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Author Topic: Anyone else had fun messing with cigar box guitars?  (Read 2671 times)

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Online Norfolk Slim

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Anyone else had fun messing with cigar box guitars?
« on: September 18, 2012, 06:42:26 AM »
I finished my first effort a couple of weeks back.  Made it small for my son.  3 strings, not very loud at all (small box, and thick lid) but he thinks its great along with the donated slide and plectrum!

I'm now trying to put what I learnt into practice for a bigger better one...  If it turns out okay Ill have to figure out a song on it and post it on the back porch some time.

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Anyone else had fun messing with cigar box guitars?
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2012, 07:16:43 AM »
Daddy Stovepipe seems to be an expert in these matters... maybe you could PM him?

Offline BottleneckJohn

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Re: Anyone else had fun messing with cigar box guitars?
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2012, 10:47:51 AM »
Yes, do finish your new one and post some clips! It's truly a remarkable instrument, so freakin' simple and complicated at the same time, haha!  :D

I've got a single stringer, a diddley-bow, as simple as it can be with the neck stick and a couple of bolts for bridge and nut.. Check it out here:

http://www.bottleneckjohn.com/CBG.htm

Good luck with yours!!
« Last Edit: September 19, 2012, 10:49:57 AM by BottleneckJohn »
"All Around Man" - Re-release on vinyl LP in April 2015!!
http://www.bottleneckjohn.com/newcd.htm
BJ

Offline frailer24

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Re: Anyone else had fun messing with cigar box guitars?
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2012, 02:34:10 AM »
Made one years ago out of 2 boxes glued together, 6 strings. Gave it to my cousin when he got ill. Lot o' fun!
That's all she wrote Mabel!

Offline nobocaster

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Re: Anyone else had fun messing with cigar box guitars?
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2012, 01:52:14 PM »
  I've made a handful of cigar box ukes over the years.  I like to find boxes that are made of solid wood instead of ply.  I think they sound way better (and louder).  There's some nice boxes out there that are made from nice quarter-sawn cedar type wood.. very similar to what you'd use for a "real" instrument top. 

  Have fun with it!
  Devin

Offline Stumblin

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Re: Anyone else had fun messing with cigar box guitars?
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2012, 09:39:07 AM »
I'm about ready to start building, got a nice box & going with a mate to score some neck timber & wood stain etc. on Friday.
Any advice regarding frets and scale length would be greatly appreciated. Also, I'm considering the possibilities of some kind of pick-up, any thoughts?
I'm going to build a three stringed instrument, as cheaply as possible.
This little project has really got my enthusiasm fired up.

Online Norfolk Slim

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Re: Anyone else had fun messing with cigar box guitars?
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2012, 01:16:47 PM »
Ive knocked up 4 now- 2 simple things for the kids, one bad one for me- and one half decent one im pleased with, which my dad is going to get for Christmas. 

3 strings is good.  Cigar Box Nation is the site to visit. 

Many are made fretless, but ive done half decent frets on one.  Problem is action- as the standard neck through method makes it difficult to get playable frets which are well intonated higher up the  neck.

Lots of these seem to be made almost baritone scale - using 3/4/5th strings from a normal guitar.

I think you just have to make the neck which suits you and fits the box, and then figure out the scale length which works with it.  Ive not fussed about it- and then just used an online calculator for the scale length it turns out to be once its built!

As for pickups- lots of stuff on CB nation- but I put 2 piezo discs (about 60p each from maplin or ebay) in parallel, and it works fine.  Seems the trick is to insulate them to avoid them being too sensitive and feeding back.  I used a hot glue gun and covered them in a good layer of plastic  before attaching them to the box.  Seems to work.

Sooner or late Ill figure out a song on 3 string and post it on the back porch.  Maybe a video to show the guitar!

Currently building a resonator Cigar Box guitar.  Guy in the states makes cones specially for $25- Should end up looking a bit like this:

http://api.ning.com/files/YOcEglVQyC6Yi3UFeX7t5RAk1HrzgsxxdOwaCoFD6Vv7I3l8umRSFoxh0P1X8zD2/P1010366.JPG?width=450&height=600

Offline Stumblin

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Re: Anyone else had fun messing with cigar box guitars?
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2012, 03:01:06 PM »
Cheers, Slim.
I've already had a butcher's at Cigar Box Nation, now I'm thinking that a 3-string diddleybow will be the easiest option for a first time build. Let's see how it goes and maybe try fretting any subsequent model.
Maybe I'll try a bit of pokerwork decoration on the neck, with some visual hints at basic scale positions.
Anyhoo...
It's liable to take a few weeks, I'll keep you all posted.
Excelsior!

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Anyone else had fun messing with cigar box guitars?
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2012, 05:22:51 PM »
Sooner or late Ill figure out a song on 3 string and post it on the back porch.  Maybe a video to show the guitar!

Please do!

Offline Johnm

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Re: Anyone else had fun messing with cigar box guitars?
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2012, 05:35:45 PM »
Yes, I'd love to see that too, Simon.  Maybe you can do like Sam Collins--have an instrument that is not set up to play in tune, but play it in tune anyway!
All best,
Johnm

Online Norfolk Slim

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Re: Anyone else had fun messing with cigar box guitars?
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2012, 09:46:27 AM »
Well here is a first effort.

The guitar is a 3 string- which in due course will be my Dad's Christmas present (need to sort the string spacing first- which causes me to trip up a bit at the start of the video...).  I'm playing it acoustically, but it plugs in too- and sounds much the same (only louder  ;))

My daughter's favourite guitar song!




« Last Edit: November 24, 2012, 09:50:18 AM by Norfolk Slim »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Anyone else had fun messing with cigar box guitars?
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2012, 09:54:01 AM »
Nice job, Simon!  Your instrument has a nice tone and amazing bass for such a small box.  Playing and singing both sounding fine.
All best,
Johnm

Offline frankie

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Re: Anyone else had fun messing with cigar box guitars?
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2012, 05:25:02 PM »
cool - looks and sounds great!

Offline Stumblin

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Re: Anyone else had fun messing with cigar box guitars?
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2012, 03:30:44 AM »
Sweet.
Still working on my CBG project, yours is giving me inspiration.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Anyone else had fun messing with cigar box guitars?
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2012, 09:22:09 AM »
Cool. Looks and sounds real nice. Is there a reason to go with a 3-string as opposed to 4-string setup?

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