Guitar Made Out Of Metal

A proposal for manufacturing of a guitar mostly made from light yet strong metal such as aluminum or, on more expensive models, titanium alloys largely used in aviation, aero space and military industries.

Guitar Made Out Of Metal
0

Abstract

A proposal for manufacturing of a guitar mostly made from light yet strong metal such as aluminum or, on more expensive models, titanium alloys largely used in aviation, aero space and military industries. The fingerboard may remain made out of wood.

Description

High quality metal alloys and stainless steel are becoming less and less expensive and available to the general consumer. Aluminum and titanium alloys, predominantly used in aviation, aero space and military industries before are now used elsewhere such as in consumer industries, car manufacturing, tools etcetera. An important point is the high performance metal alloys are less expensive than even simple wood and significantly more inexpensive than exotic wood such as mahogany, ebony and rose wood. Careful analysis may show a metal guitar may prove to be less expensive to manufacture than one made out of simple wood such as walnut and maple. The machinery for working with these metals is also largely available and becomes more and more inexpensive even a back yard mechanic can afford. These exhibit excellent mechanical qualities such as strength and aging resistance yet remaining very light in weight. Electromagnetic interference reduction and hence noise reduction in the audible range, mainly in the 50 / 60 Hz frequencies may be reduced. Easy installation of devices, such as on board guitar computer and analogue and digital sound processors may found to be friendly in such models. Even a partly shielded hum bucker or a microphone (for acoustic versions, if any) may yield better signal to noise ratio. Installation of strong and reliable mechanical supplement devices such as tremolo bar and axel (these may come in digital variation as well), string lockers, string sliding wheels, tunable bridges, self tunable machines, etcetera may become easier. Mounting of an LED / LCD monitor of the on board guitar computer may be more easily performed. For simple applications, guitars without bodies may also be more easily and reliably manufactured. A metal guitar may provide for an easy possibility for part exchange and replacement, I. E. the customers may purchase a given body and a few necks, for example, and change this accordingly. Such a guitar can even be made to be easily and quickly assembled / disassembled by the customer and thus transported or carried easily resulting in a less bulky transportation case. The case, of course, can also be made out of aluminum as presently available but not extremely popular due to the higher price defined by the market principles rather than the price of the materials, labour and machinery.

The Neck

The neck of the guitar may be solid on the expensive models or casted hollow with vertical supporting bars thus eliminating the necessity of a truss rod which may remain optional, sold as a package and removable by the customers. On less expensive models, the neck may be assemblable with rivets or machine bolts, washers, lockers and nuts as opposed to cast or molded. A possibility for custom configurable neck where extra positions may be added also exists.

The Head

The head also gives possibilities for imagination but better remain solid. The machines better be centered as closely as possible to the general direction of the strings regardless of whether there would be string lockers or optional string lockers on the upper bridge or not. Self tunable machines made out of a non rusting strong metal, such as titanium alloys, with an option for manual tuning are always desirable. The angle between the neck and the head may also be custom adjustable.

The Bridges

Each string will glide through rough surface wheels on the upper bridge to prevent unintentional locking (tangling) during tuning with an option for intentional locking by individual string lockers on every sting. The string lockers may either be the standard bolt type or a push type subject to a closer mechanical evaluation. There is always a possibility to make the actual core of the upper bridge (the place where the string touch the bridge) made out of wood or nylon to prevent noise from the vibrating string which noise may not be so obvious in electrical guitar applications but may affect the performance of the string. The same ideas may be applied to the lower bridge plus a full bridge tenability. Apart from the standard way of tuning the height and the length of each individual string, the bridge may be made movable and positionable everywhere throughout the guitar body length on rails. Guitars without bodies may also use this method.

The Tremolo

An existing high performance bar and axel tremolo may be made much tinier in size yet much stronger and assembled directly onto the movable bridge and be movable in relative to the bridge too. In other words, the bridge (with the tremolo apparatus as part of the bridge) can move up and down relative to the guitar and the tremolo apparatus can move up and down relative to the bridge thus ensuring full tenability. Similar scenarios can be played on the upper bridge. Even an upper bridge tremolo assembly can be put for whatever reason if at all.

The Guitar Body

The guitar body can be made as a simple enclosure where the electrical, the electronics, the lower bridge and the neck can be assembled. Solid metal option with the necessary cutouts is also available where extra strength is needed or if found to positively affect the sound. Of course, the traditional wood is also an option as well as the acoustic electric hybrids, guitar without bodies, etcetera.

Electrical and Electronics

Custom selected type and number of humbuckers, availability of an on board guitar computer with an LED / LCD touchscreen, voice activation (on a separate microphone or when not on stage), network / USB sockets, analogue outputs are very welcome. Digitisation would take place immediately after the humbuckers and simple analogue electronics and the processed by the guitar computer for noise reduction, filtering, digital signal processing, streaming and communication, effects and sound synthesis, etcetera.

