Hey again everyone!

Ok, as an ex engineer and mad inventor, i want to know what you would consider in your basic/ must have cbg build kit. Oh and throw in pics of tools, gadgets and your creation station! ☺ and feel free to add me as a friend!

Views: 526

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Bandsaw, Drill press, benchtop sanding station, these cut anywhere from 50% to 90% of the time for each  "do the thing..."

TIP #1 Raid the wife's purse .

Her nails  look like crap now , but  my f-holes  and   cutouts  look  great  .  ;-D

TIP #2 

 Replace the stolen emory boards  quickly.


clamps, you never have enough or the right type!  i bought a Japanese style pull saw fine teeth cuts nicely . a proper fretting saw would be my next purchase.

space to work in helps. i have a deficit in this regard. 

Hahaha, loving the idea of finding emory boards in the wifes purse! Although if she had some she'd probably let me keep them. Oh i long for the day when i can have a workshop/shed/mancave to fill with tools and "junk" at the moment the best i can get is the back porch but am under strict instructions to keep it tidy! May stop by harbor freight after work tonight to "scope out" future toys, gonna have to try really hard not to buy any!
A power drill, screwdrivers, a belt sander, jig saw, Rotozip, Dremel multi-tool, a Workmate, bench vise, loads of long trigger clamps, Japanese pull saw, fret saw, mini-hacksaw, circular saw, orbital sander, wood glue, screws, set square, t-square, painter's tape, duct tape, machine heads / tuners, piezos, rolls of 14 AWG stranded and solid copper wire, soldering station, mag pups, gobs of string sets, guitar tuner, assorted small screws, lots of sandpaper and belts in various grits, wood stain, fretwire, cigar boxes, LM 386 op amps and parts, drawers for all the miscellany...and enough workshop space to have a proper table saw, chop saw, drill press, scroll saw, joiner, belt / spindle / circular sanding station, lathe, bench and vises, beer cooler and stereo, easy chair, big screen TV with the ballgame on...or a Shopsmith...and a Shopmate wet / dry vac

You may enjoy this post too then  mike . ;-)


At the most basic, you could get by with a multitool. Mine has a saw blade and a file that, along with the knife blade and awl, could carve out the most retro of CBGs. It would be slow, but it could be done.

I'd recommend a coping saw (for curvy shapes) and/or dovetail saw (for fretting), a drill, and a rasp. Those four will let you cut any board to length, cut notches, sound holes, holes for tuners, and neck shaping. And grab some clamps (even the inexpensive spring clamps at Harbor Freight) for clamping the fretboard onto the neck while the glue dries.

I figure you already have a screwdriver, so I didn't include that. ;)

I tend to use the following tools the most (in rough order of use)

  • Table saw
  • Stationary belt sander
  • Drill press
  • Scroll saw
  • Mitre saw

Of course, this doesn't count the various 'extra' stuff like the shop vac (*the* most used tool), clamps, rulers, etc.

I don't yet have a band saw or electric hand planer, although both of those are on my list (if I can find room).

I think for now im goimg to be concentrating on hand tools only, only for the fact of not having a suitable workspace for hoarding power tools. First will be a new saw and some extra rasps/files. Debating between a nice tenon and mitre block or coping saw. But will most likely end up with both ☺

Here's a cheaper alternative to the dragon rasp... if you're building necks from scratch, I picked up a Japanese Shinto Rasp that I love.  Shapes the back of a neck very quickly and it's fun!  Can't get the rounded corners like the dragon, but it depends on your build too.


Glenn Watt's video "The Easiest Way To Make A Cigar Box Guitar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmzvfyOizV8 lists the very basic tools you need.

The hand tools I use the most are all fairly cheap...

* .03mm lead mechanical pencil (to make very fine marks).

* .05mm lead mechanical pencil.

* 3' aluminum or steel ruler.

* 18" steel ruler.

* 6" steel ruler with increments to 1/64 of an inch.

* a 3" x 4" steel L-Square, either the one by Zona: http://www.hobbylinc.com/htm/zon/zon37-434.htm or the Stew-Mac one if you have deep pockets and want USA made: http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Tools_by_Job/Tools_for_Measuri...

