I've been on CBN for a few months but this is only my 2nd post.
I came across CBN after buying a cheap nylon acoustic before christmas to learn on and decided I could build one better myself. I haven't yet made a cigar box guitar but I have made a playable custom guitar thats suits what I need at the minute. Something I can put in my rusksack when I'm on my motorbike that I don't have to worry to much about. It had to be made mostly from materials I had already.
I've ended up with a travel style electric guitar made from a piece of 2x4 joisting timber. It is a headless guitar with classical style tuners with slots. The finger board it made from a piece of marine ply with nails for frets. The pickup is a handwound "Flat humbucker" style pick up.This is one area I cheated with materials to hand as I bought magnet wire and magnets. The bridge is wooden dowel that has been halved and sectioned so I can adjust the intonation of each string. I'm using small personal stereo jack plugs as I already had a nice length of wire already. It runs through a transistor pre-amp in a touch-light casing. Through to "The Boss" amp which uses a 2.5w LM380 amp chip. The coffee can is a speaker box with a computer speaker in. There is also a big stereo speaker in the back which has a jack plug to use instead of the coffee can speaker if I want a bigger sound.
The coffee can does me when I'm out and about but It sounds great through the old hifi speaker.
This is my first electric guitar so for me it sounds great. I'm as new to playing guitar as I am building them so I'm just happy I have a usable and playable guitar to practice on.
I have used a wider "Nut/Zero Fret" spacing which I'm finding really easy to learn with. The strings have a slightly wider spacing when compared to my girlfriends acoustic.
Although as expected it is bowing a little bit since I took more wood off the neck to make it more playable so I thing I may be stripping it down and installing a t-bar truss to counter act the string tension as I said as long as I have something playable I'm happy with this.
I'm already planning my next build. So many options. I just have to make sure I leave time to learn to play as well :-)
That's an ambitious first build.
You could cut a channel on the back side of the neck, put a steel bar in and fill the rest in with a strip of wood like Fender does their "Skunk Stripe".
i, too, made my first home-built guitar from stuff i had "laying around"...my introduction started with an old Gibson electric guitar neck i picked up off the floor from a temperamental guitar player in a band that played at the bar i frequented back in the day [yes, there is a story to go along with that]. i hung on to that guitar neck, always telling myself i would take the time to use it for something. last year i finally got around to actually building my own instrument. i have, over the years, bought acoustic guitars with the intention of playing, but most of the time, those guitars would just sit in the corner, ignored. my playing skill level only getting to the point of being annoying. haha.
when it came time to start putting the guitar together, i watched many youtube videos, read many articles and anecdotes on web sites like Cigar Box Nation, and even talked to several local people who had more experience than i at the art of the Luthier, and put together what i thought was a pretty clever guitar. it was definitely a learning experience for me, if nothing else, and gave me the basic knowledge to tackle building another, much more refined instrument completely from scratch...layering hardwoods for the neck, assembling the body for the right depth of sound, and even hand-cutting my own nut and bridge from bone. the only new parts being the chrome tuning pegs and strings.
this experience has turned into sort of an addiction for me. i am always cruising second hand stores, yard sales, and used instrument sale ads looking for new project ideas. i have picked up several acoustic guitars and even an electric Stratocastor on the cheap, that have been damaged one way or another, with the intention of using them for parts, but have also managed to fix several of them....giving me a small collection of pretty decent guitars of my own. don't be surprise if you catch the same bug the rest of us have, and you end up making several more guitars....i think some of us might need an intervention. haha..
Yes your right rob. I am already planning my next guitar build. I've just ordered a nice rosewood fingerboard blank, some proper fret wire and I'm going to source so hard wood to make a "posher" version of my guitar. I don't need to rush because I need something to play on now as I have something to practice on.
I've also already promised my girlfriend I'll make her, her first electric guitar although that will have to be more "guitar" looking for her to like it.
I have a ton of ideas but not enough time to build them all :-)