First I bought one off EBay

Then bought a kit, built it , modified it.

Now this afternoon completed my 1st build from scratch.


3 string fretless with a piezo pickup , sounds great.

Need a couple of mods I recon like a wider piece of threaded bolt for the bridge

and possibly slightly thinner. 

Strings at the nut are perfect off the fretboard but rise up a bit towards the bridge.

Apart from that , very pleased.

Views: 575


Replies to This Discussion

Nice one Tony, will be making a start on my first once I have finished decorating, apparently that's more important?
Do you have a volume pot and such on the piezo at all?


Was amazed at how loud it was acoustic.

Anyway just stuck one small (about 1" ) piezo under the bridge and it's very loud.

Not for a concert hall of course but more than my den (Spare Bedroom) or garden shed/workshop  can stand.

Am using a great little Amp.

Gear4music  ukulele amp . It's 5 w runs on mains or a 9v battery and on;y costs £18.99

Just  finished my third one...

Getting in the swing of it now...Various size boxes, all fretless so far and 3 string.

Our local what we call the "Artificial Woolworths" That sell just about everything

is a mine of useful bits and pieces such as 2 1/2" to 3" sink drains/filters for sound holes. Chrome and white plastic. Every size nuts, bolts and screws imaginable, sandpaper, wet and dry etc etc from the Decorating dept. Great shop.

Next build will be a Fretted four string.

Bought two Fruit Bowls at a Boot Fair weekend before last. Nice hard wood, there are a lot of them about in fact there were 5 on various Stalls. The two I haggled for came out at under £2. ($1.20c) 

Once I started I was continuously revising my design as I went along.

Anyway here is my first


I seem to spend a great deal of time waiting for varnish to dry. Have read in various places that some people use polish not varnish.

Can someone help an ignorant non cabinetmaker what this entails ? What sort of polish etc.


Forget varnish, forget, polish, use gunstock oil - TruOil. You just rub it on with a cloth, leave to dry, repeat a few times. Buff to a gloss of flat down with 0000 grade wire wool. It's basically a linseed oil with an accellerant/catalyst in it - DO NOT use linseed oil, it never actually dries hard...that's for cricket bats..or was in my day.  Some people like Danish Oil, but the brand I've tried takes ages to go off, so I stick to TruOil.

If you are talking polish, then the classic instrument finish is shellac or French polish - you need to prepare your own, don't buy pre-mixed, and you need lots of patience and there's a definite knack...this doesn't sound like what you want to be doing.

Alternatively, quick, simple and cheap is rattlecan clear acrylic lacquer, from any auto store. Blow it on in thin layers - it dries really quick, and you can  buff it to a high gloss if you want with T-Cut or other rubbing compo. Even simpler is wax, a decent furniture restorer's wax such as's not incredibly durable, but it's really easy and really quick, just rub on, wait a few minutes for the lovely toluene vapour (or whatever is in there) to dry out and buff with a soft cloth. Repeat if you want to build up the sheen a bit more.

Thanks a lot. Given me a lot to think about.

Latest build.

It's or was a Key Safe.. Had 10 hooks inside for hanging your keys.

Thought this was a better use for it.


Built 10 now...getting better all the time until the latest. If something could go wrong it did. Split wood. Drill hole in wrong place. Fitted 1/4 Jack Socket, closed the lid and found it was on the top edge. Very nearly put the whole thing in the bin yesterday. 

Have had another 3 hours at it today and salvaged what I can. Will keep this one for myself as it is the most boring CBG ever made.


Nothing wrong with plain....looks fine to me.

About all you can say for it is it sounds OK. Recon I'll be collecting stickers to put on it.

Just had a look thru all the Groups but could not find one for Biscuit Tin Guitars  (Cookies as the New World) call 'em.

Anyone with any experience please ???

I should think that you would need to strengthen the tins internally with wood ???


The Essential Pages

New to Cigar Box Nation? How to Play Cigar Box GuitarsFree Plans & How to Build Cigar Box GuitarsCigar Box Guitar Building Basics

Site Sponsor

Recommended Links & Resources

Discussion Forum

Pink Toothbrush Alternative Market & Record fair

Started by Keith 66. Last reply by Keith 66 Apr 24, 2023. 1 Reply

Small box woes?

