First Cigar Box Guitar Builds #1: First Cigar Box Guitar Builds

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Blog entry by Woodknack posted 05-13-2012 09:05 AM 2811 reads 1 time favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of First Cigar Box Guitar Builds series Part 2: Got a little further today »

A family project, my wife and I are making ours first but my fifteen year old daughter also plans to build one later. Finding cigar boxes took the longest but I happened across some cardboard boxes while on a business trip for 25 cents each and grabbed four. The only wooden boxes they had were small but I also bought a medium sized paper covered wooden box that I might later make into a ukulele.

For the neck I selected red oak but plan on adding a walnut fingerboard. My wife selected a piece of warped rough walnut; not sure how that will turn out but she’s happy and you know that’s all that counts. She had a blast using hand planes to smooth down that rough stock although the wild grain pattern presented some challenges.

Since this picture I’ve glued on a heel where the neck meets the box. You can also see our different approaches on the headstock. I chose to angle the headstock with a scarf joint while she chose a drop-down style. My headstock angle was supposed to be 10 degrees but for some odd reason I cut it to 5 degrees which is too shallow and left my fingerboard too short for the planned 24 5/8” (Gibson) scale length. Now I’m down to about a 22” scale and I’m not sure how that will sound be we shall see.

We rounded over the back of my wife’s guitar neck and will eventually do the same to mine. In the background you can see the yellow Santa Damiana Torpedo cigar box. The scarf joint is also visible from this angle.

-- Rick M,

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