How To | Making a Guitar Magnet

Last Updated: October 16, 2015

“If cooking is the new rock ‘n’ roll and Chef’s are the new rockstars, then Japanese knives are the leather pants!” Says Kevin Kent. So I think it makes sense to have a super cool guitar knife magnet to store your kick ass Japanese knives.

One of the issues I had to work through was, is it right to destroy a perfectly good guitar or any instrument for that matter? I can see some musicians cringing at the thought, but I decided that what I am doing is repurposing and making a piece of art so it’s ok. That’s what I keep telling myself.

This is a fairly easy process if you are at all mechanically inclined. What you need to do is pick up a cheap guitar. You can usually find some beginner type used guitars for a great price on Kijiji or similar site. When you get it home, plug it in and rock out for a while. Then begin the disassembly portion of the guitar magnet making project.

First remove the strings.

Next remove the neck from the guitar. You want to remove the truss rod from inside the neck. This can be a bit of a chore if you don’t have the right tools, but it is possible.

Next step is to remove the frets I use a small flat head screwdriver. Take your time and go gently. The frets may lift and splinter some of the wood when they are coming out.

Now there are a few ways to get the magnets into onto the guitar. The method that I like the best is to drill holes in through the back of the neck. I used a forstner bit just a little bigger than the magnets. You want to drill the hole so it leaves about 3/32” at the front. This can be tricky to judge, if you can get your hands on a caliper that is the best method to measure that.

The magnets I used are rare earth magnets. They are super strong. You can pick them up at Lee Valley. The ones I used were 1” dia x 1/8” circular magnets. Use with backing cups. The backing cups make a big difference in the strength of the magnets.

To install the magnets I used a little dab of epoxy in the bottom of the hole, then squish the magnets into place facing out toward the fret board.

After the magnets have set, reattach the neck to the guitar. You can fill the grooves left by the frets or not, up to you.  

A second method to mount the magnet is to get a tool bar magnet and simply screw it to the front of the fret board. This is definitely quicker, but I like the look with the hidden magnets.

Next step is to mount your magnet to the wall. I just drilled 2 holes through the main body of the guitar and screwed the guitar to the wall. Try to screw into studs. If there are no studs available then use drywall anchors.

Next, hang your favourite knives stand back and admire your handy work!


Kevin Kent

Kevin Kent