The following article is excerpted from the book, Making Poor Man's Guitars by Shane Speal.  We present it here as inspiration for the 2021 Throwback Holiday Build-Off.

Measuring in at 30" (76cm) long, 5" (12 3/4cm) wide and 3" (7 1/2 cm) deep, this two-string cigar box guitar sports a body and neck that were crafted from one hunk of wood using hand tools.

The body cavity was completely carved.  A soundboard made of 3/16" (1/2 cm) thin wood from the same stock was attached with nails.  A house-shaped sound hole is carved near the floating bridge.   It is strung with two gauges of fishing line.

The angled headstock has two hand-carved tuning pegs which still work great. The frets are small pieces of nickel and copper (coins?) that have been hammered over the sides and positioned at an approximated do re mi scale, similar to a diatonic fretboard.

To get a better idea on the frets, I called up Derick Kemper, the harmonica player in my band who is also a professional blacksmith.  He said, "the frets are definitely hand hammered of some kind, but the tailpiece that holds the strings is an actual horse's bridle.  I know because I just got back from shoeing horses!"

Take note at the wear marks on the face of the guitar.  The instrument has been played...and played hard.  Whoever built this definitely made the instrument they were searching for.  The neck contains sweat marks and wear.

The guitar was discovered somewhere in New England.  Amazingly, it is still very much playable.

To see this guitar in person, visit the Cigar Box Guitar Museum at Speal's Tavern in New Alexandria PA.  

Views: 336

Reply to This

The Essential Pages

New to Cigar Box Nation? How to Play Cigar Box GuitarsFree Plans & How to Build Cigar Box GuitarsCigar Box Guitar Building BasicsCigar Box Guitar Parts Store

Site Sponsor

Recommended Links & Resources


Forum

Music Theory

Started by John Derrett in Performances, How to Play, Lessons, Concerts. Last reply by Poorness Studios on Sunday. 9 Replies

Help

Started by Raymond Grimmitt in Performances, How to Play, Lessons, Concerts. Last reply by Korrigan Jan 15. 4 Replies

6 pole PU

Started by Tim Pannabecker in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Carl Floyd Jan 10. 9 Replies

Greetings

Started by Taffy Evans in Other stuff - off topic, fun stuff, whatever. Last reply by Nayeb Gofs Dec 28, 2021. 1 Reply

Blog Posts

"Little Fish" Project

Posted by Steve Bookout on January 22, 2022 at 11:12pm 0 Comments

How to add photos?

Posted by Stephen Sell on January 13, 2022 at 1:19pm 2 Comments

My first 3 string cigar box guitar

Posted by Stephen Sell on January 13, 2022 at 1:16pm 1 Comment

Shedding a Tear for Dave Lynas

Posted by Poorness Studios on December 20, 2021 at 8:30pm 4 Comments

Latest Activity

T-Gripped posted photos
2 hours ago
BUGGSY commented on Uncle John's photo
Thumbnail

Meatloaf has died.

"Another legend gone, Not a dry eye in the house :-("
3 hours ago
BUGGSY liked Uncle John's photo
3 hours ago
BUGGSY posted photos
4 hours ago
AGP # liked Troy Eckstein's video
4 hours ago
Doug Thorsvik commented on Doug Thorsvik's video
Thumbnail

Love Potion No. 9: 3-String Surf n' Turf Cigar Box Guitar

"Sounds like you need another dose A.D.! Don’t we all! You are very observant, it is like…"
6 hours ago
Doug Thorsvik commented on Doug Thorsvik's video
Thumbnail

Love Potion No. 9: 3-String Surf n' Turf Cigar Box Guitar

"Thanks John and Uncle John! This one is a piece of cake 1-finger style."
6 hours ago
BrianQ. left a comment for Jeff
"Thanx Jeff, I’m in NorCal towards the north end of wine country? "
6 hours ago
Keith Rearick liked Doug Thorsvik's video
6 hours ago
Keith Rearick liked Troy Eckstein's video
6 hours ago
Keith Rearick liked CLG's photo
6 hours ago
Keith Rearick liked CLG's photo
6 hours ago

Music

© 2022   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

\uastyle>\ud/** Scrollup **/\ud.scrollup {\ud background: url("https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/963882636?profile=original") no-repeat scroll 0 0 transparent;\ud bottom: 25px;\ud display: inline !important;\ud height: 40px;\ud opacity: 0.3 !important;\ud position: fixed;\ud right: 30px;\ud text-indent: -9999px;\ud width: 40px;\ud z-index: 999;\ud}\ud.scrollup:hover {\ud opacity:0.99!important;\ud}\ud \uascript type="text/javascript">\ud x$(document).ready(function(){\ud x$(window).scroll(function(){\ud if (x$(this).scrollTop() > 100) {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeIn();\ud } else {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeOut();\ud }\ud });\ud x$('.scrollup').click(function(){\ud x$("html, body").animate({ scrollTop: 0 }, 600);\ud return false;\ud });\ud });\ud \ua!-- End Scroll Up -->