|Project by FrankLad||posted 06-27-2013 05:24 PM||1522 views||6 times favorited||13 comments|
Hey, fellow woodworkers!
I recently completed my first cigar box guitar. The process was very enjoyable, and I hope to make several more! (It’s addicting!)
- Cigar box
Picked up a handful from a cigar shop for a few bucks each. They come in various shapes and sizes, which is part of the fun.
- NECK: 1×2” red oak Best to go with a long enough (3’) piece to run through the box for strength; to hold up under string tension.
- FRETBOARD: 1/4” walnut Had this laying around, but you can pick up 1/4” stock from Lowe’s (Though selection is likely limited to red oak, poplar, and pine.)
- BRIDGE/NUT: lignum vitae I’ve had a small chunk of lignum vitae for a few years. Very durable stuff. Bone can also be used, or you can simply go with a bolt or threaded rod. (Picture #4 shows the jig I used to rip a uniform piece with my pullsaw. Picture #5 shows the individual pieces with string notches.)
- Rivets (minus the shank) These will keep the strings from cutting into the wood. They also make things look a little neater.
Tools used: Handsaw (two-sided w/ crosscut and rip teeth), hand drill, sander, various grits.
For the electric components, I’m going with a basic 1/4” mono jack + piezo transducer + 500k potentiometer setup.
- To determine the fret spacing, I simply marked the locations on the fretboard using my son’s small guitar as a guide. Although fret calculators are readily available and you can make the guitar to your own custom scale length.
- I may go with a tailpiece on my next one, which simply means extending the red oak out through the bottom of the guitar. This way, I can string it up without having to open the box. (Though I still kinda prefer the look of a guitar w/o the tailpiece.) I’m also hoping to try one with an old small hinge to connect the strings.
- I used regular acoustic guitar strings, sizes .026, .036, .046.
- It’s tuned to “Open G” (G, D, g), fretless, with a high action for slide playing. I’m actually JUST learning how to play, so I’ve got a long way to go. But I really like the overall tone of the guitar, and I like having only three strings to worry about. ;)
-- Frank, Mississippi, Handcrafted wooden rings - http://www.bentwoodrings.com