WATCH: This lad spent $500 to build an electric guitar out of 1,200 coloured pencils

video 11/01/2019

Inspired by other artists who have been making amazing things using only coloured pencils, an American artist called Burls Art decided to take it up a notch by building an electric guitar from scratch using coloured pencils.

"I saw a lot of people online making bowls out of colored pencils and I thought that was really cool but I wanted to make something that I can actually utilise and enjoy more so than a bowl when it’s finished," Burls Art tells Bored Panda.

Since he's also a guitar player, Burls Art thought it would be a cool project that would "accomplish that goal". He says, "I decided on making a (Fender) Stratocaster styled electric guitar… This was the first guitar I’ve ever built.”

Despite the tedious work shown through the video, Burls Art says it's "surprisingly not as difficult as imagined". He continues, “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 (which I detail in the video at the end of this post).”

The video begins with a box of the cheapest 1,200 coloured pencils Burls Art could find on Amazon and cutting them into 2" pieces using a cheap harbour freight mini mitre saw. 

He then proceeds to stack the coloured pencils in a wooden frame and pours in the epoxy resin.

After a long period of sanding, he proceeds to trace the guitar template onto the slab of coloured pencils for cutting.

After a long period of sanding, he proceeds to trace the guitar template onto the slab of coloured pencils for cutting.

He tells Bored Panda, “Routing the side of the body using a table router. This was another homemade jig using the wooden workbench and a 3×3 piece of melamine wood. Cut a hole in the middle of the melamine board and mount the router on the bottom side. Worked well."

This 2.5″ router bit is a bit intimidating though, I cannot lie.

Watch as he routes the cavities and neck pocket.

“This is an example of one of my struggles with the build. The entire block was sanded with 80 grit on the belt sander. Then the left side was progressively sanded up to 360 grit. So the higher grit I went, the more color smear would occur. Smearing was minimal until I went above about 220 grit. This left me with 2 choices.. either have a smooth surface and a grayish/smeared color tone… or… have good clean wood and led colors but at the cost of only being able to sand to 220. The choice was pretty obvious to me being that the colored pencils were the star of the build… I wanted to showcase their colors as much as possible”

He adds the finishing touches, mounting the tremolo, pickguard scratch plate and other details.

All finished! When asked upon how long it took to finish this project, Burls Art says he spends 2-4 hours daily for about 4 to 5 weeks.

"I’d say I spent in the neighborhood of $500 on it, but some of that includes router bits and other pieces of equipment that I didn’t already have. I already had the guitar neck and hardware though so that saved some money."