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Rllink
01-06-2017, 11:45 AM
I've become interested in cigarbox ukuleles. Actually guitars, banjos, whatever. But because I play the ukulele, I'm drawn to them. Anyway, stopped in at the neighborhood second hand store, and look what I found. Solid wood with dovetailed joints. The adventure has begun.

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Booli
01-06-2017, 12:34 PM
Good for you Rollie!

If you check out my posts in this thread (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?124894-A-uke-neck-for-a-good-price), you will see several options for getting a neck that fits (Mainland), who also sells bridges and tuning machines/pegs...

also CB Gitty (https://www.cbgitty.com/) has parts, and lots of discussion on cigarboxnation.com (http://www.cigarboxnation.com/) - check out Justin Johnson (https://www.youtube.com/user/justinjohnsonlive/videos) and Shane Speal (https://www.youtube.com/user/InsurrectionRex/videos) on YT for CBG players too...

Rrgramps
01-06-2017, 02:57 PM
Good for you Rollie!

If you check out my posts in this thread (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?124894-A-uke-neck-for-a-good-price), you will see several options for getting a neck that fits (Mainland), who also sells bridges and tuning machines/pegs...

I was at Mainland Tuesday, rummaging through the neck/fretboard bins. The tenor necks were $39 with frets installed on a separate fretboard, and a set of inexpensive friction tuners.

Those necks would do a cigar box up real fine. Mike has the four common sizes covered.

Rllink
01-06-2017, 02:59 PM
Good for you Rollie!

If you check out my posts in this thread (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?124894-A-uke-neck-for-a-good-price), you will see several options for getting a neck that fits (Mainland), who also sells bridges and tuning machines/pegs...

also CB Gitty (https://www.cbgitty.com/) has parts, and lots of discussion on cigarboxnation.com (http://www.cigarboxnation.com/) - check out Justin Johnson (https://www.youtube.com/user/justinjohnsonlive/videos) and Shane Speal (https://www.youtube.com/user/InsurrectionRex/videos) on YT for CBG players too...

This has been on my mind for a while, and I've been checking out cigarboxnation.com. I knew that Mainland had the parts, but up until now I've just been browsing and haven't really looked at what Mike has. But I wanted just the right cigar box to do it. I was going to build it as a soprano, but when I held it up to my concert body it was pretty close in size. I think that I'll go concert with it now. So this will be fun. One thing as well though, I was thinking of building a small amp and speaker into the ukulele itself. I've seen that before, but I don't know how difficult it would be. But I'm pretty slow to get to things, so I'm pretty sure there is going to be a lot of talking before I actually get to work.

Rllink
01-06-2017, 03:01 PM
I was at Mainland Tuesday, rummaging through the neck/fretboard bins. The tenor necks were $39 with frets installed on a separate fretboard, and a set of inexpensive friction tuners.

But I ended up buying a nice Mainland tenor with cedar top, plus a tweed hard shell case. It was cheaper than I could tool-up, purchase raw materials, and build one of that quality.

Those necks would do a cigar box up real fine. Mike has the four common sizes covered.Well, I don't expect this instrument to be a Mainland quality instrument. Besides, I have a Mainland already.

kohanmike
01-06-2017, 08:51 PM
You make me remember when my dad had a liquor store in Downtown Los Angeles where I worked every summer. He had a shelf of cigars in all kinds of boxes, solid wood, elaborate labels, great stuff that with this post, I wish I would have pulled out of the trash bin.

Dan Gleibitz
01-06-2017, 09:00 PM
One thing as well though, I was thinking of building a small amp and speaker into the ukulele itself. I've seen that before, but I don't know how difficult it would be. But I'm pretty slow to get to things, so I'm pretty sure there is going to be a lot of talking before I actually get to work.

I want to do something similar, only in an electric uke and including a fuzzface pedal that I've already built. I reckon you could do it on the easy but still get great sound by gutting and hardwiring an iRig Acoustic and iRig Nano Amp inside a cigar box.

Rllink
01-07-2017, 06:41 AM
I've not been struck with UAS in the sense that I have wanted to buy a lot of ukuleles, but the thought of making my own has appealed to me. And also, making my own in a more primitive way, not trying to pull off a woodworking masterpiece, but rather putting together a playable instrument out of an old cigar box that I happened to find in a second hand store. The question now is, do I get everything else that I need to from Mainland and just put it together, or do I find a piece of wood, get out the spoke shave like booli, and start forming a neck?

