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  • David Holyoake
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ChickenboneJohn's Discussions


ChickenboneJohn's Page

Latest Activity

ChickenboneJohn replied to wizzo's discussion Standard Economy tuners vs. upgraded tuners
"If you are buying that many sets of tuners you might as well go direct to a factory in China and get them at a much better price."
ChickenboneJohn replied to Scott's discussion 4 string neck width
"I use 42 mm (1 3/4"), but 1 1/2" will work fine if you are OK with a slightly closer string to string spacing."
ChickenboneJohn replied to TROY CLECKLER's discussion Best way to get fretboard over box top
"Here's a link to how I make my standard ready-made guitar necks, where the end of the fretboard projects over the top of the box.  It is not at all complicated."
Feb 13
ChickenboneJohn replied to Jon Leslie/Runaway Veal Music's discussion Can’t find wiring for odd pickup
"Ground to bridge just needs to run from one point - either of the pots or the ground lug on the jack, DO NOT do multiple grounds, as this can create more problems than it solves.  If you reverse the ground and "hot" from the pickup…"
Feb 8
ChickenboneJohn replied to Hans's discussion Truss rod without power tools
"I'm liking that!"
Feb 6
ChickenboneJohn replied to Hans's discussion Truss rod without power tools
"You don't need power tools, you can use a traditional router plane, sometimes known as an "old woman's tooth". You should be be able to pick on up reasonably cheap 2ndhand."
Feb 5
ChickenboneJohn replied to Florian Jordi's discussion Open tunings. How many available on given guitar neck?
"Florian - ask the builder. If he's a luthier he should be able to tell you - it's not rocket science.  If your guitar builder cant help you, maybe he's not the person for the job. String gauges will be determined by the scale…"
Feb 2
ChickenboneJohn commented on smojo's group The Brits are coming
"Boxstock - the UK Cigar Box Guitar Festival. 10th Feb, The Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton During the daytime there's something for can learn the finer points of making a cigar box guitar, learn the basics of playing with Hollowbelly,…"
Jan 30
ChickenboneJohn commented on smojo's group The Brits are coming
"Boxstock - we will have a film crew at the event, and the film makers are interested in any Scottish cigar box makers. I believe the director is Scots (BAFTA nominated!) and they are partly funded as a Scottish project). If you would be willing to…"
Jan 16
Filippo Giuffrè liked ChickenboneJohn's profile
Jan 1
ChickenboneJohn replied to Brent Kasl's discussion Angled neck/fretboard
"All that angling the neck does is raise the bridge height. If you want a taller bridge, then you can simply install the neck parallel to the top of the box but just raise it a little above the top face of the box. It makes no difference to string…"
Dec 29, 2017
ChickenboneJohn replied to CboxGypsy's discussion Pig Nose Amp
"If you're not happy with a Roland MicroCube, you won't be happy with anything. You can't get much smaller or lighter and still get a decent sound. I like the Pignose (I sell them in my online store), but it is old school electronics…"
Dec 12, 2017
ChickenboneJohn replied to CboxGypsy's discussion Cigars
"Just I am at our first year at Glastonbury after a pretty good week of sales.. a Havana and glass of Jack Daniels and Coke."
Dec 11, 2017
ChickenboneJohn is now friends with Andy Mühlig and Dave - BelmontBluesMan
Dec 1, 2017
ChickenboneJohn commented on smojo's group The Brits are coming
"Just in case people have missed my messages. and posts, trade stands for Boxstock are now available. Strictly limited numbers, so if you want to be there, be quick! £35 per spot, which includes one free ticket for the evening gig. By the way,…"
Nov 27, 2017
ChickenboneJohn commented on smojo's group The Brits are coming
"Amps are plentiful and cheap, so personally I wouldn't bother unless it was an absolute bargain that I could turn around and make some money on. It will work, but the speaker and amp circuitry will be biased towards a relatively clean sound and…"
Nov 23, 2017

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HI..ChickenboneJohn Birmingham, UK. I've been making and fixing guitars of all sorts for a while...but love making and playing cigar box guitars. I run the Crossroads Blues Club in Birmingham

