Cigar Box Guitars

maki66

New member
Joined
Jul 21, 2017
Messages
849
Points
0
One of my co workers is a guitar player and drummer.
He's been talking about his cigar box guitars that he built from scratch.
Well the other day he brought one in on a quite graveyard shift and played it for us.
It was pretty cool, he had the whole blues thing down.

My other buddy/coworker bought two kits. One for himself and one for me.
Looks like a simple build;
https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Pure-Simple-Cigar-Guitar/dp/B00NAJH76I

Video;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gWign-qR-o

Its my next project and my wife is not happy, 'Another instrument?'

I'll have some photos and more info its built.
 

maki66

New member
Joined
Jul 21, 2017
Messages
849
Points
0
Finished the kit this afternoon.
Started playing, and it's fun!

I ordered some shiny bits to dress it up. And my wife may
Decide to put some decorations on it.
Also on order is a DYI piazzo pick up.
 

Ukecaster

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 7, 2009
Messages
4,264
Points
63
Actually, I'm looking for a Guitar Box Cigar. Ewww, that would be nasty! :)
 

Rllink

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 14, 2014
Messages
4,468
Points
48
C.B. Gitty is the place to go. They sponsor cigarbox nation. http://www.cigarboxnation.com/ I found a really cool wooden cigar box in a second hand store and bought a kit from Gitty to build a ukulele. It came out looking really really good. It sounds terrible, but it looks good.
 

maki66

New member
Joined
Jul 21, 2017
Messages
849
Points
0
C.B. Gitty is the place to go. They sponsor cigarbox nation. http://www.cigarboxnation.com/ I found a really cool wooden cigar box in a second hand store and bought a kit from Gitty to build a ukulele. It came out looking really really good. It sounds terrible, but it looks good.

Thanks for the input on the cigar box ukulele. I was looking at those.
 

John Colter

UU VIP
UU VIP
Joined
Jan 28, 2009
Messages
2,870
Points
83
I've built about a dozen Cigar Box Ukuleles, but they all ended up being sold, or given away. A couple of years ago, I decided it was time I made one for myself. I found a suitable box on ebay (branded WD & HO Wills, "Embassy") and used a neck that I had made some years before, but never used. The neck is maple.

I discarded the back of the box and used a nice piece of instrument grade Western Red cedar for the soundboard. The fretboard is from a piece of Lilac wood, supplied by my good friend Sven Nystrom, maker of Argapa ukuleles.

The soundboard is not as thick as the inset hole lining makes it appear. The pale abalone fret position dots were a mistake on the very light coloured Lilac wood - I added ebony side dots after this photo was taken.

It is an acoustic instrument only, and (though I say it myself) it sounds extremely good. I painted 'Emperor' on the front because that name is given to the type of cigar - and I thought it sounded impressive.Sept 2016 - The 'Emperor' CBU.jpg

John Colter
 
Last edited:

maki66

New member
Joined
Jul 21, 2017
Messages
849
Points
0
My current favorite YouTube, slide CBG old school blues;

John Colter[/QUOTE]
 

maki66

New member
Joined
Jul 21, 2017
Messages
849
Points
0
I've built about a dozen Cigar Box Ukuleles, but they all ended up being sold, or given away. A couple of years ago, I decided it was time I made one for myself. I found a suitable box on ebay (branded WD & HO Wills, "Embassy") and used a neck that I had made some years before, but never used. The neck is maple.

I discarded the back of the box and used a nice piece of instrument grade Western Red cedar for the soundboard. The fretboard is from a piece of Lilac wood, supplied by my good friend Sven Nystrom, maker of Argapa ukuleles.

The soundboard is not as thick as the inset hole lining makes it appear. The pale abalone fret position dots were a mistake on the very light coloured Lilac wood - I added ebony side dots after this photo was taken.

It is an acoustic instrument only, and (though I say it myself) it sounds extremely good. I painted 'Emperor' on the front because that name is given to the type of cigar - and I thought it sounded impressive.View attachment 109356

John Colter
That's a rare beauty John. Someday I'd like to build something similar for myself.
What type of bracing system did you use on that?
 
