I want to try my hand at a cigar box guitar. I have a box that's- 8.5" X 6.0" X 1.5" is this too small? I'd like a 25" scale is that too long? I see some folks are using 22" scale-what is common scale? Also- what is neck dimension for 4 string guitar I need height and width before frets are installed.....I can handle the length- I have not determined what type of string anchor to use yet. Thanks for the time and help folks....more questions to follow. mike g

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Hey Mike - welcome aboard! There's a great link (1st one) on the plans page, that you might want to check out. That's basically the plan that I used (and no doubt countless others) for my first one. First rule you'll learn here are that there are no rules. And that's part of the fun!

There are some links to be found here on fret scale length calculators that will help with the measurements. First one I did, I literally laid the neck next to a "real" guitar neck and just marked the fret locations with a pencil. Then I just used a wood burner to mark them permanently. Just so happened it was a 25" scale neck. Using one of the calculators I mentioned (just do a search), you can come up with any scale you can imagine. I'm a long time guitar player, but still fairly new myself, to the CBG world. I've built 3 so far (2 three stringer's and 1 four stringer) and all were built starting off with a standard 3 foot long piece of 1" x 2" red oak. It will probably end up a little shorter than that when done but it's a great place to start.

For string anchors, you can use just about anything. Cabinet hinges work very well or you can also go with the "string through the tail" method that's seen so often. I'd suggest checking out a lot of the photos here on the site. That will give you some great ideas to start with. The first two I made, I used some scrap metal I found in a parts bin and just drilled holes in it for the strings and attaching to the neck. It worked great and didn't cost a dime.

I'm sure others will jump in here and have more (and even better) suggestions for you. Stay tuned - have fun - and make sure to post your pictures! Take care.
Hi Mike,

Welcome... That box is OK.... You will develop preferences as you build more. Typical scale lengths for guitars (including CBGs) are 24-25 1/2 inches. shorter you are into "tenor guitar" range. Nothing wrong with it. experiment and build to suit the need. I've build several CBGs to play just one song.... played it and then passed it on.

As far as design elements are concerned, why not dive into the photo section (4000+ pics) or if you like I keep an open photobucket account that (mostly) documents my 100+ builds. http://s275.photobucket.com/albums/jj317/WichitaSam/

either way, look at headstocks, tailpieces, string terminations, bridges, etc. You will get a lot of ideas. Then when you come back you will be able to ask questions that are specific enough to get the help you are seeking...

enjoy your new obsession....

the best,

Wichita Sam
Like Tom said above, there are plans on the 'PLANS' page. Just follow the instructions.

Just get the box (yours is good), go to Lowes or Home Depot and get the 1"x2"x3' Oak or Poplar strips as straight as you can find, some tuning pegs/machines, bolts (1/4" ?) for bridge and nut, glue, strings, and you have a guitar.

Thanks everyone for your help!! I'll keep you posted-


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