Six string cigar box guitar

Jerry garrcia

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Hi all. I’m starting my first build of a cigar box guitar.
Not going for a three or four string one but a six string. Aim is to get a travel guitar with a bit of a hollow body guitar sound. To bring the expensive archtop is just a major risk on a train or bike.

Got a lot of scrap parts and a cigar vendor close by where I go for a run or a walk with the dog, who give me those free cigar boxes (not the dog).

So for parts:
- old T-neck
- posts 250K L and A
- mini tele bridge
- a P90 for the bridge position
- 0.11 flat wounds
- cigar box
- nitro clear coat in a spray can.

So my questions are:
1) any suggestions for a “F-hole” make (want it to be easy and will not be able to make regular “F-holes”. Have a chisel, dremmel and some drills. Round?
2) any thing to think of? Planning to put a wood block to attach the neck to and another one in the back for the bridge and a strap button.
3) will this construction hold up?
F9702513-F114-4320-AC79-96B56186FE1F.jpeg
80EAA3E8-D3F9-4844-9416-4E1DE6990A7E.jpeg
B929A8CF-DA91-4730-B52F-4E3DF6697622.jpeg
 

mandoloony

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Rök skadar dina barn, din familj och dina vänner... men jazzen är den tysta mördaren.

Tack Google Translate.

For #1 I'd just use a drill with a circular bit. Nice and round, and easier than doing it by hand. But I'd wait until the bridge and neck block are laid out to see how big it can be and where it can fit.
 

bgmacaw

Doctor of Teleocity
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Feb 11, 2006
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Near Athens GA USA
1) any suggestions for a “F-hole” make (want it to be easy and will not be able to make regular “F-holes”. Have a chisel, dremmel and some drills. Round?
2) any thing to think of? Planning to put a wood block to attach the neck to and another one in the back for the bridge and a strap button.
3) will this construction hold up?

1. Doing a round hole and hiding the rough edges with something decorative works well. F-holes are going to be tricky. For them, a template and a scroll saw are going to work best. You might be able to get by with a jigsaw or a coping saw but be prepared for error. I've done a few but not been happy with the results. I think it requires some practice with scrap to get good results.

2. Getting the neck block and pocket right is going to be the tricky part. I've found an oscillating multi-tool with saw blades to be very effective in cutting boxes precisely. It certainly beats when I was trying to do this with hand tools. A solid center block for mounting the neck, pickups and bridge is a good way to handle it.

3. I've not done a 6 string, only 1 to 4 strings. The advantage you'll have using an existing regular guitar neck is that you'll have a truss rod. The durability of the bridge and neck mounting is going to depend on the block of wood. A good hardwood block should hold up well.

Here are some CBGs I've built using the block technique. I carved the necks. The 2 stringer has round holes covered up with a decorative metal. The "Moon Pie" tin has a block of oak from the front to back. I cut out a place for the "stealth" P90. The Sinclair Dino is a box I built with a tin sign on top. The center block is also oak. I used a very thin humbucker that didn't require cutting into the block.

cbg7.png
 

Jerry garrcia

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Rök skadar dina barn, din familj och dina vänner... men jazzen är den tysta mördaren.

Tack Google Translate.

For #1 I'd just use a drill with a circular bit. Nice and round, and easier than doing it by hand. But I'd wait until the bridge and neck block are laid out to see how big it can be and where it can fit.
The jazz is the energy for life. Thanks for the tip. The round hole option was the way I thought of. Probably the easiest way to get the best “look” if not skilled with wood work. Realised that I might have put the ribs to close to the sides so the tone and volume pot will be a tight squeeze…
 

Zepfan

Doctor of Teleocity
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Nov 30, 2013
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Horn Lake, MS
I put a through piece into the box supported by spacers to give the box some stability. Then attach the neck to the through piece.
1666299267782.jpeg

1666299123078.jpeg

Some people cut awaysome of the through piece top to allow more box top to vibrate, but you need the through piece to contact the box top at end and under bridge at least.
 

Jerry garrcia

Tele-Holic
Joined
Nov 14, 2021
Posts
602
Age
48
Location
Sweden
1. Doing a round hole and hiding the rough edges with something decorative works well. F-holes are going to be tricky. For them, a template and a scroll saw are going to work best. You might be able to get by with a jigsaw or a coping saw but be prepared for error. I've done a few but not been happy with the results. I think it requires some practice with scrap to get good results.

2. Getting the neck block and pocket right is going to be the tricky part. I've found an oscillating multi-tool with saw blades to be very effective in cutting boxes precisely. It certainly beats when I was trying to do this with hand tools. A solid center block for mounting the neck, pickups and bridge is a good way to handle it.

3. I've not done a 6 string, only 1 to 4 strings. The advantage you'll have using an existing regular guitar neck is that you'll have a truss rod. The durability of the bridge and neck mounting is going to depend on the block of wood. A good hardwood block should hold up well.

Here are some CBGs I've built using the block technique. I carved the necks. The 2 stringer has round holes covered up with a decorative metal. The "Moon Pie" tin has a block of oak from the front to back. I cut out a place for the "stealth" P90. The Sinclair Dino is a box I built with a tin sign on top. The center block is also oak. I used a very thin humbucker that didn't require cutting into the block.

View attachment 1042149
Some beautiful builds! Thank you for your guidance. I do also think the neck pocket will be the tricky part. A fun project for me to learn how to do it all without ruin a lot of valuable wood. Have bought some grade AAA wood from the European alps for a later archtop build. 🙏
 




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