How I Attach a Lid to a Cigar Box Guitar for Best Acoustic Response - by Shane Speal

You've shaped the neck, cut the soundholes and put all those glorious electronics inside.  Now it's time to attach the lid to the box!

In the video below, I show the simple way that I attach the lid.  As you can see, I prefer to use "drop in lid" cigar boxes that feature a simple flat lid. 

Scroll down for a bonus video on installing my favorite preamp.    

Views: 1241

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Shane

You guys over there in the US seem to have an inexhaustible supply of poplar for your necks; we in the UK do not. However, I have found an excellent source of oak, iroko and mahogany, pre-rounded at the back, 35mm wide, 20mm deep. Perfect! But what's the best way- no, what's your way of carving out from a hardwood through-neck the bits between the tailpiece and the bridge, and the bridge and the other end of the box. I must have missed that video...

Hoping you can help- Wal

I notch it out using my table saw.  I'd do a video on it, but I'm currently writing a book about building these things and my publisher is asking me to save the big building tips for the book.

So I could wait for the book... Thing is, i take a rather empirical approach to CBG building, started with no tools at all, and now have one or two. And nowhere to work, not even a bench. When is the book out? Actual paper, or ethereal and web-based? Ah well, at least I can get shaped oak for about a dollar a foot...

Yep, actual book.  One of the biggest woodworking book publishers in the US.  A mix of DIY plans and cigar box guitar history, all from a musician's perspective

Boss!! Can't wait to buy a copy.

I use my bandsaw

Great tips Shane.


How do you put the screws into the edge of the sides of the box without them splitting?

very carefully!

Drill pilot holes.

Wal, Glen Watt has several videos on techniques (here on CB Nation, Youtube) to notch out neck blanks to fit inside of the box. Hand saw, chisel, hammer, rasp. More labor, less tool investment. I use a table saw or a band saw, because I have them. There are no steps to building a CBG that cannot be done with hand tools. Power tools make many steps quicker, often more precise, but you can build without them. Better, I think, to start with minimal tools, take your time, and get goin'!  We have seen videos in here where guys make gits using tree limbs, gas/oil cans, and kitchen knives. Then play them. It can be done with what you have.

Good points, well made. My first 'real' CBG saw me cut a strip 11" long and just a quarter inch thick lengthwise along an oak neck using just a blunt tenon saw and a sharp eye. Couldn't believe how muck work it was- or how well it turned out. What was cut out is pretty much veneer quality, and it will get used in a future build.

What I really lack is an actual work bench. Even crappy tools need a stable surface, and I haven't got one. My wife tells me there will be one under the Xmas tree, however... Meanwhile, the second 'real' CBG will appear in the photo library today- watch this space!


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



Started by Joe Williams in Performances, How to Play, Lessons, Concerts. Last reply by Paul Craig 4 hours ago. 2 Replies

VIDEOS: How to Make Copper Wire Frets on a Cigar Box Guitar

Started by Shane Speal in Feature Articles. Last reply by BlueBird J 15 hours ago. 6 Replies

VIDEO: Cigar Box Harp by Don Peddle

Started by Shane Speal in Feature Articles. Last reply by JL on Tuesday. 6 Replies

Blog Posts

it's gettin done

Posted by BlueBird J on April 26, 2018 at 7:01am 1 Comment

Number Two

Posted by Les Keith on April 23, 2018 at 12:54pm 5 Comments

Jasper the friendly 4-string

Posted by RJ Richard on April 16, 2018 at 1:58pm 3 Comments

Latest Activity

Lonman commented on Lonman's video

tricone 3 string guitar

"ha, ha Paul, there is more truth to that comment you will ever know. Here is what the cans look…"
5 minutes ago
Darryl Tuttle commented on Randy S. Bretz's video

Bad to the Bone

"I get this plug in is not supported thing on about a third of the videos I try to see...anything I…"
1 hour ago
StorminSteve liked Dave Lynas's photo
2 hours ago
StorminSteve liked Dave Lynas's photo
2 hours ago
StorminSteve commented on Dave Lynas's photo

Nice day in Guitardom

"What Bones said. And that looks like a humble place you got that gitty posing in. "
2 hours ago
StorminSteve liked Dave Lynas's photo
2 hours ago
StorminSteve commented on Eero Tapani Lehtinen's video
2 hours ago
StorminSteve liked Eero Tapani Lehtinen's video
2 hours ago
StorminSteve commented on Dave Lynas's photo

couple of Rocket slide bars

"Now all ya need is some dark clouds and lighting.   I’m glad I helped inspire you !…"
2 hours ago
Paul Craig replied to Joe Williams's discussion tunings
"E-1, B-5, b-5, e-1  1/5/5/1 Open E Shan did a write up on the Dirty E tuning awhile back."
4 hours ago
Erasmo Coco commented on Erasmo Coco's video

Poor Man's Cookie Tin Resonator Blues

"Faded and old is the color , Brown stain gone gray , the sun brings it out. Thanks Richard !"
4 hours ago
Richard Dean replied to Joe Williams's discussion tunings
"That's actually an open B tuning with the 3rd string(B)now as your root(typically BEbe),…"
4 hours ago



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

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service