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Full text of "Musical Instruments"

Build the Gakken Mini Guitar 



Makej Projects 



Build the Gakken Mini Guitar 

Written By: Marc de Vinck 

TOOLS: PARTS: 

Phillips screwdriver (1) Gakken Mini Electric Guitar kit (1) 

Pliers (1) Battery (2) 

Scissors (1) 



SUMMARY 

It's no secret that we love Gakken kits here at MAKE, and the Mini Guitar kit is no 
exception. It has a built in amp, speaker, and line out so it's a lot of fun, even if you don't 
own an amp. After building the kit, just pop in some AA batteries and you are ready to rock. 



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Build the Gakken Mini Guitar 



Step 1 — Build the Gakken Mini Guitar 




• Most of the Gakken kits don't need 
any English translation because the 
illustrations are so well done and 
they go together easily. This kit 
has the same great step-by-step 
instructions, but because it is a 
little more complicated, we thought 
it would be a good idea to make our 
own how-to just in case you 
needed a little extra help. So let's 
get started building the Gakken 
Mini Electric Guitar kit from the 
Maker Shed. 

• "Note:" You can see all the pictures 
from this build in my Flickr photo 
set found here. 



Step 2 




• Start by unpacking everything and 
taking inventory. You can see a 
complete parts list on page 88 of 
the included magazine. Now let's 
get started with the assembly. 



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Build the Gakken Mini Guitar 



Step 3 




• Next, locate the 4 tuning pegs. 
They all have a small "notch" on 
them. 



Step 4 




> 



• Insert This notch, or tab, needs to 
face up, towards the front of the 
guitar when they are installed, 
here. 



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Build the Gakken Mini Guitar 



Step 5 




• Each one is inserted, notch-side 
up, with the hole for the guitar 
string towards the center of the 
guitar. 



Step 6 




• Leave all the tuning pegs sticking 
out about 7-1 Omm (or about 3/8"). 
It isn't super-critical how much 
sticks out, a good guess is good 
enough! 



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Build the Gakken Mini Guitar 



Step 7 




• Now locate the rest of the tuning 
peg parts. Each one of the pins 
gets a knob and bolt attached to 
the end. This is how you with 
tighten up the strings and tune the 
guitar. 



Step 8 




• Insert the bolt into the tuning nut 
and screw onto the tuning peg. No 
need to tighten just yet. 



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Build the Gakken Mini Guitar 



Step 9 




• Done! 



Step 10 




« Now it's time to attach the neck of 
the guitar. For now, just use one 
bolt. 



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Build the Gakken Mini Guitar 



Step 11 




x J* 



• Next, we can add the screw that 
will hold the strings in place. Use 4 
of the screws that have the built in 
washer. 



Step 12 




• Only screw them in about half way. 
You need to leave room for the 
strings to wrap around. 



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Build the Gakken Mini Guitar 



Step 13 




• Insert the brass grommet of each 
string into the metal bar from the 
kit. Make sure to put them on in 
order from thinnest to thickest, left 
to right. 



Step 14 




• Insert the bar into the body of the 
guitar. Again, from the back of the 
guitar, the strings should go from 
the thinnest on the left to the 
thickest on the right. 



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Build the Gakken Mini Guitar 



Step 15 




• Now place each string through the 
respective hole in the pegs. 



Step 16 




• Then wrap around the top of the 
neck, making sure each one is in 
its own "groove". 



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Build the Gakken Mini Guitar 



Step 17 




• Next, wrap the end each string 
around its individual screw on the 
back of the neck, and tighten down 
each screw. Make sure the string 
is pulled tight. Now you can add the 
last bolt that holds the neck of the 
guitar in place. 



Step 18 




» Finish up by placing the 4 bridge 
supports into the front of the guitar. 
I know these have a better 
technical name, but you get the 

idea! 



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Build the Gakken Mini Guitar 



Step 19 




• Once they are all in, you are done 
with this part of the build and can 
move on to part 4. 



