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We think it's time you have the opportunity to design your own custom carved-top electric guitar.

We think it's time you have the opportunity to design your own custom carved-top electric guitar. Read More
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$18,746
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Funding Unsuccessful

This project's funding goal was not reached on August 9, 2013.

About this project

What makes Orphanage Guitars unique?

Orphanage Guitars are American made in Manchester, NH, and founded by two brothers, Matt and Jonathon Harris. Matt is a professional product designer and co-owner of Redpoint Studios - Jonathon is a professional web designer and owner of Demo38. 

Redpoint Studios Lobby
Redpoint Studios Lobby

There are many ways to buy a guitar, even ways to spec some of your own features. We want to take it a step further by allowing you to design and shape your own carved-top electric guitar - custom CNC machined to exacting spec to match your style. We’ll even send you a 3D DWF proof of your design that you can view on your PC, iPad/iPhone or Android. You’ll be able to fully spin and rotate your design from any angle and see your Orphanage Guitars Custom before it’s built. You can’t do that anywhere else! 

Every Orphanage Guitar is the blending of design and technology - we pride ourselves on using the absolute latest design, engineering and visualization tools to empower our customers to make their own decisions on how they would like their instrument to feel and behave.

Even with all that customization, we'll never let you get lost in the process - we'll be there every step of the way to make sure that all of your choices are compatible. 

We're proud to say that we've been featured on PCWorld, TechHive, Computerworld, IDG Connect, CIO and others for our approach to mass customization.

What do we mean by "Orphanage Guitars Custom"?

Matt demonstrates part of our 3d design process by adapting our Orphanage Guitars "El Dingo" prototype model into a variety of Orphanage Guitars Customs (sampling shown below). You not only control the design, you control everything about your new custom.

Sampling of the unlimited custom body style variations possible.
Sampling of the unlimited custom body style variations possible.

Each Orphanage Guitars Custom carved-top guitar begins with your sketch, your choice of quality hand selected tone woods (you even choose your own top wood), custom CNC machined to exacting spec, stocked with your choice of neck configuration, pick-ups, bridge, electronics, top-shelf hardware, custom engraved headstock nameplate, professionally set-up and finished, and carefully delivered to your door. You can hear the quality in the sound. 

Listen to "El Dingo" Howl

We're happy to introduce El Dingo. Check out the great tone and sustain from our El Dingo Drifter prototype model, ready for your personal customization and adoption, here on Kickstarter.

For the luthiers & builders out there, we’re offering the opportunity to design your own custom body. You design the body; carved top and back, choose the woods, pick-up configurations, electronics placement and bridge type. We’ll custom CNC your new guitar body, hand sand it to 220, and ship it with matching polished aluminum cover plates, screws and chrome neck ferrules.

Initial Prototype Models – "Renegade" & "El Dingo" Variations

Prototypes - Renegade body style and custom adjustment
Prototypes - Renegade body style and custom adjustment
Prototypes - El Dingo body style and custom adjustment
Prototypes - El Dingo body style and custom adjustment
Prototype Details | Neck mount, headstock, and hand-polished plates
Prototype Details | Neck mount, headstock, and hand-polished plates

As you can see, we love details too ;) These prototypes were CNC machined on our ShotBot Desktop, and all cover plates and pick-up rings are custom made hand-polished aluminum.

Why we need your help

Orphanage Guitars began as a design concept - focusing on method and technology first, we've been able to craft a process that allows the musician to become the artist. Kickstarter funds will be used to purchase a larger scale / faster CNC machine that can handle actual production, an assortment of high quality tone woods, all of the top-shelf hardware and electronics for use in every custom guitar build, and to buy the supplies needed to set up shop. It also allows us the opportunity to spend the time required to open the doors, and to focus on bringing Orphanage Guitars to life. Thank you for your support!

New Website

In addition to building Orphanage Guitars, we're also designing & developing our new website in house - a clean new site where you'll be able to order your Orphanage Guitars. All OG Customs adoption orders will be photographed, named by their designer (you), and featured on the website's "family tree" as a Drifter sibling model. We would love to hear your stories - you’ll be able to share pics of you and your Orphanage Guitar and your Orphanage Guitars Gear out in the wild - we'll be ready to share your adventure with the rest of the Orphanage Guitars community!

Now for some Orphanage Guitars Gear!

Production Schedule

We'll ship in the Fall / Winter of 2013. Here's our schedule for delivery:

  • June: Complete series of prototype models and launch Kickstarter.
  • July: Finalize manufacturing space / Begin building website.
  • August: Place orders for components and purchase woods, materials and equipment. Fulfill orders for Stickers, Picks, Dog Hoodies, T-Shirts, Zippered Hoodies and Work Shirts.
  • September: Begin building guitars - working on Custom Shop design orders, getting them ready for custom CNC.
  • October: Ship out custom parts trays, pick-up rings and custom bodies.
  • November: Ship out first batch of Orphanage Guitars Custom Shop orders.

