Thursday, April 26, 2012

Improvements on my first cigar box guitar build.

To improve my first cigar box guitar build, I added a piece of 2" x 1/4" mahogany mull casing (ripped to 1.5") to the neck. I sanded it multiple times and applied multiple layers of clear shellac to it. I glued it to the neck with wood glue (while clamping I ran into issues with ink bleed on my clamp softeners). Then I also added fret marks with a silver sharpie (which then smeared while trying to clean things). I also screwed the neck to the cigar box in two places hoping to eliminate some odd buzzing/high harmonics that were occuring. Some of them were coming from the nut and/or bridge because the strings were not fully engaged or trapped by a notch in the nut or bridge.
fretless cigar box guitar
For the nut and the bridge I used bamboo chopsticks, harder then the native wood used for the cigar box. mahogany fret board
neck and nut

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

First Cigar Box Guitar build

Cigar Box Guitar A few photos of my first cigar box guitar. For cigar boxes both Hyde Park Cigars (the place on 53rd and Harper) and Binny's have them, although the latter's supply is variable. The neck is 1x2 poplar from home depot. I bought the tuning pegs for about $10 from C.B Gitty and the strings online. The saddle is a hard drive spindle top as are the coverings on the sound holes. The bridge and neck are just pieces of the cigar box. There is a piezo pickup inside. So, the errors made in this build were: the holes drilled for the tuning pegs need to be aligned better. I drilled 1/4" holes with a forstner bit; these fit the pegs perfectly but not the little bushings-and the next biggest size was too big, leaving the lowest tuner a little bent. The neck doesn't hold the strings--I made a notch for each string but the highest string is too loose in the notch. The cigar box wood is too light for this. I cut out the cigar box to fit the neck but forgot about the box top so the box can interfere with fretting. I think a fret board might help. I wired the piezo backwards but no apparent harm; I'd like to experiment with positioning and how to attach them. I can't play, but it was easy, fun, and now I've got a cigar box guitar! I can't wait to improve upon it with another one.

Monday, February 06, 2012