Fingerboard

There is nothing wrong to look into a possibility where the fingerboard would also be made out of metal at the expense of some banging noise when the string is pressed. There is nothing wrong to put glass, fiber glass or strong, scratch resistive plastic. However, for the guitar buffs who insist on wood, the traditional mahogany, ebony, rose wood fingerboards are also available with a possibility for exchangeability. For example, one may initially go for rose wood and then replace the fingerboard with ebony or mahogany. The fingerboard can either be bolted to the neck at the diamond points with the bold covered with the traditional plastic or whatever they put there or the fingerboard can be glued to the rough surfaced neck. When a glued fingerboard is to be replaced, the old one can be pried out, and filed off and the new one reglued.

General

All or as many parts as possible must be molded or casted and not welded, riveted or bolted as much as possible. Melt and mold as opposed to weld. A very good idea may be to look into a possibility for manufacturing also of a fully or mostly plastic guitar.

Summary

A more versatile, stronger, customizable, reliable, inexpensive guitar made out of metal may easily be manufactured. The principle "hardware as software" can be applied to the guitar too, in this case, the principle would be "guitar as software". By Steven Stanley Bayes

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    Steven Bayes
    Here are some orientations on prices: http://www.metalprices.com/metal/aluminu... 05 Apr 19:47 Early buys push scrap prices down $20 a ton in Detroit and Cleveland (MetalPrices.com) Please, note, some aluminum alloys suck as 6061 are easy to weld and work with. Fully automated computarised machines for doing this should be inexpensive. I personally believe, in case of a strong market, the price of an aluminum alloy guitar can be less than $100. Here is an article on 6061 aluminum alloys : http://www.metalprices.com/metal/aluminu... The only major difference than pure scrap aluminum is the addition of magnesium as a major alloy element. Here is an orientation of what the prices of 6061 aluminum alloy are : http://www.metalprices.com/metal/aluminu... http://www.metalprices.com/metal/aluminu... SQ314 1/4 X 1/4 6061 Aluminum Square 12 Ft. In Stock $9.00 More on prices in 2008, during crisis : http://www.metalprices.com/metal/aluminu... " AS A result of the Global Monetary/Bank crisis: Today LME aluminium is ~~@2000/tonne So you should get your bar @ $1/lb. " So, THE PRICE OF RAW MATERIAL FOR MAKING ONE ALUMINUM GUITAR MAY PROVE TO BE LESS THAN $10!
    rolandroi
    Dislike because The fingerboard is still made out of wood.
    Steven Bayes
    ...if the player so desires. Otherwise: metal or wahtever other material one wants. Fingerboards are interchangeable. One can even sell one guitar with many fingerboards or none.
    jetwash69
    Plastic guitars are common enough that I happened accross one in a pawnshop today. The neck was some wood with a rosewood fretboard, but the headstock and body were a neon green acrylic--it was a BC Rich Mockingbird. ESP made a hollow acrylic telecaster for Kirk Hammett; he wanted to fill it with urine, but figured that would go stale so he filled it with blue wave machine fluid instead. Now it's known as the "wavecaster". Ibanez has also made plastic guitars. IIRC, they've made JEMs out of acrylic and maybe RGs, too. You can buy carbon fiber/graphite necks online and companies like Parker use them as standard equipment. Many (if not all) Parker guitars also have the wooden bodies encapsulated in plastic/carbon fiber. Montgomery Ward sold plastic (fiberglass body) guitars starting in the late 50s. Maybe you're familar with one--Jack White's JB Hutto Airline. There are also plastic accoustics. Check out Rain Song guitars. Also Ovation has been using plastic bodies for well over 30 years.
    Steven Bayes
    This is great information. Never heard anything alike. Certainly never seen such. Graphites and graphine sound great. They use them on cars and even make the Kardan axel to drive the rear wheels with a front engine out of graphite composits. Sure a neck can be done this way.
    mutex77
    WTF....i typed up this great reply...I posted it and nothing. Here's a way shorter version. Your ideas are really good, and because many tonewoods are getting so expensive its probably where the industry is going. normandyguitars.com makes a aluminum hollowbody thats gotten some great reviews. Supposedly it sounds great, the sustain is amazing, it looks killer and its extremely strong. alumisonic has some, but ive never seen a review. Fender did some aluminum bodies as well as special editions I believe. Other companies have guitars that are aluminum body and neck as well. Stewmac sells carbonfiber rods to renforce necks. People are definitely start to look at different materials in the guitar world. Im all for it. If you find some weird alloy that sustains like mahogany with the weight of carbon fiber i'd be all over it. I was always amazed we didnt have more aluminum guitars. My tuning forks are aluminum, not wood. If your young I suggest that you look into some engineering classes. If your older and have a career and want to do this on the side, grab a few tools off craigslist and start trying out some stuff. Perhaps you dont revolutionize the guitar world with a floyd-rose level invention...but even something as mechanically simple as the d-tuna could put some extra cash in your pocket. The beatles were told guitar bands were on their way out in 1962, after being rejected by every major label. Hendrix was booed offstage his 1st US tour. Bill Gates said the internet was a fad. Im sure some people said electric guitars would never be as popular as electric guitars back in the 50s. If you have innovative ideas, someone will always tell you your wasting your time. I wouldnt be surprised if a few of the things you mentioned were being used frequently in the industry in a decade or so.
    Arby911
    Nothing wrong with your ideas except cost to produce, perceived tone and market entry... In other words, good luck with that.