Welcome to Cigar Box Nation! A letter from C. B. Gitty...

If this is your first time visiting Cigar Box Nation, you may be a little overwhelmed by the great amount of information in here.  Let me give you the nickel tour...

Building a Cigar Box Guitar

We have a variety of cigar box instrument plans that are free for you to download.  Some are new and others are more than 100 years old.  If you're new to woodworking or are looking to start with something simple, I suggest the following:

How to Build a 3-String Cigar Box Guitar  -  This new 8-page set of plans walks you through building a simple but fully playable 3-string cigar box guitar from scratch. These present well-illustrated, up-to-date how-to info in an easy to understand method that will enable young and old to build their first cigar box guitar with minimal effort.

If you want something more challenging, then dive head-first into our vast selection of instrument plans!

You will probably have some questions along the way.  That's what makes Cigar Box Nation so great!  We have forums, discussions and even a live chat room on the front page just waiting for your questions. 

How to Play a Cigar Box Guitar

We have lessons in Video, TAB and other formats for every level of player.  You can see them all here.

Where do I get the parts needed to make a cigar box guitar?

Cigar Box Nation is run by C. B. Gitty, the cigar box guitar superstore.  We have kits, parts and great building ideas just waiting for you.  Visit us at www.CBGitty.com.

Join the Community!

Now that you have the basics, I encourage you to create your own Cigar Box Nation profile and really dig in to all the conversations and photos. 

Thank you for visiting Cigar Box Nation. 

Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker 

(visit my own Cigar Box Nation profile here!)

P. S.  If you want to know more about this whole Cigar Box Guitar movement, check out the Cigar Box Guitar Manifesto.

 

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Comment by Rope Walker Country Star on September 4, 2021 at 6:36pm

Heck, Devon, I think it’s spectacular that you’re at a festival last week and this week you’re all in! Good on ya! Hope you have a blast buildin’ and learnin’ and playin’ and tweakin’.

Comment by Greg Geracioti on September 4, 2021 at 6:23pm

The scale is the distance from the nut to the bridge. Which kit did you buy? It may have the scale in the description or instructions.

Comment by Devon on September 4, 2021 at 5:38pm

Greg, what do you mean by scale? This is the first stringed instrument I've ever fooled with let alone built. I'm still learning the jargon. 

Comment by Devon on September 4, 2021 at 5:37pm

Greg, what do you mean by scale? This is the first stringed instrument I've ever fooled with let alone built. I'm still learning the jargon. 

Comment by Greg Geracioti on September 4, 2021 at 5:01pm

Determine the scale length then measure from the nut. For example, if your scale lenght is 24” then you measure from the nut 24” down and that’s where your bridge goes.

You may have to tweak to get the right sound. My first build is off, but I messed around until I got the right sound. I use the fret markers as a guide since there not accurate.

Comment by Devon on September 4, 2021 at 4:43pm

Got the kit and my very first guitar box guitar is almost all together! I'm missing the ribbed nut that goes at the top of the neck. Not too worried about that. I can rummage around in the barn for something that might work.

What worries me is WHERE DO I PUT THE BRIDGE? There's supposed to be a line. But I just stained everything and I can't find any line. 

Any advice???

Comment by Tim Pannabecker on September 3, 2021 at 10:46am


Samantha Fish is my Fav

Comment by Devon on September 3, 2021 at 10:44am

So I've only ever been to one CBG festival & I noticed a thing. Of all the acts, there was only ONE female guitarist. 

Where are all the ladies?

Comment by Chuck Bouwens on September 2, 2021 at 5:01pm

Hey Devon, I wish I had started building CBG's when I was 54. Maybe my fingers would be limber enough to learn to play. I'm 71 ( 72 next month ) I started building about 2 years ago as a hobby to keep me busy in my retirement. I've built over 50 instruments including two CBG amps, four ukulele's, and two 6 string cigar box guitars. The rest are all 3 string. I've given half away to my kids and grandkids. That reminds me I've also built some 1 string canjo's for the little kids. They love to pluck the string. Almost forgot, I also built a lap steel guitar. 

Comment by Tim Pannabecker on September 2, 2021 at 12:01pm

Devon,

A three string GDg tuned guitar has three less strings, you will do fine. There are many instructional videos from Shane Spiel and many others. This site has everything you will need and the people here are amazing. They are very kind and patient. We love the instrument, the unique sound it makes, the history and this community. I have been treated very well here, I’m sure you will too.

Tim

Comment by Devon on September 2, 2021 at 9:50am

Hiya! I'm new in this neck of the woods. I haven't built one yet. Still waiting for the kit to come in the mail. ( maybe tomorrow)

I'm starting to think I bit off more than I can chew. I'm 54 and NEVER played any stringed instrument before. I've got a lot to learn. So be patient with me. 

Comment by Devon on September 2, 2021 at 9:49am

Hiya! I'm new in this neck of the woods. I haven't built one yet. Still waiting for the kit to come in the mail. ( maybe tomorrow)

I'm starting to think I bit off more than I can chew. I'm 54 and NEVER played any stringed instrument before. I've got a lot to learn. So be patient with me. 

Comment by Paul (Ozzy) Noom on June 23, 2021 at 1:50pm

Hello... I'm looking forward to being a part of this community. I like listening to blues music and making things that are esthetically pleasing and functional... CBG building seems like a perfect outlet for my creative itch. I hope to get to know some of you.

Comment by Hans Coppens on March 31, 2021 at 5:32am

Hi thank you for the add!
I"m new to guitar building, just started planning my first box guitar.

Would love to hear your view on my design / plan, I'll upload the plans to the community in a minute.

Regards,
Hans 

Comment by lee willoughby on July 23, 2020 at 9:30pm

Hi there, my name is Lee and I am new to the forum. I have just completed my third guitar project and can't wait to meet other slightly demented individuals.

Comment by Simon on May 22, 2020 at 7:58am

Hi everyone,  and thankyou for the add.

I'm currently working on my first 3 string build. 

Its Not technically a c.b.g,  as it's an oil can build.

(was all I had available,  on lockdown)

But all my build ideas and plans have been "gleaned" from cigar box nation.

My question to the community is.. 

Would uploading photos of my build be welcomed on the site? 

With it not technically being a c. b. g,  and being a new member,  

I just wanted to make sure that this would be ok. 

Thanks in advance. 

Simon 

Comment by Greg Geracioti on March 22, 2020 at 7:07pm

Hi all,

I'm finally got around to building this kit.

"Reso-Plate" 3-string License Plate Resonator Guitar Kit

I'm looking for finishing ideas. I'm not even sure what kind of wood is used in these kits. I think it's not grainy enough to use danish oil or things like that.

Any ideas is appreciated, the simpler the better LOL.

Comment by wayne messina on February 7, 2020 at 2:02pm

I am building a dog bowl resonator guitar. I need to know where to place the tone piezo. I don't know which one is vol and which one is tone. I will place vol into the dog bowl.

Comment by Kenneth Lindahl on February 6, 2020 at 9:21am

I started building a diddly bow for X-mas presents for my daughters family

I saw that one could make 2 and 3 strings and started in a making 

thanks to CBgitty , Shane Speal , Puckett  and many others

Ken

Comment by Maggie Freestone on December 18, 2019 at 8:55am

Hello from a newbie. I currently own 2 cogs from Chickenbone John and as a beginner I am finding them good fun. I have banjo and guitar but broke both my wrists and find the reach too hard now. I broke my bottle neck slide and want to make a new one. Grateful for tips as tried a glass utter but did not cut. It is difficult to buy one as I live on a small island with no postal service and just one music shop which did not have one

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