These cigar box ukulele plans by Shelley Rickey of the Mourning Glories offer some of the easiest methods for constructing your own playable uke. 

Originally published in Bust Magazine in 2011, the design requires no fretting tools (the frets are black zip ties!) and utilize a simple stick-through-box construction.  

So how does it sound?  Here's Shelley playing the first one she ever built:

Material Costs: 
Under $20

Materials:

  • Cigar box
  • 4 tuners (such as these Shane Speal tuners)
  • Ukulele strings
  • Wood
  • Wood glue
  • Wooden plank, 1.5" x .75" x 26"  (a 1x2 plank of poplar from Lowe's or Home Depot works great)
  • Small piece of hardwood, 1.5" x .375 x .5
  • Linseed oil or bees wax furniture polish
  • 12 small plastic cable zip ties

Download the entire set of plans as a 7 page PDF document:

Cigar Box Ukulele Plans by Shelley Rickey

Related:  VIDEO - The Mourning Glories "Jailhouse Blues"

Views: 11981

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Excellent price point - $20 - to make a ukelele building workshop very affordable. Thanks for sharing!

I'm surprised you aren't using slack key tuning. GCEG

I'm going to build one o' those!

Two things though:

1.)  How do you get the zip ties to lie down flush with the fingerboard and not with a gap?

2.)  What is the title of that song Shelley sings/plays, and where do I find the lyrics/chords for it?  It's a REALLY pretty song, especially the way Shelley sings it! 

are the tuners in the wrong way around? string tension will pull the gear away from the worm no into it??

My thoughts exactly, but I guess it's not the same issue with nylon strings

Dennis, most players don’t know much about their instruments like we do?

Brian, most people on here have forgotten more than I'll ever know. That's why I stick around

RSS

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

Beginner advice

Started by Michael Myers in Performances, How to Play, Lessons, Concerts. Last reply by Timothy Hunter Apr 25. 3 Replies

CallyFest 5.

Started by Richard Sundberg in Fests and Concerts: Organizing and Promoting. Last reply by Taffy Evans Apr 5. 22 Replies

Which G is the G in GDG?

Started by Infirmity Citrus President in Performances, How to Play, Lessons, Concerts. Last reply by Carl Floyd Apr 5. 2 Replies

Latest Activity

Johnnie Brown Jr posted photos
2 hours ago
Johnnie Brown Jr posted a status
"I'm thinking about a CB ukulele..A good friend of mine turned me on to a project he lost interest in"
3 hours ago
AGP # commented on A.D.EKER's video
Thumbnail

a Batchelor Till i Die H. Williams - A. D. Eker 2022

"Always nice to hear a bit of Luke the Drifter :-)"
8 hours ago
AGP # liked A.D.EKER's video
8 hours ago
AGP # liked 3 String Blues's video
8 hours ago
AGP # commented on Poorness Studios's video
Thumbnail

As Tears Go By (covered on tenor ukulele)

"Great choice of Song Poorness, one of my Fave's :-) "
8 hours ago
AGP # liked Poorness Studios's video
8 hours ago
AGP # commented on AGP #'s photo
Thumbnail

AGP #467 - ''Hitachi''

""Robust", good word BQ, the Box Timber was sourced from 16mm x 2400mm x 1200mm sheets of…"
8 hours ago
AGP # commented on AGP #'s video
Thumbnail

AGP #454 ''Strainer Reso'' Hallelujah 23 May 2022

""Thanks Poorness", I agree with this baby being a good looker, (that's the Geetar…"
8 hours ago
AGP # commented on AGP #'s video
Thumbnail

AGP #454 ''Strainer Reso'' Hallelujah 23 May 2022

""Thanks UJ", I don't spend enough time in front of the Camera in the Geetar…"
9 hours ago
AGP # commented on AGP #'s video
Thumbnail

AGP #454 ''Strainer Reso'' Hallelujah 23 May 2022

""Thanks A.D.", Second build I've done using this design, it's based on a MGB…"
9 hours ago
Lemuel posted a photo

First Ever!

This is a part of my work area and the first guitar I am just starting.
9 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 -->