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cornfedgroove
11-04-2009, 05:41 PM
This is gonna end up a mandolin, but I had to take some pictures to update the buyer. Still need to size and shape the headstock/ cleaning up the glue there...gonna do some f-style holes and make it look tight. Nothing's attached yet...box is just sitting on the neck for pic sake, so if it looks wrong...thats cuz it is. There's still alot to do, but I thought I'd just post it for kicks.

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eleuke
11-04-2009, 05:46 PM
I like the headstock. Is there a fretboard or do you just fret the neck?

cornfedgroove
11-04-2009, 06:04 PM
I like the headstock. Is there a fretboard or do you just fret the neck?

still gotta shape the headstock and clean it up, mind you. I always use a separate fingerboard for a few reasons. I know alot of guys that fret on top of the neck, but it doesnt make any sense to me. On this style CBU, you spend all your time making the neck since the box is a 'gimme', and if you jack it up...its a total loss. If I jack up the fretboard, I'm out $1.33 and maybe an hour. Plus when you're dealing with pieces that size, its easier to find a good grain pattern for looks...planks for necks arent near as detailed. Aside from that, I have a homemade fretting box that can only do one thing...slot this one sized fingerboard, so I might as well use it lol.

eleuke
11-04-2009, 06:13 PM
My thoughts exactly. The photos make it hard to tell there's a seperate fretboard and I was thinking, "What's he thinkin!" Looking good. Keep it up... BTW What do you use for the fretting saw in your homemade box?

cornfedgroove
11-04-2009, 06:19 PM
a fret saw:)

for $30 I bought off ebay a used Ryobi drill, a set of bits and a fret saw...that was 9 months ago. The chuck is bad, the bits suck, and the saw is about half dull, but they get the job done:) I need to upgrade someday

Doc_J
11-05-2009, 12:23 PM
Nice cigar box uke in the making. The box seems kinda shallow. Do you have an recommendations/limits on cigar box sizes?

I'm in the process of gathering parts to build one or two. I guess Stewmac is the best place to get the other bits?

cornfedgroove
11-05-2009, 01:25 PM
Nice cigar box uke in the making. The box seems kinda shallow. Do you have an recommendations/limits on cigar box sizes?

I'm in the process of gathering parts to build one or two. I guess Stewmac is the best place to get the other bits?

its about 2 inches deep...and it depends on the box type. Some are just junk and have no real projection regardless of size, but others are actually pretty good. I made a mandolin that was loved by a local pro...he plays out with it and leaves his 1918 at home. Not that mines better lol...just good enough to play out and use. It also depends on the instrument...each instrument has its own voice. I try to find boxes that compliment that.

At the end of the day...all the work is done on the neck...if I am really disatisfied with a particular build because of the box, I can just pull out the neck and put it in another box.

I dont buy anything from stewmac really...its not that I dont like it, but that I dont really need anything from there. Lets say for the Uke...I buy boxes from the local shop, tuners from ebay ( I dont like stewmac tuners ), strings from MGM usually, fretwire from a buddy...pretty much make the rest. http://www.cigarboxnation.com/profile/cbgitty

Doc_J
11-05-2009, 06:51 PM
Thanks for the advice. Do you use rosewood or something else for the nut and saddle?

luckyd
11-06-2009, 06:30 AM
I have the exact same box at home waiting for a neck. My thoughts: I want to flip the box bottom side up, because the bottom is thinner than the top=more vibration for more tone. But then you lose the whole point, right? The logo that makes it what it is. So screw it. Logo up, I guess. Can't wait to hear what you think, and I'll show you mine when it's done.

cornfedgroove
11-06-2009, 09:19 AM
Thanks for the advice. Do you use rosewood or something else for the nut and saddle?

I'm still debating for this mandolin...before I had just used a floating piece of corian directly on the soundboard, it sounded good, but discussions as of late have convinced me that a bridge would really help. I have alot of red oak, not sure how ideal that is for the bridge, but it will match, look good and I think mellow the sound a bit. I did score a little black walnut the other day, was considering using that.

cornfedgroove
11-06-2009, 09:30 AM
I have the exact same box at home waiting for a neck. My thoughts: I want to flip the box bottom side up, because the bottom is thinner than the top=more vibration for more tone. But then you lose the whole point, right? The logo that makes it what it is. So screw it. Logo up, I guess. Can't wait to hear what you think, and I'll show you mine when it's done.

haha, I have to say that I dont have a gripe about whether people use the top or bottom. Using the bottom is cleaner, sometimes thinner, but its also more convenient to get in and out of. The bottom though is often subject to a giant scratch mark from being opened with a razor blade at the cigar shop. Pros and cons aside, I do prefer the flavor of using the top for the reasons you said. The logo is an easy route to having a decorative design on the box, giving it the flavor. That being said, I like boxes like Oliva, that is...I dont want a paper design. Its not about the sound for me, its about a paper sticker just isnt as cool for a cigar box design.