Last edited:

John Colter

UU VIP
UU VIP
Joined
Jan 28, 2009
Messages
2,870
Points
83
Hi Maki, I can thoroughly recommend making a cigar box uke. If you use the neck off an existing instrument, it makes the job very much easier. I don't have any good photos of the interior of the "Emperor", but these are of a CBU I made using a 'La Paz' box. The box measures 9 1/2" X 6 7/8" X 2" deep - pretty close to ideal for a soprano.

The back of the box became the front of the uke, and was replaced by instrument grade Western Red Cedar, thinned to around 1/10th". The soundhole is lined with three layers of veneer, and the veneer ring (formed around a suitable glass bottle) is inset into the sound hole by about an eighth of an inch.

The bracing is very simple. The neck was salvaged from a damaged uke.

John Colter

'La Paz' box uke - 001.jpg'La Paz' box uke - 002.jpg'La Paz' box uke - 003.jpg
 

captain-janeway

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
1,061
Points
48
Hi Maki, I can thoroughly recommend making a cigar box uke. If you use the neck off an existing instrument, it makes the job very much easier. I don't have any good photos of the interior of the "Emperor", but these are of a CBU I made using a 'La Paz' box. The box measures 9 1/2" X 6 7/8" X 2" deep - pretty close to ideal for a soprano.

The back of the box became the front of the uke, and was replaced by instrument grade Western Red Cedar, thinned to around 1/10th". The soundhole is lined with three layers of veneer, and the veneer ring (formed around a suitable glass bottle) is inset into the sound hole by about an eighth of an inch.

The bracing is very simple. The neck was salvaged from a damaged uke.

John Colter

View attachment 109439View attachment 109440View attachment 109441

I know this is an old thread, but did you just attach the neck with screws or something?
 

John Colter

UU VIP
UU VIP
Joined
Jan 28, 2009
Messages
2,870
Points
83
Hi, Captain J,

The neck is fitted with a simple butt joint, strengthened with a 1/4" wooden dowel. This picture illustrates the method. If you are supremely accurate with the drilling and positioning, the dowel can serve to locate the position of the neck, as well as adding strength to the joint. However, neck position is of paramount importance and if the dowel does not give a perfect fit (I've not managed it yet!) I just make it a sightly "sloppy" fit.

I suppose it is debatable whether the dowel adds much strength, but it feels worthwhile to me. I've done it with all my CBUs.

John ColterNeck joint 1.jpg
 

captain-janeway

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
1,061
Points
48
Hi, Captain J,

The neck is fitted with a simple butt joint, strengthened with a 1/4" wooden dowel. This picture illustrates the method. If you are supremely accurate with the drilling and positioning, the dowel can serve to locate the position of the neck, as well as adding strength to the joint. However, neck position is of paramount importance and if the dowel does not give a perfect fit (I've not managed it yet!) I just make it a sightly "sloppy" fit.

I suppose it is debatable whether the dowel adds much strength, but it feels worthwhile to me. I've done it with all my CBUs.

IMG_20201130_115957982.jpg
IMG_20201130_120321632.jpg
IMG_20201130_120307568.jpg

I've tried both dowel and screws and yes, the angles are a real pain on these. I actually shimmed one with inner tube slices that weren't too bad.
This one's a 10" remo drum with a salvaged concert neck. You can't really see the shims.
 
Last edited:

John Colter

UU VIP
UU VIP
Joined
Jan 28, 2009
Messages
2,870
Points
83
Sheet rubber shims would dampen vibration in the crucial body/neck joint but, as it's a banjo, that might be a blessing! ;)

For me, it must be wood to wood, with as much close contact as possible.

John Colter
 

captain-janeway

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
1,061
Points
48
Sheet rubber shims would dampen vibration in the crucial body/neck joint but, as it's a banjo, that might be a blessing! ;)

For me, it must be wood to wood, with as much close contact as possible.

John Colter

Thanks. That may be it. I wondered why the one I shimmed was so quiet. I made one with a soprano neck too just for fun. Yeah, I have the bridges all over, but I'm just playing around. Fun to see what you can do with a handsaw and some good wood chisels.
IMG_20181230_191632118.jpgIMG_20181231_111741458.jpgIMG_20190113_120734881.jpgIMG_20190114_194709312.jpg
 
Last edited: