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Building a simple cigar box guitar

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Blog series by JJohnston updated 10-21-2012 01:19 AM 3 parts 8149 reads 0 comments total

Part 1: Fitting and shaping the neck

09-24-2012 02:38 AM by JJohnston | 0 comments »

In this series, I’ll be building a simple cigar box guitar. You can see just how simple by comparing it to a proper instrument – Randall Price’s tenor guitar, for example. It’s a “through neck” design, meaning the neck goes all the way through the body, and only it counteracts the tension in the strings. The box is non-structural; it just looks good, and serves as a resonating chamber. The first step is to mill up a neck blank, then use it to lay out ...

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Part 2: Recovery and more neck shaping

10-19-2012 03:42 AM by JJohnston | 0 comments »

This part is mostly catch-up. I ruined my first neck, rounding over one of the front edges instead of the back. I made up another, this time out of maple. It looks very similar, with the same design for the head. To stop the roundovers at the right spot, I jigged up stops on the router table. I had to set these up twice, with a separate setup for each side. Here it is, along with my router table, which I made by lopping an old desk in two..Feeding from right…...To left...The completed h...

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Part 3: Major assembly

10-21-2012 01:19 AM by JJohnston | 0 comments »

I hit my stride today, and knocked out quite a bit of work on this. I had an inspiration on the roundovers on the back of the neck. At the end of the previous installment, I had only run them with the back of the neck down on the router table. I realized if I turned it up on edge and ran the already-rounded edges through again, the ends would look a lot nicer, and would be more hand-friendly. The best view of this is in this shot of tuner installation. Note how the radius on each face fades s...

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