Guitar project moves to next phase

Senior Henry Martinez (‘13) sands the edges of his guitar in order to move on to the next part of the building process.
Photo Credit: Rochelle Mae Ruiz

In order to learn basic fabrication and gain experience within the Entertainment Engineering industry, SWCTA Entertainment Engineering juniors are continuing their work on designing and building electric guitars in their Industrial Fabrications class. They are currently in the process of painting the guitar bodies and cutting the necks.

“This project is really engaging and fun. I love the new skills I’m learning, working with tools such as the router and the palm sander. I also love the freedom we’re having in the shop to work individually or in groups to help each other out with numerous tasks,” shares junior Miguel Ebro.

The students are using many tools for the projects, such as the CNC (computer numerical control) machine, which is being used to cut the neck and headstocks, as well as painting the bodies. In October, they created designs for the guitar’s body on a 2D CAD (computer aided design) program and transferred the file onto the CNC Shopbot. After Mr. Angelo Pappano, Entertainment Engineering program leader, helped them work the controls to stimulate the cutting process, students are now able to add the neck, headstock, and colors with the use of a table saw and the CNC machine.

“I’m doing a Gibson SG guitar shape. We’re allowed to choose our own colors and designs for our guitars too. I chose mine to be that design just because I liked its shape and because of its curves, and its very subtle,” describes junior Jamie Lee Planes.

Engineering students have the option of either spray painting or swirl dipping the guitars in order to paint their guitars. When the students swirl dip, they fill a container with water, borax, and paint. Within the container, the guitar is swirled in order to produce an abstract design.

“When I finish my guitar, I will probably bring mine home and give it to a family member. I think the project is very neat because it taught me a lot of skills that relate to engineering,” states junior Henry Martinez.

The project is also designed as a means to reach out to entertainment companies. Once everyone completes their guitars, extras will be made to sell for a profit that will help fund the engineering program that could be used to buy new supplies and tools. The ongoing project is helping the engineering students experience the fabrications industry and have a better understanding of industry standard tools.