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He was feelin' pretty good. It was raining' and he came in and set down, and he took him a big drink out of his boot (where he stored his whiskey) and picked that guitar up, and boy, I just wished you could of heard him... - Blind Arthur Blake, remembered by Bill Williams

Author Topic: Cigar Box guitar  (Read 4727 times)

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leonard

  • Guest
Cigar Box guitar
« on: February 15, 2007, 03:22:13 PM »
Have any of you ever built a cigar box guitar. If so , how do you figure out where to put the frets. Or should it just be fretless. I was following a thread from Weenie about them. Got so involved could'nt get back to where I started.  Thanks Lenny

Offline Rivers

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Re: Cigar Box guitar
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2007, 07:00:51 PM »
Hi Leonard,

There's someone around here who knows a lot about the subject but he's off overseas having the time of his life right now I imagine. I daresay he will pitch in with some comments on his return.

Offline waxwing

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Re: Cigar Box guitar
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2007, 07:27:44 PM »
Recently I built a diddley bow with a small cedar box (actually a fruit cake box) and I have been thinking of building more using small cigar boxes. See my thread titled Diddley Bow on this board for pics and a sound clip. In searching ebay for some nice cigar boxes (there are zillions) I came accross many cigar box guitars being sold, apparently by their makers. If you searched ebay for 'cigar box guitar mando uke' I think you could probably get in touch with other builders. Most seem to be 4 string guitars and primarilly aimed at slide or lapslide style play, but several seemed to have frets.

Of course, laying out frets is the same on any guitar and there is likely to be info regarding the proceedure on Frank Ford's Frets.com site.

All for now.
John C.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

http://www.youtube.com/user/WaxwingJohn
CD on YT

leonard

  • Guest
Re: Cigar Box guitar
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2007, 03:37:39 AM »
Thanks! I'll be looking forward to hearing from him. I can't believe how far they can be refined.  Lenny

leonard

  • Guest
Re: Cigar Box guitar
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2007, 03:43:41 AM »
Thanks Waxwing
Thanks for the links. Yes there are alot of them for sale out there.
I've been watching some boxes on ebay. Lots of guys playing on you tube. I'm going to check out Frets.com tonight.   Thanks Lenny

leonard

  • Guest
Re: Cigar Box guitar
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2007, 03:12:58 PM »
I have the worst times doing the forum thing right. Thanks for your replies. I posted responses,but I think I should have posted them as new topic's instead of replies. I appreciate your patience and your replies!  Don't usually do forums,but I like this one. I will get it right.  thanks Lenny

Offline Rivers

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Re: Cigar Box guitar
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2007, 03:23:08 PM »
Good to have you on board Lenny and always happy to help. You'll soon get used to things, it's evolved over time and like an old shirt is meant to be comfortable.

Don't worry about slip-ups, no-one is too uptight around here. You seem to have done it right anyhow!

leonard

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Re: Cigar Box guitar
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2007, 03:28:58 PM »
Thanks Rivers

Offline waxwing

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Re: Cigar Box guitar
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2007, 03:32:56 PM »
Actually the reply is the correct proceedure, keeping all the info on one "thread". I'll merge this with the original thread. Also note that you can edit any of your posts by clicking the "Modify" button in the upper right area of each post.

Welcome to Weenie Campbell.

All for now.
John C.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

http://www.youtube.com/user/WaxwingJohn
CD on YT

leonard

  • Guest
Re: Cigar Box guitar
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2007, 03:42:59 PM »
Hey John
I did listen to your diddley bow clip. I liked it. Hard to believe it was one string. It sounded old and authentic to me.

Offline waxwing

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Re: Cigar Box guitar
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2007, 03:58:44 PM »
Thanks, I can't wait to make another one as I had to give that one away. But I've got quite a few vintage cigar boxes from ebay, so now I just have to eat a lot of chickens.-G-

All for now.
John C.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

http://www.youtube.com/user/WaxwingJohn
CD on YT

leonard

  • Guest
Cigarbox gitar underway
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2007, 08:57:32 PM »
I went out today to a craft store. Bought a box . A oak 1x2 from lowe's.  Filed the neck. Installed tuners. cut and stained the box. Also cut 4 holes in the box. Put some brass drain covers in the holes. Its been a long day working on this thing. I'm tickled with it so far. Found a scale calculator online, for the neck don't know if i'm gonna put frets on or not,might just mark them on.
Weird thing happened. Went to our salvation army store to look for a box. Didn't find one. I did find a Steve James cd. Didn't really look at it too close. When I was in line to buy it I noticed on the cover there's a cigarbox guitar hangin on a pole right in the center on the cd. Big as life. Thought that was kinda weird. If anyone is interested I can give you the links where I got the plans. Saw some neat pictures there.
 

Offline waxwing

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Re: Cigar Box guitar
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2007, 09:05:56 PM »
Sounds cool. Post some pics when you get it done. Maybe an mp3, too.

