All Blog Posts (1,987)

My first

I know it is ugly as sin but it is able to be tuned. So I am happy with it, she has already gone a few changes. The parts were ordered through cb gitty after I purchased Shanes book. I had 3 cigar boxes but they ended up being made of card board. So I made a box using the dimensions of a john ruskin cigar box. I made the guitar to be played right handed and without frets. The dark wood under the bridge was the bridge and the oak fret was not in place. I had about 3/8ths of a inch in action…


Added by Myron Joe Hickel on August 11, 2019 at 9:13pm — 5 Comments

Fretboard wood - what to do, what to do?

I am close to finishing my latest build, but need to do my fretboard still. I have a lovely piece of bocote (middle), a really interesting strip of zebrawood (right), and I though about using poplar to tone with the label on the box. Neck is black walnut.

I like the poplar most, from the color-theory perspective - but the zebrawood is amazing too.

(also, too: I'm seriously flirting with trying a bound fretboard on this one - trying to talk myself out of it, but I want to…


Added by Sean Murphy on July 31, 2019 at 6:40pm — 7 Comments

Help with scale length and string gauge on small lapsteel guitar

So many questions...I'm thinking of building something that resembles a miniature lap steel guitar . Here's what I'm thinking -

* 6 string instrument tuned open D 

* very short scale length (roundabouts a concert/tenor ukulele size - around 23 - 26"

* no electrics, just a deep resonator box made from very thin plywood.

It's more of an experiment than anything else but I'm really stuck with what gauge strings to use. I've always used medium-light strings on my…


Added by Tim Pattimore on July 27, 2019 at 10:00am — 5 Comments

Getting ready for next build

Parts assembled for next build. I'd thought about using another piece of bocote for the fretboard but I think a nice piece of poplar might make a nicer color complement. 

Added by Sean Murphy on July 17, 2019 at 12:54pm — 8 Comments

What wood is this?

Got a nice piece of wood from my dad this past weekend, but neither he nor I know what it is. It's definitely mostly grey-ish.

The piece on top is mahogany - trying to ID the wider piece.

Any thoughts?

Added by Sean Murphy on July 16, 2019 at 10:48am — 7 Comments

Overpriced cigar box in antique store?

I visited an antique store this past weekend in search of goodies that might make for a good CBG project, and noticed a cabinet that had seven or eight cigar boxes. In checking them out, I noticed a lovely Don Diego "Playboy" box, a bit worn, 25 "Churchill" cigars.

I considered picking it up until I noticed that the shop had the box priced at $165.95!!!!

A quick search on the internet shows similar boxes for around twenty bucks.

Is there any conceivable reason one of…


Added by Sean Murphy on July 14, 2019 at 8:36pm — 7 Comments


I just wanted to apologize to everyone on this great group. I have not been able to watch everyone's outstanding videos as much as I would like due to shortage of people at my job. In the last 3 weeks I have worked almost 30 hrs of overtime. I have been working a lot of midnight to noon shifts, which take a toll on the body. I have not even had time nor felt like even playing much. I promise I will be back on enjoying the great posts. Thanks to some great friends and musicians on here for…


Added by Danny Gordon on July 13, 2019 at 7:30pm — 4 Comments

Glastonbury 2019 - it doesnt get any easier!

Glastonbury had a "fallow" year in 2018 to allow the land to recover, so we had a year off (we did WOMAD instead...but we'll not talk about that...). So, we submitted our application to trade in October last year, and heard late February 2019 that we'd been accepted. That was the starting gun for our preparation. My daughter Anne Zilpha made an analysis of the previous two years sales figures and we drew up a schedule of the stuff we had to make and buy-in. The daunting prospect was that we…


Added by ChickenboneJohn on July 6, 2019 at 3:00pm — 4 Comments

Latest build

This one was a pain in my backside - seemed like something went wrong almost every step, compounded by my trying a bunch of new things on it.

