How to Build a Guitar from a Wood Pallet, Part 1: Materials List


Don’t burn that wood pallet! You can instead salvage the wood, imagine and build a guitar. Pallets are made with beautiful wood, once planed and sanded. Pallets have to be strong, so you know the wood is good. Stringed instruments need good wood to resonate and sustain, in the musical sense, well. I can’t think of a better way to enjoy a hobby than to work without a budget. The creativity and cost savings involved in these projects justify the three 'R’s: recycle, repurpose, reclaim. The environment will love you.

Wood Pallet Guitar Components Materials List

Below I will give an overview of the components of my pallet guitar, which has an Irish flare.

Control panel

The material list is as follows:

This guitar is made of pallet material and was handmade on a dare. Part of one of my class requirements was to have the students build or design something useful with little or no budget. They, my students, figured if they had to so should the instructor, me and my big ideas. So I couldn’t be out-shined. It is a six- string, 24 fret, semi-acoustic, dual humbucker pickup instrument. The following bullet point will list the materials used.


Pallet Guitar

Body top: Book match cut willow, maple pick guard, cherry pick-up plate, walnut in-lay
Body bottom: lark (similar to fir), reclaimed stadium seat.
Edge banding: cherry, water soaked to conform to guitar shape, pallet material
Sound ports: walnut pallet material
Neck: through body, laminated maple and mahogany pallet material
Pickups: four singles paired in reverse to create two duels
Fret board: Maple with walnut inlay fret marks and walnut banding pallet material, fret wire is reclaimed.
Headstock: maple, walnut banding pallet material, tuning machines are reclaimed
Control panel: pots are reclaimed, tuning knobs are reclaimed, slide switch is used and reclaimed, from a dumpster.
Shamrocks: maple
Bridge: reclaimed Hipshot type
Finish: woods are natural, shamrocks are toned with compressed grass and cedar foliage creating a green stain liquid. Top coat is low-VOC latex acrylic clear (3 parts per gallon), well under LEED guidelines for sustainable use.

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