All for now.
John C.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

http://www.youtube.com/user/WaxwingJohn
CD on YT

leonard

  • Guest
Cigarbox guitar picture
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2007, 04:24:08 PM »
This is what I got so far. Man I need a router!

leonard

  • Guest
completed cigarbox guitar + pic's
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2007, 07:34:33 AM »
Here it is !   It is really alot of fun. Made the bridge movable . You can really get alot of tone variations depending on where you put it. The piezo transducer is great. Got it from Stew mac. It really sounds nice thru the amp. With distortion you can get a really cool sound. I really didn't expect it to sound like much.
Will try to send a sound clip later. Gluing the box together today.I'd really recomend building one of these if you like that kinda thing.   Lenny

Offline waxwing

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Re: Cigar Box guitar
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2007, 11:57:46 AM »
Looks cool, Lenny, altho' I'm more into the acoustic thing. I'm gonna make a few more diddley bows soon and I'll post pics and sound clips. I have about 40 cigarboxes (ebay) to choose from, both vintage and new, so I'll have lots of different tonalities. How 'bout a sound clip of yours, played acoustically? I'm wondering if the box adds any resonance, since it seems you've attached the bridge almost directly to the neck stick.

BTW, for your ease of viewing, I merged all these threads to keep the info all in one place. Continue the discussion by using the Reply function. No need to start a new thread every time.

All for now.
John C.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

http://www.youtube.com/user/WaxwingJohn
CD on YT

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Cigar Box guitar
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2007, 12:17:21 PM »
Looks fun, Lenny. Am looking forward to hearing a sound sample!

leonard

  • Guest
Re: Cigar Box guitar
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2007, 12:35:55 PM »
Hey John
Thanks. I think different sized boxes will make a difference. I cheated and used a jewelry type box. It really does resonate. Not as loud as a guitar,but it really has a different sound. I'm gonna do the sound clip as soon as I unclamp it. I think it would have been alot louder without the sound hole covers. I thought about putting 2 more smaller holes in the top .
You'll be surprised how much fun it is.
It doesn't need a amp. Next time I want to line up the tuners with the string slots in the nut better. Had a nasty ring on the high string. Reversed the string on the post and file the slot alittle more,straigtened it right out.
I took it to work,a few guitar players there. They liked it. I felt like a proud papa.
I kinda think it sounded better with out the varnish,not sure it just seemed to .
Where the strings come up from the stick they barely touched the box.
I think it was affecting the sound some,seemed to mute it alittle.After I put that little brass piece on it got alittle crisper.   Lenny

leonard

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Re: Cigar Box guitar
« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2007, 12:40:52 PM »
Thanks Uncle Bud.
Its really fun to play. I didn't really think there would be much to it. Stays in tune great! I'm going to do the sound clip tonight or tomorrow.
                                                                              Lenny

leonard

  • Guest
sound clip
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2007, 03:43:21 AM »
I wanted to do a sound clip yesterday. Broke a string. I think I keep wanting to tune it too high. Having alittle trouble figuring out what strings to use . Still experimenting.

leonard

  • Guest
Re: Cigar Box guitar audio file
« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2007, 05:21:05 PM »
I'm trying to figure out how to do a audio file thats not so large . I have cakewalk but the file comes out really large. Will post when I get this down.   lenny

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Cigar Box guitar
« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2007, 07:48:06 PM »
Hi Lenny - you need to convert to mp3 with a low bit rate like 32 kbps to get a file that is under the limit. 32 usually works, especially mono recordings. That's for a 3 minute song. A shorter sample can be converted at a higher bit rate. A one minute sample you could try at 48 kbps.

leonard

  • Guest
Re: Cigar Box guitar
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2007, 03:56:17 AM »
Thanks!!!   I need to work on that tonight.  lenny

leonard

  • Guest
Re: Cigar Box guitar here's my sound clip
« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2007, 04:06:36 PM »
Thanks for the help with the sound file. I kept breaking the d string. I knew the sound I wanted ,just couldn't quite get it. The strings are A D G B.   The tuning is F C F C. I went to a cigarbox forum to get help with the tunings they suggested to use E A D G  for the strings. Tunings were G D A E or D F# A D or D G B D. They are nice,more bass. I like having that B string in there,its fun for slide. I mostly play acoustic,but this thing sounds cool thru the amp with dis.  This clip is recorded using a   mic only. Please let me know if it opens ok. Thanks  Lenny

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Offline Rivers

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Re: Cigar Box guitar
« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2007, 04:26:59 PM »
Opened fine Lenny, sounds very John Fahey-ish. Intonation and tone are good, hard to tell though with the pickup and amp. That's cheating!  ;)

leonard

  • Guest
Re: Cigar Box guitar
« Reply #25 on: March 06, 2007, 04:47:32 PM »
Thanks! John Fahey,thats a big compliment! I swear I didn't cheat. This recording was straight .no amp. Didn't even plug it in. It might sound alittle off because of the size reduction.Haven't got that down real good yet.
Its fun to lay back on the couch and watch tv with this thing.
Couldn't have made the thing without the Weanie Campbell Site
and your help.Hell  I couldn't even convert the sound file.
                                                                               Lp

leonard

  • Guest
Re: Cigar Box guitar electric
« Reply #26 on: March 06, 2007, 06:53:36 PM »
here's one with my nasty old amp. 

[attachment deleted by admin]

Offline Rivers

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Re: Cigar Box guitar
« Reply #27 on: March 07, 2007, 04:44:20 PM »
Pretty gothic that one.

leonard

  • Guest
Re: Cigar Box guitar
« Reply #28 on: March 07, 2007, 05:55:08 PM »
I was thinkin about buying a old 1930's cathedral radio on ebay and putting alittle amp in it. It would look pretty cool. the radio cabinets are kinda expensive. Still thinking on that one.

 


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