If you like please post a SHORT explanation of how you got the CBG building, playing addiction.
I had many guitar parts, maybe enough to build 5 or 6 guitars. While in a smoke shop that had a walk in humidor and I saw my first cohiba red dot box and bought it not for a guitar but a just a stash box.
Few days later at a large garage sale bought a guitar body with neck for $6. When I laid the guitar on the bench next to the box the light came on RTZ#1 . First guy to play it like it so I gave it to him.
Then I found this site while trying to put a Smoky Amp in a Acid box and learned about the 386chip. In 8 years I have built about 34 sting instruments with the help of ya'll thanks. RTZ
Hi, I have been wondering how to contribute to this thread, as most members I would think get into CBG building first and then move on to other instrument, or just stay with CBG's. I did not.
Although I had built and helped others to build instrument in the CBG theme over the years, I did not know about cigar box guitars until only a few years ago. This came about due to being asked to build one for a customer and having to do some research. In fact I think it was the customer who put me on to Cigar Box Nation, after I had built a couple.
So what got me started was the opportunity to get the creative juices flowing without the pressure, after years of building acoustic and electric stringed instruments.
This is the book that started it all, I got it in 1963-4 and I just came across it again........
I had the book but it was quite a few years later after settling in Central Australia that I started building. Up until that point I had built a "tea chest Bass" and folded a sheet of thin steel into ripples to create a washboard. No Internet, no glossy photos or video's, not even a plan... bit like the guys that built the first stringed instruments back in the day. Rambling again. Cheers Taff
What a coincidence Taff, my parents got me in 64. Haha
On holiday from the UK, and on Salt Spring Island BC, we visited an ‘alternative’ market. Chap there had three pretty crude homemade three stringers for sale at (I kid you not) C$650- 750. Picked one up- intuitively easy to play, even for an old bloke who never mastered six-stringers, but who- crucially- had just realised that all he really wanted to play was the blues. Got back to the UK and bought one. Bought another from a local maker. Found CBN, and was immediately struck by a ‘how hard could it be?’ feeling. Made a lot of mistakes, but after about a dozen(!) was managing to turn out a properly playable instrument nearly every time. Two years after Salt Spring Island and I’m approaching my fortieth. Currently demolishing a derelict garage in order to build a workshop/studio, meaning that there will be much less wood and many fewer gits cluttering up the house, which will make my wife happy. Me? As happy as I’ve ever been at any time in my sixty-one years, with never a dull moment of an evening or a weekend. Given a dozen or so gits to friends and relatives on various occasions- birthday, Xmas- and just gave the one on the left in the attached pic to my niece as a wedding gift. The one on the right I’m keeping- which is how I feel about at least ten of my builds, which is why I need the studio space. My life has direction, purpose, meaning- all because of a chance day-trip on the other side of the world.
And in the spirit of CBN I pass on the tip, from a highly skilled woodworker and shipwright, that I’ve found most useful- “Why are you building hardwood necks to fit softwood boxes when you could be building your own box how you want it to be?”
true true.,.,but I still get great joy fashioning a neck out of a tomato stake, then attaching it to a old cigar box.,.,like a 4 year old with his 1st ukulele .,.I like the freedom of not being stalked by Gibson Fender PRS Taylor and the like.,.,I'll just mosey on down the road playing my $6 build.,.,.good story Wal.,.,.,
What I didn’t relate was that, when walking past the chap’s stall a couple hours later he’d actually sold the C$650 one!! £400+ in our money!
To quote W C FIELDS "There's a sucker born every 60 seconds!"
Hi Wal, your last paragraph range so true to me , as that was exactly my first thoughts before I started building CBG's. I made, and still do, my own boxes for years before I tried an actual cigar box just to see what they were like. I can also show customers the origins and the difference in sound [acoustic] of the different instruments.
My wife and daughter thought they were doing me a favour when they presented me with a collection of cigar boxes they had bought for me, I could only use half of them to make decent sounding instruments.
What was annoying is they shelled out $70 for them. But, its the thought that counts.
Maybe we should petition Ben and Shane to change the name...
Seriously, there are just many many more options if you make your own boxes. I can go poplar plywood ‘all round’, which gives big resonant boxes, and tops you can cut with a craft knife, allowing for fun sound holes (otters! dolphins!), thin hardwood tonewood over a poplar box, thicker hardwood with inch-and-a-half pine sides- which are great for mounting pickups- and of course wine box guitars- stout cedar top and bottom, again with pine sides. But they’re still ‘cigar box guitars’ because they’ve got three strings. Except the basses, which have one or two. Perhaps we DO need a new name.
'Renegades' comes to mind.
Actually, this is a subject for a whole new thread. I shall go and start one forthwith.
Found this site some years ago. Really liked the idea and possibilities. Went to the first CBG fest here in ST Louis and bought a fretted three string. Took it home and had no idea what to do with it. Played a six string for years. So this new three string guitar was a new challenge. Now I haven't touched one of my six strings in years.
Not much on building but I have two that turned out. Because of my lack of woodworking skills i use store bought necks. Need to make a few more. Not just to have them. I play stuff in different tunings and keys. Kinda get tired of restringing just to play something. So I guess I can be classified as someone who plays constantly. Builds only when needed.