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Well, i got myself a couple of beautiful older cigar boxes with wonderful artwork on them. I've been building sticks thru the box but if I go all the way, I cut thru some of the finer looking box edge art. Most of the boxes would have the neck going right through the head of the face on the bottom of the box. I'm looking to build a partial through box style but am wondering about bracing and attaching (I don't use glue and have been bolting the necks). Then there's the strings. I'm thinking they could go in from the back and out the top of the box thru the neck.
Are there some things I should be aware of that I'm not thinking about?
And the antique boxes are a bit fragile. I want to brace but keep it to a minimum because I think they'll sound great if I can avoid a load of structural wood inside. And I haven't really braced the top on any boxes yet but because of the thin old wood, I may have to.
Help, thoughts? All are welcome. Pictures are even better.
You probably can get away without adding bracing, but I would probably go ahead and brace the tail end side of the box by adding another 1/4" thick board in parallel with the side. The 1/4" thick re-enforcement board can have a cut out for the tail-end of the neck to "nest" in. I would then use one or two wood screws to hold the neck in place by screwing in from the side, having the screws pierce the side of the box and the end of the neck. Then, I devise some kind of tail piece which would be similarly screwed into the side, piercing the neck. By having the tailpiece secured to the end of the neck, it removes the stress of the strings from the box, so it shouldn't put much stress on your antique cigar box. You will also want to fashion a "hollow" on the fretboard side of the neck where it goes through the box so that the neck does not contact the sound board. Most cigar boxes have sufficiently thick sound boards (lids) such that bracing will not be required. Again, I'm assuming you are building a 3- or 4-stringer and not a 12 string guitar (which would likely require more bracing as well as tension bar in the neck). Well, good luck with your project.
Yes, pictures are even better. How about some pictures of your vintage boxes. Here's a couple of my oldest so far. Don't know the actual age of the box, but the $0.15 price should give some idea.
Great looking boxes. I've had no luck finding older ones in even half decent shape. Those will make some nice guitars.
Great looking boxes. Neat bits of history there.