Cigar Box Guitar Build #1 with no workbench, few tools on my garage floor.

My first attempt at a CBG build was to a very basic(read easy) project that ultimately took on a life of it's own and far exceeded my non existent woodworking skills.

Several mistakes were made along the way which I ultimately learned from. 1'st mistake, making the neck out of 2" 1/2 round oak, which seemed like a good idea at the time. This created challenges along the way in attaching it to the lid which required some creative cutting bracing and glueing ultimately making it much heavier. It has a maple fret board which a local guitar tech helped me with, showed me how to use his jig and fret saw. I made the Piezo pickup with the Youtube tutorial

The disc came from a discarded smoke detector.

2'nd mistake: Don't start another project before completing the first. About half way through the guitar build I came a cross a box that gave me the idea for a really cool amp. Found a Marshall mini stack on Craigslist and reboxed it to complement the guitar.

Overall I'm happy with my first attempt and have become pretty good with a file,a drill and a coping saw and am making plans to build a 2 string Cigar Box Bass with my son. Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


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Comment by J.D. on June 28, 2016 at 9:37am
Back in the old days ,I've read they couldn't afford or even find git strings ,so they would use the wire from there screen doors and what not and I think we we have about the same tool collection and I don't have a work bench either ,but Im working on it. I build in the basement and at my own pace. I've had 2 hip replacements and a knee replacement from a auto accident ,so I mess with it when Im felling up to it "slow paced" and as far as the compliment "you bet buddy"! Im a drummer ,guitarist and bass player so I play my other instruments and just got into the building part and buy a lil more tools when I run across a decent tool with a decent price. I still learning different techniques and have friends on here that are very good builders and don't mind showing me the different building techniques. Which I think is mighty kind and have much respect for them. I have talked on the phone and listened to a couple wise builders play there builds and know a guy ,I got to know on here from another state and one from another country that have thought me a lot.
Comment by Brent Christian on June 28, 2016 at 5:49am

Thanks for the comments J.D. It took me a lot longer than I originally planned as the build progressed, I started coming up with different ideas whilst standing in the plumbing department, without any idea of how I was actually going to put it together.  Probably about a month, as the amp idea got in the way and slowed things a bit.

Comment by J.D. on June 27, 2016 at 9:08pm
I just wrote a discussion on cracking open smoke detector's and taking the round metal piece for use as a piezoe and wiring a patch cord to it and think that's cool & That's a great looking git you built and "in my opinion" Looks better than a lot of builders who make there builds with all the "fancy power tools"! Looks great and I'm like you as far as tools. I use a coping saw ,files and a hand drill which is pretty much the only power tool I own ,but again looks great! About how long did it take you to complete the Guitar using ,the hand tools you named?
Comment by Greg Thompson on June 8, 2016 at 12:58pm
My only suggestion is to keep making!
Experience is the best teacher. I like to look around a lot and learn from others. When you see something you like, ask questions.
You have an excellent start!
Comment by Darryl Tuttle on June 8, 2016 at 12:37pm

thats a pretty good job for someone with 'no woodworking skills' i think you are selling yourself way short, i worked in a cabinet shop for 13 yrs and have a  fully equpped shop....and i would be happy to get the same results that you did

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