A new sound

Student creates custom guitar from a few pieces of lumber


Photo courtesy of Tyler Sudeta

Sudeta holding up the finished project after applying the protective wax.

John Nesci, Staff Reporter

Carpentry opens up the door of opportunity for almost anything to be made. For most, furniture and picture frames are the simple project of choice. One student, junior Tyler Sudeta, saw an opportunity and took it.

Sudeta, a guitar enthusiast, has a collection of guitars from popular brands like Fender and Gibson. The one guitar that really sticks out in his collection is his custom-built guitar he made in Advanced Carpentry. The guitar he built uses cherry and walnut wood, giving the guitar a bespoke wood grain look. 

“I play the guitar and thought it would be cool to build my own,” Sudeta said. “It took about six weeks in class to build and most of that time went to getting the wood into the shapes I wanted.” 

Building a guitar in Carpentry is not only a challenge because of the labor needed to put into it, but also because it has only been done by a few other students.  Sudeta had to use online resources and peers to create the guitar, and leave little room for mistakes so that it wouldn’t look or sound out of tune. The middle of the guitar is made out of walnut, giving it a very robust center. The outer parts of the guitar are made of cherry wood to give the parts you see a nice wood grain texture along with a subtle pink tint.

“The hardest part was getting the neck put together and fitting it onto the body and centering it so it would work,” Sudeta said. “Putting the strings on was also a very tedious job.”

Alongside Sudeta, a few students have taken a shot at building their own guitar in carpentry. Senior Grant Peacock was one of the few that also built one during the class.

“My favorite part of the whole project was seeing how the finished project came together,” said Peacock. “Once I attached the final pieces it really just came out nice.”

This guitar project was very special to Sudeta, because it was something that he could not only build and put on display, but also plug it into an amplifier and play it. The guitar features real metal accents, electronic components, and tunable strings, just like any high-end guitar you could buy at a music shop.

“The Students work at their own pace,” Carpentry teacher Charles Lambert said. “Since the students are allowed to choose their own project, they are just supplied with the wood and machines and the rest is up to them, so in this case with the guitars the only thing I asked was “Have you ordered your electrical parts yet?”

With the near infinite amount of possibilities of working with wood, it will be amazing to see what other custom projects students can create and plan themselves.