Guitar Wall Hangers, Part II: Make your own

As my collection grew bigger and my child grew more mobile, I needed to get the guitars off the floor and out of reach.  The horizontal wall hangers I'd previously purchased were hand-made by someone who sold them on eBay.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find these for sale any longer, and all other options were too expensive for my tastes and/or were unsatisfactory for other reasons (e.g., some designs weren't structurally as sound).

This design is more or less an exact copy of the horizontal hangers I've always had.  Not much modification.  This particular configuration is intended for solid-body electric guitars and Steinbergers in particular (as you'll see with the modification at the end of the page).  However, this design could be adapted for any guitar provided the dimensions were altered to accommodate it.




Start with an aluminum bar: 1.5" wide, 1/16" thick.  You can get these from most big hardware stores and probably a lot of the smaller ones.

The original hangers were at least twice as thick as this, but I wasn't sure if I would be able to work with material that sturdy.  In reality, this thickness is probably more than adequate.  Aluminum has the advantages of not corroding, being light, and it's malleable.  It's relatively easy to cut/drill through as well.  I found this piece at Lowes, and it was long enough that I was able to make two hangers out of it.  This photo is of the remainder after I cut the first piece.

Actually, you have some play in the design since you can have it hold the guitar at any point you like along the neck, so you don't have to be too precise with the length.


Bend it in a vice about 3 to 3.5 inches in (for a solid body guitar; more for hollowbodies, obviously).  I could make the bend literally by hand (with the vice holding it, obviously) only because this bar is rather thin.  You would likely have to try an alternate approach (or at least a means of applying greater force) in order to work with anything much thicker.

I had some additional length left over here at the long end.  I cut that off with an angle grinder.  The total length of the bar needs to be around 20 inches, although you'll want to check it out with your guitar to determine if that works for you.


Next I needed to create the strap nut pocket.  I drilled the hole larger and larger with increasing bits until I finished with a 3/8" bit.  Again, check at every point to ensure the measurements are appropriate to your instrument(s).

The hole needs to be opened up on top, so I carved from the edge to it with the angle grinder.  I didn't do a very neat job, obviously, but it's fine since only the hole really matters.  Other machining tools might be more appropriate for something like this, but this is what I have to work with here.

You can always line the edges with rubber to avoid scratching the guitar, although this spot is unlikely to ever touch the finish.


Other holes followed.  The main one is for the neck hanger, and it needs to be the diameter of the screw you're using.  I found that a 3" 10-32 machine screw was ideal for my purposes and bought a pack of three (with nuts) from the local hardware store.

Try out your guitar in the hanger and see how far the screw needs to stick out to accommodate it and others of similar design.  When you get an idea of the upper limit, mark it with a Sharpie.  That's where you're going to bend it.  Again, I used the vice/hand approach since the screw's diameter was really thin.

Note: You also might prefer the neck hanger to be closer to the higher fret (or just the opposite).  If so, you need to eyeball it and see where it should be.  Don't worry.  The hanger should hold just as well no matter where you put it since most of the weight is in the body.


Now you're going to cover the screw with a short length of vinyl plumbing tubing.  You can buy this stuff by the foot (or less, probably) from any hardware store.  I bought a couple different gauges (just in case), and the smaller one worked out fine.  Remember that you're going to go around the bend in the screw, so it has to have a somewhat larger diameter than the screw.  It can't be too snug or you'll never get it past the turn without ripping.

Note that the original hanger looks a bit more professional than my work.  I'm not sure where this tubing or the cap came from.

I used the clear vinyl tubing before when I was re-covering my old guitar stands where the original rubber was dry-rotted.  I also used it for for a talkbox I built.


The final three holes are for mounting it to the wall.  You can adjust the spacing as you like.  I tend to put one in the middle and the other two on either end.  The middle lines up with a stud, and the other two are more there mainly to stabilize it from rotating.  Since they're in sheetrock, they really aren't going to hold up the weight.

Note that if you have closer stud spacing in your home, you could adjust this so that two holes line up with two adjacent studs.  I didn't have that option, but you may luck out if there's a perpendicular wall on the other side or some other unusual bit of framing (e.g., I had framing for windows that had been removed in my 1925 house).

Finally, let's hang it.  As stated above, the middle hole is for the stud.  I don't trust molly bolts or butterflies or anything else for something like this.  Remember, it's your guitar that's going on the wall.


The original wall hanger had the screw holes counter-sunk.  Again, I didn't have this capability available to me, but that's fine.  The guitar sits far enough away from the body of the hanger that the screw heads are unlikely to touch it.

The Steinberger mod
Steinberger guitars are odd in many ways, and usually that's good (e.g., they stay in tune awesomely and have the best tremolo EVER), but they're impossible to hang vertically and they're even difficult to hang horizontally.

Because the strap nuts are offset rather than mid-line, the body of the guitar is at an angle.  With the guitar rotated slightly, it would be pressing against the support at the rear of the body.  As a result, I bent the bottom edge of the bar away from it slightly (two vice grips with the bar in the vice) that so it couldn't make contact.

(Special guest appearance by Stan's hand!)


As a result, the bottom edge of the hanger is flared outward so that it doesn't press against the body.

The result: Two Steinbergers hanging in the living room.





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