Building a Cigar Box Guitar 101

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Building a Cigar Box Guitar 101

This group is for discussing the basics of CBG building for newer builders - where to start, what to do, common pitfalls, tips and techniques.

Keep in mind that new builders can find other great informative articles on CBG building, as well as most of the parts you'll need, over at C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply!

Members: 1683
Latest Activity: 19 hours ago

Discussion Forum

Fretted....

Started by Jim Codog. Last reply by Jim Codog yesterday. 5 Replies

Joinery suggestions for hand-made boxes

Started by Chris Wharton. Last reply by Chris Wharton yesterday. 42 Replies

Connecting a guitar jack?

Started by rick schoen. Last reply by David Clewell on Monday. 5 Replies

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Comment by BrianQ. on November 6, 2019 at 11:59am

The answers are all in the plans, you just have to lay them out based on info, not hard at all, figure out headstock measurements, then measure scale length from nut to bridge, then figure out where your string holes will lay on the tailpiece? Boxes are different sizes, so you’ll just plan the bridge to be anywhere from middle of the box to about 3” from the end, it’s that easy? There’s detailed measurements in Shane’s book, but really all that info is in the Resources tab? here’s some new plans for setting up headstock: 

https://www.cbgitty.com/news/how-to-install-cigar-box-guitar-tuners/

Maybe a kit is what you need to shake of those jitters, you may be overthinking it?

Comment by Tim Pannabecker on November 6, 2019 at 10:15am


the section on this site called, Free Plans and How to Build, is an unmatched resource for how to build.

my early mistakes?  Neck/fretboard height from the soundboard/box.  Paying attention to scale length (distance from nut to bridge) and fret placement within the scale.  

It was suggested to me when I started that - there are no rules and have fun.

Comment by Ken Vickerson on November 6, 2019 at 9:13am

Hi Rich I built my first CBG using these instructions from Make magazine. https://makezine.com/projects/make-21/cigar-box-guitar/.   They don’t have dimensioned plans but all dimensions are included in the instructions. I hope they are useful to you. 

Comment by Rich Butters on November 6, 2019 at 8:08am

Hi All,

I am about to start building my first Cigar Box Guitars and I am writing to ask if any member of the group can share any plans they have for 3 / 4 string guitars.

There are plans on here but these are 'text instructions to follow'  - this is great and I thank the persons who uploaded I am after drawings and dimensions that I can copy into a full-size drawing (Taffy gave me this great advice)

There are plans 'For Sale' on the internet but I thought I would ask the community first

Cheers Rich

Comment by BrianQ. on November 5, 2019 at 6:29pm

Also it adds what they call break angle between the nut & strings, which is pretty much downward pressure that creates a better contact with the nut, producing a louder vibration through the strings? If you have long shaft tuners, you can get away with that & set it up like Tim’s pic below with no troubles? Great set up Mr. Pannabecker :)

Comment by BrianQ. on November 5, 2019 at 6:06pm

Bill, if you buy a ready-made neck, then it will most likely be already thinned & ready to accept tuners? The reason why we thin our headstocks is so that the tuner hole will clear the top of the surface, not all tuner shafts are the same height, some shorter/lower than others & tuner hole won’t have enough height to clear the top of the surface? 

Comment by Tim Pannabecker on November 5, 2019 at 5:58pm

I have straight necks that I add a “tension bar”.   I can’t say it is superior, but it works really great and since I make one offs, never duplicating my builds, it is a great way to get your angle.   Btw I use it at the bridge too sometimes

Comment by Mark Bliss on November 5, 2019 at 5:40pm

Hi Bill

 The best answer I can give without a drawing, plan, image is....

Whatever it takes to get a break angle over the nut that works. Too flat is a common problem, and the reason for the cut that I think you are describing. But I could be misunderstanding what you mean.

Comment by Bill McNamara on November 5, 2019 at 5:08pm

Hello all,

I have a neck question.

If I buy the just the neck with no fret board or anything. Do I still have to cut the top of the neck to fit the tuning pegs,or can I just drill and install them...

Comment by BrianQ. on October 28, 2019 at 12:01am
 

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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

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Discussion Forum

Fretted....

Started by Jim Codog. Last reply by Jim Codog yesterday. 5 Replies

Joinery suggestions for hand-made boxes

Started by Chris Wharton. Last reply by Chris Wharton yesterday. 42 Replies

Connecting a guitar jack?

Started by rick schoen. Last reply by David Clewell on Monday. 5 Replies

Fretting for beginners

Started by Michael Myers. Last reply by MadGomer Nov 14. 3 Replies

Adjusting the action on a cbg 3 string.

Started by rick schoen. Last reply by Tim Pannabecker Nov 11. 8 Replies

Fitting Frets

Started by neddy. Last reply by Taffy Evans Nov 10. 6 Replies

Tuner and nut question.

Started by Bill. Last reply by Gus K Nov 6. 12 Replies

Help with first tuning procedure.

Started by James Pobog. Last reply by Mark Bliss Nov 6. 3 Replies

Too far gone??

Started by T-Gripped. Last reply by Mark Bliss Nov 6. 7 Replies

Pickup query

Started by Arthur Payne. Last reply by Arthur Payne Nov 6. 11 Replies

How do I use this string tension calculator?

Started by Warren Williams. Last reply by BrianQ. Nov 4. 3 Replies

How could this be?

Started by stephen davies. Last reply by stephen davies Oct 28. 5 Replies

Is EBE tuning more tension or less?

Started by Warren Williams. Last reply by Warren Williams Oct 24. 4 Replies

Rough scarf joint seam

Started by Michael shrader. Last reply by Michael shrader Oct 23. 5 Replies

Fret sizes.

Started by neddy. Last reply by neddy Oct 18. 13 Replies

Scarf joint headstock

Started by Lou Ellis. Last reply by Taffy Evans Oct 9. 5 Replies

2 string cbg

Started by Dickie. Last reply by BrianQ. Sep 1. 5 Replies

A simple tuning peg question

Started by Warren Williams. Last reply by MadGomer Aug 26. 6 Replies

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