Hi I acquired a CBG recently and am trying to learn it and at same time I’m learning the harmonica (Diatonic) I also by chance have a number of USA reg plates which it appears I can make into guitars? Do uk members buy from the USA the parts etc or here in the uk? I am thinking of building another 3 string a four string and a six string using pre made necks and fret boards etc as I do not have a decent workshop and tbh I would rather have them as a quality builds to keep and use myself. Any pointers welcome, stay safe folks.

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Chickenbone John will most likely have parts you need.


He's also currently posting YouTube vids on making CBGs, is a member of this Cigar Box Nation group and advocate of all things CBG.


I buy from various sources, e-bay, C.B. Gitty, Chicken Bone John etc. CBGs by there very nature tend to be primitive hand-built guitar, part of the character. As you have so many LPs why not have a go at a full build, you do not need many tools and you will be surprised at the results.


Wow that's a nice job I will no doubt have a go thanks

Hi David,

A big problem in the UK is finding decent size boxes.  This has been the best UK site I have found for cigar boxes - https://www.cgarsltd.co.uk/other-accessories-empty-cigar-boxes-c-13...

If you plan to use a recycled 6 string neck I have found the old Boots wooden photo slide boxes work well (I get them off eBay and aim to pay around £12 including postage). You want one that holds 175 slides and they are 12” long. They come up for sale regularly so don’t bother if the price goes too high. A current example - https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-Boots-1970s-35mm-Photo-Slide-Woo...

For cheap strings I buy the Roberts strings https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/avonvalleymusic/m.html?ssPageName=STRK%3...

or the Adagio ones https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3-NEW-SETS-Adagio-Electric-Guitar-String...

Specifically for cigar box guitar items Chickenbone John is top in the UK. https://www.chickenbonejohn.com

Should you branch out into solid body builds this seller in Ireland sells excellent wood turning bowl blanks (keep over 12” diameter for a six string). Postage was £15 last time I bought some, but you can get several blanks delivered for this (just check the total weights). https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/michael18000/m.html?ssPageName=STRK%3AME...

Currently low on stock this seller is good for fretwire https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/snowcauldron/m.html?ssPageName=STRK%3AME...

I have bought many items over the years and this UK seller is excellent for guitar parts https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/chguitars/m.html?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEFSX...

Crimson guitars have a good reputation (UK) and their site has loads of useful info/how to videos https://www.crimsonguitars.com

Axesrus (UK) sell good products for regular guitars https://www.axesrus.co.uk

Bob is good for electronics (solder, wiring, capacitors etc...) and the potentiometer knobs come in a nice small size so they look good on smaller boxes. https://www.bitsbox.co.uk

For pickups Warman guitars are great value if you want something a bit better than economy ones https://www.warmanguitars.co.uk

The following are good eBay sellers based in China. Unfortunately the lockdown has made the delivery time excessive but worth keeping a note of for future reference when things return to normal




I don’t know how much you have bought from outside the UK/EU but remember to keep the cost of items below £15 to avoid import VAT https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notice-143-a-guide-for-i....  If an item is checked and VAT charged you automatically get an extra £8 handling fee added by RoyalMail.  Don’t let this put you off as most items (machineheads, bridges etc) are well below the £15 limit.


David L

Useful information

Thanks, David B

That's great information, many thanks for taking the time. Take care.


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