Step 20 




• Now let's add the electronics. The 
guitar has a built in pickup, amp, 
and speaker. Start by unscrewing 
the bolt and washer off the 1/4" 
jack. 



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Build the Gakken Mini Guitar 



Step 21 




• Use the small black screw in the 
kit to attach the plastic knob to the 
potentiometer on the circuit board. 



Step 22 




• Now let's add the speaker. I found 
it much easier to insert the 2 small 
black screws into the rubber 
housing of the speaker holder first. 



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Build the Gakken Mini Guitar 



Step 23 




• Now you can attach the speaker 
and the 1/4" line-out plug to the 
plastic housing of the guitar. 



Step 24 




► Next, plug in the power connectors 
from the plastic housing into the 
circuit board. 



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Build the Gakken Mini Guitar 



Step 25 



^Bi 


■^ 




HP 




1 


5 ^r 


*fl 





• Now you can gently cram 

everything into the plastic housing. 
It's a snug fit! Once it's seated 
properly, use a few screws and 
attach it permanently to the plastic 
housing. Don't worry about that 
extra wire; we will attach it to the 
neck of the guitar in a later step. 



Step 26 




► Now it's time to make the pickup. 
Yep, you are going to hand-wind 
your own pickup. Neat! Find the 2 
pickup housing parts, and snap 
them together. 



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Build the Gakken Mini Guitar 



Step 27 




• Now take one end of the pickup 
wire and insert it into the hole on 
the housing and tape it down, 
leaving about 2" of extra wire at the 
end. 



Step 28 




» Now attach the pickup housing 
temporarily to the back of the guitar 
with one of the extra screws. This 
will help hold it in place while you 
wrap the coil. Clever! 



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Build the Gakken Mini Guitar 



Step 29 




• Now you can start wrapping the 
coil of the pickup. It takes forever a 
while; just be patient and keep 
wrapping, and wrapping, and 
wrapping, until it's done. 



Step 30 




• When you're all done, loop the last 
bit of wire through the hole in the 
housing and remove it from the 
guitar. 



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Build the Gakken Mini Guitar 



Step 31 




• Now attach the wire with the quick 
connector to the wires from the 
pickup. You can use any kind of 
tape, but electrical will work best. I 
used standard clear tape just to 
test it out and it's fine. 



Step 32 




• Now we need to secure all that wire 
in the pickup. Use another piece of 
tape, preferably electrical, and cut 
it down to about 1/8" wide and 
about 3-4" long. Wrap it around the 
coil, making it secure and clean- 
looking. 



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Build the Gakken Mini Guitar 



Step 33 




• Now we can add the magnet to the 
housing of the pickup. 



Step 34 




• Next, add the sticker to hold it in 
place. 



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Build the Gakken Mini Guitar 



Step 35 




• Now the pickup can be attached to 
the guitar. Use 2 screws to hold it 
in place. 



Step 36 




» Now you can plug the pickup wire 
into the circuit board. Make sure to 
feed the wire through the middle of 
the guitar body. 



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Build the Gakken Mini Guitar 



Step 37 




• Now you can attach that "extra" 
wire from the plastic housing to one 
of the screws that holds the strings 
in place. 



Step 38 




• Now it's time to attach the plastic 
housing to the guitar. Use 2 of the 
larger screws to secure it to the 
back of the guitar. 



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Build the Gakken Mini Guitar 



Step 39 




• Last but not least we can add the 2 
covers to the back of the guitar's 
neck. Start with the long one first. 
Use the small screws with the 
built-in washers. 



Step 40 




« Now you can add the last cover to 
the back. Again, use the same type 
of screws and secure. You're all 
done! 



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Build the Gakken Mini Guitar 



Step 41 




• Add a couple of AA batteries, tune 
it up, and start jamming! It sounds 
great, but for now you will have to 
take my word for it. I'll shoot a 
video demo soon! 



st generated on 2012-10-31 01 :28:36 AM. 



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