I picked up a couple nice cigar boxes one of which is basically an upside down pyramid(only tapered on 2 sides) my concern is the thickness of the lids, they are every bit of 1/4" of hard wood. One is going on display in a cigar store so flipping it over isn't an option because of the lid(Henry Clay War Hawk). Will the thick lid resonate or should I go thicker strings or lighter ones (open G tuning) any suggestions?

25.5" scale

Views: 112

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Will, all I'll say is that the top (lid in this case) is the most important part of the acoustic instruments sound producing chain. Most of a strings energy is lost in its attempt to excite the top, so you can imagine that the more responsive you make that top, the better the sound output. 

Whats going to respond quicker and more efficiently to string input? Thinner lighter tops. 

I know it's only a CBG, but it's an acoustic instrument and it sounds to me like you are thinking of how to get the best out of it. 


Dead on Taff, one of saving graces (I hope) is the lid sits loosely down into the box supported by thin cedar strips on all 4 sides. By loosely I mean it has about 1/32" or less of play in any direction to slide, but not fall in. I'm thinking about using my small plane and shaving it down some on the inside, at least where the bridge sets or cutting "F" holes for sound and to give the wood some way to resonate, cutting closely spaced kerfs from side to side. The only two parameters I "have to" work in are cannot mar the original finish on the outside(other then hardware and Soundholes) and maintain the thickness on the 4sides. This is the very most important CBG that I'll build, (other than the ones I'm making for the troops) not only does it have to look good, it "has" to sound good! This will get me out there. Like having your artwork on permanent display in an art gallery kind of thing for me! Any suggestions and guidance will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Kool Dog

If you are going to thin the top, which is a good idea, I would thin the outside edges of the lid more so. I'm thinking that a thin area under the bridge will not create a full vibrating plate. We are getting into guitar building techniques now, a bit involved for these pages, maybe.

Think of your top as a speaker. A speaker is very flexible around its outside perimeter  so that it can efficiently respond to the incoming signal. Acoustic instruments be it guitar, mandolin or violin are often "tuned" by extra thinning of the top around its outside edge.


Thanks Taff for your expertise. That makes sense and doable. What are your thoughts on the 'f' holes on either side of the bridge? I don't have a lot of surface area to play with because of graphics. I'm trying to upload a photo or two, but I'm having technical issues.

Its difficult for me to advise on soundhole placement as there are quite a few things to consider, The main concern for me would be not to over weaken the area around the bridge, where there is lots of downward force from the strings. It might be something you have to weigh up for yourself. Its all a learning curve.

Soundholes weaken the top, braces strengthen the top, its a balancing act in guitar building. 



I'd suggest considering a magnetic pickup.  Even if it ends up not sounding good acoustic, it should sound good plugged in.  As long as the pickup looks natural in there and it sounds good plugged in, you should expect it to be a reputation-builder.  It seems like the majority of people like having the option of plugging in and cranking it up.  It's cool that you are making the most out of your opportunity and planning out each step. 

Thanks for the advice and encouragement. I also found out only the ends at supported.

Hi Will, to resonate efficiently the lid/top is best secured to the sides all round its edges. 


LOL, Just had to burst my bubble. I have some cedar inserts I can cut and glue on the sides. If it wasn't for the fact it needs to be functional as well a display, I'd flip the damn thing over and use the plywood bottom.


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


Help Tuning

Started by Joan Pace in Other stuff - off topic, fun stuff, whatever. Last reply by Cause the Blue rat on Sunday. 3 Replies

Lid thickness question.

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

Blog Posts

Indiana State Fair

Posted by Rick Tish on August 19, 2019 at 7:46pm 0 Comments

Buying in bulk

Posted by Rick Tish on August 17, 2019 at 6:31pm 0 Comments


Posted by Rick Tish on August 15, 2019 at 7:08pm 0 Comments

first post

Posted by Rick Tish on August 14, 2019 at 8:23am 0 Comments

Latest Activity

Titch the Clown replied to Robbie's discussion How do you shave your neck to proper /comfortable thickness?
"I shave my necks like this:  I do tend to thin the neck a little when I thin the headstock…"
19 minutes ago
Taffy Evans replied to Dave Barrett's discussion Some things I learned from my latest build
"Hi Will, no disrespect but I figure we are all friends on here so I don't understand this…"
1 hour ago
Dirk replied to Dirk's discussion Trip to LA and looking for CBG enthusiasts
"That’s very nice of you, John.  But I won’t get out of LA in this 2 weeks. I am…"
2 hours ago
Dirk replied to Dirk's discussion Trip to LA and looking for CBG enthusiasts
"Thank you for the reply. We got connected by now. He knew what to do. "
2 hours ago
Danny Gordon commented on Jim Morris's video

Summertime on Cigar Box Baritone Ukulele

2 hours ago
Danny Gordon liked Jim Morris's video
2 hours ago
Danny Gordon commented on Andries D. EKER's video

Fields of Green A. D. Eker 2019

2 hours ago
Danny Gordon liked Andries D. EKER's video
2 hours ago
Cause the Blue rat replied to Joe Caruso's discussion When will you stop building?
"Actually as of right now I have two cigar box body guitars that I bought. And the two electric…"
4 hours ago
AGP # commented on Dave Lynas's video

Midnight on the Water and Grumpy Old Man

"Love a Drink of Scrumpy (aka Apple Cider) Dave, :-), trouble is nearly all the commercial brands…"
4 hours ago
Paul Craig replied to Paul Craig's discussion What's on your workbench?
"Usual Strat wiring has neck on 1 tone and middle on the other tone while bridge is no tone. That…"
4 hours ago
Clint Spotts commented on Smoothead's photo

My new Volvocaster

"Like the skull details on the pickup! Badass build. How about a demo vid?"
6 hours ago



© 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 -->