36 posts in this topic

Welcome to the introduction of How To Wrap a Leather Guitar.

After I spent months figuring it out and sending emails to some great guys who do this..I received NO HELP!

I am willing to share my growing pains with you as fellow leather workers!

So here we go!

Materials;

A: Guitar Body:

*****I am using a custom made Alder Body based off a 1952 Tele Shape, that has 1 TV Jones Pickup and 1 Tone/Volume Stacked Pot.

1.Leather should be at least 8-9oz or 3mm thick in order to be thick enough to cut a 45degree angle on to join the sides and top and back together. I have tried it with thinner leather and it just doesn't have the proper height to do it properly, so after some trial and error I figured starting with a 3-4mm thick piece works teh best.

2.Contact Cement

3.Leather Lace 5/16

4. Edge trimmer

5.Good sharp Knife.

STEP 1:

A: Cut you side strap or at least a small piece about 12" long for the thickness.

B: Lay your guitar face down on the backside of your leather.

C: Using your strip that you cut for thickness and a pencil trace around the perimeter of the guitar

making a very good dark line

D: Repeat action for the back of the guitar.

STEP 2:

A: Cut out your pieces

B: Using a wing divider set the gap to 5mm and make a mark around the perimeter of the leather pieces you just cut out.

STEP 3:

A: Wet the backside of the leather and using you hand press the leather and rub where the string holes come through for the Bridge,Pickups and Neck notch.

B: Using a 4mm hole punch punch out the string holes and also punch holes in the near corners of the pickup hole and neck corners.

Do not punch directly on the edge give yourself some room to play with so make sure the holes are punched away from the edges.

*****We will be cutting out the leather for the bridge later so that we direct contact between the wood and metal bridge for bet tonal outcome...but more on that part later.*****

The String holes are a guide for glueing it down and lining up everything together.

STEP 4:

A: Using your wing divider marks and a slot 3 prong punch and a 1 prong slot punch start making slot holes around the perimeter of the top and rear pieces.

***When you arrive at the neck joint you must be very careful to leave yourself 5mm from the last hole so it takes some lining up and eyeballing not to go past where the leather will be cut out from the neck pocket.

B: After you have punched out your lace slots;

STEP 5:

A: turn over your leather top and back

B: Using your wing divider check and set the tool to the thickness of the leather.

C: Mark all the way around the backside perimeter with the wing divider.

***** It should be very close but not past or on top of your slot holes.

STEP 6:

A: Get out your Edge trimmer and set yourself at 45Degrees and cut from the edge of the leather to your marks you just made. Press down VERY hard so you don't get under the leather. You want to be just on the edge at a 45 degree angle not cutting into your slots.

Step 7:

A: Line up the string holes with the prepunched holes on the leather for a string through body guitar.

*****Then around the edge with you small side strap check the clearances and edges that your overhang is lined up properly.

B: Fold back Half of the leather and start applying Contact Cement. Apply first to the wood, then to the leather.

*****You may want to divide gluing it down into 3-4 parts depending on how fast the glue is setting but you should move very quickly on applying the contact cement!

After applying and pressing the leather down in sections you can place a board and maybe even as I do a large piece of stone on top for 12 hrs for the contact cement to be pressed by weight and have the best bond possible.

****** REPEAT THE SAME FOR APPLYING THE BACK PIECE.

MORE TO COME!

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Edited by chancey77

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Part 2 photos

Part 3 Photos

Chapter 1

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OK LETS CUT OUT THE NECK POCKET and PICKUP HOLE.

Materials and tools needed:

1. Razor Knife

2. Wood Burner with round tip.

STEP 8: Neck Pocket cut out.

A: Using the holes you previously punched; cut out a triangle wedge.

B: Cut closer to the edges so you can see what you are about to cut to the edges.

C: Very carefully eyeball your corners and edges with the knife. Leaving enough for the sides to join the pointed small corners for the outsides of the neck pocket. I left myself 5mm.

Step 9: Pickup Hole Cut Out

A: The same as the neck pocket cut on the insides of your pre-punched holes; just so you can see inside of the pickup hole.

B: Starting 1/2 way between the corners angle your cut to the edge of the perimeter and start cutting around lining up your edges perfectly. Make sure your blade is flat with the inside of the routed out pickup hole.

C: Using a wood burner I follow the edge of the leather and corners to make sure my edges are perfect and any loose leather fibers are dressed.

*****I also give the same treatment to the neck pocket that has been cut out.

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Edited by chancey77

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PLEASE NO COMMENTS UNTIL THIS GUITAR WRAP IS FINISHED:) THANKS!

***MANY MORE INSTRUCTIONS AND PICTURES TO COME OVER THE NEXT COUPLE WEEKS:)***

THANKS FOR LOOKING!

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STEP 8

A: With a wood burner I even out the edges of the Pick Up cut out and Neck pocket cut out.

B: Using Black Dye/Stain I black out the Pick Up Hole and Neck Pocket.