International Orders

International backers will be responsible for applicable tariffs and customs fees.

Thank You!

Any questions or comments, please let us know. We really appreciate your support, it means everything.

Risks and challenges

We're excited to see Orphanage Guitars coming to life, and we really appreciate all the new friendships and support along the way. Our biggest challenge will be scaling up and preparing for full production. Upon a successful Kickstarter campaign, we'll be relocating Orphanage Guitars to a larger space and officially putting our name on the door. We'll be adding larger CNC equipment that can handle the load, expanding our stock of high end hardwoods, and building inventory.

As part of gearing up, we'll be working hard to get things up to speed as quickly as we can - we'll be sure to share updates and photos with our backers as we go, so you'll know exactly where we are in the process.

All orders for Orphanage Guitars branded Gear (Stickers, Picks, Dog Hoodies, T-Shirts, Zippered Hoodies, and Work Shirts) will go to print as soon as the Kickstarter is funded. Those will be packaged up and shipped out to you as soon as we get them.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • Why yes, you do. That's why we work with professional luthiers to do that work. These Kickstarter guitars will be assembled and setup by none other than Chris Stambaugh of Stambaugh Designs. Check his work. He's awesome. http://www.stambaughdesigns.com

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  • If you’re the proud adopter of an Orphanage Guitars Custom, we’ll provide you with an Orphanage Guitars | Custom Design Kit. You’ll fill in your pick-up, hardware and electronics specifications, print the design sheet, and sharpen your pencils. As long as you stay within the parameters of the guitar style itself (allowing for proper positioning of the neck, pick-ups and bridge) and within the bounds of your selected top wood, then we’ll make sure that your guitar comes back ready to rock ‘n roll.

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  • Our process is to bring your 2D templates into 3D space and match them line to line while maintaining the contours of your chosen body style. The CNC is 3D profiled on 45 deg angle and then 90 deg back the other direction with .75" ball mill at .04" step over. Scallop height then results in only .0005" relative to the 3D model, therefore, what you see in your 3D proof is what you get. Functionally the accuracy is the same. The matching neck is then calipered and machined line to line and then hand sanded for perfect fit. Our final assembly and set up is done by a professional Luthier.

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  • Want to see what your custom Orphanage Guitar will look like BEFORE we build it? No problem - All Custom Shop orders include a “3D proof” - we’ll provide a 3D model in DWF format of your custom guitar body so you can approve it before it goes to CNC.

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  • Yes. To view your 3D proof, you'll need to install the free Autodesk Design Review software for Windows, the free Autodesk 360 Mobile app for iOs, or the free Autodesk 360 Mobile app for Android - you'll be able to rotate and spin your custom body to view from any angle. Once we have your thumbs-up, we’ll then begin the process of machining your custom body.

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  • You’ll have your choice of premium grade, hand-selected hard woods - such as Swamp Ash, Maple, Mahogany, Alder, Poplar, Lacewood, Zebrawood, Padauk, Poplar & Walnut.

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  • All Orphanage Guitars Custom Shop orders include your choice of premium grade and exotic, hand-selected hard woods - such as Swamp Ash, Book Matched Flame Maple, Mahogany, Alder, Poplar, Lacewood, Zebrawood, Padauk, Poplar & Walnut. Once funded, your account rep will contact you about selecting your own top wood.

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  • Absolutely - all components are modeled in 3d, so creating a mirror image is no problem - just let us know in the notes upon ordering.

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  • Orphanage Guitars is located inside of Redpoint Studios, alongside the Merrimack River, in Manchester, NH’s Mill Yard. Redpoint Studios is best known for it’s high-end product design and in-house engineering, and is currently being featured in the new software product launch for Fusion 360 by Autodesk.

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  • We're glad you asked, because we're quite fond of him - that's Scott Leonard, Principal - Mechanical Engineering at Redpoint Studios. Scott is an experienced product designer with a background in medical devices. While working as a Mechanical Designer at Deka Research and Development, Scott worked on home hemodialysis machines and ultra efficient water purification systems for the developing world. He holds several patents related to these systems. Scott earned his degree in Mechanical Engineering from Clarkson University where he was the project leader for the solar vehicle team and studied alternative energy solutions.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00 USD

    Many Kickstarter backers prefer to just be part of the process and have access behind the scenes. Receive exclusive Kickstarter backer only updates as Orphanage Guitars evolves. We would love to have you along for the ride.

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    3 backers
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5 USD

    1 Orphanage Guitars branded 4" Round Vinyl Sticker. Perfect for a neighbor's bumper (or your guitar case).

    US shipping included. Add $5 for international shipping.

