Handmade Music Clubhouse

Cigar Box Guitar Headquarters - CBG HQ

build a cigar box guitar in one hour! videos for each step!


WORKSPACE, SUPPLIES AND TOOLS


NECK


NECK, EYE BOLT TUNER INSTALLATION AND BODY BLOCK


MOUNTING THE NECK AND SOUND HOLES


FRET CALCULATION AND FRET MARKERS


STRINGING IT UP, STRINGS AND EYE BOLT TUNERS


TUNE IT UP AN PLAY!


PLAYING THE CIGAR BOX GUITAR : COLLECTIVE SOUL - "SHINE"

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@mz-handyman

i usually sell one at a show, for $75-100 depending on whether the electrics are installed. i'm tempted to charge less, but i don't think a lower price would sell much better. there's very little interest in actually buying one of my guitars. most people seem more interested in watching me play it than buy one.

MZ-HANDYMAN said:
Like the Vid(s) Crow!

I got a Q... You said you sell em at your Gigs.... Mind if I ask what you get for a 1 Hr guitar?

**MZ**
Here's an idea... Have a Sharpie in your pocket or on your t-shirt collar and anounce at the beginning of the show that you will sell the "Autographed" guitars you play with each song and sign/date it and put the name of the song you played under the signature. Or at the end of the song.... Pull out the marker sign/date the guitar and write the song name on it while saying "this guitar is available for purchase at our memorabelia/fan table", while handing it to someone off stage and them handing you a clean one for the next song.... It's a thought and may bring more value to the purchase. Especially to someone who has a special interest in a song... Heck, do song requests.

**MZ**

Crow said:
@mz-handyman

Tthere's very little interest in actually buying one of my guitars. most people seem more interested in watching me play it than buy one.
@mz-handyman

LMAO

actually you may be right. that would add a touch of interaction with the audience and possibly increase percieved value in the instruments as well. thanks for the unique suggestion!!


MZ-HANDYMAN said:
Here's an idea... Have a Sharpie in your pocket or on your t-shirt collar and anounce at the beginning of the show that you will sell the "Autographed" guitars you play with each song and sign/date it and put the name of the song you played under the signature. Or at the end of the song.... Pull out the marker sign/date the guitar and write the song name on it while saying "this guitar is available for purchase at our memorabelia/fan table", while handing it to someone off stage and them handing you a clean one for the next song.... It's a thought and may bring more value to the purchase. Especially to someone who has a special interest in a song... Heck, do song requests.

**MZ**

Crow said:
@mz-handyman

Tthere's very little interest in actually buying one of my guitars. most people seem more interested in watching me play it than buy one.
Thanks a million for this!!! I've been wanting to do a CBG for a while now and haven't been able to find something that's a good, simple start. Come morning, I'm off to the lumber yard and hardware store.
@jared king
sweet man, make sure to take a few pictures, can't wait to see how it turns out!
good luck!

Crowded workspace. This is the living room of my tiny studio apartment, aka my work bench. I set up on the coffee table. The clear tote with the blue lid has all my beer brewing and wine making gadgets in it (sans my kettles and fermentation buckets and carboys).

Got the neck cut; now to get the holes drilled. Starting to come together.

Lighting isn't great in our apartment, so this is the best I can do right now. At least in person, it's lookin' mighty handsome. Note the Uncle Crow style sound holes. The box was a really cheap cedar one. I was looking to do this as inexpensively as possible, so I got a lower end one. Also note the middle string guide. I accidentally got the center hole just a little too far to the right, so I moved it up an eighth of an inch. I don't really care how that looks, as long as it plays.

And here's me bringing down the beauty of the instrument by the presence of myself in the picture. The smile on my face is more due to a toilet humor laden exchange between me and my wife (the photographer). However, it's representative of the pride I feel in having produced the instrument. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Well, after three additional trips to the hardware store (substitutions, as they had "this" not "that" which meant "those" I bought earlier wouldn't fit "these", and again), I finally got it done. Actual labor on the guitar, itself, I would say about an hour and a half, mostly because I've never done it before. I had some issues with stringing it, and I was working on a coffee table in my 440 sq ft studio that I and my brewing equipment share with my wife and all her crafting and sewing projects. I'd further point out that, not only is it not that hard or too time consuming, but if I can do it in my studio apartment, anyone else can, too. If you don't count the expenditure for tools, I only spent about $15 on this. I even have some left over hardware to use on the next one. It should only cost me an additional $10, which would average the cost out to about $12.50 per guitar. It sounds pleasant. If I could get the middle string by ear, I'd be fiddlin' around with it tonight, but that'll have to wait. Maybe I can find a website that plays individual notes so I can tune by ear until I can get a digital tuner. I had been procrastinating building a CBG for about three months now. I felt that a lot of intricate work would be necessary to make my time investment "feel" worth it. However, watching your short video series convinced me that such a spartan instrument was easily within my grasp, sounded nice and was worth the small investment of money and effort it would take. I'm so glad I did. Now, I just need to make a wine bottle neck slide and look up lessons on Youtube, or elsewhere. Thanks for the inspiration and the walkthrough. I probably would've never gotten around to this if it weren't for your video tutorial.