If you are in the area...drop night is EVERY Thursday at 8.45pm

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ChickenboneJohn's Blog

Back On The Road - Autumn European Tour

Posted on September 26, 2017 at 9:00am 2 Comments

It had been a while, but it was time for me and Hollowbelly to go back on he road again…the Van Thom Weekender and the German Cigar Box Guitar Festival were happening on two consecutive weekends, so that was the cue to arrange a little tour. We had a contact from a new promoter offering a midweek date between the two weekends, and I managed to arrange some more dates on the way out and back, so we had a viable tour organised. Getting gigs is one thing, but getting shows that pay and work…


Glastonbury with Chickenbone John, Hollowbelly and Anne Zilpha

Posted on June 29, 2017 at 6:00pm 0 Comments


    After last year's success selling cigar box guitars at Glastonbury, we decided to have another shot at it. My sales manager (and daughter) Anne completed the application in October of last year...and early in March we heard that we'd been offered…


Pilgrimage to Bremen

Posted on October 11, 2016 at 12:39pm 0 Comments

Autumn, and time for me to make the annual pilgrimage to Bremen to attend the Van Thom Weekender, accompanied by my travelling companion of old, Hollowbelly. It's an  extravganza of alternative music organised by Andreas Reidel, aka DJ Tourette van Thom, and a great opportunity to catch up with old friends that we've made over the years. It was also a stepping stone for us going on to the 1st German cigar box guitar festival the following weekend.

It starts with…


1st German Cigar Box Guitar Festival

Posted on September 21, 2016 at 1:30pm 3 Comments

Me and Hollowbelly have been on the road again, this time to Germany. We'd been to the Van Thom Weekender in Bremen (more of that in another blog), and now were headed down south on another long drive to a tiny village called Pleutersbach on the river Neckar. It was a long and winding road about 40  minutes drive up river from the beautiful city of Heidelberg..and when we got there we astonished at how tiny and rural the place was...but the stage had been built in a barn just off the main…


Comment Wall (140 comments)

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Join Cigar Box Nation

At 7:19pm on October 5, 2017, Chipfat Fingerburn Jones said…
Hi John, I don’t know how to private message people on here. How do I sign up for a slot at boxstock?
At 3:37pm on May 26, 2017, Paul Craig said…

Just happened to see the video of your tilt neck CBG's. That is plain awesome thinking and design. Like your idea over the Fender design.

At 2:02pm on January 25, 2016, Bristol Blue said…

Good to know you Chickenbone. Just been checking out your "Jitterbug Swing" , liked Bukka White for eons and your version is ace. How did you come to buy The Works entire UK stock of BBG's? How much are you selling them for? 

At 7:59am on March 30, 2015, Chipfat Fingerburn Jones said…
I'd like to put my name down for the open mic on the Friday night of box stock. Is that possible?
At 1:19pm on November 18, 2014, Woodmuppet said…
Il come over and say hello if I'm going, it's our bike clubs "Christmas p' up" on the Saturday night in Liverpool so......
At 12:51pm on November 18, 2014, Woodmuppet said…
Hello John.
Are you at the Liverpool guitar show on Sunday?
At 5:28am on March 10, 2014, Richey Kay said…

Definitely not your fault mate. Postie put a missed delivery slip through the door without bothering to knock. Then when I tried to collect it from the post office they looked for 20 minutes then said they'd lost it. Then after I rode to work they called to say they'd found it...

At 5:08am on March 10, 2014, Richey Kay said…

Hi John, after a bit of a nightmare with the Post Office (long story) I finally received the fretboard blanks from you this morning. They're wonderful, thanks very much! Cheers for the offcuts too!


At 8:03am on January 23, 2014, Olaf Geurens said…

just now started to use cigarboxnation again.

How was the concert?

Been following you on youtube, great channel!

See you

At 12:14pm on January 16, 2014, Sleepy John said…

Hey, CBJ, many apologies, have only just found your message re tailpieces.

yes I still need one, but most of the ones i've seen are for full sized resonators, and are too long. I only need a max of 3ins long , which was about the size of the USA one I commented on.

Regards SJ 


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