STEP 9

A: Make a mark in the 1/2 way point of the Jack hole and line up the sides and make your first slots/lace holes line up with the top leather.

B: After Punching out all the slots that line up with the top leather; Continue the same process for the bottom.

Line up your mark and top slots and flip the guitar over and Do the same process.

****I already cut out the neck notch on the side strap of leather so I don't have to mark what is top and what is bottom it already lines up*****

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Edited by chancey77

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STEP 10:

A: Glue down the sides.

I use a high grade contact cement for this just as I did the top and back leather pieces.

I start with the neck Pocket Joint. Then work my way down to the end.

Follow the edges and pinch them together to stick.

**THIS CONCLUDES THE BASIC HOW TO COVER A GUITAR IN LEATHER**

I hope you enjoyed seeing the process.

I will be finishing this guitar with lace and color but I think we have reached the end of the HOW TO part of this thread.

The rest forth coming, will be the actual setting up of the guitar and I will surly post pictures of its completion.

It will be going to my Luthier and partner Scott Morgan for its completion after color and lace.So unfortunately my photos will end for a brief time until the build and set up is complete.

FEEL FREE TO LEAVE COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS NOW:

THANK YOU ALL!

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There are no words that can say thank you enough. I bow to the master of the Telecaster.

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This thread is great. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us. Looking forward to seeing the completed pics.

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Just as soon as I finally decide how to color it:)

I am thinking black sides and back inside the tooling red brown binding to match the red neck and natural lace with a natural top.

We got some Koa for the back plate,striding cover and Jack plate. This should turn out pretty amazing with a leather burst color look! The texture is really cool. I rolled the leather for about 30mins. So it has some real beautiful texture to it.

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This should turn out pretty amazing with a leather burst color look!

Imagine if you had an airbrush ;)

I got nothing to add to the tutorial though as far as questions.

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Imagine if you had an airbrush ;)

I got nothing to add to the tutorial though as far as questions.

I know!!!! Santa is on my naughty list this year!!! I was good all year!! Arghhhhh:)

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This thread is great. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us. Looking forward to seeing the completed pics.

Hi Hawgman, Nice to see you back with the living; how are you

Tor

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I know!!!! Santa is on my naughty list this year!!! I was good all year!! Arghhhhh:)

Hi Chancey77, Nice thread and good work. I am planning to do a Guitar myself. Did you plan this to be your 777 post?

Tor

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This thread is great. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us. Looking forward to seeing the completed pics.

No sweat Hogman!!

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Bitchin! Thanks for the great article man!

Anyone tried this on an accoustic? I'm curious how it effects the sound?

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Bitchin! Thanks for the great article man!

Anyone tried this on an accoustic? I'm curious how it effects the sound?

Wrapping an acoustic absolutely KILLS it....Looks real cool, but if you actually play it plugged in or mic'ed it is a dead instrument. Elvis and Buddy Holly both used their guitars as props more than an actual instrument....IT DOES LOOK AWESOME!!!!!

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Anyone tried this on an accoustic? I'm curious how it effects the sound?

Chancy is right. In order for an acoustic to project sound, the top must vibrate. This is why some "cheap" guitars sound horrid. The bracing inside the inside under the face of the guitar dampens the vibrations, the more bracing... the less the top vibrates. Putting a leather cover directly on a guitar like this would turn it into a decoration... completely worthless to a musician.

Electric guitars on the other hand rely on the pick ups, (actually the interference of the vibrating string over the magnetic field created by the pick ups) to make the sound. That is why wrapping an electric does nothing to it's sound.

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Well, dang.

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Well, dang.

Ha ha ha.... just go down to the nearest pawn shop and buy yourself an inexpensive electric and give it a go. (a $20 cheapo)

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I was blown out of he water and all my misconceptions of wrapping a guitar in leather when it was all said and done the first time. As long as the Bridge is mounted directly to the wood through the leather then all of the sustain is still there in an electric. Believe me we tested against many of our tele's to make sure we weren't being fooled:)

I am tempted and I will wrap an acoustic guitar one day, but I think maybe as long as you glue the leather to the acoustic guitar which MOST PEOPLE would never want; It would still be ok. But if it isn't tight enough and is more like a zipper style wrap it will dull the sound quite a lot.

Here is an update:)

I can't wait o see it with all the Chrome and Rosewood!!!!!!

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how about a leather wrapped Ukulele?

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It is basic physics, the different frequency in the wood and leather will kill it. The sound will travel true the wood with one frequency meet the new material and die.Pretty but silent.

Tor

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how about a leather wrapped Ukulele?

Good idea Sylvia, they will sound much better in leather and with out strings too, ha ha

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Ah, a uke hater. Must have you listen to some Youtube.

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Ah, a uke hater. Must have you listen to some Youtube.

Yes, give him a guitar; those uku`s make an annoying sound. I am sorry Sylvia, he is a good player. However, imagine when you have to listen to somebody who cannot play practice on that thing all day long. Then you will accidental step on it and run out and buy him/her a guitar instead.

Tor

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