Cigar Box Ukuleles

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Project by JamesVavra posted 02-17-2011 03:34 PM 3909 views 3 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A good friend of mine is a Uke player (he played Tiny Bubbles at my wedding). In honor of the birth of his first son, I made him a cigar box ukulele. I also made one for myself – partly as a practice piece and partly because I think it looks pretty cool.

I purchased the Ukulele Kit from Grizzley and picked up a couple of empty cigar boxes from the local cigar shop. I grabbed some really nice wooded cigar boxes too, but the paper ones just looked more like a cigar box.

Finish (on the wooden parts only) is rattle can lacquer. The sound is ok, but, since I don’t play, I can’t really comment on it very well. I’m shipping his off today – I hope he like it.


6 comments so far

View Raftermonkey's profile


560 posts in 2939 days

#1 posted 02-17-2011 06:20 PM

Those look great, I’m sure he will love it. I just started my first CBG and can only hope that they come out as nice as yours. For my first one, I’ll be practicing with a wood box that a set of chisels came in. My real cigar boxes should arrive today. The only thing that I’m worried about(I don’t have a kit with instructions) is the lenght of the neck, and the nut and bridge placement, but I reckon I’ll figure it out,haha(maybe the hard way,ha).

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

View JamesVavra's profile


304 posts in 3342 days

#2 posted 02-17-2011 06:51 PM

In this kit, the distance between the nut and the bottom fret wire, as well as the distance between the bottom fret wire and the bridge is 170mm (about 6-11/16”). The bottom fret wire is at the intersection of the body and neck.

In Grizzley’s Classical Guitar Kit, it’s the 12th fret wire as the center point and 325mm to both the nut and bridge. There are a couple of guys on here who have made CBGs that may chime in for you.


View JamesVavra's profile


304 posts in 3342 days

#3 posted 02-17-2011 06:56 PM

@zeke – looks like this guy might be a good resource:

View steliart's profile


2700 posts in 2714 days

#4 posted 02-17-2011 07:40 PM

I’m sure he will love it

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of all inventions

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 2978 days

#5 posted 02-17-2011 09:48 PM

looks great. I’ve been thinking about building a CBG for awhile (already bought some boxes) but I may try a uke first, especially since there’s a relatively inexpensive kit.

Nice work!

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Orion Woods's profile

Orion Woods

67 posts in 2795 days

#6 posted 02-17-2011 10:19 PM

@zeke Grizzly has the instructions on their site for the kits they offer, won’t be quite the same but maybe you’ll pick up something!

-- Brian

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