $30, it’s hard to go wrong.

We do love some hacky guitars around here; we’ve even featured some with surprise effects gear built into the bodies. Video after the break.

20 thoughts on “$30 Guitar Build Shows What You Can Do With Amazon Parts

  1. Fyi. it’s not a bandsaw that was used to cut the outer faces of the body, it’s a scroll saw, pretty much a fretsaw strapped to a motor, much more forgiving on the fingers and ears, the bulk of the body was cut with a jigsaw, then trimmed up with a router.

    It’s a nice build and just goes to show what you can do with a handful of tools and determination. It doesn’t even matter that it’s $30 of cheap amazon parts, if you can make the body, you can put whatever parts you like in it.

    1. If you have 10k worth of shop equipment and you spread the cost over 5 years of full time work, you have to add about a dollar per hour to your expenses. If you’re a hobbyist and only use the stuff occasionally, you can count $10-20 per hour for your shop full of fancy tools. DIY is not necessarily cheap.

  2. Nice looking guitar, great project.

    Metal strings produce a LOT of tension. Casual Google search… one source claimed ~200 lbs plus/minus depending on the gauge of strings used.

    While I really like the “skeleton” look of this guitar, there seems to be frightfully little wood in that critical area of the “body” where it meets the neck.

    I wonder how well this guitar will hold tune, and I wonder what the action will be like after sitting a few weeks or months under tension.

    If this incarnation does prove to be too unstable, it might be cool plan “B” to dismantle the guitar and use the wood body as model from which to make a sand mold. Then cast the body in scrap aluminum from beer cans and lawn chairs.

    1. This is the only good one post, regarding physics of a guitar. The structural rigidity here is compromised and the sinusoidal form plus frequency of the output are simply not asin a traditional solid body guitar…

  3. Thats a lot of stress on from the strings.

    I bought a fender clone off of Amazon for $45.00 a couple of years ago. It sounds and plays like one of those cheap 200 dollar guitars from guitar center.

    I also tried to put in cheap parts from Amazon for my old Ibanez GAX-75 and it was a bust. The active humbuckers didn’t work. I ended up getting a couple of Seymore Duncan blackouts for that one.

  4. I love it when somebody builds a guitar for less than the cost of a good set of machine heads. They are good to use for non playing autographed wall hangers, but this one seems to have the place they are normally autographed.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.