Lame header saying 'sweet header'

What is a killswitch?

A killswitch is a switch/button that stops the output signal from an electric guitar either momentarily (while you hold the button down) or indefinitely (if you use a latching switch). So you can use it to get cool 'stuttering' effects by repeatedly switching it on/off or to shut the guitar up completely while you are between songs. Or, if you are legendary like Tom Morello, you can make epic effects like the solo in Bulls On Parade (Rage Against The Machine). The latter is why I really decided to fit one myself.

I didn't know how to achieve adding a killswitch to my guitar until I found this fantastic forum thread all about it.

The process I followed

1. Initial actions.

Ordered parts and tools, took guitar to bits and went 'oooh'.

Guitar with faceplate removed showing internal electronics
It would have been a lot easier if I had removed all the strings at this point, but I wasn't about to spend £5 on a new set unless I really had to.

2. Get parts. Decide location.

Push button and electrical wires
Looked at new parts and went 'oooh'.

Two blobs of Blu-tac on guitar faceplate
Decided where button should go through the medium of Blu-tac.

3. Mark hole location. Drill hole.

This was the first point of destruction, but faceplates are easily replaceable.

Guitar faceplate with intended hole location drawn on
Marked up and ready for destruction.

Drilling hole in guitar faceplate with electric drill
I didn't have a massive drill bit, so had to settle for lots of small holes.

4. Make hole correct size.

Guitar faceplate with multiple small holes
The outcome from a small drill bit.

Filing to join small holes together into one large hole
Filing to create one correctly sized hole.

5. Make hole in guitar body to accommodate new switch.

The 'WTF did you just do to your guitar?!' moment. This was irreversible destruction, but at least if it all went wrong I could have just put a new faceplate over the top and pretended it never happened..

Drilling hole
The view after multiple drillings. If I had a router I could have used that and done a much cleaner job.

Filing to join small holes together into one large hole
I used a chisel to open out the drill holes.

6. Solder it all up.

Soldering equipment ready to use on nearby guitar parts
My soldering setup.

Internals of electric guitar with newly soldered killswitch in place
Tadaaaa! All this effort to attach two new wires to one new component..

7. ROCK!

When I take a decent video of this in use I shall put it here.

Guitar with new killswitch installed
Kick-ass new killswitch installed!