Booli
01-07-2017, 07:08 AM
I've not been struck with UAS in the sense that I have wanted to buy a lot of ukuleles, but the thought of making my own has appealed to me. And also, making my own in a more primitive way, not trying to pull off a woodworking masterpiece, but rather putting together a playable instrument out of an old cigar box that I happened to find in a second hand store. The question now is, do I get everything else that I need to from Mainland and just put it together, or do I find a pieche of wood, get out the spoke shave like booli, and start forming a neck?

Might I suggest to you to consider your priorities? (which are wholly subjective for each of us)

With the spokeshave, you can expect to invest some time, sweat & elbow grease, and satisfaction (or disappointment) in that 'I made this all by myself from raw wood' when you are done. It might take a few tries, and mistakes can be made depending upon your level of finesse with hand or other tools. What is your tolerance for frustration and/or failure? How willing are you to restart from scratch if errors are made beyond the point-of-no-return?

OTOH, with the parts from Mainland or CB Gitty, you still have a time investment, and some assembly of pre-made parts, which you still might have to massage into place to meet your own requirements, but the effort, frustration and chance of failure (that may require a complete do-over) are much less IMHO....

In the end, you still have something that YOU made, from either all raw wood, some parts and raw wood, or all pre-made parts, and no matter what, you would still have the satisfaction and pride that you did this with your own two hands.

With the pre-made parts, it's more of a 'kit project' but one that not everything comes in the same box like the Wolfelele (http://www.wolfelele.com/Our-Products.html) or StewMac (http://www.stewmac.com/SiteSearch/?search=ukulele%20kit) or CB Gitty (full kit (https://www.cbgitty.com/gift-ideas/gittylele-soprano-ukulele-kit/)) uke kits.

No matter what you decide to do, or how you chose to execute it, I am confident that if you persevere through any failures or obstacles, that you can be happy with the end result, as long as you set your expectations properly at the start, and are willing to adjust said expectations during the process of making that cigar box into something that renders a musical sound.

There's lots of expertise here in the Luthier's Lounge from the pros and amateur builders alike that can offer support.

Be fearless, brother Rollie! :)

UkieOkie
01-10-2017, 09:03 PM
Congrats on the boxes. Booli makes some great points. Ultimately follow your heart and have some fun!

Rrgramps
01-11-2017, 04:14 AM
Congrats on the boxes. Booli makes some great points. Ultimately follow your heart and have some fun!

Booli indeed made some excellent points.

BTW, I removed the misleading text I made about how proud I was of purchasing a very expensive and beautiful instrument. I never meant that you should purchase a new ukulele.

I was only relating to my trip, and what I did. I live very close to Mainland Ukuleles, have visited the store during a festival last year. I don't have UAS either.

Again, please don't think that my previous comment was a suggestion for you to buy new and expensive instrument instead of making a neck for a cigar box instrument. My apologies for not being clear on that

Making a cigar box instruments is a very good and fun project, and one you can be proud of.

Rllink
01-11-2017, 04:15 AM
Might I suggest to you to consider your priorities? (which are wholly subjective for each of us)

With the spokeshave, you can expect to invest some time, sweat & elbow grease, and satisfaction (or disappointment) in that 'I made this all by myself from raw wood' when you are done. It might take a few tries, and mistakes can be made depending upon your level of finesse with hand or other tools. What is your tolerance for frustration and/or failure? How willing are you to restart from scratch if errors are made beyond the point-of-no-return?

OTOH, with the parts from Mainland or CB Gitty, you still have a time investment, and some assembly of pre-made parts, which you still might have to massage into place to meet your own requirements, but the effort, frustration and chance of failure (that may require a complete do-over) are much less IMHO....

In the end, you still have something that YOU made, from either all raw wood, some parts and raw wood, or all pre-made parts, and no matter what, you would still have the satisfaction and pride that you did this with your own two hands.

With the pre-made parts, it's more of a 'kit project' but one that not everything comes in the same box like the Wolfelele (http://www.wolfelele.com/Our-Products.html) or StewMac (http://www.stewmac.com/SiteSearch/?search=ukulele%20kit) or CB Gitty (full kit (https://www.cbgitty.com/gift-ideas/gittylele-soprano-ukulele-kit/)) uke kits.

No matter what you decide to do, or how you chose to execute it, I am confident that if you persevere through any failures or obstacles, that you can be happy with the end result, as long as you set your expectations properly at the start, and are willing to adjust said expectations during the process of making that cigar box into something that renders a musical sound.

There's lots of expertise here in the Luthier's Lounge from the pros and amateur builders alike that can offer support.

