You are visiting Etsy with an out of date browser: Internet Explorer 8. On June 6th, Etsy will stop supporting IE8 and some features may stop working. After that, you can round out the back of the neck for a more comfortable playing experience. Many early cigar box guitars consisted of only one ( Diddley Bow ) or two strings that were attached to the ends of a broomstick that was inserted into the cigar box. The iconic blues acoustic guitars made by the original Stella Guitar Company were constructed from birch wood. One day, while surfing the web, he stumbled on a video of a guy playing a guitar made out of a cigar box. Those humble beginnings are what eventually gave the Cigar box Guitar a home in music history.
Once you’ve built the guitar and strung it up you can place the bridge where it ought to be as a starter, then with a tuner, move it either backwards or forwards until you get the octave of the open string correct at the 12th fret. When Shane Speal stumbled across these historic cigar box banjo plans, he was struck by how beautiful the illustrations and the original newspaper text looked. Not only does the gloss black body make the chrome parts pop, but the entire thing has such a perfect layout. The holes you drill in the hinge have to be small enough that the brass nuts on the end of guitar strings can’t pass through.
No matter if you plan to make 3 string /4 string / Resonator or standard cigar box guitars, here is a quick and easy way to find out where your neck angle and string height will be. I was so inspired I whipped out some paper on the moment and I came up with this art that could be a brand of cigars and I think it would make a cool cover art to engrave on the front of a cigar box resonator guitar pickup cover.
He said building a cigar box guitar can cost anywhere from nothing to $15, depending on the builder’s creativity. So that’s me back in the land of CBGs (OK it’s technically not a cigar box guitar but who cares – it’ll fit in nicely with my collection and should sound and play damn fine). Starting at the four-inch mark, measure up the neck the length of the measurement of the cigar box that you just took and make another mark.
Measure from the box edge to where the bridge mark is. Put the lid on and lay a piece of painters tape where the bridge should be using the same distance you just measured. America was expanding rapidly and cigar smoking was booming right along with it. Hyman estimates that people, mostly men, were smoking about 300 million cigars a year by the middle of the century. So I’m sorry if I am letting the side down and by not writing about them anymore and if you’ve come here for the first time looking for stuff on cigar box guitars, don’t click away too quickly, there are lost of posts in the archives here to whet your appetite.
Another young man wrote asking lot’s of questions, then having been inspired by building cigar box guitars, went on to do some luthier courses and started building his own plastic bodied 6 string electrics based on the old Airline guitars of the 60s – and what fabulous guitars he made! Please get in touch for more information and to let us know how we can help you be the best cigar box guitar maker you can be. I have a neck off of a mando banjo that I want to use on a wooden cigar box that I have.
Other than those small tips I found these to be the best instructions online with the best pictures and walkthrough. I reinforced the seams of the box with some thick CA glue, and added some blocks to brace the neck to the box. It’s great information AND the ISBN number and author info make it possible to chase down these resources. I soon found Cigar Box Nation ( ), a fantastic online hangout for homemade stringed instrument enthusiasts. Else you might mess up. The easiest thing to mess up is where the neck goes through the box and measuring the scale.
Visitors will learn the stories of many great blues, rock and country stars who got their start on cigar box guitars. Darren Brown of DB Customs Cigar Box Guitars has recently completed this stunning reso. He then adds two scrap pieces of wood trim to create a nut and a bridge to hold the strings above the neck. If you want to leave the wood raw and unfinished, you can start assembling the guitar right now (skip ahead to the next section). Later, when America was in the throes of the tremendous economic depression of the 1930’s, these cigar box instruments experienced a new revival.
If the neck is too long or the frets are in the wrong place, the sound is compromised. He made a DVD on how to build a cigar box guitar which has helped many people with their building projects. Baker and his staff of seven employees also sell supplies for building other DIY-friendly instruments, including one-string diddley bows and canjos,” plus ukuleles. That is the key and link to the Delta Blues that has long been forgotten in the mass market guitar world. The easiest way to finish the cigar box guitar is to use a can of aerosol lacquer.
This will allow the top to freely resonate, which will make for a louder guitar than if the stick were just glued to the top. Cigar box guitar building is an art that is progressively moving forward, generating new and exciting instruments in a modern Renaissance. They soon had a daughter, and to make ends meet, Snowden took the job that he still has 18 years later—working the 5-10 a.m. shift in the garden department at Home Depot.