This Fender-Made Cardboard Stratocaster Sounds Like the Real Thing

The Fender Stratocaster has been made from many different woods during its now-61-year run. Its body has been fashioned from ash, alder, basswood or poplar, and its neck from maple.

But the list of materials has never included cardboard. Until now. Signal Snowboards has had the Fender Custom Shop create a Stratocaster using cardboard for the guitar’s body and neck. You can follow the guitar’s creation, from beginning to end, in the video at bottom.

The idea came about through an ongoing collaboration between Signal Snowboards and Ernest Packaging to use cardboard in ways previously unheard of.

That project, dubbed Cardboard Chaos, has previously produced a cardboard surfboard, which—surprisingly—worked just fine, as well as a cardboard pushbike and skateboard. The cardboard Strat was created by layering the cardboard to make a stable structure that could withstand string tension. The layering results in a see-through body that lends the guitar a deceptive look of fragility.

The guitar features standard Strat parts. As for its sound—you be the judge. Watch the video below, where several members of Fender’s team put the guitar through its paces, as does Linkin Park guitarist Brad Delson.

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Christopher Scapelliti

Christopher Scapelliti is editor-in-chief of Guitar Player magazine, the world’s longest-running guitar magazine, founded in 1967. In his extensive career, he has authored in-depth interviews with such guitarists as Pete Townshend, Slash, Billy Corgan, Jack White, Elvis Costello and Todd Rundgren, and audio professionals including Beatles engineers Geoff Emerick and Ken Scott. He is the co-author of Guitar Aficionado: The Collections: The Most Famous, Rare, and Valuable Guitars in the World, a founding editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine, and a former editor with Guitar WorldGuitar for the Practicing Musician and Maximum Guitar. Apart from guitars, he maintains a collection of more than 30 vintage analog synthesizers.