Handmade Music Clubhouse

Cigar Box Guitar Headquarters - CBG HQ

I was happy with how my very first CBG turned out...but I wasn't SATISFIED with it.  Well NOW I am!  Only did a few "tweaks" to it, but it turned out AMAZING, IMHO.  I removed the electric guitar strings and part extra light acoustic strings, which sound MUCH better.  Before installing the strings, I glued up the two outer string holes and re-drilled them, making them more "spread out".

 

 

BUT! Before I put the new strings on, I opened her up and installed my first piezo transducer/volume/audio jack setup.  I printed out the basic schematic from Ted's website for the piezo/volume/jack layout.  I went "old school" and bought my parts from Radio Shack.  After I "rescued" the transducer from it's plastic prison, I glued it to the lid with Gorilla Super Glue and installed the volume pot (an audio tapered pot) and 1/4" audio jack.  The only real problem I ran into was that the wood was actually TOO THICK to use the nuts and washers that came with the pot and jack.  So I wound up super gluing those into place, too. (I love me some Gorilla Super Glue.) The knobs I bought from Guitar Center didn't fit the volume pot either, so I've still gotta find a knob for the CBG. :(

 

 

Once I had the electrics wired up, I tested it before stringing it up.  I purchased a Danelectro "Honeytone" mini amp and plugged the guitar into it.  As soon as I started tapping the top of the box and got the "stompbox" sound from the amp, a big smile ran across my face. :) 

 

I quickly finished up the re-build and re-strung the CBG.  As soon as I plugged it back into the amp I knew it was gonna ROCK, because it was already picking up every little vibration of the strings.  Wasn't even in tune, but I happily plucked the strings and ran the glass slide up and down the strings.  Much to the chagrin of my wife. LOL!  I was simply AMAZED at how well the piezo worked as a pickup!  Whoever came up with that idea was a f**king genius! ;)

 

As soon as I get it in "tune" and have had the chance to play around with it some, I'll make a short video to show it off and post it.

Views: 229

Comment by Randy S. Bretz on February 13, 2011 at 9:52pm
The first of many to come...yep you got the bug.....building fever...lol
Comment by Arnold Kelly on February 13, 2011 at 10:08pm
Yeah, I'm still planning on at least two more.  One of them may actually be a "solid body" six string.  We'll just have to see. ;)
Comment by Ted Crocker on February 13, 2011 at 10:09pm
Congrats Arnold, never give up til you're happy!  Great job, and I'm sure you have more ideas for the next one
Comment by Arnold Kelly on February 13, 2011 at 10:11pm
Next one will at least have a volume AND tone control.  Maybe even TWO piezos, since one seems to work so well. :)
Comment by Hal Somervill on February 14, 2011 at 12:33am
For your control knob, it looks like you need a 1/4" hole (which Radio Shack sells by the pkg of 4). I'd bet you got the knob for a split shaft and that's why it won't work. As for the box being too thick, some are. The solution is to use a dremel tool and "thin" the box around the hole, on the inside of the box. Go slow and take a little off at a time 'til the box is thin enough for the pot and jack to fit. Hope this helps. Great first build, Arnold.
Comment by Arnold Kelly on February 14, 2011 at 7:38am
Thanks for the advice.
Comment by Arnold Kelly on February 14, 2011 at 11:05pm

Well The Shack has come to the rescue again.  Found a nice shiny silver knurled knob to go on my cbg.  Now just need to tune it and get to jammin'. :)

Comment by Arnold Kelly on February 16, 2011 at 10:10pm
Found the best benefit of  having your CBG "electrified".  Being able to use an electronic tuner in a noisy living and have tuned to Open G PERFECTLY. ;)
Comment by Arnold Kelly on February 17, 2011 at 9:14am

Crap!  Once I finished tuning my gitty and started playing around, I noticed that the strings were causing the neck to bow.  So bad that there is no way to finger the strings further than half-way down the neck. :(

Any suggestions?  Maybe a lower tuning?

Comment by Arnold Kelly on February 17, 2011 at 11:12pm

Okey doke!  Thanks to everyone's suggestions, I have repaired the cbg by bracing the neck from the inside and outside.  Cut a couple pieces of poplar and wedged the under both ends of the box where the neck comes out.

 

 

Even though I've ordered brackets from C.B.Gitty, I couldn't wait to fix it.  So went by my local Home Depot and picked up some L brackets.  Had to shorten one side because the box isn't very deep, but they work very well.  I'll use the pair I ordered from Gitty on my next build. :)

 

 

After restringing it and re-tuning, everything seems to be working just dandy now. ;)  

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