So I really like the idea of taking non-musical parts and making a musical instrument, or at the very least, making the part yourself.  Using machine heads is sort of like cheating to me and sort of kills the spirit of "this something I threw together with crap I found in my garage."  



Views: 12958

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

i get what you're saying. Since i want to make a cbg the quick an ddirty style i woun't be using the machine heads, because that would mean taking an instrument appart that i might wanna sell in the future. CBG's appeal to me because people use to make best with what they've had to make what they want. If i would have some machine heads laying around i would use them to enhance the sound of the instrument and reliability.

I just happen to have laying around, a band saw, table saw, benchtop sanding station, drill press, machine heads, and peg shaver & reamer, so any itch can be scratched....

I came up with a solution using dowels as a simple tuner.  The screw at the base end pulls it tight to the headstock and it stays in tune.  I sprinkled salt in the recess for friction.  This design works very well!

Another design using a dowel and block of wood - which doesn't work as well to keep tune.  You can't tell in the pic, but I tapered the dowel on my belt sander to try to make it sit tight when pushed in the hole.

 I mostly make serious instruments, many for gigging and recording, and usually use tuning machines.  As an alternative, zither pins also work well.  

These images are from an album named Headstock Designs - 80 pics of different headstock styles I've created-  on my page at my site Handmade Music Clubhouse ..  

I tried anchor bolts and nuts for a bass/baritone git. Never again, too much hassle and grief.

People in back in the day used whatever they had because they couldn't afford it, today parts are easily had for cheap. So why bother? Want to go as primal as you can? Cut your own wood from a tree, use some nails for frets, screws for keys and cut the wire from a few old brooms for strings. Then I'll be impressed. LOL

Same here with the anchor bolts, real pain in the as..., but, that being said, one day I want to find a real old(100yrs maybe) cigar box(will probably have to spend too much) and build a primal looking 3 string fretless, and might steal this design idea if that's ok Ted when I do, it will most likely be a wall hangar piece of art, recreation of the past sorta thing and I think this tuner idea would fit the bill.

But as far as building for either selling or playing, I'll stick with conventional machine heads. I understand some people enjoy making these instruments from gathered parts.

I used to have a didley bow I made, I used a wood shims, the kind used for installing doors etc, under the bridge and I could fine tune to pitch by moving the shims under the bridge making the string slightly tighter/looser. The string was anchored on each end with a deck screw, so the screws would set the basic tuning, then fine tune with the shims.

That is cool, you just gave me a slightly different idea for making separate adjustment saddles for a 3 string

Nice to have a bottle with that kind of edge for a bridge and your shim to pitch idea is ingenious.

Now I am impressed Bluesheart. LOL

Those are dowels epoxied into cigar mouthpieces and inset with BBs! I real bear to work with but they hold well. I made a T wrench out of copper pipe with vinyl tubing inside because thet are hard to turn with fingers only.


The Essential Pages

New to Cigar Box Nation?How to Play Cigar Box GuitarsFree Plans & How to Build Cigar Box GuitarsCigar Box Guitar Building BasicsCigar Box Guitar Parts Store

Site Sponsor

Recommended Links & Resources


2017 "Kick The Can" Build-Off contest - Canjos, Tin Can Guitars

Started by Shane Speal in Feature Articles. Last reply by Andries D. EKER 3 hours ago. 56 Replies

Tools Question

Started by Shawn Doyle in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by ChickenboneJohn 3 hours ago. 12 Replies


Started by Sean Albany in Performances, How to Play, Lessons, Concerts. Last reply by Erasmo Coco 11 hours ago. 8 Replies

Custom box

Started by Shawn Doyle in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Clark Rowden yesterday. 4 Replies

Shipping a CBG

Started by Ducati Scotty in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Richard Dean on Sunday. 24 Replies

Latest Activity

Oscar Myer replied to Jeffrey Greene's discussion O Holy Night--Can Anyone Help? in the group CBG Tabs
"If you tune to Open G, GDG, this might help you. Good luck. Intro:…"
16 minutes ago
Alan joined John Sims's group

Secrets of the CBG Underground

Tips, Tricks of the Trade and Secrets that (almost) no one is supposed to know about...Tell us your…See More
16 minutes ago
Alan liked John Sims's group Secrets of the CBG Underground
16 minutes ago
Alan joined Nation News's group

Homemade Dobros

"It don't mean a thang, if it ain't got that clang!!!"We're discussing homemade dobro ideas.  From…See More
28 minutes ago
Dave Lynas commented on Shane Speal's video

My Favorite 3-String Cigar Box Guitar Lick! by Shane Speal

"Very clear lesson Shane. Thanks for your Giving."
1 hour ago
Dave Lynas liked Shane Speal's video
1 hour ago
Jeff 'Bones' Reilly left a comment for Andries D. EKER
"magnificent Andries the bridge is great thats going to be pretty hard to beat my friend ."
1 hour ago
Milt Haselmire commented on Richard Sundberg's video

Midnight Special, Shine A Little Light

"Wow. Great version. Love it."
1 hour ago
Dave Lynas commented on Andries D. EKER's video

War ! A. D. Eker 2017

"Great guitar and play Andries! I like that you post a pic of the guitar you are playing in the…"
1 hour ago
Milt Haselmire commented on Milt Haselmire's video

Backslider Guitars Oil Can 3 String

"Thanks Richard. Just trying to have some fun without hurting myself."
1 hour ago
Dave Lynas commented on Richard Sundberg's video

Midnight Special, Shine A Little Light

"The light shown! Happy Thanksgiving Richard. Pease."
1 hour ago
Dave Lynas commented on Anthony Insetta's video

My tenor guitar

"Wow Anthony! Fabulous guitar well played."
1 hour ago




© 2017   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service