Hi All,

I am living in Thailand so I cant get genuine cigar box's here and to import would be a 'nightmare' to get through customs.  I plan to build my own boxes (I have access to mahogany, teak or macca wood)

I understand that the unique sound of the cigar box guitar is reliant on the type of wood used, dimensions of the box and the thickness of the top, sides and bottom.

So, as to get the best resonance, what is the recommended dimensions, thickness and type of wood?



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If you’re making your own boxes, they can be however big & thick you want them, 8x10”, 10x12”, etc. here’s a link about wood thickness: https://cigarboxnation.com/forum/topics/maximum-box-thickness hope it helps? 

Hi Brian, thank you for the info and link.  I think I now know the answer



Hi Rich, I dought  that there is a recommended size or dimension as all cigar boxes have different sizes using different material. Same as there is no recommended data for an acoustic guitar, for the same reasons.

There are "rules" or guidelines for a given style of guitar regarding achieving a certain tone, volume, projection and sustain quality that   I would follow or work within when building acoustic guitars, and I carry those same rules over to my CBG's. 

I built a number of different boxes at first to see what combination of sizes and materials worked best. The size I use most is 300x200x70mm OD. Sides do not play a role in the sound producing chain but back does and most important is the top. It's big subject for a simple instrument. Top and back thin, depends on timber used and if any bracing employed.

i would suggest just build a couple of guitars possibly using the dimensions I use, with the timber you got, and learn as you go. Whatever you use is going to make music, make better music as you progress.

Read about guitar acoustics and build techniques and adapt that to the simple CBG, you will get a better sound,

There are folks on here that have built a couple of hundred or more CBG, so maybe they would have a better answer to your question. I speak from an acoustic guitar experience mainly, I build CBG's for a different challenge.


Once again thank you for the in-depth answer



Rich! I'm sorry to say this and it pains me to say it. But until you start sharing all those exotic woods with us, you are on your own! Just joking with you lucky dog! To have all that wood like that on hand, wow! Man I envy you! That's like us with pine and oak! I know you  will turning out some awesome CBGs and I can't wait to see your projects. Just remember to wear a dust mask working with them, causes health problems(respiratory mostly)! Remember, "No rules!"

That's for the 'pointers' mate.  In the past I have done 3D relief carving using MDF and that was a bugger for dust.  Once I have a build I will share the video and pics




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