How to make a kill switch box

   Heavy Metal Guitar   

Page 1 of 6 123456 LastLast
Results 1 to 8 of 43

Thread: How to make a kill switch box

  1. #1


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Texas
    ME: KxK Sii-7
    MA: Martin OMC-1E
    MB: Dingwall Combustion
    Rig: Line 6

    iTrader: 0

    How to make a kill switch box

    Today I'm going to show you how to make a kill switch box so you can toy around with a kill switch without the commitment of drilling holes in your guitar and messing around with its wiring. It's a pretty easy and inexpensive project. I got everything I needed (aside from wire, soldering gear, and a drill) for a little over $10 at Radio Shack. Sorry about the poor picture quality. All I had to light the area for taking pictures was a lamp, and my phone's camera doesn't like close ups.



    You'll basically just need two 1/4" jacks, a "normally open" momentary switch of your choice, and something to put them in.


    Drill holes of the appropriate sizes on the ends...


    ...and the top. Now put the jacks and button in. You may need to clean up the holes with a file or something so the components will fit snugly and evenly.


    I went with the square "soft-touch" button. It seems to be the popular choice for guitar kill switches, and it feels pretty good. This particular switch will require you to make a tiny notch on one side of the hole you drilled for it to accommodate a tab that will stop it from rotating once it's in place.


    It's easier to position the jacks like this for easy soldering access. When everything is placed and tightened properly, it's time to solder.


    One side soldered. Pretty simple so far. I chose to use red for the signal path and green for the ground.


    Now solder the wires to the other jack pretty much the same way, except this time also solder some shorter wires to the same points that then each get soldered to one of the lugs on the switch. This makes it so that when the switch is pushed on, it redirects the signal to the ground and in effect mutes the guitar.


    It's kind of hard to see what's going on in that last picture, so I threw this together. When you're done soldering, test it out. Plug your guitar into the box and then the box into your amp.


    If it works, close it up!


    Voilà! Now you can play Jordan without performing surgery on your guitar. You just have to figure out how to mount it on your axe. I'm still trying to figure that one out, myself. Double-sided tape is the easy answer, but I'd like to be able to put it on and take it off without dealing with adhesives.


    Edit:

    I finally finished the last step.


    This is a suction cup I got at Wal-Mart. I think the pack of two was a dollar or so. That hook just slides right out. Also, it has a little tab on the side of the cup for easy removal.


    It just so happens to be built to pop into and stay in a hole drilled in something just about the same thickness as the sides of the box I used for this.


    One more hole. Before you drill this one, make sure there's enough clearance inside where the hole is. This won't work so well if the switch is in the way.


    It actually stays in just fine on its own if you drill the hole at the right size, but you may want to put something through the hole the hook was in to be sure it's held in place. I didn't feel like spending much time looking for something, so I ended up using one of those plastic bobby pin shaped things Dickies shirts have on them when you buy them.







    The only downside is that the guitar needs to have enough of a flat surface on the front to stick it to. It might work on an archtop anyway if you instead use two smaller cups, which I may do anyway if I build another one of these or if this one rotates on the cup too much.
    Last edited by Tom; 12-04-2008 at 08:00 AM.

  2. #2


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: .

    iTrader: 0

    i'd simply suggest taking out your tone knob - clearly the easy choice. If you're some crazyass tone knob enthusiast, you can always put it back in if you decide you like the tone knob more, or if you want to keep it, then commit to drilling. Personally, i just use a push/pull pickup selector/volume knob and a kill switch in place of the regular switch on my loomis. No drilling, and a 14$ knob.

  3. #3


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: The B.L., WA.
    ME: Buckethead Les Paul
    MA: Washburn
    Rig: Titan Custom

    iTrader: 21 (100%)

    The only downside to putting it where the tone knob is you still have to enlarge the hole a bit for those style of momentary switches. There are others that would work but those kind with the "soft touch" seem to be the best.

    Cool tutorial, btw.

  4. #4


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Texas
    ME: KxK Sii-7
    MA: Martin OMC-1E
    MB: Dingwall Combustion
    Rig: Line 6

    iTrader: 0

    Quote Originally Posted by MetalKen View Post
    i'd simply suggest taking out your tone knob - clearly the easy choice. If you're some crazyass tone knob enthusiast, you can always put it back in if you decide you like the tone knob more, or if you want to keep it, then commit to drilling. Personally, i just use a push/pull pickup selector/volume knob and a kill switch in place of the regular switch on my loomis. No drilling, and a 14$ knob.
    A lot of people either like their current knob configurations or just want to play with a kill switch and don't want to actually install one. I like having both knobs myself, and I plan to rewire my HH guitars with a configuration that requires two push/pull pots. I am using one of those other switches to change my Squier Strat VII from V/V/T to KS/V/T, though. If I really like it, I may consider installing them on my other guitars.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonBot View Post
    The only downside to putting it where the tone knob is you still have to enlarge the hole a bit for those style of momentary switches. There are others that would work but those kind with the "soft touch" seem to be the best.
    That's what I found when I actually looked at the switches. The ones with the round tops look like they might fit in the same holes, which is why I'm putting that one in my Squier, but the shaft on the square one is quite a bit bigger.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonBot View Post
    Cool tutorial, btw.
    Last edited by Tom; 11-11-2008 at 06:03 AM.

  5. #5


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Texas
    ME: KxK Sii-7
    MA: Martin OMC-1E
    MB: Dingwall Combustion
    Rig: Line 6

    iTrader: 0

    I finished the last step. The kill switch box is now complete!

  6. #6


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Sheffield, UK

    iTrader: 3 (100%)

    I'd actually be tempted to mount that in a metal box and use it as a stompbox rather than on the guitar itself, but cool all the same

  7. #7


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Toledo, OH, USA
    ME: Ibanez RG2027XVV
    MA: Ibanez AEL207E
    MB: Ibanez SR505
    Rig: GNX1101/Zoom A3

    iTrader: 0

    God-awful ugly, but very fucking cool nonetheless! 'Awesome' work, Tom.

    The neat thing about my RG2027 is it basically comes with a kill switch - just turn the piezo volume down, and switch between it and magnetic output. Viola. Oddly, I never use it like that. Guess I'm no Buckethead.

  8. #8


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Brisbane, Australia
    ME: Oni 8

    iTrader: 1 (100%)

    I strongly suggest mounting this in a metal box to ensure the signal remains shielded, especially if it's anything more than a test rig

Similar Threads

  1. Mushroomhead to Record New Music, Make Billboard DVD Chart
    By Metal-Bot in forum Metal News Feeds
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-07-2008, 12:52 AM
  2. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-07-2008, 12:52 AM
  3. Metallica Make Chart History
    By Metal-Bot in forum Metal News Feeds
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-17-2008, 11:22 PM

Tags for this Thread


Fractal Audio Systems  Shred Training  Angel Vivaldi
Bowes Guitarworks  Decibel Guitars  NumbSkull Audio Production



VigLink badge