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Anyone built their own Guitar?  I really don't want to expend resources on one right now and my brain just can't come up with the justification for the cost association, always seems like highway robbery.  We're starting to move out of hand rolled though and cutting with a knife is tedious.

In my head I've got PVC pipes in a square with stainless strings tightened by eyelets or thumbscrews spaced however seen fit with a hinge.

So--built your own? Come across some plans for a DIY project?  If I could spend a few hours and < a couple hundred I'd feel it was a worthy small project.

Tags: cutter, diy, guitar, homemade

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Hi Andy,

welding aluminum is matter of professionals, i built this frame when i just arrived in SA and i didn't know anyone. So i went the easier way to "rivet" (or bracketing)  everything simply because was the only way i knew how to put it together.

Riveting is easy: drill a hole, put a rivet and with the right gun just close the rivet.

The bolts are the same as the one from the link, any engineering company is capable to drill a hole in it. Do not try at home, it will cost you so much on drill bits and time. Seriously i did all the rest of the  job with the cheapest DIY tools i could find at a builder warehouse. 

the frame has been put together almost 2 year ago and it hasn't yet broken into pieces... so i guess it works! 

Next (just to consider it an evolution) i will buy a thick cutting block and cut the slots  so it is easier /faster to cut and move the ganache.

looking forward to see yours!

I have had some experience "fooling around" with a home made guitar.  My attempts were with alum. "L" bar riveted together and using bicycle s/s spoke nipples and pieces of s/s spokes as the tensioning device.  Problem with alum. is is that it is soft.  After a few months the frame warped-- all those strings under tension probably did it.  But then, if alum is soft, the rivets are even softer, and when I tightened up a few wires one fateful day, I ended up shearing off the heads of the rivets.

Thing is, in order to cut a slab of ganache, the wires have to exit the slab to make a clean  cut.   This means the wires have to end up below the slab when the cut is finished.  To do this, I took a large nylon cutting board, and cut a series of 1/8" deep x 1/8" wide grooves in it with a table saw. This does the trick, but now I had to anchor and hinge the frame to the base, as any shifting when I pushed the frame down would make for messy cuts.  And, a lot of crud gathered in the grooves of the cutting board.  Probably close to 100 hours of farting around and "Wile E. Coyote Back to the drawing board" moments fooling around with this contraption, and now it sits in the attic of my garage.

I do 3 slabbed ganache varieties at work.  What I use is a cutting wheel.  At dollar stores, I buy a dozen s/s pizza wheels, usually 3" dia.  I cut out the rivets, throw away the handles, and mount the wheels on a length of redi rod (all-thread rod)  I have a lathe at home so I turn sections of hollow oak, cut them to 7/8"lengths, and space the wheels with these, make some handles, and cap off both ends with acorn nuts.  Matfer has a version of this, which I un-shamefully ripped off,  the 2005  catalouge listed it for over 300 USD.  A picture is worth a thousand words...

After I pour out the slab, I wait until semi-firm, not fully crystalized, and then paint on a top layer of couverture, flip it over, then paint on a bottom layer.  I put my contraption in the oven for a minute or so and then cut through the slab in strips, then in squares.  Works quite well , and I spent far less than 10 hours making the thing.........

Hi Edward,

please share a couple of pics with us, it sounds like a cool idea.



Lets see if I can upload a pic of my cutter.

If the cutter is heated in the oven for a minute or two, it does a reasonable job of cutting the ganache.  Cutting is best done just after a bottom is put on the slab--when it is fresh and still sticks to the paper--this way it won't get picked up by the cutter. 



i think at the moment you are on the top list for the "Wile E. Coyote/Mac Gyver" Award!!!

i will try to make one as well!

Those are pretty cool.  How do they do for cutting caramel?

Caramel?  Kinda/sorta if you spray "pam" on the wheels, but I just use the wheel to mark the slab. Any regular kitchen knife will work to cut caramel (Grewling's recipie) as long as you keep the knife moving.

No.... Wile E. Coyote was an "Acme" man, through and through......

Rather than a _guitar_ cutter, I made what is best called a _washtub bass_ cutter.

I used the best $25 hacksaw frame sold at home depot, and stretched stainless steel wire across the prongs that hold the blade.

The trick is to get a saw with _smooth_ prongs, and to wrap the wire around the prong a couple of times and then twist around itself to lock.  

It takes a couple of tries to get the knack of it so that the wire can be tightened enough.

To deal with the wire having to pass below the slab, I used a firm foam with food safe material (plastic wrap) above it.

At first I would just use this for freehand cuts, but then I built a guide frame.  This is just a pair of waterjet cut 'combs' screwed to some cutting board material.

I am only using this at home; in the commercial kitchen I'd probably use an NSF rated saw (they make them for butchers) and I would need to figure out different pad materials.


Thanks for all the sharing guys!  I'm still using a pastry cutter but look forward to making a variation on one of these someday :)


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