Joe Costello Design

Carbon Fiber


Electric Guitar


Carbon fiber is a unique material that can be applicable for use in a variety of products but is also costly, tedious to work with, and is generally best for flat panels or hollow enclosures. Inspired by the hypercars and high-end musical instruments that utilize this composite in mass production, and the admirable craftsmanship of the custom guitar world, I decided that this might be the perfect material for rock and roll, too.

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While brainstorming unique applications for carbon fiber, I discovered that cellos and violins, and their cases, were being made in carbon fiber already, thus a similar instrument was feasible. Thanks to the encouragement of my professor, John Wanberg, a nine-month labor of love began with this Photoshop rendering.


Construction Process

As documented in John Wanberg’s Composite Materials Handbook #3

  • Plug: Foamcore + 2 Layers satin-weave fiberglass + high-build automotive primer

  • Mold: 8 Layers 1.5-ounce chop-strand mat fiberglass

  • Body: 3 Layers 5.7-ounce twill weave carbon fiber + hard maple trestle bracing structure + 5 layers 5.7-ounce twill weave carbon fiber

  • Warmoth wenge bolt-on neck with ebony fretboard

  • Commercially-available TV Jones electronics


finished prototype

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