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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: 1249
Latest Activity: 23 hours ago

Discussion Forum

Nylon strings question

Started by Greg Thompson. Last reply by Wayfinder yesterday. 14 Replies

....a note from mordacai bondurant at

Started by mordacai bondurant. Last reply by WallyS on Sunday. 7 Replies

Hello All! Need a little help!

Started by Griffin. Last reply by Rooster Jan 16. 10 Replies

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Building a Cigar Box Guitar 101 to add comments!

Comment by Wayfinder 23 hours ago

Nope, haven't used Mexican ironwood.  I have enough masochistic projects as it is. ; )

Comment by Roland S yesterday

Has anyone built a fretboard or neck of Katalox (mexican ironwood) yet? 

Comment by Wichita Sam on Monday

I have to go to a town with a big Menards (like Wichita or Columbia or KC) to get hickory.  I have been tempted to do some resawing from local saw mills, but my short attention span (adult ADD....really) keeps me from following through...

Comment by Wayfinder on Sunday

That is kinda weird, isn't it Sam?  I've wondered for some time why it is in our neck of the woods (literally) hickory and Osage Orange isn't more available.  You'd think being a plentiful local wood we'd find it all over the place.

Comment by Wichita Sam on Sunday


Hickory as strong as oak or maple and less grainy than oak.  Easy to work by hand than oak, harder that maple (IMHO)  I'd use is more, but is seems difficult to buy here in the Ozarks....weird, eh?

I use a lot of maple for necks and fretboards, but even my local hardwood supplier is having trouble getting figured (bird's eye and tiger stripe), so more of my fretboards are tending toward "exotics"...

the best,


Comment by Bruce Hooper on Sunday
We always use Canadian Rock Maple on our Cigar box, ukuleles and guitars.
I'm pretty sure I sent photos of the 3 Cbg we made for my grandkids last Easter.
Comment by Wayfinder on Saturday

Hickory is good... and smells wonderful if you decide later to burn it. ;D

Hickory is a hardwood often used to make bows.  In thin cuts it bends well while still retaining original structure... so it's unlikely to warp in the thickness required for a guitar neck-- especially when bonded to a walnut fret board.   I'd love to find some of that at a local lumber yard. :D

Comment by Dave Steingart on Saturday

What about using hickory for the neck of a 4 stinger? I have used a hickory neck with a walnut head and fret board. I've only made 3 cbg so far and really like the looks of hickory. I am hoping its strong enough.

Any thoughts?

Comment by John Rivers on Saturday

All my builds are with red oak neck and red oak fretboard was thinking about building one  with wormy maple neck and oak fretboard....only saw a picture of the wormy maple ...looks nice...anyone actually used it or have any thought on it...Thanks

Comment by mordacai bondurant on Saturday

Hey thar T-Grip -

I was thinkin' that this was yer first CBG build?

And so I was thinkin' that y'all might not have a lot of wood-workin' experience so ya wold be using just one stick of wood.

That is why I suggested the poplar.

But if'n y'all are gifted at wood-workin', then the best way would indeed to router out a slot on both pieces of wood to install a rod.

Or if'n the rod thang ain't a direction y'all are goin' ta go, then go ahead and laminate the oak and the poplar like they told ya to do.  Laminating sticks together makes for a much stronger neck!

(I'd still put the poplar on top to serve as the fret board.)

I apologize if I misread your original question....thinkin' it was an 'either-or' for the wood choice on your part.



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