* String trees
* Cigar box body
* Neck cavity
* Sound holes
* Magnetic or Piezo pickups
* Control knobs
* Bridge & saddle
* Tail stock string retainers
Let's take a shot at items on the list, to see what design possibilities we can come up with.
Headstock -- The shape is usually an individually desired design, which looks good to the builder, and is only limited by size and tuner placement. It can be left plane without ornamentation, stained or painted, wood burned, or laminated
with wood, paper, plastic, etc., to individualize it. And the lamination can be in to form of artwork, logo, veneer to cover a scarf joint, etc. Small geegaws can be glued to the surface or inset to enhance the design. But, whatever you do, try to incorporate the headstock design into the overall guitar design, because the finished guitar will just look better.
String trees -- Trees can be in the form of commercially available pieces, or they can be the builder's own design. But, they can be made to look really cool on a headstock, as well as to be an effective way to keep the strings on the nut on a straight-neck guitar. Trees can be made from metal, wood, plastic, bone, or whatever else you as a builder finds acceptable. Use your imagination.
The box -- All surfaces on the box can be used for special design, or the box can be left plain. But, whatever you decide is once again limited only by your creativity. So, let your imagination wander, or steal an idea or three from someone else's rig . . . don't worry, they got the idea from someone else, too. You can paint the box; glue on pictures or photos; apply decorations; add enhancements to change the shape; or you can step away from the cigar box and use something unconventional to make your creation stand out . . . how 'bout and oil can, and ammunition box, a toilet seat, or a bed pan? That aught to get your neighbors and in laws talking.
Sound holes -- These are the openings in the box top, which are not only cute, but they are functional in that they let the acoustic sound escape the confines of the box. So the design should be carefully considered, not only to look good, but to function, too. They can be as simple as drilled holes left open; holes covered with metal decoration; screened from underneath; or as complex as openings designed so that small files and saws must be used to complete the design. Keep in mind that bigger is not necessarily better, when designing sound holes. Sound will bounce around quite nicely from a couple holes the size of a half dollar in the top of the average size cigar box.
Bridge and saddle -- I've used wood, brass rod, bone, plastic, metal objects such keys, and Corian (my favorite nut and saddle material), and I know others who have used bolts and other stuff for saddles, so whatever you decide will be OK. If it doesn't work for you, you can always do it over . . . 'cause we have do-overs in this hobby. I like to shape wood for the bridges on my builds, but you may find that something else works better for you, so go for it.
Tail stock string retainer
If you want to see more photos of my guitars, go to the right-hand column of my blog and scroll down to the images under the 'TotalRojo' sign, and click on any of the images and it will take you to the full explanation of each guitar, with added photos.
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