I'm new to the box guitar building world, I do have woodworking experience.
Just started designing and planning the guitar. 

Can someone run through the plans to check if I'm overlooking stuff or done my research wrong. :)
Please inform me, I'm here to learn before starting my first build because I know I'm going to learn from all the "mistakes" during the building process..

I'm planning to use oak for the neck and looking into wood for the box at this moment.

The plans are available for download (pdf) below. BTW the plans are in mm because I'm from the Netherlands. 

New version
Thanks to the great suggestions, I've made some changes to the plans V1.1 is now available! 
Made some changes to:

  • Positioning of the box
  • Support blocks inside the box
  • Added fret positions (via stewmac.com)
  • Added a volume knob to the setup

For the people who want to compare the versions, V1.0 is still available for download as PDF


Views: 302


Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Hans

Welcome and good luck with your first build. I can't really comment on your plans other than to say that they seem to look OK.

What I do advise is to look at the videos on YouTube by Del Puckett. There are many, including some great ones on neck making and some CBG beginners ones. I have learned a great deal from Del's videos

Thanks for your advice, I've been looking at them and really love them!

plans look great. dual piezo and neck pick is nice.  is that a 3 way switch ? 

As a first build this will be very good. you do know that there is no such thing as 1, they are addictive. 

my first guitar box wa the same as these dimensions but 275 long. 

Hey Timothy,
Yes, it's a 3-way switch, and I'm going to add a volume nob as well.
I'll share the progress and end result

Hello Hans,

Nice drawing. I'm glad to see that you are building a three-string, fretless guitar. Tuned to and open (or power) chord, it is a nice sounding instrument that is easy to learn to play. Without frets, the string height becomes less critical which help to make building easier. The hardtail bridge is (in my opinion) a good move. It is not as rustic as, say, a screw or bolt, but if you firmly secure it through the box and into the oak neck it will produce great sustain.

I didn't see any on scale length on the drawing, but maybe my old eyes missed it. Anyway, something in the 24" to 25" inch scale is most common (610~625 mm).

A Piezo  pickup has a good, gritty sound, but some people don't like the microphone effect that picks up a lot of box noise and string touching, but it really depends on your playing style. If you don't like it you can always try a magnetic pickup which is pretty inexpensive.

I think you will enjoy box guitars, They are quick to learn and you can join in with others to jam.

Keep us posted on progress

I'm planning on building a fretted one :) In the new plans, I added the fret positions. 
Pickup wise I'm going to use a piezo under the bridge and an MGB Seven Fitty Screamin Pickup

I've made some changes to my plans positioning of the box and some refinements

Thanks for the advice

The plans look fine Hans. I would use a fret calculator, Fret Position Calculator | stewmac.com although the fret length you`re using is close to a strat. Oak is great, strong and easy to work with and relatively inexpensive ;)

I`ve used all sorts of wood for boxes but to start with some 2mm ply will do nicely ( especially as your using pick ups)

From the plans it looks like you`re going to use a single coil pickup. But that, piezo and even under saddle pickups all have their merits.

One thing I can guarantee.... you will build one and you will HAVE to build more! It`s a very addictive hobby! 

Thanks, I've used the calculator and changed some other things added them to the new plans

I'll keep you posted

 I build fretless as well. Gonna try fretting soon, but I don't like to fret. It'll be interesting, no doubt. 

 I second that on Del Puckett. He was one of the first that I watched as well Learned a huge amount from him before my first build as well as recently. Jock is right about the beginner's video's, but Del gets rather advanced in his instruction on "tempered" and "Just" intonations and other types of tuning as well as the Golden ratio... Interesting stuff. I bought one of his fretboards that he offered for CBN members awhile back. VERY nice piece. Don't know if he is still doing that.

Thanks for the advice. I added frets on this one

made some adjustments to the plans and step by step it's getting better :)

Looks good to me . The only thing I would mention to consider is the  switch placement . As is ... it is pretty close to the jack input (factoring in the male cord  ends inserted  length ) . Just make sure it doesn't touch or come too close to the base of the switch inside .  Not to mention ,  where the switch is now , it may get in the way of playing  ( ie: switching off while playing  in a seated position ,( or angled between the legs )  hitting your pants or clothing . and getting an unwanted  switch off .)  There is also a possibility  of   accidentally  hitting the switch when adjusting volume or tone .. or even palm muting .

If this guitar is for you . Mock up how you play,  and where your hands . clothing  etc  may be an issue .  depending on that . it may be fine as is .

Everything else .. you've already over-thought  ;-)

 Good luck ;-)


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


- Memorial for Dave Lynas -

Started by Cigar Box Blues in Performances, How to Play, Lessons, Concerts. Last reply by Cigar Box Blues 55 minutes ago. 5 Replies

Headless Guitar Project - a $100 eBay kit & Gitty pickups

Started by Cigar Box Nation in Feature Articles. Last reply by Poorness Studios 3 hours ago. 5 Replies

Cigar Box Amp Mods

Started by Cigar Box Nation in Feature Articles. Last reply by RTZGUITARS Sep 17. 14 Replies

Blog Posts

Prototyping with a big ol' wine box

Posted by Ben on September 23, 2021 at 4:00pm 0 Comments

Mr. Bells

Posted by Stephen Cohen on September 4, 2021 at 12:30pm 0 Comments

Bookie's Poor Man's Dobro

Posted by Steve Bookout on July 18, 2021 at 2:04pm 4 Comments

Latest Activity

Taffy Evans replied to Ben's discussion Fretboard, frets and radius
"Haha, it's gonna be a long wave, I'm still learning after 50 years building and…"
23 minutes ago
Taffy Evans replied to Ben's discussion A big wine box
"Hi again, yes would be good to not use plywood for a fingerboard, I would think that the wood…"
45 minutes ago
Cigar Box Blues commented on Uncle John's photo

Dave and his Angel bear riding off into the wide blue yonder. New adventures.

"and Dave questions wherever or not it was a good idea to pick up hitch hikers!!!!!"
47 minutes ago
Cigar Box Blues replied to Cigar Box Blues's discussion - Memorial for Dave Lynas -
"Thanks Poorness! I am trying my best, there is alot of work behind the scenes, I am so…"
55 minutes ago
A.D.EKER commented on A.D.EKER's video
1 hour ago
A.D.EKER commented on A.D.EKER's video

Iris Acoustic Cover by Dave Lynas

"Thanks  John,Jim ,Danny, !  most people have a counterpart somewhere in the world ,whit…"
1 hour ago
A.D.EKER commented on A.D.EKER's video

Rusty Bottom Brown A. D. Eker 2021

"ill better play em ,or they might get Rusty !"
1 hour ago
A.D.EKER posted a video

Rusty Bottom Brown A. D. Eker 2021

When the Rust sets in ! O Boy ! are we in trouble ? or do we enjoy Rusty old age ? as long as it runs dont kill it ! take it appart? no leave as is , you mig...
2 hours ago
Taffy Evans replied to Ben's discussion A big wine box
"Hi, Ben, That's good, glad to help. Taff"
2 hours ago
Poorness Studios liked Steve Bookout's discussion Double Necked E-lectric Whachamacallit
3 hours ago
Ben posted a blog post

Prototyping with a big ol' wine box

It all started when I listened to…See More
4 hours ago
Ben commented on Ben's photo


"Thanks ! First guitar here, but I dabble in woodworking and the scarf joint looked cool to do. For…"
4 hours ago


© 2021   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 -->