Cigar Box Nation

#1 resource for Cigar Box Guitars, Free Plans, How-To, Parts & More!

Presented by C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply, your one-stop-shop for Cigar Box Guitar parts and accessories!

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: 1222
Latest Activity: on Tuesday

Discussion Forum

Dead strings

Started by Mr. Toad. Last reply by Tommy Phillips Oct 14. 3 Replies

Newby CBG builder questions

Started by Brian Geisel. Last reply by Brian Geisel Oct 10. 20 Replies

Gitty Man manual

Started by john mackay. Last reply by James Huey Sep 13. 4 Replies

Comment Wall


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

Comment by Bill Baker on Tuesday

I picked up some 1 x 2 Lyptus at a local cabinet shop, cut some to length to make my own necks with store bought walnut fret boards. I tried the Steel wool and vinegar stain and was pleased with it. I used some Tung oil on the neck and it looked great.  Now getting to my question.   I smeared some glue and clamped the neck and fretboard.  When dried, I had glue residue  to deal with. Getting rid of that by sanding basically undid all my stain work..Did I do something out of sequence here ?  

ps After sanding the whole neck and more Tung Oil  it had more of a distressed look.

Comment by Shawn on October 10, 2014 at 8:51pm
Bill no problem the rod piezo is a beast on to its self but once you get it working you will love the sound of it. The acoustics are spot on to an acoustic guitar with out the shrill and tweaking a disk has. Well worth the learning curve.
Comment by C. B. Gitty (Ben) on October 10, 2014 at 6:31pm

Hey folks, here is a new CBG how-to article just added to the knowledgebase over at

This article is basically a "cheat sheet" that lets you figure out what string sizes to use for pretty much any tuning you could want on a cigar box guitar with a scale length from 24.5 to 25.5 inches.

Click Here to check out the article.

Comment by Bill Baker on October 10, 2014 at 6:20pm
Shawn, your timing is perfect.   I just quit for a while, trying to make a rod work.under a license plate. The only time I could get any sound out of the piezo was to place a bone bridge right on it. ( it is imbedded in silicone )  It would not work no matter what I put between the plate and it.
I tried putting a metal bar between the rod and the plate for better contact and no luck. It is an aluminum plate and I don't think that is helping me any.  The only way I can see is to cut a slot in the plate so the bridge will directly contact it. 
 It sounded just fine acoustic, may just leave it that way
Comment by Shawn on October 10, 2014 at 1:42pm
Bill a rod only works at its best if the saddle is making direct contacted with the rod. Strings + saddle + Rod = sound I have tried all other combinations and a weak if any sound was the results. Hope this helps oh yah the flatter they meet the better and crisper the sound.
Comment by Bill Baker on October 9, 2014 at 4:31pm

This is what I'm going to try at first. The bar will be under the bridge position on the license plate.

Comment by Brian Revels on October 7, 2014 at 9:14pm

Hey Bill, I am still a newbie with only a handful of builds under my belt, but initially I thought, "Why not cut out a small channel in the through-the-body part of the neck, right below where the bridge goes to slide the bar into place?".

My idea being to get that piezo in the sweet spot under the bridge area.  Those bars are fairly thin and you wouldn't need to make too deep or wide of a notch that would weaken the neck.  

In my mind it's either that or making a saddle bridge and notch out a bit below it to slide the bar.  Then simple drill a hole into the plate, under the bridge, for the wiring to go.

I haven't build a license plate guitar yet, but bought a plate a while back with plans to do so.  Best of luck!

Comment by Bill Baker on October 7, 2014 at 8:23pm

Starting a License Plate CBG.  Would like to use a Bar Piezo.  Where/how would you place it ?

Comment by Bill Baker on October 5, 2014 at 3:55pm

Comment by Bill Baker on October 5, 2014 at 3:54pm

I was fascinated by the banjo bridge so did this out of bone. Will put the strings about 1/2 in high.   Not sure what to put it on.  I have a Dogbowl resonator, a License plate resonator and just a regular CBG in the future.


Members (1220)



Recommended Links & Resources

© 2014   Created by C. B. Gitty (Ben).   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service