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    0 backers
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10 USD

    5 Orphanage Guitars branded Black Acetal Guitar Picks. Goes great with any Orphanage Guitars Custom.

    US shipping included. Add $5 for international shipping.

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    2 backers
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25 USD

    1 Orphanage Guitars branded Black Flex Fleece Zippered Dog Hoodie (size S/M/L/XL/XXL) / 1 Orphanage Guitars branded 4" Round Vinyl Sticker. US shipping included. Add $15 for international shipping.

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    2 backers
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30 USD

    1 Orphanage Guitars branded Black T-Shirt (choice of Men's or Women's - size S/M/L/XL/XXL) / 1 Orphanage Guitars branded 4" Round Vinyl Sticker.

    US shipping included. Add $15 for international shipping.

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    5 backers
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40 USD

    1 Orphanage Guitars Wood Pick-Up Ring. Choice of African Mahogany, Black Limba, Bloodwood, Bubinga, Lacewood, Padauk, Black Walnut or Flame Maple. Choice of Short (3/16") or Tall (3/8"). Machined to 3 9/16" x 1 25/32". Hand sanded to 150 and left unfinished to allow for matching your finish. US shipping included.

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    0 backers
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50 USD

    1 Orphanage Guitars branded Black Zippered Hoodie (size S/M/L/XL/XXL) / 1 Orphanage Guitars branded 4" Round Vinyl Sticker.

    US shipping included. Add $25 for international shipping.

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    8 backers
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $65 or more About $65 USD

    1 Orphanage Guitars branded Black Dickies Short Sleeve Work Shirt (printing on front and back - size S/M/L/XL/XXL) / 1 Orphanage Guitars branded 4" Round Vinyl Sticker.

    US shipping included. Add $25 for international shipping.

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    2 backers
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $70 or more About $70 USD

    1 Matched Set of Orphanage Guitars Wood Pick-Up Rings. Choice of African Mahogany, Black Limba, Bloodwood, Bubinga, Lacewood, Padauk, Black Walnut or Flame Maple. Choice of Short (3/16") or Tall (3/8"). Machined to 3 9/16" x 1 25/32". Hand sanded to 150 and left unfinished to allow for matching your finish. US shipping included.

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    1 backer
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $120 or more About $120 USD

    1 Wood Guitar Parts Tray. Custom shaped to match your choice of body style. Hand oiled African Mahogany. Custom engraved message. US shipping included.

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    0 backers
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $749 or more About $749 USD

    1 Orphanage Guitars Custom Body. This Kickstarter reward allows you to design and shape your very own custom carved-top electric guitar body. Includes choice of top wood, pick-up configuration routing, electronics routing, hand sanded to 220. Includes 4 chrome neck ferrules, matching polished aluminum cover plates and screws, and 3d DWF design proof as described. US shipping included.

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    1 backer
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,950 or more About $2,950 USD

    1 Orphanage Guitars Custom Drifter. This Kickstarter reward allows you to design and shape your very own custom carved-top electric guitar. Includes choice of body wood, top wood, hardware, pick-up configuration, bridge, 3D DWF design proof as described, and an engraved headstock nameplate with your custom model name, build number, and it's accompanying signed Birth Certificate. US shipping included.

    US shipping included.

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    0 backers
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $3,150 or more About $3,150 USD

    1 Orphanage Guitars Custom Drifter | Kickstarter Special. The same choices and features of an Orphanage Guitars Custom Drifter, but sporting a book-matched maple top and Kickstarter special Green / Black burst finish.

    US shipping included.

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    0 backers
  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $3,450 or more About $3,450 USD

    1 Orphanage Guitars Custom. This Kickstarter reward allows you to design and shape your very own custom carved-top electric guitar. Includes choice of body wood, top wood, hardware, pick-up configuration, bridge, 3D DWF design proof as described, and an engraved headstock nameplate with your custom model name, build number, and it's accompanying signed Birth Certificate. US shipping included.

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    2 backers
  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000 USD

    The Ultimate Custom Experience - 1 Orphanage Guitars Custom that you design on-site. A 2 Day Trip for 1 to Manchester, NH to work alongside Orphanage Guitars master designer, Matt Harris, designing your own Orphanage Guitars Custom. Includes round-trip airfare from anywhere in the Contiguous US. Includes 2 nights stay in a local hotel. Includes 3 meals / day. Includes transportation to / from the Manchester airport and hotel. Select your own woods in person, design and spec your guitar first-hand, and be there to see your OG Custom being CNC machined. We'll send a USB thumb drive with photos and videos of each step of the process as your guitar is created. You’ll have the full package including birth certificate - everything about your new custom guitar - from material selection, to design, to finish, to assembly, to your Orphanage Guitars Custom in hand.

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    Limited 1 backer

Funding period

- (45 days)