Burls Art (the name says it all) is the guy who created a one-of-a-kind epic custom-made guitar using 1200 colored pencils. All in all, the project cost him $500. He stated that he saw a lot of people online making bowls out of pencils and thought it was cool, but he wanted to do something more useful to him than just a bowl.
“Since I play guitar, I thought this would be a cool project that would accomplish that goal. I decided on making a (Fender) Stratocaster-styled electric guitar…this was the first guitar I’ve ever built,” he was quoted as saying.
Burls mentioned he was surprised that it was not as difficult as he had imagined…”The only real struggles didn’t come as much with the actual guitar building as much as it did with the colored pencil material. By that I mean, the color of the colored pencil would smear when sanded with high grit sandpaper and it looked awful. So I had to figure out a way to achieve good wood/lead color without smear,” he explains.
Pictures show his purchase of 1200 colored pencils, as well as parts of the process of cutting the pencils, adding the epoxy resin, trimming the pencil slab, tracing the template onto the slab.
“The epoxy resin, pencils combination was far too dense for me to cut with a jig saw alone, even using a diamond blade. Because of this, I had to drill out the pencil cores to make life a little bit easier on the jig saw,” he adds.
After cutting and shaping the pencil slab, he used super glue and some masking tape on the guitar and template connecting them together with a strong lateral hold which could be pulled-off easily with no damage done to either piece, should he need to.
He then starts routing the sides of the body using a table router. Continues routing the cavities and neck pocket. Sanding was one struggle he mentioned with the pencils as they would smear using higher grit on the belt sander. He opted to maintain the grit at 220 so the guitar would not have a grayish-smeared color tone. But it took a lot of time sanding, including manually.
Then he starts drilling the neck mounting holes, and the bridge mounts. He then uses a two-part spray enamel for a beautiful finish. After drying and wiping it clean, he then starts mounting the tremolo until…it’s finally done!
Burls could not exactly say how much time it took him to complete the project. “I worked on it for 4-5 weeks for a few hours a day, like 2-4 hours probably. It took a long time, but for the most part, it was enjoyable.” He believes he could make another one faster since he knows the processes involved and what to do differently to avoid problem areas. He thinks it cost him around $500 as he had some savings with some materials like the hardware and guitar neck.
Really happy with the outcome, “It’s a one-of-a-kind guitar as of now which I guess is pretty cool, though that’s probably soon to change now that the idea’s out of the bag,” he adds. He promised this won’t be his last guitar build…and even says future projects may even be better and more interesting. Rock on Burls!
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