eight new cigar box guitar builds

on saturday 6/19/10 i started building 8 cigar box guitars. i’m going to make an attempt at documenting the process here. i’ve made about 13 guitars from this same basic design that i’ll be using.

the cbgs that i’m making will all be 3 string, fretless, 25″ scale and utilize one hand-wound 3 pole magnetic pickup of my design and making (i will show this process as well… i think).

the neck and pickup are the main parts of the guitars i make. both are what make mine unique. many aspects of my neck are unique to my guitars alone as far as cbgs go. they have a tilted headstock, which will help with string alignment and look pretty badass. the necks are tapered and fully hand carved.

most cbgs have square straight necks, which for me is fairly uncomfortable as a player. the process of actually carving the necks is fairly quick as it turns out and it makes a world of difference. i made the decision to taper the neck early on as well because it made more sense as well from a playing standpoint. i have strings closer together where i’m fingering note/chords and a little more breathing room where i strum/pick (i use a very chaotic, claw-hammer, finger-style, banging technique).

a bunch of head scratching went into the development of this neck/guitar. it became clear to me that if i wanted to be able to make more than one, i would need some kind of template to work from. making the template was nothing more than making a neck and not going past the initial shaping phase of the build. sounds easy enough, right? that’s what i though anyway. well, as it turns out, it was a big pain in my ass. what i thought would take an hour or two ended up taking days… it needed to be damn close to perfect, and perfect is not something i do often, if ever.

so, what happens is this:

i go to home depot, or lowes (i hate admitting this, but it’s true) and look through their 1 x 6 maple lumber. i find 36″ sections of longer pieces that look like they will be straight. i get an “associate” to cut them to the lengths, i put them in a cart, go to another aisle of the store, pick out the pieces that are in fact straight and put the rest back. i usually use 1/2 to 1/3 of the wood they cut for me. i only feel a little bad about the stuff i leave behind. just try to find and 8 or 10 foot board of maple at the depot that is straight, impossible.

i take the lumber home, rip all the pieces in half (2 3/4″ each). then i trace the template on the pieces, ruff cut out the pattern with a saber saw, put them in my router jig with the template on top. rout them to exact size except for the headstock horns, which i do by hand.

and that is where i am as of now…

3 Responses to “eight new cigar box guitar builds”

  • Hollowbelly says:

    my entire album, bar one track, was recorded with one of these.they lo down n nasty.

  • Nixie says:

    Buy the power of BESHORE $ Oh wait this is border line nice whats going on.

  • olds says:

    i wanna make just ONE decent one this summer…this is informative and inspirational…right on, ….

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