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Students partner to reform & engrave old guitar

Posted on: April 24, 2020
Tags: River high school, Stem

Back when we were still physically in school, two students in Mr. Moore’s engineering class partnered up to reform an older guitar and engrave it. Cooper VanCamp developed the project to use the new equipment in the lab to kickstart this project. 

Along with Joseph Dietrick, they disassembled the pickups and other electronics of the guitar, and removed the original paint with a heat gun and sandpaper. Their objective was to laser engrave a scene on the guitar. They picked a free image from the Internet and used the computer programs Inkscape and Corel Draw to adjust the image and maximize pixel clarity to their liking. 

When the guitar was disassembled, this left openings where the electronics were housed; this would have created a problem when applying the engraving. Joseph thought using modeling clay would be a good way to fill those openings, which they used with the cooperation of Mrs. Mooris, the art teacher. Cooper and Joseph used the Epilog Legend laser to engrave the guitar, and as it was engraving, the clay absorbed the laser and dried to a dust. The process to engrave the guitar’s surface was 4 ½ hours. To finish the guitar off, Cooper hand finished the pickguard.