I'm getting ready to build a few Cigar Box Guitars.  I had a run of Kalimbas that I did for my daughters for Christmas and they turned out ok.  Time to step up to a bigger challenge.  I'm going to make about 4 or 5 ( one may be a bit smaller due to the size of the cigar box).  I also plan on making some of the cigar box amps to go with them.  I have been doing a bit of research and I'm thinking of making the guitars with a 22.250 scale and 18 fret due to the box size.  Any thoughts?  Did I mention, I've never played a guitar.



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Congrats on building a CBG! There are free plans on the site, that's a good place to start. There are no rules. There are lots of ways to get things done. Experiment and see why you like. If you have specific problems/question, then just ask. You'll get lots of answers. Lot's of friendly people here ready to help.
Even if you can't play, that's ok. It's fun to learn! Lots of free lessons and tutorials here and lots on youtube. You can learn at your own pace.

Good luck!

I  got a huge amount of info when i started by looking at all the build photos, focus with one build only at first, you will learn loads from the first build and then progress naturally, i have nearly 50 builds behind me but still learning...!  (-:


Dan, as Muddy Creek said, "there are no rules" and with that out of the way remember that the most important non-rule is to have fun. Started building these things almost two years ago and I'm currently working on numbers 19 and 20. Didn't know how to play when I started and still don't do much more than amuse myself making happy noises with them. Take your time, enjoy the journey and experiment as you go along. It's not addictive...Really...You can quit anytime you want to, but you won't really want to.

Thanks everyone, the parts for the builds are starting to come in.  I also decided to build a few of the cigar box amps.  I received a kit from Gitty and put it together in a Nub box.  I want to add a headphone jack, output jack and handle, but so far it's looking pretty good.

I've started working on some headstock designs and tuner layouts for both 3 and 4 string guitars.  I like the contrast of dark and light woods together so I think I will make the headstocks and necks from different woods.  My overall headstock pattern size is 8" long (including a few inches at the bottom for the scarf joint).  Does that sound about right?

Is bending of the neck much of an issue on the 3/4 string guitars?  Do I need to do a glue up for the neck with a center section turned so it's in a quarter sawed direction?


Did a bit of work on the headstock shape patterns and turner layout on my cnc today.  I also added and engraved my build name for this endeavor. 

I added a turquoise and coral inlay to the 3 hole fender style head, just to see if it was going to turn out.  What do you think?



I think you are in a perfect position to create your own distinctive headstock design.

Wow, you own a CNC.  Color me jealous.

I think I need a CNC now....

Well I've been working on the neck and fret board for my 1st build.  This one is an oak neck with a walnut headstock, heal and fret board.  I made a scarf joint on the headstock and neck.  The neck has a slight taper down to the box.  The fret board has been a bit more of a challenge.  I set a file for my cnc to cut it out, but then realized I didn't have any way to hold the piece down while machining.  I decided to cut the frets by hand with a coping saw.  That worked ok, but there is some room for improvement.  The radius for the top of the fret board is 16".  I built a jig for my table saw that rocked side to side to get the radius.

I found another use for my dedicated mortise machine that sits and collects dust most of the time.  This carpet set tool had a 5/8" shaft that fit into the collet with just a little reshaping to make it round.  I also rounded the bottom edge to match my 16" radius fret board.

So that is now your fret press?

Yes Dan, I will probably get more use out of it as a fret press!  Dedicated tools are nice when you have the room for them, but in a cluttered shop like mine it's nice to see it do more than a one trick pony.


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