Build The BATFINK Cigar Box Cello - Our most insane DIY instrument plans ever!

A note from Shane: When I received these plans from Ward Shrake several weeks ago, I had to double check my blood alcohol levels to make sure I wasn't imagining things.  Sure enough, I was 100% sober...and I was gazing at a full set of instrument plans based on an obscure episode of the Batfink cartoon from 1966!  

I think these are the wildest set of plans we've ever published!  I dare one of you to build this.  

IMPROVE THESE PLANS?:  If you improve these plans, post them in the comments below.  Also post your finished photos!!!

But first, I present the original cartoon featuring the diabolical Professor Vibrato and his cigar box cello weapon:

Professor Vibrato's Cigar Box Cello - by Ward Shrake

Hey, I'm wondering if maybe you would want to post this stuff I'm sending, onto the "tech article" section, over at Cigar Box Nation?

[I used] screen-grabs from a 1966 TV show and some fan-made measurements to go along with it.  

Even though the TV show only shows one size, I'm including measurements here for two sizes. What I'm calling the "full scale" version (on the sheet of figures) was gonna be way too big to be much like most other real-life "cigar box guitars," in terms of size and shape, so just for kicks, I drew up another at approx half of that "toon" size.That "half scale" version was, to my eyes, a bit too small in "real life". I did some math and (some occasional rounding-off) and to me, a "five-eighth's scale" version looked pretty close in size to what most CBG-building folks would be used to.

Hopefully, you'll get a kick out of this silliness!


 -- Ward Shrake --

Views: 2299

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

2 kewl . ;-)

Well... that's one cartoon series I've never seen before!

Looking at the total measurements I believe that the professor was quite short ;-)

3 string cigar box celloBowed Dulci / Cello


thats sooo good!

Oh Boy, Saturday cartoons. 

I so miss those... it seems the world was better just knowing that every Saturday the airwaves were saturated with some hand drawn animation goodness... and a coyote that never learns...

I was a 70s child, not old enough for Batfink, but... I remember those Saturday morning cartoons, in particular Schoolhouse Rock! with episodes like "Conjunction Junction" and "I'm Just a Bill". Those would be really fun songs to play.

I would want to electrify the cello, though. I mean, it's too close in size to a violin! A bass pickup might give it a cello sound, at least.

I'm really struggling to fully understand the plans. Having watched the very informative video, I think I'm OK with the woodwork, but I can't seem to find the vibrato gizmo on the CB Gitty site. I thought it would be in the same category as the Psycho Knob. Can anyone help?

I want metal batwings.

I just did a stupid google search for the average height of an American man in the 1960's.

The average was 5'8"...

So I was right, according to the instrument's size in the plan, the professor was short :-)

(Yeah, I know... I'm a bit of a geek)

So, if you want to do the build, the foot piece needs to be 17 inches long in order for the cello to be the proper size...

But I haven't calculated the size of the drawing, I just deduced that.

Come on Shane, show us one you made... ;)


The Essential Pages

New to Cigar Box Nation? How to Play Cigar Box GuitarsFree Plans & How to Build Cigar Box GuitarsCigar Box Guitar Building BasicsCigar Box Guitar Parts Store

Site Sponsor

Recommended Links & Resources


Latest Activity

Nancy kat liked Downtown Vinnie's video
2 minutes ago
Nancy kat commented on Downtown Vinnie's video

Cold and Damp

"This is lovely Vinnie... I like you in the black and white very cool look!! Meeowww^..^"
2 minutes ago
Nancy kat liked Poorness Studios's video
4 minutes ago
Nancy kat commented on Poorness Studios's video

Grass (An Original Song)

"Fun tune it fits Vinnie lol....Love the music and lyrics! Meeeowww^..^"
4 minutes ago
Nancy kat liked Dave Lynas's video
6 minutes ago
Nancy kat commented on Dave Lynas's video

Refugee Road

" Very suiting to your voice Dave a real winner!! The lyrics are so telling your story singing…"
6 minutes ago
Nancy kat liked RTZGUITARS's video
13 minutes ago
Nancy kat commented on RTZGUITARS's video

Working Stiff Blues

"Ha a kitty! A Rtzy clasic!!! Cool as usual......Meeeowww^..^"
13 minutes ago
Nancy kat liked BUGGY (C)'s video
15 minutes ago
Nancy kat commented on BUGGY (C)'s video

Don't go

"Hot stuff Buggy!!! Great energy as always! Meeowww^..^"
15 minutes ago
Nancy kat liked Dave Lynas's video
19 minutes ago
Nancy kat commented on Dave Lynas's video

I’ll be there for You

"Pretty tune from the Golly Moses Boys!!! That shaker sure is cool! Meeowwwww^..^"
19 minutes ago



© 2020   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

\uastyle>\ud/** Scrollup **/\ud.scrollup {\ud background: url("") no-repeat scroll 0 0 transparent;\ud bottom: 25px;\ud display: inline !important;\ud height: 40px;\ud opacity: 0.3 !important;\ud position: fixed;\ud right: 30px;\ud text-indent: -9999px;\ud width: 40px;\ud z-index: 999;\ud}\ud.scrollup:hover {\ud opacity:0.99!important;\ud}\ud \uascript type="text/javascript">\ud x$(document).ready(function(){\ud x$(window).scroll(function(){\ud if (x$(this).scrollTop() > 100) {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeIn();\ud } else {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeOut();\ud }\ud });\ud x$('.scrollup').click(function(){\ud x$("html, body").animate({ scrollTop: 0 }, 600);\ud return false;\ud });\ud });\ud \ua!-- End Scroll Up -->