Take a glimpse at the Burls Art YouTube channel and you’ll see just how crazy the creator is about making guitars. A savant in what he aptly calls “guitart”, he has made guitars out of nearly anything imaginable: from paper all the way to jawbreakers.
Some of the channel’s most famous builds are the guitars made from colored pencils. Counting the unique bass guitar, there are not one, not two, but four guitar build videos that go into detail on how to make a musical instrument out of the multi-colored art pencils.
For now though, let’s focus on the newest version of the colored pencil guitar – the Colored Pencil Guitar 3.0, made from 1200 colored pencils:
1. Make The Pencil Guitar Body Outline
Like the past versions, the body of the guitar is made by pouring epoxy resin over layers of colored pencils. Wooden planks are set on top of the pencils to keep them from floating during the pouring process.
Once the resin has dried, both sides are flattened and planed with another layer of resin before being cut out into a guitar shape.
According to the maker, the hard part about working with colored pencils is sealing them after any cut to prevent color bleed. It’s an arduous task which he normally doesn’t do with his other guitar builds but is pretty much a requirement for the colored pencil guitars.
2. Drill Holes For The Other Parts
To make room for the other parts of the guitar such as the fretboard and pickups, various holes are drilled into the body in the front and back. Just as with cutting the body outline, the guitar is sealed as soon as any hole is drilled into it.
3. Craft The Fretboard
In order to play any guitar, you need a neck with a proper fretboard. A specialized saw blade is used to get the right fret marks onto the neck.
Most electric guitars have a curve to their fretboard which helps with hand positioning so Burls Art adds a piece of sandpaper to a radius block and begins sanding the fretboard down.
After the sanding is finished he fine tunes the fretboard cuts with a small blade.
4. Add The Guitar Neck And Head
With the fretboard complete, he can now affix it to a properly sized guitar neck and head.
Hours are spent cutting, gluing, and sanding the right shapes onto a single piece of wood. Curves on the neck, holes in the guitar head for the tuning pins, and even the marks on the fretboard are all meticulously added in to make sure the guitar will look and play just as good as any other. He even adds metal inlays into the cuts of the fretboard once he’s finished the wood parts to make finding the right notes easier.
5. Install Binding Onto The Sides
One new thing Burls Art adds to this newest version of the colored pencil guitar is binding around the perimeter of the body. This not only makes the guitar look cleaner, but it also protects the resin casing from outside elements (i.e. dropping it).
6. Add The Rest of The Parts And Some Finishing Touches
With the main body, neck, and head complete, Burls Art can start adding the electronic parts of the electric guitar. Tuning pegs, pickups, and knobs are fitted onto the guitar before he applies a good deal of wood polish and varnish on the wooden parts.
Unlike his past colored pencil guitars, the vertical orientation of the pencils makes this build a lot stronger and, may we say, prettier? Ok, cooler. Musically, the three pickups give it a wide range of sound and it plays as good as any guitar.
Burls Art’s YouTube channel is all about making guitars from the weirdest materials, so be sure to check it out if you want something to see something unique you can play music on.