I was prepared for the final result to be terrible, but it came out great - sounds lovely (has kind of a dulcimer-like sound) and is super comfy in the hand.…


Added by Sean Murphy on July 5, 2019 at 8:34am — 5 Comments

A Tale of Two Ukes

The truth be told, I’ve never been a big fan of ukuleles. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve always appreciated the sound, but I never gravitated towards this particular instrument. Needless to say, ukuleles are popular with CBG builders because they’re inexpensive and relatively easy to build/modify. After assembling a handful of homemade string instruments, I decided to try building a cigar box ukulele just for fun. I ordered the soprano kit from CB Gitty and embarked on another project. Before…


Added by Poorness Studios on June 25, 2019 at 10:00am — 3 Comments

Adventures in headstock-making

Working on my latest build, got a nice piece of mahogany for the neck (first time using something other than box-store lumber), and a piece of bocote for the fretboard. Working on a more stylized headstock with a three-in-line tuner setup, on an angle so the strings come straight off the peg and across the nut and down the neck.

Got the headstock all set up and measured where the pegs would go at least four or five times. Drilled the holes...and damned if they're a different…


Added by Sean Murphy on June 15, 2019 at 4:41pm — 2 Comments

I have never build a Cigar Box Guitar!

Now, I am one of those people who has never build a cigar box guitar. Really!

That's because I'm living on a lonesome hill in central Portugal and I just didn't find any cigar box here. Call me a "purist" but I do not want to buy a box or any other part for that matter. Not only because of the choice once made to go and live in a place where modern gadgets…


Added by Gerrit Klaassen on June 15, 2019 at 6:45am — 3 Comments

site bugs

Anyone else having issues with posting / email/ chat / and photos ?

Added by the anonymous pick on June 13, 2019 at 8:05pm — 8 Comments

Cheesecake Banjolele

I finally got around to cutting up that cheap student guitar and sticking it onto that black cheesecake pan I've been planning to use for the past year.  I need to go back and find a thicker piece of wood to mount inside the pan, though.

I also need to cut off the top two tuner holes and redo the nut for 4 strings.  If this works out well, I may try…


Added by James Matthews on May 21, 2019 at 7:14pm — 3 Comments

New!!! (i.e. 3 year old) CBG six song EP!!!

Well...  Better late than never.  I recorded (in 2015) and released (in 2016) these songs without much (any) fanfare.


Added by Urban Bill on May 20, 2019 at 8:30pm — 2 Comments

Latest build

I love me some canjos, but I had a really tiny cigar box that I thought would be a good candidate for a one-string diatonic build. Used it to try my hand at a shaped headstock - still a lot to learn there - but it came out right purty, and sounds nice!

Red oak neck, poplar fretboard.

Because I had one to hand, I stuck a bottlecap piezo pickup in, so it can be played through an amp. That was mostly for fun though.…


Added by Sean Murphy on May 8, 2019 at 9:03pm — 4 Comments

Netherlands Tour

Added by Dar Stellabotta on May 8, 2019 at 5:33pm — No Comments

Looking for CBG’s at DIGF

This past weekend was the annual Dallas International Guitar Festival (DIGF). The 3-day event is the largest guitar show in the United States. It attracts attendees from all over the US as well as abroad. It spans many types of instruments, genres, and styles. In addition to dozens of booths selling guitars and gear, there are live performances on 3 different stages throughout the event. It’s somewhat of a paradise for guitar players.…


Added by Poorness Studios on May 6, 2019 at 7:00am — 4 Comments

Sunday canjo fun

Yesterday I helped a friend put together his first CBG, a four-string. Today I spent a couple hours in the garage throwing together a quick-n-dirty canjo - definitely picked up some lessons for the next ones I make! But much fun had, and it sounds pretty good.…


Added by Sean Murphy on April 21, 2019 at 5:26pm — 2 Comments

Finding Xanadu in Memphis

When I first started learning about CBGs, I discovered John Lowe, a luthier and performer in Memphis, Tennessee. He does a one-man show under the moniker Johnny Lowebow and builds string instruments known as Lowebows. I had read he owns a bookstore, which morphed into a combination book/music retailer over the past couple decades. The shop, located on Central Avenue in Memphis, is called Xanadu. It just so happened I was going to be in Memphis last week, so I decided to explore…


Added by Poorness Studios on April 13, 2019 at 6:00pm — 5 Comments

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