How to Upcycle Discarded Oil Cans to Build Guitars with BOHEMIAN GUITARS

Bohemian Guitars was built on the dream of creating a guitar that looks as good as it sounds – and isn’t out of your price range.  Naturally, that was going to involve some handiwork. So we found a way to upcycle existing materials to create something completely new in the market.  Then we used the money we saved to reinvest in the future, by partnering with foundations that focus on music education for kids (check out our Far. Out. Fridays program and you’ll see what we mean).

All of these efforts led us on an amazing journey, and led us to something that we couldn’t have expected. They don’t just sound amazing and look fresh; the birth of Boho brought a completely new sound to the world of guitar music.  That alone makes it all worthwhile.

How They’re Made – Sourcing Materials

▼ Article continues below ▼

One of the coolest things about our guitars comes from all the sourcing, love, and hard work that goes into them. For our Vintage Series guitars, we get creative.  Materials are collected from around the country, coming from Ebay, used instrument stores, pawn shops…you name it, we’ve probably given it a go.

From the pickups to the necks, we bring the parts from discarded instruments back to life. One of our new goals is to begin shaping necks out of reclaimed wood. The bodies of our Boho Series are made from melted down scrap metal.


This is a collaborative effort done by hand, with the assembly streamlined down to a science. Like so many things, most of the heavy lifting is actually in the prep work. We sand, stain, hand paint the necks, cut and shape the cans, and wire the pickups ourselves.

Once everything is assembled, it is time to set up the instrument. The setup portion of the build is the most critical as it requires incredible precision and careful engineering. If one part is even a millimeter off, the guitar won’t stay in tune and it can affect sound quality.  Because of the nature of the instrument, we spend additional time focusing on grounding the electric currents. The beauty of it is that each guitar is truly one-of-a-kind, with unique materials and lots of personal attention and care.  The Boho is made for you, and captures a sound unlike any other.

The Boho Sound

It’s something about the interaction of the hollow, metal body interacting with metal strings, amplified by the electromagnetic properties of our pickups.  It’s…electrifying, and soulful.

In a traditional wooden electric guitar, the pickup interacts with the stings to create…well, we know what an electric guitar sounds like. Magnetic, enchanting, larger-than-life.

But the unique materials we use take it a step further.

The electromagnetic properties of the pickup in a Bohemian guitar interact not only with the metal strings, they also resonate throughout the entire hollow, metal body of the instrument. Given the magnetic fields exerted by the pickup, it makes sense that any reactive metal that moves within that field is going to cause a reaction from the magnet.

The double interaction of metal reverberating on metal creates a unique, harmonically rich tone found only in a Boho.  The inner basswood skeleton in the body balances out the intensity of the electric elements, creating a bright tone that other guitars can’t achieve.

Bohos have a way of taking on the voice of their musician, exploring a wide tonal range.  Bohemian musicians like G. Love and the KONGOS can’t get enough of this unlikely gem. We have a feeling you’re going to feel the same.



Follow on Twitter @bohemianguitars

Like this? Share this!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.