Custom Building

Custom, hand-made guitars, basses and more.

Scale Model Guitars custom shop is based in Nashville, TN. The brainchild of luthier Dave Johnson, he creates solid-body electric guitars entirely by hand…much in the same fashion as they were made in the 1950’s at the advent of electric guitar popularity. The overall quality and playability of these instruments far surpass many available today and the tone is absolutely as good as it gets.

Only the finest tone woods are selected for necks and bodies. Wood grain and color is taken into consideration before even one saw blade hits it. Fretboard wood stock is also selected for grain and consistency and typically consist of cocobolo, rosewood, maple, or ebony. Fretboards are hand-sawn and fret-slotted, and upon request are also custom inlayed by hand using genuine mother of pearl, paua, and abalone. Scale Model Guitars come standard with Bare Knuckle Pickups (special requests are of course always possible). Bridges, tuners, hardware, and electronic components are also of the highest quality. Each instrument is crafted entirely by hand from raw materials using only simple power and woodworking tools. No CNC cutters are utilized in any way.

Each instrument is built exactly to customer specs and no detail is ever overlooked. From fretboard radius to neck profile, from body thickness and top carving contours to overall weight. From fret gauge to hardware selection and finish. Each Scale Model Guitar is truly one of a kind because it is built specifically for you. Upon completion each guitar undergoes a detailed setup for perfect playability, intonation, and tone.

Please use the following pricing structure to estimate the cost of your custom-built guitar:


SMG Custom Gallery

Upgrade Options

Upgrade with the following options
  • Block inlays – $200
  • Bound fingerboard – $200
  • Bound body – $200 per side (multi-ply binding is also available)
  • Carved top – $400
  • Additional pickups – $100 per route plus cost of additional pickups
  • Cast acrylic (clear lucite) body – $500
  • Clear lacquer finish – $400
  • Color/laquer finish – $600

Custom inlay is quoted on a case by case basis