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Building a Cigar Box Guitar 101


Building a Cigar Box Guitar 101

This group is for discussing the basics of CBG building for newer builders - where to start, what to do, common pitfalls, tips and techniques.

Keep in mind that new builders can find other great informative articles on CBG building, as well as most of the parts you'll need, over at C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply!

Members: 1270
Latest Activity: 8 hours ago

Discussion Forum

Felt Lined Box

Started by T-Gripped. Last reply by Wayfinder 15 hours ago. 6 Replies

drill bits

Started by gary sheldon. Last reply by Gary Charnock Mar 26. 15 Replies

Comment Wall


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Comment by Henry S on Friday

Hi Scott - I was going to do a plain gitty neck and glue on a fb but then went the middle way and ordered a gitty neck that is fully fretted. So I have a quarter sawn oak fretted neck - so I do see that I will need to notch down an 1/8 or 3/16 to set the nut (I think). Appreciate your help here and I'll have a bunch of questions as I get going next week.

Comment by Scott aka Farmer Ted on Friday

Henry, if you use a fretboard, you dont have to slot the neck for the nut, it just goes against the fb.

Comment by Henry S on Friday

Weeeeee ... just received the box from Gitty with my CBG parts. Very well packed and the cigar box looks good. Still much to do before starting as the garage - work bench is a disaster. So really several days of garage work before I do anything. Will start a sketch book for ideas and such and pick up coping saw and wood file and such plus some new bits just for CBG stuff. I added an extra challenge to the project by going with bone for the nut and bridge. Cutting the nut into the neck will be tricky.

Comment by Wayfinder on February 8, 2015 at 1:31pm

BTW folks, as a note:  this is a "comment wall"... which is less handy for replies and discussion.   If you have a specific subject, "Add a Discussion" above provides a much easier-to-use forum.

Comment by Wayfinder on February 8, 2015 at 1:30pm

(follow up):  Oh and I'd run the neck lengthways, with the neck slot cut on the opening end of the box.

Comment by Wayfinder on February 8, 2015 at 1:29pm

I think it would be very easy to make a CBG out of an end-hinged box... because it would allow you to glue the through-the-box neck right to the lid with zero issues for things such as replacing preamp batteries or re-wiring.  

Making it into an amp would require destroying the label, which would be a shame.  But making a git out of it would preserve the front of the box by running the neck right underneath the lid.

More and more however, I am making CBGs using the bottom side of the box as the front, so the back is auto-decorated.  I then decorate the front/bottom my own style, as it is quite often plain wood.

My vote : I'd make it a CBG and preserve the front label.


Comment by the anonymous pick on February 8, 2015 at 12:53pm

Comment by Keith Stanford on February 8, 2015 at 12:51pm

I forgot to mention, that amplifier at is not your usual type of CBG amplifier.  On that amp, the CB lid is left open ans serves as a 'back-brace' so the amp can me tilted.  That is what is so unique about your CB configuration.

Most other amps have the lit closed.


Comment by Thomas "Duck" Petry on February 8, 2015 at 12:44pm

T-Gripped...Simple answer is yes. You can cut the paper hinge part and put the neck through "normal". You can run it through the wide side. You can make an amp out of it. "Rule #1, there are no rules." They are your boxes. do what you like. Then again, if you don't care to deal with those options I'm sure that there are lots of folks here who would be glad to take the boxes if you don't want to mess with them. You could always go through the wide side twice and make a double neck guitar out of it as an option or stick two boxes together to make a larger guitar. The opportunities are endless. Good looking boxes, I'd sure as hell build them. Have fun with your builds.

Comment by gary sheldon on February 8, 2015 at 12:35pm

Before getting too far along with your build, you need to address the issues of scale length and where you want to put your bridge.  The box will need a certain minimum length to be able to place the bridge somewhere near the center of the soundboard.  I try to make the bridge position around 1/3 of the way between the back and the front of the box.  If you put it too far back you won't be getting much sound


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