Be fearless, brother Rollie! :)

I have the parts on the way. No spokeshave this time around, small steps to start with. I'll see how it goes, get some experience on this one, and then maybe I'll learn some things that I can apply on the next one. I'm kind of excited about this. I guess that I'm going the opposite direction from most, but I have to say that those hillbilly three string guitars are talking to me too. I don't know what kind of ?AS this is, but I could see me catching it. I saw a video of Shane Speal playing a one string 2x4 with a slide. I'm surprised at what you can make music on.

fowl
01-11-2017, 05:00 AM
Rllink, a few years back I got a three string strummer from a really nice man in Va. and I love it. I also used it as a guide and have built several now myself. The people that bought them really love them. They are tuned like a mountain dulcimer. I have also built many one string diddley bows that are a lot of fun. A great way to get many people making music.

Rllink
01-11-2017, 12:20 PM
Rllink, a few years back I got a three string strummer from a really nice man in Va. and I love it. I also used it as a guide and have built several now myself. The people that bought them really love them. They are tuned like a mountain dulcimer. I have also built many one string diddley bows that are a lot of fun. A great way to get many people making music.That sounds like fun. Up until recently I haven't had any interest in expanding my interest beyond the ukulele, but then I discovered Cigarboxnation, and I think that the hook is set.

fowl
01-11-2017, 01:26 PM
Yes, Cigarboxnation can become an addiction. By the way the fellow I got the initial strummer from was named Gilliam and his business name was Tinyguitars. It looks like his website is gone, but he is on facebook.

Booli
01-11-2017, 02:01 PM
I have the parts on the way. No spokeshave this time around, small steps to start with. I'll see how it goes, get some experience on this one, and then maybe I'll learn some things that I can apply on the next one. I'm kind of excited about this. I guess that I'm going the opposite direction from most, but I have to say that those hillbilly three string guitars are talking to me too. I don't know what kind of ?AS this is, but I could see me catching it. I saw a video of Shane Speal playing a one string 2x4 with a slide. I'm surprised at what you can make music on.


Good For YOU Rollie! :)

Also check out Justin Johnson on YT as another CBG player - https://www.youtube.com/user/justinjohnsonlive/videos. He's toured the world performing concerts on cigar-box guitars and has some serious playing chops too. Such a raw and pure tone, reminds me a lot of the Ole' Bluesmen, and how things might have been before Fender, Gibson and Martin came into being with these industrial mass-manufacturing operations...

like real 'folk-art' and home-made guitars from whatever scraps were available laying around...and back then I'd guess that nobody paid much attention to intonation and just PLAYED, carefree...:music:

'Groove is in the Heart'...

Rllink
01-14-2017, 04:44 AM
Let's get started.
96928

This is kind of what it will look like.
96929

I'm building this with just basic hand tools and no shop to work in. In other words, I'm building it on the front steps and the kitchen counter. I cut down a piece of lath and made some bracing. This is how I held it in place while it dried.
9693196932

Booli
01-14-2017, 07:21 AM
Let's get started.
96928

This is kind of what it will look like.
96929

I'm building this with just basic hand tools and no shop to work in. In other words, I'm building it on the front steps and the kitchen counter. I cut down a piece of lath and made some bracing. This is how I held it in place while it dried.
9693196932

AWESOME!

It looks like you are off to a great start! :)

I cant wait to hear it. Maybe you will share the joy and bless us with a sound sample when you are ready? :music:

Rllink
01-14-2017, 11:03 AM
Today I spend a few hours on the sound hole. Or I guess I should say sound holes. So ukuleles is only one of the things I am interested in. I also like astronomy, and lately I've been out at night looking at the stars, and I was inspired to make some planets in my uke for sound holes. We will have to see how it works.

96938

And so this is kind of what it is going to look like with planets for sound holes.

96939

We have a big festival next weekend on the very street that I live on and I do a lot of busking during the festival. I don't want to get in too big of a hurry, but I'm hoping that it will ready to play for the festival. There isn't a lot to building one, so it should be ready.

OhioBelle
01-14-2017, 05:19 PM
I love this! Love the "Hand Made" on the front. Love the planets. Good luck!

UkieOkie
01-14-2017, 06:36 PM
Right on man. Great job so far! Keep
Us posted!

Rllink
01-15-2017, 03:29 AM
Booli indeed made some excellent points.

BTW, I removed the misleading text I made about how proud I was of purchasing a very expensive and beautiful instrument. I never meant that you should purchase a new ukulele.

I was only relating to my trip, and what I did. I live very close to Mainland Ukuleles, have visited the store during a festival last year. I don't have UAS either.

