• Some of you may have noticed I've been more invisible than usual lately. Sorry to say, it's not because I've been grinding away at some new skins....

    20l82q Xm4qk3

    ^ Meet Wilson, my first Cigar Box Guitar build... seems to be a resemblance to that other Wilson eh? Actually, it's not a cigar box in the true sense, because I built everything myself, including the box. I didn't have the courage to screw up a perfectly good 'real' cigar box on my first build, so I used whatever scraps I had in the garage.

    Wilson's eyes, or 'sound-holes' are 'crumb-catchers' designed for a typical sink-drain at the local pub. The string-bridge is a bolt with the threaded portion cut-off beyond the end-nut. I used a center-punch to expand the remaining threads, locking the end-nut in place. Then filed the mounting surfaces at each end to be a little bit flatter than the others.. more surface area in contact with the sound board. The bridge is held in place by the string tension, thus facilitating any intonation adjustments if necessary.

    I built the stand for my Ibanez electric. Nothing fancy, but I didn't want to sit Wilson on the damp clover...might catch a cold or something smile

    1127n9g Vgn8ll

    ^ The neck and the sound-box front/back, are made of poplar, which produces the greenish hue. I would have used spruce or cedar as they're more resonant; but I didn't have any, and the poplar panel was just lying around from a previous project. The sound-box sides are made of redwood lattice, and the fretboard is red oak. The neck runs straight through the sound-box for added strength. The inner glue-joints of the sound-box are reinforced with 1/4" wood strips. The audio jack is also 'blocked-in' with wood strips, in case any tightening needs to be done with the outer bezel; keeps the inner workings from spinning around until it breaks the wiring. Because the box was glued shut, I had to ensure that everything would be self-sufficient for the duration, including the solder joints. There's no access plates on this baby. Everything was given a light coat of stain, then finished with orange-oil. I did not stain too dark, as I wanted the natural tones of the wood to remain. Although I might apply some gun-stock oil later; depends upon how much the wood absorbs the existing finish.


    ^ Head stock and hardware. The head-nut is a cut-off portion of a bolt and was hot-glued into the recess made with a round wood rasp; although the string tension would hold it in place, it's nice to have it secured when changing strings. The eye-bolt and wing-nut tuners were heated on a BBQ grill and dipped into used automatic transmission fluid to produce a patina (used motor oil works also). The string holes were made using a center-punch, then drilling a hole though the shaft. The wing-nut locks everything down once the strings are tuned; I'm currently using an 'open G' tuning (G-D-G). I used the A-D-G stings from an electric guitar set, just because I had an extra pack for my store-bought Ibanez axe. Regular bronze wound acoustic strings are fine, unless used with a magnetic pickup. I gave this one the 'electric' option, by installing a piezo buzzer, or 'transducer', from our local electronics store. I busted the plastic shell from the buzzer that housed the piezo, then soldered the bare piezo and wires to a 1/4" audio output jack. The outer rim of the piezo is sandwiched between two pieces of rubber washers and hot-glued to a wooden block inside the body, under the through-neck near the bridge. Amazing that something designed to produce a loud buzzing sound, can also act as a sound receiver.


    ^ Twigs and toothpicks. I had originally installed frets made of cotter-pin halves, super-glued to the fretboard; but since I like to play this thing with a glass slide, I kept banging the slide against the frets which was rather unpleasant. So I decided to go fret-less, and pulled them all off with the aid of the missus' fingernail polish remover (acetone). Then I used a wood burning tip on the soldering iron, to place fret marks where I can see them along the top edge of the fretboard as I'm strumming. Then I hit on the idea of using flat toothpicks and inlaying them into the fretboard. I used a fine-tooth hacksaw to make the initial cuts, then switched to a miter saw for the final cuts since it's tooth-path is the same width as the toothpicks. The miter-saw is a bit coarse, which is why I used the finer hacksaw initially.. less chance to splinter the wood. And anyone who's worked with wood knows, that there's no 'do-overs' once we remove something.

    Oh yes, the twigs.. if you look closely, you'll see that the little position markers (dots) are actually cross-sections of dry twigs. The dark circle is the outer bark. I used the same fine-tooth hacksaw and a miter-box to cut them, and it was very tricky to leave the bark on. I probably cut twenty cross-sections before I produced eight good ones.


    ^ Picture hangar tailpiece and a Harley 'S&S Super' carburetor mount bushing for a strap button, with a rubber cabinet leg for a bumper.

    Sorry I don't have a sound-bite to go with this, but here is a great 'CBG' video featuring Mike Snowden: ..this guy's good; enjoy! smile

  • wow--nice

    very cool

    Here is my pride and joy.

    My 1951 Gibson L-50 archtop

    I also have a Strat, a Martin, and a 1965 Fender Princeton Reverb amp.

    IMG 0419

  • WOW !!!
    I really miss your input ??
    Hope you and the family are OK
    Regards Ok

  • That machine head is something else! Good to hear from you Rudi.

  • Oh Rudi, Sorry I missed it.
    Fantastic cigar box.
    I want to send you some music ASAP.
    I'll give you an Address.
    Do send me a PM and I'll give you info

  • Hi Rudi,

    it's always nice to hear about people's additional hobbies. Though i really don't know anything about guitars i like music of all genres and sometimes
    i'm making such myself. Must be a big joy to play on a selfbuilt instrument.

    I'm very pleased to hear from you, already thought about opening a thread like 'Rudi?'...
    Hope you are well!


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