In MAKE Volume 04, Ed Vogel showed us how to make a DIY guitar out of a cigar box and junk from the hardware store, and electrify it with a cheap piezoelectric pickup. In Volume 21, Mark Frauenfelder gussied it up with a traditional high-quality neck, frets, and tuning machines. In this project we’re going to turn it up to 11 with the help of an old license plate and a few components from RadioShack.

A popular DIY resonator guitar, the License Plate Guitar is easy to make. You’ll wind your own electromagnetic pickup and mount it on a homemade soundbox made with an old automobile license plate for the metal resonator top. Then add a potentiometer and volume knob and get ready to rock that classic electric blues sound.