Again, please don't think that my previous comment was a suggestion for you to buy new and expensive instrument instead of making a neck for a cigar box instrument. My apologies for not being clear on that

Making a cigar box instruments is a very good and fun project, and one you can be proud of.I did not take it that way, so no worries. I have a Mainland Mahogany concert, and it is a very nice ukulele, and you are right, it would take a lot to build something like that. And Mike at Mainland is number one in my book. I looked at what he had, but I had been on Cigar Box Nation and the C.B. Gitty site doing all my research. I am using their plans that they post for free on their site. I also sent them both general and specific questions which they answered promptly. I felt that if I was going to use all of their online resources that I should buy their parts. It only seemed fair. Maybe next time I will get them from Mainland and compare, and I'm pretty sure there is going to be a next time. I've been keeping my eye out for another cool box.

Rllink
01-16-2017, 04:46 AM
The directions say to place a piece of wood under the top below the bridge, drill holes through the tabs on the bridge and the top, then screw the bridge down with sheet metal screws through the top and into the wood underneath. I cleaned it all up, taped it off, put a nice even layer of glue on both surfaces, glued it down, and am using a five pound weight for pressure. No screws. We will see how that works. I think that it will be fine. I've never been one to follow directions to the letter anyway, and I really don't want to put a piece of wood under there. I think that it might dampen the sound board.

96950

Yes, that's the stove behind it. I have to be off the kitchen counter before lunch time.

Rllink
01-17-2017, 09:37 AM
Done, ready for the festival. But we will have to wait until the strings settle in before I post a sound sample. The action is high, so I need to lower it some. I have a couple of days to sort it out.
9699596996

I also worked on my drum today.

96997

UkieOkie
01-17-2017, 09:58 AM
Hey that looks great. Well done sir.

cml
01-17-2017, 10:19 AM
Looks fantastic:)!

Rrgramps
01-17-2017, 11:59 AM
Wow!!! Fast and fantastic!
Love the sound holes ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ too. Nice design, gets away from the ordinary single sound hole, and is very good looking indeed.

Booli
01-17-2017, 01:46 PM
Congrats on a job well done! :music:

Rllink
01-17-2017, 02:32 PM
Thanks all. It did go fast, but considering that I didn't have much else to do. The biggest challenge was to keep everything straight. I didn't have a lot of tools, but I did have a metal yard stick and a square. That yardstick was invaluable. I put little marks right down the center of everything, and where I didn't want the marks to show I put down some masking tape and marked on that, then I used the yard stick to make sure everything stayed aligned. Other than that, it was pretty straight forward.

Booli
01-17-2017, 04:27 PM
Thanks all. It did go fast, but considering that I didn't have much else to do. The biggest challenge was to keep everything straight. I didn't have a lot of tools, but I did have a metal yard stick and a square. That yardstick was invaluable. I put little marks right down the center of everything, and where I didn't want the marks to show I put down some masking tape and marked on that, then I used the yard stick to make sure everything stayed aligned. Other than that, it was pretty straight forward.

How does it feel in the hand to play? (compared to your other ukes)

also

How does it feel knowing that you made this (mostly) with your own hands?

Rllink
01-18-2017, 04:14 AM
How does it feel in the hand to play? (compared to your other ukes)

also

How does it feel knowing that you made this (mostly) with your own hands?It feels fine. The corners kind of dig in after a while, but I just adjust for that. It has a bit of a harsh sound, but I would expect that considering that my tone wood is a piece of laminate cigar box bottom. But it is not mellow. It sounds good though with a certain type of music. But that could also be because I used fluorocarbon strings that came with the kit. I don't know about that, and maybe someday I'll string it with some Nylguts and see what it sounds like. Anyway, I need to do some work on the action today. It is way high. High enough that it is making notes sharp when I fret them. The most important thing though is to have reasonable expectations it think. It is a ukulele made out of a cigar box. It is a novelty. You can not expect too much from it, it is what it is.

I like that I built it. It was fun, and I learned a lot. No one else has one like it, and it is satisfying to think that I made something that plays music. I also appreciate the interest that people here have had in my little project. We are a family in some ways.

97014

Down Up Dick
01-18-2017, 05:27 AM
Appears to be a neat, professional looking job. Well done, Rollie. Ya gonna do a nuther? :old:

Rllink
01-18-2017, 06:48 AM
Appears to be a neat, professional looking job. Well done, Rollie. Ya gonna do a nuther? :old:Thanks Dick. If I stumbled across just the right box I might, but I'm not out looking for one.