Cutting deep boxes in half


I've been a member for a while, but I haven't posted a lot. Anyhow, you all have probably seen this question before but is it possible to cut a bof in half and make two guitars? I have five or six small boxes which are nearly as deep as they are long and would be a bit uncomfortable to hold. Ideally, I would like to cut them in half and add a bottom to one and a top to another and get two axes for the price of one. Any advice for sawing them without destroying th ebox in the process?

FWIW, I don't have a band saw, just hand saws.


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  • This is an interesting idea.  I have very little experience (Just two builds), but I say just go for it.  The handsaw thing might make it a bit wonky.  You've probably already done it by now, if so... How did it turn out?

    • Hi, I would suggest cutting each side one at a time, and not pushing the whole box through in one pass. Make four individual cuts going just as deep as the side is thick. This way you can see the line you are cutting when lining up the blade, and avoid a rough cut on the bottom side of the box as the blade exits.

      I use the table saw for this type of exercise.

  • Hi, a box that deep my work at half that depth.

  • Sorry about that. Hopefully I get this one right!
    Anyhow, thanks for the advice! You might very well be right about losing too much resonance if these boxes are cut in half. The one I just measured is 16 x 12 x 11cm with sliding lids. I made an earlier build with one and it had good tone, but just felt a little awkward, especially when standing up.

    Thanks again for the replies and help!

  • Hi, I did mention using HTML for comments, this site is faulty, it has been like that for years. Other sites that use the same provider work fine and must be just as old.

    There must be a way around it. Very frustrating when one sees the number of members who do not follow up on their lost posts and so the reason for this forum is wasted.

    Use HTML for replies...

  • Hi Justin, these are my thoughts, other ideas would be useful to you too.

    when I first saw cigar boxes I thought they were too shallow to produce a decent tone and /or volume, so from day one I started by building my own boxes. I built a number of experimental size combinations and I found a size that gives good tone and volume [depending on the material used] and suits different scale lengths.

    The size that works for me is 300x200x50mm.

    I find that if I cut that box into a 25mm internal depth ten I would lose a vast amount of tone and volume. If you understand that the sound we hear predominately is airwaves emitting from inside the box you can see the benefits of more air in the box. Some sounds come off the outside of the top, but most from the inside, hence the need for a soundhole.

    As for the procedure, hmmm! it would depend on a number of things. you say you use a

    Fine tooth saw best
    scribe around the box with a craft knife along the proposed saw cut so as the limit the amount of tearout from the saw if the box is paper-covered.
    and really just use the saw as one normally does keeping a careful eye on the line.

    I would glue a sheet of sandpaper 80grit to a flat surface to enable the flat sanding of the new surfaces. This is important for the good fitting of the new tops or backs.
    Also, check that the box is properly glued together and not held together by paper lining or covering.

    Just consider quantity or quality?

    Good luck.

    Use HTML for comments...

  • Good question. I’m interested in hearing some answers on this, especially if anyone has done it.
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