We’ve seen guitars made of unusual materials before, including hockey sticks. But this replica of a Vox Phantom built from recycled skateboards is easily one of the coolest-looking guitars we’ve found. And as you’ll hear in the video below, it sounds as great as it looks.
The project was the brainchild of Swedish brothers Sondre and Amandus Mortensen and their father, Josef Forslund. Though none have been involved in building guitars before, their enthusiasm, creativity and hard work resulted in an amazing-looking guitar.
The guitar’s body and neck are made entirely of recycled skateboard decks covered in a clear, two-component car lacquer that was wet sanded and polished to a mirror finish. The fretboard is rosewood and was treated with lemon oil. In addition, skateboard material was used for the fret markers, which the group designed.
The decision to build their guitar out of skateboards was undoubtedly a no-brainer. Both Amandus and Sondre have been named Rookies of the Year in Swedish Skateboard for 2014 and 2015, respectively (you can see their skills in the video below as well). Josef Forslund, for his part, brings his skill as an industrial design engineer to the project.
The group writes, “We had often talked about to use skateboard material for building some cool stuff, so the choice to use recycled skateboard as building material came natural.
“The skateboard material is a seven-layer Canadian maple veneer that is epoxy laminated. Usually there are some colored layers, with gives a beautiful material well suited for building projects. Since both Sondre and Amandus are skaters they ‘produce’ a lot of material just waiting to be recycled.”
After deciding to build the guitar out of recycled skateboards, the trio discussed whether to copy an existing model or design one of their own. Sondre searched the Internet and found some pictures of a Vox Phantom that everyone agreed had an unusual and cool-looking shape. The Phantom was released in 1962 by Thomas Jennings and has a distinctive pentagonal shape. It was originally made in England, but manufacturing was later relocated to Italy.
As three of them designed the guitar, they decided to add some design choices of their own. One of their decisions was to exposing the colorful layers of the skateboard material. They also designed and crafted aluminum knobs that have the same look and vibe as those on the Phantom.
The guitar has three vintage single-coil DiMarzio pickups found at their local guitar shop, Gitarrist, in Malmö, Sweden. (They also got a bunch of tips from the shop owner, luthier Lloyd Gramstad.) Electronics include a six-way rotary switch and master volume and tone controls. All the cavities are copper shielded, as are the frames and channels between cavities. They also implemented star-grounding to protect against white noise and radio interference. The result, they say, is a hum-free guitar.
The guitar is also outfitted with a Bigsby B50 Tremolo with a Tune-o-matic roller bridge and vintage-style Kluson Gotoh machine heads. The scale length is 25.5 inches.
You can read more about the project at their website. They note, “If you are interested to know more or have questions, feel free to contact us” at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you do have them build a guitar for you, by all means please let us know and send your pictures.
An image gallery for the Phantom replica is below.