Luthier Burls Art turns 1,000 cans into a sleek aluminium guitar

Burls Art
(Image credit: Burls Art / YouTube)

YouTuber Burls Art has form for his incredible builds centred around recycling; the inventive luthier has made electric guitars out of newspaper, coloured pencils and Lego. Now he's turned his attention the cans; 1,000 aluminium ones to be precise. And he's aced it again.

He's recycled used drinks cans used over the course of a year – 38lbs of them. After an "extensive amount" of research, Burls Art built the furnace – don't try this at home etc – and had to make sure the cans were completely dry before the melting process. Only half of his cans became pure molten aluminium that were turned into bars he could reused in building the guitar, with the other half of the material becoming slag that floats on the top. 

The process is fascinating, as Burls Art creates the mould for his guitar. There's still a lot of sanding required after that, and challenges to be overcome in a learning process but the finished guitar is a stunner and Burl Art even reveals it's one of his least time intensive builds to date. We even get to hear it in action at the end of the demo. 

Though it weigh over 12 pounds so it might not be a choice for full live sets!

Check out more of Burls Art's work at his YouTube channel


Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.