In 2017, we challenged you to create new and exciting resonator instruments using paint can lids!  Whether its sinking a lid into your favorite cigar box guitar design or coming up with some new and wild musical invention, you built to impress!  

The comments below represent the submissions by Cigar Box Nation members.  Dig through 'em and get some inspiration for your own next project.

sponsor:  C. B. Gitty Tin Pan Alley Kit

The winners were...

The contest was judged by Damian Fanelli, online editor of Guitar World Magazine based on the photos you provided. 

The paint lid reso concept was the idea of North Hollywood, CA luthier, Matty Baratto.  He’s been building these ResoFiddles (the resonator version of his CigFiddles) since 1995 and has made them for Paul McCartney, Keith Richards, Queens of the Stone Age, Dave Grohl, Johnny Depp and others.  Not only was it amazing to see Baratto actually enter his #250 guitar in the contest, it was even more mind blowing that he was edged out of the #1 slot.  Here’s the top three winners:

Crowdaddy gets first prize, a $100 C. B. Gitty Gift Certificate and bragging rights.  Guitar World comments, “(this is) the one I’d most like to own.  I love the controls being on top… it’s nice and traditional with some extras.”

Matty Baratto comes in second place with his ResoFiddle #250.  He will receive a $50 gift certificate from C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply.

Third place goes to Alberto Magotti.  Guitar World comments, “(this is) a very attractive box…cool looking.”  Magotti receives a $25 gift certificate from C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply.

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here are my pics

Ok, 1 gallon lid with nut and bolt bridge and penny risers,fancy cabinet hinge tailpiece, Cuesta Ray box, maple neck with sorta classical style headstock. I love resonators and needed a new 4 string to play so I'm a painter by trade and said hell yeah paint can lid Reso!!


Had a bit of time so I decided to join the contest. Pine body, tapered and back angled oak neck. Walnut bridge and fretboard with medium frets. Fretwork is done and the action is real nice, Sealed machine heads. Handmade tailpiece, volume pot, and Fender single coil. 25" scale tuned to GDG with heavy strings. One liter paint can lids and that's about it. 

AGP #236, “Rűfűs - Gűts”, 3 String 10½” Block Rim Guitar, Scale: 584.2mm / 23 inches, Strings .046NW / .032NW / .022NW /, Tuning A / E  / a  /, built 10 months ago, this ‘Relic Style’ build was constructed using unknown recycled scrap Hardwood, and an old used cut down 20-litre/5-gallon ‘Paint Can Lid’, which was hand hammered and tempered by myself, an 8.8k Single Coil Foil Pickup is hardwired to the Output Jack.

No automatic alt text available.

For your consideration:  

Resofiddle, Cigfiddle #250. Spanish Cedar cigar box:  Replaced top with 5/16" Book matched Koa. 

Hand pressed brass screen hole covers.

Neck: Koa fret board and head plate.  Fiddleback Maple with Mahogany runners. Gold Grover Sta-Tite tuners, Gold Jascar fretwire and polished brass nut.

Resonator: Paint can lid. Waterjet cut/hand finished, spider and tailpiece plated in 24 carat gold. 

The resonator has several important modifications to improve sound and add "zing". 

One screw goes through the bridge, spider and lid into a 1 oz threaded brass slug soldered onto the lid.

This allows you to "tune" the resonators, resonate frequencies, just like the big boys!  

There is also a brass ring pressed and soldered around the inside perimeter of the lid to add rigidity and focus the sound to the arched back. Sorry, no pics...


Forgot the Fiddleback Maple binding on the neck...

…Fiddleback Maple binding and fretted, polished Cocobolo bridge.. I digress

Just finished this up as the nighttime bugs started swarming my shop lights.

#79 The S.O.B. (think SOS, change shingle to box!) This 22.5 inch scale diddley-bow resonator started life as an Arturo Fuente Double Chateau box, a neck I thought I killed when I first started doing this a couple years ago, a short scrap of yard stick, wire mesh waste basket cut up for soundhole screens, some old zinc coated screws, a paint can lid, some electrical nonsense and a 54 gauge low E string. There ya go! The S.O.B.


Hi , My Entry for the paint lid rezonator competition. Greeeeettsszzz A.D.

had the rong pic ! these are the right ones!


righto then.  drift wood from Whiritoa beach NZ after the last storm. 18 inch scale tuned Dad. 65mm paint lid. 5 loads of Danish oil.  no idea of the type of wood.  first fretboard that's not straight. ;) playable of course! but sounds a bit tinny.......

I have been meaning to make a hybrid bass/guitar CGB for a while. The paint lid challenge go me interested because a resonator for the guitar strings could give a good tonal contrast to the bass string. I wanted the bass bridge to be bearing on the wood, and the guitar strings on the paint lid. It was a problem to achieve this and have the bass and guitar strings on the same scale. If you look at the second close up photo you can see I achieved this by using an offset pivoting bridge. I'm not sure if anyone has thought of this before.

I found the box on an auction site. It was already decorated with postage stamps. There is a separate piezo under each biscuit, and separate outputs for bass and guitar. The electric output is surprisingly loud - possibly because the bridges bear down with extra leverage with the offset design.



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