My First Cigar Box Guitar

I kept a couple of cigar boxes on hand for years (please don’t ask how many) with the idea of making cigar box guitars out of them. I finally got around to it in early 2016. I used an article in Make: as my guide (available here online).

My first cigar box guitar
My first cigar box guitar

While I love to scrounge up cast-offs for my projects, I had to buy some new materials for this one, including guitar tuners, a stick of 1×2 oak, some fret wire, guitar strings, and the hinge I used for the tailpiece. Other parts, like the twig I used for a bridge, the nut (a bolt – ha ha!), and the box itself. I added a homemade piezoelectric pickup made from a buzzer element, which worked fantastically.

I had some trouble with the action being high, which is good for playing slide guitar, of course, but less good when you’re fingering. For the next iteration, I might experiment with angling the neck relative to the soundboard, kind of like a violin. But all in all, it sounds pretty good, if I do say so myself.

I donated this one to a charity auction, so I don’t have it anymore. But I do know its owner. Before I let it go, though, I had a chance to record a snippet of music. Love that edgy cigar box sound!

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