WhenDogsSing
11-06-2009, 12:05 PM
I remove the bottom of the cigar box and replace it with either a spruce or cedar soundboard. By doing so, the design or motif on the top of the box is not destroyed or damaged and you can sand the new soundboard material down for the best sound...:D

cornfedgroove
11-06-2009, 12:55 PM
I remove the bottom of the cigar box and replace it with either a spruce or cedar soundboard. By doing so, the design or motif on the top of the box is not destroyed or damaged and you can sand the new soundboard material down for the best sound...:D

I think its cool all the different ways people work with and build their instruments...keeps you in front of fresh ideas and innovations, spurring creativity and design. Everyone is different, and that's cool. I've thought about adding a soundboard, but I think I'd just build the whole box if that was the case. So although I dont think I'll ever go that direction, I am glad that not everyone is like me:)

In my mind, I'm going to do 2 things, build cigar box ukes out of cigar boxes, and build traditional ukes. I'm not going to cross over into any hybrid style or try to gussy up the cigar box. Its just going to be A and B...and allow each one to have its own identity and flavor.

ukantor
11-06-2009, 11:00 PM
The first cigar box I got my hands on had a back that was warping badly. I removed it, and it curled up like a potato crisp. I replaced the back with western red cedar, which became the front of the CB uke. It sounded fabulous. Since then, I've made some keeping the original backs (used as the fronts), and some with tone wood. They all work well, provided the "sound-board" is thinned enough, but the tone wood ones definitely have the edge on tone and volume.

Ukantor.

cornfedgroove
11-07-2009, 05:20 AM
The first cigar box I got my hands on had a back that was warping badly. I removed it, and it curled up like a potato crisp. I replaced the back with western red cedar, which became the front of the CB uke. It sounded fabulous. Since then, I've made some keeping the original backs (used as the fronts), and some with tone wood. They all work well, provided the "sound-board" is thinned enough, but the tone wood ones definitely have the edge on tone and volume.

Ukantor.

yah, I'm sure it does...I'm sitting here grimacing thinking that I could be swayed to consider it myself. hmmm...dang it

UkeNukem
11-07-2009, 05:33 AM
Do I detect a rounded neck back? Either way it's looking good CFG!

cornfedgroove
11-07-2009, 08:24 AM
Do I detect a rounded neck back? Either way it's looking good CFG!

lol, yah I started rounding them...I broke down and spent a whole $8 on rasp. Dang thats one of the best tools I got. I can round the neck evenly in about 15 minutes...now thats not like "ukulele thin", but it isnt fat either. Its nice and cozy.

I really thought it would be difficult to get a good evenly rounded neck...turns out, it's not so tough lol. I tend to be intimidated for a while as if the next step is more daunting and difficult than it is. I spent probably 2 or 3 months building slide guitars, before I ever tried fretting...same with wiring pots etc. Its just how I work I guess lol.

cornfedgroove
11-07-2009, 11:34 AM
I also think that except for maybe mandolins, I'm done with neck-thru's

Matt Clara
11-07-2009, 01:21 PM
You're jammin' dude.

cornfedgroove
11-13-2009, 06:45 AM
complete, minus a new set of strings since I busted the E's somehow

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Matt Clara
11-13-2009, 07:48 AM
Looks great--one of your best yet. What did you cut those f-holes with?

cornfedgroove
11-13-2009, 07:52 AM
Looks great--one of your best yet. What did you cut those f-holes with?

well, customer wanted f-holes...so I had to call a buddy who's like a champion scroll sawer.

WhenDogsSing
11-13-2009, 07:55 AM
Looks good...:D

Matt Clara
11-13-2009, 08:25 AM
well, customer wanted f-holes...so I had to call a buddy who's like a champion scroll sawer.

Buddies like that are nice to have around!

cornfedgroove
11-13-2009, 11:20 AM
Buddies like that are nice to have around!

yeap...he gave me some walnut too haha

sold that mandolin...guy loved it. He's a sound engineer who can pink a room in 30 seconds with anal retentive accuracy. The fact that he thought it sounded really good makes this old man happy.