Started by Sleepy John. Last reply by Jock MacHinery Jun 15, 2020. 12 Replies


Started by David Tarry. Last reply by David Bowes May 11, 2020. 7 Replies

FX rigs and recommendations

Started by Alex Rigby Mar 25, 2019. 0 Replies

London One Man Band festival with Hollowbelly

Started by Blind Boy Fullers. Last reply by Blind Boy Fullers Mar 20, 2019. 4 Replies

Best Amp

Started by Seasick Mick. Last reply by Seasick Mick Mar 13, 2019. 18 Replies

Looking to play some festivals next year

Started by Alex Rigby. Last reply by Alex Rigby Jan 13, 2019. 3 Replies

New Site goes live!!

Started by John Pilling. Last reply by t-belly johnson Oct 30, 2018. 14 Replies

Demise of Gibson

Started by Sleepy John. Last reply by Sleepy John May 3, 2018. 3 Replies

boxes for sale

Started by Rick D. Last reply by Tony Dec 14, 2017. 5 Replies

My latest build - hubcap resonator

Started by Alex Rigby. Last reply by Slow Blues Dani & Ol' Grey Bear Oct 10, 2017. 4 Replies


Started by Steve. Last reply by Steve Sep 13, 2017. 2 Replies

Some of my songs

Started by Alex Rigby. Last reply by Alex Rigby Jun 7, 2017. 2 Replies

School project

Started by Keith 66. Last reply by Michael Fred Johnson Feb 5, 2017. 8 Replies

Old Timers

Started by Mal Chilvers. Last reply by David L. Oct 13, 2016. 2 Replies

Looking to get started

Started by Hubert Knight. Last reply by Hubert Knight Oct 11, 2016. 6 Replies

I Could Really Do With A Jig !

Started by Philip Hale. Last reply by Philip Hale Aug 5, 2016. 19 Replies

Help with parts please

Started by Toofy Peg. Last reply by Fomhorach Jun 14, 2016. 19 Replies

Brass Eyelets - big ones - where to get?

Started by Alex Rigby. Last reply by Fomhorach Apr 27, 2016. 16 Replies

Latest Activity

Southern Ray posted a video
4 hours ago
A.D.EKER commented on A.D.EKER's video
6 hours ago
A.D.EKER commented on A.D.EKER's video

Rapture (instrumental) BCB 2024

"Thanks DOUG and KALE  glad you approve ,in a cranky Blink ! preaceate !"
6 hours ago
Andy joined Cigar Box Nation's group

How to Play a Cigar Box Guitar

Playing tips and secrets. Tunings. Primal music theory.See More
8 hours ago
Andy joined John Sims's group

Secrets of the CBG Underground

Tips, Tricks of the Trade and Secrets that (almost) no one is supposed to know about...Tell us your…See More
8 hours ago
Andy joined Wade's group

Low Budget Land

Cigar box guitar builders are a creative and resourceful bunch. Share ideas for CBG materials and…See More
8 hours ago
Andy joined 3 String Blues's group

Homemade Guitars

This is the group for homemade instruments that venture out from the standard cigar box guitar.Post…See More
8 hours ago
Andy joined Cigar Box Nation's group


Scavengers unite! We want to know what unusual trash you've used to build instruments. Post your…See More
8 hours ago
Andy joined Mark Bliss's group

Intermediate building tips and tricks forum

This forum is for sharing general building information that falls between "CBG building 101" and…See More
8 hours ago
Andy joined Mad Mike's CBG's's group

The Beginners Club

A club for beginners who are building for the first time and need some support from each other as…See More
8 hours ago
Andy joined Habanera Hal's group

Sell Those Puppies!

A group to discuss selling the instruments and accessories we build.  Where to sell, how to…See More
8 hours ago
Andy joined Charlie's group

New York Cigar Box Guitars

The Cigar Box Guitar group for builders and musicians in the New York area.
8 hours ago



© 2024   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

\uastyle>\ud/** Scrollup **/\ud.scrollup {\ud background: url("") 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 -->