Handmade Music Clubhouse

Cigar Box Guitar Headquarters - CBG HQ

From madurobob

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Just made a couple of these.  They were so easy, and work so well, I figured I'd post a how-to for those who are looking for something similar.  I know y'all can come up with some excellent improvements (I'm still thinking about how to secure the base of the guitars.  The stand is designed for neck-thru CBGs, so the tail-end of the CBG rests on the edge of the stand base.  I need some simple brackets on the base to keep everything secure if an over-zealous customer spins it too fast.  Maybe some small wedges held to the base w/velcro).


The main idea for me was to have a nice display that looks good and transports easily, so I don't have to carry too much clunky stuff when I set my booth up at music festivals.  I think this will do it.










A quick look at the pics should be all you need to build one yourself.  Just in case, tho, here are loads of details:

My plan was to buy birch plywood for the top and bottom.  But, when I got to Home Depot they had these edge-glued pine table tops on sale and in the sizes I had written down on my plans: one 24 inch and one 15 inch.  I also needed a base since I was going to build this to rotate on a lazy-susan.  The table tops were so cheap I just grabbed an 18 incher for the base.  The 15 and 18 inchers were $2 each!  The 24 incher was $11.

The center post is a piece of 1-1/4 PVC with threaded male ends, threaded into galvanized 1 1/4 flanges.  Those dang flanges would have put me off budget if the lumber hadn't of been such a good deal - they were $12 each.  The PVC parts were cheap enough that I don't remember the price.

Just thinking about that PVC post may have already helped you to figure out what I did 1/2 way through building the first one.  I can have several different center posts of different lengths - they cost next to nothing.  So, the same top and bottom pieces can be used to display long CBGs or short ukuleles or anything in between.  Changing the height of the display takes at best 90 seconds as you spin the top off like a submarine door handle, remove the center post, then do the reverse to put in a different center post.

Here is my complete parts list for one carousel:

  • 1 24 inch pine table top
  • 1 18 inch pine table top
  • 1 15 inch pine table top
  • 2 1-1/14 galvanized flanges
  • 2 feet of 1-1/4 white plumbing PVC (I cut mine so with the fittings in spans 22 inches from the ends of the fittings)
  • 2 1-1/4 male PVC fittings
  • 1 package of 8 3/4" #12 wood screws

Cutting the top

The *only* thing you need power tools for is the top piece that holds the necks.  I built mine to hold seven CBGs.  Its just a tiny bit crowded at the top and the tuners bump into each other.  If I were to do this again (I will after you guys come up with all those cool improvements) I'll make it hold six instead of seven.

I made a mark on the edge of the 15 inch bottom piece and lined it up with a mark on my workbench.  Then, I rolled the piece along the workbench until the mark on the edge was once again pointing straight down at the bench.  I marked that on the bench, then measured the distance between the two marks (in other words - the circumference of the top piece).  Then, I divided this by seven (this is where the metric system comes in *really* handy) and made a mark that distance from one of the marks on the bench.  Now it was simply a matter of aligning marks and rolling the top piece along the bench and marking the edge - seven marks, equally spaced along the edge of the top piece.

I used a drill press and a 3-1/4 hole saw to cut the neck slots.  I aligned the pilot bit of the hole saw so it was just on the outside edge of the top piece, clamped everything tight, and cut the semi-circle.  It took just a couple of minutes to do all seven - pine is *very* soft.
I could have simply smoothed the edges with sandpaper and called it done and it would have been fine, but I took an extra few minutes and used a router with a round-over bit to round over the edges of the holes made by the hole saw.



I had a few cans of various 1/2 used stains - I just mixed them all together and wiped the pine down with it after I had sanded it smooth, then wiped it dry 15 minutes later.  I let that dry over night.  One carousel set I finished with high gloss polyurethane, the other I finished with a heavy coat of paste wax.  I'll see how each one stands up to the abuse of traveling with me to festivals.  I suspect the wax will fare better, since its so easy to sand, re-apply and buff.

The PVC pieces I glued together, sanded down with 220, then sprayed brown with krylon for plastic.  I cleaned the galvanized pieces with mineral spirits and used the same paint on them.



The lazy susan hardware comes with no instructions, but I'd done this before.  Align it on the base and mark the screw holes and one of the large 3/4" holes.  Use a 3/4" drill bit and drill all the way through the base - this gives you an access hole to screw the base on to the bottom of the carousel.  Attach the hardware to the base with wood screws, then attach the hardware and base to the bottom of the carousel.

Then, flip over the base, find center, and attach one of the flanges.  Drill pilot holes and attach with the #12X3/4 wood screws (note, you could use 1/4" bolts here.  I considered it for added strength - might do it later)

Do the same thing to the top piece - find center and attach the flange.  Then, thread the PVC pipe into the flange on the base, then thread the top piece onto the top of the PVC pipe.  Tada!
To help cushion the necks a bit more, I also bought some of this heavy duty felt and cut it into strips:

Its a little stiff, so give it a bit of a curve with your hands before you remove the backer and stick it in place.  But, it sticks nicely and looks like it will work well.

I'll be stress testing the two I built in a couple of weeks.  In the meantime, they look OK in the living room ;)

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Replies to This Discussion

Really cool build madurobob ... I may try one. thx for posting Ted.

I didn't build it, madurobob did!


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