I am going to built my own boxes.
And some empirical values, hints and tipps would be helpfull.

What kind of boxes do you built? With wich lumber?
Thickness, bracing, etc?

My plan ist to built

- one box with thin plywood but braces
- and one with thicker massive wood without bracing

and check the difference of soundquality

But i am sure many of you do already know wich way brings wich effect?

So how do you built your own boxes?

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I have only built boxes for LPG's. And I have used electric pups, so wasn't terribly concerned with acoustic sound quality. [They played OK acoustically but not great]  Have used reclaimed pallet wood and also new pine.  I corner-braced all. Here's a pic while waiting for the glue to dry, before adding braces.

Thanks. Did you also brace under the plate where the brigde ist so it wont collapse?

Those old plates are very rigid. I did not brace below it, with no discernible ill effects.

I haven't built a lot of boxes but I have seen lots of theory... 

The larger thing with materials for instruments, especially acoustic instruments, is density and its effect on resonant tone.

Think of something like a violin - its shape does a lot to make it sound that way, but better violins have their fronts and backs ground so different parts accentuate different frequencies...

The other bit goes to the shape - how the sound waves bounce around.

The thinner box with braces should be strong enough, but the overall sound may depend more on how tightly coupled the top is to the bridge and the placement / size or even lack of sound holes - you can check out my videos where i make canjos out of pop cans and see this effect.. For the surge prototype, I managed to get the wooden lid to fit the can so tightly (without glue or anything!) that hitting the top of the lid produced a loud metallic ring rather than any sort of wooden thud... that is what I mean by tight acoustic coupling.. The larger opening of that lid versus the first redbull type shows the sound hole effect.

The thicker box might be louder / better overall assuming it is solid resonant hardwood.

Thanks, i will check out your videos

Don't spent time thinking and worrying, just make a couple and see how they turn out, that's the best way of learning and improving. Often it is counter-intuitive - we've had great results with inferior material such as MDF and hardboard (Masonite). I've made over 1300 cigar box guitars, and the one thing I know  is that each one turns out  different.

Some very good ukuleles are being made of formica material. Also called HPL, high pressure laminate. 

For regular plywood thin artic birch is a long time favorite.

Thats probably a good advice i think
I shouldnt think to much, ill just go and start my first one

Anyway, if someone has another hint i am glad to take it ;-)

Btw what do yopu do with 1300 guitars? Do you sell them?
I am asure i will not built more than 1000 :-)

Hi, Like CB john says, stop worrying and try it. That's what I did, I had not even seen this forum.

I have already posted info re this, I don't know how to direct you to it though.

Thin stuff resonates better than thick stuff, sound comes off the top, but also out of the soundhole, I like to have both, the back also plays a part. Sides don't. 

I did make a video for my son to follow [2500km away] but not sure how to post on here, it might be too big, he built the one from the video and then two more of his own, all sounded good but different.



"Thin stuff resonates better than thick stuff, sound comes off the top, but also out of the soundhole, I like to have both, the back also plays a part. Sides don't. "

Thats good to know, thanks

If your looking to copy a cigar box then make a simple cigar box. 

All out of 1/4 ply.

The back of the box is the total size of the box

The two short sides are the thickness of the ply shorter than the two longs sides.

The top of the box sits on the two shorter sides and between the two long sides.

A real cigar box is held together with it's paper and very small brad nails. Gluing yours together would make it stronger.  As long as your neck runs through the box and your bridge is supported by this same wood your box can be any size without much thought on supports. You could add stability to the box by making all the sides the same hight. And the back and front of the box the actual size of the box. Instead of having the opening top of a real cigar box. 

this is way easier than waiting to find, or paying for those large flat boxes. 

To echo Harold, The thicker the wood the less the vibrations coming from it. The energy of the string is absorbed by the wood. The energy that's left is what escapes. The wood includes everything the guitar is made of. Top back and sides. 

Thanks, its indeed a long time since i last saw a real cigarbox (did quit smoking 9 years ago)

i dont want to make "real copies" but its interesting to know how the real ones are made


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