Fig. A: File the notch.
Fig. B: Insert the string ball (with close-up of the
Fig. C: Drill holes for the tuner.
Fig. D: Mark the tuner mounting screw hole.
3. Prepare the string anchor.
If you’re making a lead guitar, cut the 1" PVC
pipe to 39" using a hacksaw. For the bass guitar,
cut the 1½" PVC pipe to 44". Clamp the string
tightly to the PVC pipe and use it as a guide to
draw a straight line down the pipe. Remove the
string and drill two ¼" holes 2" and 3½" from
the end of the PVC pipe along the line. In the hole
closest to the pipe end, use a small flat file to
carve a ½"-long notch toward the center of the
pipe (Figure A). Test to see that the ball of the
string fits in the hole and is grabbed by the notch
when the string is pulled tight (Figure B).
4. Install the machine tuner.
Drill a ¼" hole 3" from the other end of the PVC
pipe, on the line you drew. While the bit is turning,
slowly tilt the drill toward the center of the pipe
about 45 degrees (Figure C). This will create
a slanted ledge for the string to rest on. Drill a
¼" hole 2" from the end of the pipe, 90 degrees
around from the first hole.
Put the shaft of the machine tuner into
the second hole and mark the location of the
mounting screw (Figure D). Remove the machine
tuner and drill a 5" pilot hole. (Careful: Keep
the bit straight or it will snap). Put the machine
tuner back into the hole and screw it in with the
wood screw that came with the machine tuner.
5. Attach the neck to the body.
Draw a centerline down the back of the body and
drill 4 evenly spaced 1" pilot holes. Countersink
each hole halfway through the wood from the
back with the ¾" wood bore bit.
Lay the PVC pipe on a table, string side down.
Clamp the body on top of the PVC pipe along the
centerline with the ends of the PVC pipe and
body flush. Make sure the machine tuner is away
from the body. Use the 4 pilot holes as a guide
to drill 1" holes through the PVC pipe. From the
back of the body, screw the lag bolts through the
wood and into the PVC pipe with an adjustable
See Figure E on the following page for reference.
6. Install the strap buttons.
Hold the guitar against your body and find
2 comfortable anchor points for the strap. Drill
1" pilot holes and screw in the lag screws, leaving
a ¼" gap between the screw head and the body
for the strap to fit into.