View Full Version : A fun father & son project

John Pollman
10-05-2006, 12:42 PM

last night my son and I finished up a fun project. Back in February we bought my son his first guitar because he'd been talking about taking lessons for a while but I figured it would pass and he'd forget about it. Well he didn't and he started lessons in April. He's progressed pretty quickly and plays very well for a kid of ten. He doesn't spend much time anymore with video games and such. Now a good deal of his time is spent playing with his guitars. Yes plural guitars. The starter set we bought him was a decent quality setup for a beginner. That was a Fender Strat. But a few months into his lessons he was playing very well and said that he really liked the looks and sound of a Les Paul. So one day while out shopping I found a good deal on a nice Les Paul and I bought it. I upgraded his amp too from the basic unit that came with the starter pack. I'm very pleased that he's kept up his interest and continues to get better. I'm amazed at the speed at which he's picking it up and learning songs. For a while he's been asking me if we could make a guitar together. (Brian May of Queen is his idol and he built one with his father) I explained that it took a lot of time and experience to actually fabricate a guitar from scratch but maybe down the road we'll tackle the project. But not long ago I was talking to my brother who has a few guitars and he buys them cheap and restores them. He told me about a place online that sells kits. I checked it out and was surprised that I could buy a Telecaster kit for only $79! Sure, it's not going to be a top quality guitar but decided it was worth $100 (after shipping) to give it a chance. I ordered it and it came in. My son described the design he wanted for the paint scheme and we worked together to refine it. Once I got a good idea of what he wanted I went to my vinyl cutter and cut a stencil. He picked out the color scheme that he wanted and we picked up the paint and got started. It only took us three days and we finished it up last night. It's not perfect but I think it's pretty good for a first attempt. Here are some pics.....




Karl Laustrup
10-05-2006, 1:40 PM
Great project for you both. Glad you got to work on this together. I'm guessing it won't be long and another one will be in the works.


John Pollman
10-05-2006, 1:58 PM
Great project for you both. Glad you got to work on this together. I'm guessing it won't be long and another one will be in the works.

Oh yeah, I'm sure it won't be the last. :) I'd like to try and make one from scratch but the neck/fret board is a tough one. Maybe on the first one "from scratch" I'll just make the body and buy a pre-made neck. I've still got lots of Ash left out back that might be a good candidate for a guitar body. But then again, maybe Cherry too. :)


Jon Shively
10-05-2006, 2:32 PM
Man that is nice. Regardless how it plays, it is a memory that you and him will have forever, no one can take that from you. I still wear my old pony's shoe as a belt buckle that my dad helped me make after that pony died. Memories of both, plus a functional buckle, what can be better? Good job dad, and good job son!

Roger Fitzsimonds
10-05-2006, 2:35 PM

Check out the grizzly catalog they have guitar kits in there and parts. I dont remember if they are all acoustic guitars or not. Very nice looking guitar y'all built.


tod evans
10-05-2006, 2:35 PM
cool! can`t wait `till my sons old enough to actually "help" in the shop. tod

Al Willits
10-05-2006, 2:59 PM
Always nice to hear when a father does something constructive with his kids, something I missed as a kid, looks pretty nice btw.

Something that used to be popular was using laminated pick guards and cutting the edge at a angle, gave it a nice look. just a thought.

Nothing better in my opinion than learning on a good basic guitar, to many want lots of effects and the fanciest guitars, they learn how to make noise not music, what you'd made looks perfect....enjoy.. :)


Lars Thomas
10-05-2006, 3:14 PM
John, great guitar, even better that your son has an appreciation for it. Since you have an interest in making you own from scratch (like I do), look for Hand-Made Music on HGTV. I haven't seen them do an electric, but he made a nice acoustic.

John Pollman
10-05-2006, 5:13 PM
Thanks guys!

As I said earlier, my son has a very good ear and plays very well. The thing that I like about it is that he likes the "classic rock" and not this new NOISE that they make now. He loves Queen, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Pink Floyd, Kiss, Lynnyrd Skynnrd, etc. :)

I've always wanted to play but never took it up. (But I do play a MEAN Air-Guitar :D) I've tried to play around with his guitars but the problem is that I'm a lefty and it's just too darn hard. About a month and a half ago I was in a kind of funk for a few days and was just pretty quiet and not saying much. My wife kept asking what was wrong but I couldn't really pin point it so I just replied "I don't know, I'm just kind of in a funk. I'll get over it". Well this was a Sunday afternoon and my son wanted to go to a guitar store near us just to look around. They asked if I wanted to go but I really didn't feel like it so off they went. I figured they'd be gone at least 2-3 hours. I was sitting on the couch just about to get up and get busy cutting the grass and I heard the door open. It had only been about 30-40 minutes so I figured the place was closed and they came home. He walks in with a black gig-bag on his shoulder. So at that point I figured my wife had gotten him a better one for his Strat He walked over and set it down next to me and said "Here dad, this is yours". I opened it up and inside was a very nice Fender Lefty Stratocaster! It was beautiful. I couldn't believe it. He's all geeked to start showing me how to play. A little while later, he was in the other room practicing and my wife told me what had transpired. They were on the way to the guitar store which is about 25 minutes away but just down the street is the store where he's taking lessons and where we've bought his guitars. They had to drive right by this store to get to the other one. As they were just about to drive by he asked my wife to turn in so she did. He then said to her "Mom, dad seems depressed. I think he needs a guitar of his own to play". I guess she thought it was a good idea because they went in and bought it. It's the one I look at every time I take him to his lesson. Now I've gotta tell ya that money was part of my funk and we really didn't need to spend that kind of money at that point but my funk was greatly reduced at that point. She said that she got a great deal on it so they bought it. I decided to not sweat the small stuff because it's all small stuff. Now I've got no excuse to not start playing. :)

Take care,



Vaughn McMillan
10-06-2006, 5:19 AM
John, the first story is way cool, but the second story is even better. Congrats on making a nice guitar and raising a good kid.

I advanced quickly when I started playing guitar (a bit younger than your son), and my parents were very supportive of my endeavors. Sounds like you're doing the same for your quick learner, and it's great that he's wanting to share it with you.