Chicken Wing Solid Body Electric Guitar

The Chicken Wing is a basic solid body electric guitar in the Fender style, but with a decidedly poultry-tudenous design. It features a bolt-on neck with an angled headstock, two pickups and a surface mounted bridge. This solid body electric works well and is straight forward to build.

Initially appeared: July 15, 2004
Last updated: August 13, 2019

About the Instrument

The solid body of the instrument pictured at left is made of Butternut (also sometimes called White Walnut). This wood is readily available and is fairly inexpensive. I like it because even the most plain pieces show interesting grain patterns. It works well and sounds good in both solid body and acoustic guitars, but it is quite soft and dents very easily. These latter qualities may make it less than ideal for lutherie applications. The one at right is made of black limba. This species is not that inexpensive. The body is shaped and routed using “standard” Fender style dimensions – the body is 1.75" thick and has the arm cut on the front and the belly cut on the back typical of Fender style instruments. Neck pocket and pickup pockets are 0.625" deep. Speaking of the pickup pockets, those in the instrument at left are cut for Strat style pickups that have oval base plates. Only a few such pickups have oval base plates. The ones used in the instrument pictured are from Kent Armstrong.

The neck is made from laminated curly maple and has a 22 fret Madagascar Rosewood fingerboard. The wing shaped headstock is angled back and is capped with a plain Maple headstock veneer. There is a slight volute where the back of the neck joins the back of the headstock.

The body is tinted red (since this is the Chicken Wing guitar I suppose the color should be called Rhode Island Red) and the entire instrument is finished in nitrocellulose lacquer.

The instrument pictured at left uses a Gotoh Danelectro style replacement bridge, because, ah, well, because I had one. Although this bridge is a great replacement for the original equipment found on Danelectro guitars, there are better surface mounted bridges available for Fender style instruments. This bridge itself doesn't have much range to adjust the action. This is generally done by raising or lowering the mounting screws. I didn't want to mount the bridge “on stilts” in the typical Dano fashion and so it is mounted on a spacer for this instrument.

The downloadable copyrighted instrument plan is made available for non-commercial use only and may not be redistributed.

 Download Full Size (24"x48") Chicken Wing Electric Guitar Plan (.pdf)


• Latest American Lutherie article: "Steel String Guitar Nut Slotting Using a Stick-On Template", American Lutherie #145 Table of Contents

• Latest research article: "Quantifying Player-Induced Intonation Errors of the Steel String Acoustic Guitar"

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