I had a crazy idea to make a book into a guitar and this is the product. It took a while to find the right book, but eventually, I landed on this copy of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare. It was a mix of the correct size and thickness; plus, it’s Shakespeare.
I did some quick Internet research and didn’t see any other “book guitars”, so I assumed I was in fairly uncharted waters. I took some time and thought about how I should best proceed. In the end, a straight edge and razor blade seemed the best course.
I would be lying if I told you that the first cut was easy. I’m not in the business of destroying books, but…
I found the center of the book and measured the width of the neck wood. Then, I taped it off and drew the lines. I cut out the side first, to the depth of the neck, and then cut the center to the same depth. After the center was removed, I set the temporary neck in the center and replaced the side pages—everything fit great.
Next, I fastened the outer pages to the back cover with some flat, low profile bolts. I drilled through the pages and back cover, installed the bolts, and then chiseled a small area on the inside of the front cover to allow for the other end of the bolt. Now, the pages wouldn’t fall out and it would be a secure area for the electronics.
I cut down the neck, glued it, and carved the Double Razorblade head design that will be my official Junk Shop Audio head going forward. I cut a channel for my Junk Shop Audio Nd144 pickup and stained the neck with a steel wool and balsamic vinegar blend that looks awesome.
I fastened the neck through the back of the book with flat furniture bolts. These bolts come in a variety of colors and are strong—the neck was firmly attached and the bolts looked cool.
To hold the pickup in place, I used some metal scraps from the 9v adaptor deconstruction. I lined them up on the neck, grabbed them with a length of duct tape, and placed the tape in the correct area on the back of the book cover. the magnets on the pickup will attract to the steel scraps.
I cut a hole for the 1/4″ jack and a small channel between the jack hole and pickup for the wire.
I installed the small piece of angle with three brass screws. and then added the simple machines—made of ground thumb screws and rod nuts—and a bridge made of a cut bolt, filed flat on the bottom.
For the head, I used stainless bolts, brass washers, and brass knurl nuts to hold the strings in place and a cut bolt for the nut. The frets are drawn on in pencil, because I may add a fretboard and frets in the future.
Acoustically, the guitar sounds louder and more bassy than I thought it would; amplified, it sounds pretty dirty when you crank up the overdrive.
Check out this quick and dirty video: