Prisma Guitars: Giving Old Skateboards New Life
Who is Prisma Guitars?
When Nick Pourfard was 18 years old, he was an avid skateboarder. He spent as much time as he could rolling down the steep streets of San Francisco and practicing tricks with his brother and friends. Unfortunately, when one trick didn’t go as planned, Nick broke an ankle and suddenly found himself with a lot of free time.
Having previously built skate ramps, and since he could use hand tools during his recovery, Nick decided to give woodworking a try to fill his boredom. With the help of YouTube, he started his woodworking journey with his first creation: a wooden spoon. But that wasn’t challenging enough for him. His ultimate woodworking test? An electric guitar.
Nick initially wanted to build his guitar out of walnut wood, but the cost of the wood didn’t suit his high school student budget. Fortunately, it dawned on him that he had plenty of wood lying around in the form of old skateboards. “The boards were basically garbage,” said Nick, “but people tend to keep them as memories of the time they spent on them and the places the boards took them. So if I made a guitar from them and it didn’t sound good, at least it would be sentimental to me.”
To Nick’s surprise, the sound turned out so well that he started making his second guitar before he was completely finished the first. It wasn’t long after that a friend of a friend asked if Nick would make and sell him a guitar. With proof of demand, Nick founded Prisma Guitars and has never looked back.
What’s Prisma Guitars’ Connection to Fuji Spray®?
Nick’s guitar finish of choice is nitrocellulose lacquer, which is best applied using a spray system for a glossy finish. After a few months of learning spray finishing techniques from another guitar maker, Nick purchased a Fuji Spray® Mini-Mite 3 PLATINUM™ system, based on video reviews and the distributor’s recommendation. He says that the Mini-Mite 3 has changed his life: “My old system was so frustrating. It wasn’t powerful enough. Getting the Mini-Mite was like going from the worst to the best. I’m even considering using it for personal use, on cabinets and around the house. My shop is running 100 times smoother now.”
What’s next for Prisma Guitars?
Since his modest beginnings in his father’s garage, Nick has moved Prisma Guitars into a proper workshop, where he makes approximately 75 guitars per year with boards donated from around the world.
Prisma Guitars’ online store now offers electric guitars, bass guitars, guitar picks, and even skateboards that are made with the intention of eventually being used in a guitar. Nick is currently looking into adding acoustic guitars to his repertoire.
Another one of Nick’s goals is to start producing more traditional builds in addition to the skateboard bodies: “At trade shows, we’ve seen people really like our look, shapes, and sound, but they didn’t purchase because they didn’t have the attachment to skateboards,” he explains. “So why would I limit what I do? I want to make guitars for everybody.”
Nick also has future plans to use Fuji Spray® systems for more than just lacquer: “I’ve been using another method for colours, but I want to get another gun so I can use the Mini-Mite for colours. It’s been such a great system that I want to use it even more.”
For more information on Prisma Guitars, click here.