These cigar box ukulele plans by Shelley Rickey of the Mourning Glories offer some of the easiest methods for constructing your own playable uke. 

Originally published in Bust Magazine in 2011, the design requires no fretting tools (the frets are black zip ties!) and utilize a simple stick-through-box construction.  

So how does it sound?  Here's Shelley playing the first one she ever built:

Material Costs: 
Under $20

Materials:

  • Cigar box
  • 4 tuners (such as these Shane Speal tuners)
  • Ukulele strings
  • Wood
  • Wood glue
  • Wooden plank, 1.5" x .75" x 26"  (a 1x2 plank of poplar from Lowe's or Home Depot works great)
  • Small piece of hardwood, 1.5" x .375 x .5
  • Linseed oil or bees wax furniture polish
  • 12 small plastic cable zip ties

Download the entire set of plans as a 7 page PDF document:

Cigar Box Ukulele Plans by Shelley Rickey

MOURNING GLORIES UPDATE:  Our favorite retro trio are recording a new album!  The Mourning Glories have a fantastic crowdfunding page so that you can support them:

Related:  VIDEO - The Mourning Glories "Jailhouse Blues"

Views: 9078

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Excellent price point - $20 - to make a ukelele building workshop very affordable. Thanks for sharing!

I'm surprised you aren't using slack key tuning. GCEG

I'm going to build one o' those!

Two things though:

1.)  How do you get the zip ties to lie down flush with the fingerboard and not with a gap?

2.)  What is the title of that song Shelley sings/plays, and where do I find the lyrics/chords for it?  It's a REALLY pretty song, especially the way Shelley sings it! 

are the tuners in the wrong way around? string tension will pull the gear away from the worm no into it??

RSS

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

Forum

Truss rods in lap steel?

Started by Henrik Jørgensen in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Henrik Jørgensen 3 hours ago. 2 Replies

Frets and fretboard

Started by Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Jerry Jordan yesterday. 9 Replies

Perma grit sandpaper

Started by Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner yesterday. 4 Replies

Fret Sides Dressing

Started by Brent Kasl in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Titch the Clown on Friday. 8 Replies

Slide off decals

Started by Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner on Friday. 10 Replies

30.5" scale lay-out help needed please!

Started by Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner on Thursday. 20 Replies

Break angle for bridge

Started by Fantacone Box Works in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner on Thursday. 28 Replies

Blog Posts

Getting ready for next build

Posted by Sean Murphy on July 17, 2019 at 12:54pm 3 Comments

What wood is this?

Posted by Sean Murphy on July 16, 2019 at 10:48am 7 Comments

apology

Posted by Danny Gordon on July 13, 2019 at 7:30pm 3 Comments

Latest Activity

Hollis Fenn commented on Hollis Fenn's video
Thumbnail

Gatton Two piece license plate box

"I will post part two where I play it electric later. It has two 27mm piezo discs wired parallel…"
9 minutes ago
Hollis Fenn posted a video

Gatton Two piece license plate box

Part one of the Dave Gatton License plate box guitar. This is the acoustic demo. Part two will be the electric demo. http://www.davegatton.com/guitars-for......
12 minutes ago
Gary W aka Rev. Bluejeans commented on Poorness Studios's photo
Thumbnail

A trio of 3 stringers

"Good lookin' bunch-o-gitties!"
1 hour ago
Gary W aka Rev. Bluejeans commented on Beetlejuice!'s photo
1 hour ago
AGP # liked Clint Spotts's photo
1 hour ago
AGP # liked David Bowes's photo
1 hour ago
Tom E liked AGP #'s photo
1 hour ago
Tom E liked Daniel Hulbert's photo
1 hour ago
Tom E liked Rich's photo
1 hour ago
Tom E liked Rich's photo
1 hour ago
Tom E liked Evan Keeling's photo
1 hour ago
Tom E liked Evan Keeling's photo
1 hour ago

Music

Loading…

© 2019   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

\uastyle>\ud/** Scrollup **/\ud.scrollup {\ud background: url("https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/963882636?profile=original") 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 -->