Cigar Box Guitar

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Project by Mike Gager posted 12-19-2012 04:36 PM 2208 views 3 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

here is my first cigar box guitar, or CBG as they are commonly called. it uses a cool drew estates undercrown box, maple neck with 4d finishing nails for frets. some cheap ping tuners and it has a piezo rod pickup under the bridge to make it electric.

it sounds pretty good and i have learned quite a bit by building it, the biggest thing is next time im using real fret wire instead of nails. the nails came out ok but they were a lot of work!

i have already started my second guitar and have plans for many more, these things are adictive!

9 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118297 posts in 4864 days

#1 posted 12-19-2012 04:54 PM

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3463 days

#2 posted 12-19-2012 05:32 PM


View pintodeluxe's profile


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#3 posted 12-19-2012 05:37 PM

I love these things!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Druid's profile


2205 posts in 4083 days

#4 posted 12-19-2012 08:37 PM

Looks good Mike. I’m surprised at the thickness of the box joints. Any cigar boxes that I’ve seen are only about half that thick, and I’m sure that they wouldn’t be worth the effort of a project like this.
Waiting to see the next version.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

665 posts in 4555 days

#5 posted 12-19-2012 09:04 PM

yeah its a pretty stout box, the top is nearly 1/2” thick. my next one im working on is a paper covered box, its sides and top are only about 1/8” thick. should provide quite a bit different sound

View Jim's profile


150 posts in 3656 days

#6 posted 12-19-2012 10:20 PM

Nice job, does the neck run all the way through?

-- Measure twice, cut once.

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

665 posts in 4555 days

#7 posted 12-20-2012 02:10 AM

yes it does

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 4583 days

#8 posted 12-20-2012 12:55 PM

Nice job Mike !
You did a great job on this !
These are super fun to build and play.
I built one last year, no frets, meant for finger slide.

Bolts, half a hinge, strainers. Get most of the stuff at the local flea market.


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View Ted Crocker's profile

Ted Crocker

11 posts in 3923 days

#9 posted 12-20-2012 05:18 PM

Looks great Mike. Nice box, I can’t believe how thick that top is. Good job on the frets, I can imagine how much work they were.

Just a reminder to anyone interested in building a cigar box guitar, you can find lots of info, lessons, photos, videos, groups, forums and even live chat at the Handmade Music Clubhouse. There’s also info on all types of homemade instruments and music.

-- Make some sawdust & make some music!

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