* Hobby/Craft Square: http://www.hobbylinc.com/midwest-hobby:craft-square-precision-measu... it states that it has a 40 degree angle but it is 45 degrees. This is a very handy little tool.

* At least 4 each of every type and size of clamp in the world (ha, you think this is an exaggeration).

* If you are going to do hand shaped necks, the Stew-Mac Dragon Rasps may seem to be expensive but are really a bargain compared to similar files in both quality and usefulness (I have tried many). I have the small coarse and the small fine. The small fine is all I really use or need. http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Types_of_Tools/Files/Dragon_Ha...

However, many luthiers swear by the Shinto Saw Rasp which are cheaper than the Dragon Rasps depending on where you look. Still others prefer to use a small spoke shave (I just couldn't get the hang of using one).


* If you are going to do pickups/electronics, this soldering station is an absolute bargain. It accepts Hakko brand compatible replacement tips which are easy to find: https://hobbyking.com/en_us/soldering-station-with-adjustable-heat-...

Mine is about 5 years old and has been absolutely reliable.

* To help keep things clean and tidy, be sure to have a wet/dry vac. Even a small one like this is great to have around the house and not expensive at all: https://www.shopvac.com/product/shop-vac-1-5-gallon-2-0-peak-hp-han...

As you mentioned hand tools only, a draw knife does fast work on rounding a neck.  On a straight grained piece of hardwood it is very easy to control and can leave the neck with virtually no sanding needed.  For more curvy grain a farriers rasp eats wood like no tomorrow although it needs alot of smoothing afterwards.  I found both of these at antique shops, old and stout and will last a lifetime.  Also a nice sturdy bench is great to have, I feel for the guys working at the kitchen table or folding table.


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


Maximum Box Thickness

Started by Shawn Doyle in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Jeff 'Bones' Reilly 6 hours ago. 2 Replies

Viol Build Pics

Started by Greg Turner in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Greg Turner 6 hours ago. 3 Replies

String selection

Started by Graeme Jones in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by gary herget yesterday. 7 Replies

String buzz

Started by Robert Bryan in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Taffy Evans on Tuesday. 6 Replies

Viol Build 1b

Started by Greg Turner in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Greg Turner on Tuesday. 15 Replies

Floppy Nut Slot

Started by Greg Turner in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Greg Turner on Tuesday. 3 Replies

Latest Activity

sparky37 commented on Jason Mills's photo

Michigan Three Stringy

"A fellow Michigander wonderful! Beautiful work, Wow!"
22 minutes ago
Greg Mitchell posted a status
"It has been awhile since I last built or posted. But I am back with a few more to show."
32 minutes ago
Greg Mitchell posted photos
36 minutes ago
Cause the Blue rat replied to Br Harold F Stubbs III's discussion Found on YouTube - Can you play Metal on a Cigar Box Guitar
"this guy is totally legit. He's got some really good advice and reviews on his channel. "
58 minutes ago
Cause the Blue rat replied to Jim_in_Tucson's discussion Gibson Guitar may be facing bankruptcy..
"Gibson guitars is caught up in their own mess. They still want to cater to the few who hold on to…"
1 hour ago
Profile IconBrad Schoonmaker, TEEJ, Jack McC and 5 more joined Cigar Box Nation
1 hour ago
Cause the Blue rat replied to Robbie's discussion Installing tele adjustable bridge (string through bottom)
"Sorry Korrigan. I didn't read through the posts before I posted. Just jumped right in the…"
1 hour ago
Jeff 'Bones' Reilly posted photos
1 hour ago
Cause the Blue rat replied to Chuss's discussion Settings Overdrive
"Awesome Chuss! Mojo Mojo has some great dynamics and is one of the best overdrives in it's…"
1 hour ago
AGP # posted photos
1 hour ago
AGP # commented on AGP #'s photo

"Please Explain"

"Thanks Dave, from a lot of the reply comments it appears I'm not the only one to encounter…"
1 hour ago
Cause the Blue rat replied to Chuss's discussion Settings Overdrive
"This is the type of childish posting that should get people banned. "
1 hour ago



© 2018   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service