Handmade Music Clubhouse

Cigar Box Guitar Headquarters - CBG HQ

So I have a big hairy idea, one that I don't personally want to take advantage of but I think would be very cool for those who are trying to make a living or supplement income by building and selling instruments.


I would propose:

  • Creating a HMC brand of instruments
  • Selling those instruments from a unified store front
  • Have none of those instruments be the result of a single contributor


How would that work?

It occurs to me that certain people here are good at certain things, some build necks, cones, pickups, boxes, etc. and some people are good assemblers, finishers, and marketers. here's my vision:

  • An member individual becomes a project manager/designer
  • That individual sources all the pieces and labor needed to execute that design
  • The individual finances and coordinates the execution of the instrument and lists it for sale


How do you make money?

  • The PM designer keeps the money from the sale since they financed the build
  • The suppliers make their money on the sale of the components labor they supplied


How do you keep it fair?

  • Suppliers compete for component sales
  • PM's will be required to use x% of member supplied components
  • no outside components allowed. If a member can't supply, it can't be used (wood and found objects aside)


Possible downsides/risks:

  • New component suppliers undercut established suppliers at a loss
  • Too few suppliers participate and it becomes a brand with little variation
  • The guitars end up too expensive if everyone takes too much margin on components
  • Guitars won't meet collective sense of "quality"


Possible expansion:

Custom orders sourced through the site, i.e. John Smith comes on and requests a specific set of features. PM decides whether or not they want to take on project. They gather costs and provide quote to original requester.


I don't really have a horse in this race as I have no intention of trying the CBG business anymore. I just want to build to trade and enjoy. But I think it's a great idea! Discuss!

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could be something to think about --hmmmmmmmmm!!!
HMMMM, let's hear some more ideas...
ok, if no one has any further ideas on how to make it work, tell me why it won't work. any discussion is better than none.

So i'm thinking of trying to do a test case for the HMC collaboration idea. I have two ideas:


1. one build a reso CBG, sell it on ebay and donate the profits back HMC

2. crowdsource a bouzuoki and keep it, because i want one



I think what You may create is a collaborative where the competition could spawn some real creativity and comraderie. It could be a really positive thing where any monetary profit would only be gravy on top of the rewards that could be possible for all involved. As long as the focus remains on teamwork, pride,a quality build, a value for the buyers and providing not just a musical instrument but an exposure to many creative outlets it could be successful. We could be spreading songs & sawdust.

I LIKE IT! :o)

I see one immediate problem though. Making a neck is 3/4 of the work in building a CBG. The neck guy could spent an extra 30 mins cutting a box and wiring it, and double the money by selling a complete git! This is a discussion we regularly have over here in the UK cuz a lot of folks want to build but dont have the tools / time / skills to make up the neck.

The answer is obviously to simplify the design, but then does that lower the quality bar??

Hopefully someone out there just loves making necks or has the machinary to do big batches, in which case I dont see why it cant all work out.

Sensible to do a test run with a reso too methinks  - I might buy it :o)

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