   
Jared J. King said:

Crowded workspace. This is the living room of my tiny studio apartment, aka my work bench. I set up on the coffee table. The clear tote with the blue lid has all my beer brewing and wine making gadgets in it (sans my kettles and fermentation buckets and carboys).

Got the neck cut; now to get the holes drilled. Starting to come together.

Lighting isn't great in our apartment, so this is the best I can do right now. At least in person, it's lookin' mighty handsome. Note the Uncle Crow style sound holes. The box was a really cheap cedar one. I was looking to do this as inexpensively as possible, so I got a lower end one. Also note the middle string guide. I accidentally got the center hole just a little too far to the right, so I moved it up an eighth of an inch. I don't really care how that looks, as long as it plays.

And here's me bringing down the beauty of the instrument by the presence of myself in the picture. The smile on my face is more due to a toilet humor laden exchange between me and my wife (the photographer). However, it's representative of the pride I feel in having produced the instrument. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Well, after three additional trips to the hardware store (substitutions, as they had "this" not "that" which meant "those" I bought earlier wouldn't fit "these", and again), I finally got it done. Actual labor on the guitar, itself, I would say about an hour and a half, mostly because I've never done it before. I had some issues with stringing it, and I was working on a coffee table in my 440 sq ft studio that I and my brewing equipment share with my wife and all her crafting and sewing projects. I'd further point out that, not only is it not that hard or too time consuming, but if I can do it in my studio apartment, anyone else can, too. If you don't count the expenditure for tools, I only spent about $15 on this. I even have some left over hardware to use on the next one. It should only cost me an additional $10, which would average the cost out to about $12.50 per guitar. It sounds pleasant. If I could get the middle string by ear, I'd be fiddlin' around with it tonight, but that'll have to wait. Maybe I can find a website that plays individual notes so I can tune by ear until I can get a digital tuner. I had been procrastinating building a CBG for about three months now. I felt that a lot of intricate work would be necessary to make my time investment "feel" worth it. However, watching your short video series convinced me that such a spartan instrument was easily within my grasp, sounded nice and was worth the small investment of money and effort it would take. I'm so glad I did. Now, I just need to make a wine bottle neck slide and look up lessons on Youtube, or elsewhere. Thanks for the inspiration and the walkthrough. I probably would've never gotten around to this if it weren't for your video tutorial.
@jared j. king AWESOME JOB! i love it!!!!! it makes me so proud to see others use this method - it really is designed for ease and reliability. now you'll have to check out my youtube channel to see just how much can be done with it!
http://youtube.com/unstrung13 your build gets the official UNCLE CROW SEAL OF APPROVAL! print this picture at wallet size and paste it inside the guitar. job well done!

keep on rocking man, and post some videos when you start wrangling tunes of of your new box!!!
Ted, I'd kiss ya, but I'm not that kinda guy. Thanks a million for that. I'm tuned up and fiddlin' or rather strummin'.
Crow, you are the man! My next build will be the uke-crow-lele. I love the lap diddley plank, too. I have a bunch of 2x4s in decent condition that I found in a field adjacent to my apartment complex. I was able to pound all of the nails out of them and I may be doing that with one of them. And you'll hear it as soon as I can make it sing. Any recommendations for beginners videos on Youtube?

If I had but one request of you, it'd be a video tutorial on how you install the hardware to make them electric. I think that'd be sweet, and I imagine it's also a pretty quick job. Do you glue the piezo directly to the wood, or do you put a layer of hot glue between it and the wood? I've heard a number of "Do this, don't do this"es around the web, and it leaves me scratching my head. My first electric I'm going to wire into an old tape deck to use it's speaker as an amp. It's pretty easy to do, and you can pick those old decks up for a few bucks at your local Goodwill or Salvation Army thrift store.

Oh, and how'd you get the holes in the cookie tin for the canjo? Same drill bit as the simple CBG?
Jared J. King ... You're gonna get in trouble making all that dust in the living room....

I know I got in trouble when I built one in the back room.... I should'a took a picture of everything covered with dust the following morning.

Oh By the way.... SWEEET! your CBG Kicks BU++

**MZ**
I was pretty fortunate. It didn't make too much of a mess, since there were only 2 cuts to make, and the rest was drilling. I was able to vacuum it all up off the carpet after I swept down the top of the coffee table. It cleaned up surprisingly fast. My honey isn't bothered by stuff like that, so it wasn't too big a deal. She even helped me clean up (bonus!).

Thanks for the props. I'm already looking forward to the next build.

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