Clint “Uncle Gus” Turpen
  • Male
  • Crown Point, IN
  • United States

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Clint “Uncle Gus” Turpen's Discussions

Spokeshave: flat or round?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Mark Prentice Aug 16, 2018. 13 Replies

I know some people use a spokeshave to shape their necks, and I’m about to get one because my old Dremel-and-file method isn’t working for me anymore, and anyway I don’t want to get tennis elbow…Continue

Electric Porch?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Clint “Uncle Gus” Turpen May 12, 2014. 52 Replies

So I was practicing some songs the other night with a tin guitar and my electric soda crate stomp box (with license plate stomping area), and while I like the sound of the stomper through a bass amp,…Continue

Tags: porch, electric

Cigar Box Bass: Piezo Location

Started this discussion. Last reply by Clint “Uncle Gus” Turpen Oct 18, 2012. 4 Replies

Finished my two-string bass tonight. Looks real nice, action is fine for fretless playing (neck is a poplar 1x2 with a quarter-inch slab of red oak for a fingerboard). Plugged it in and got this:…Continue

Tags: piezo, bass, box, cigar, CBB


Clint “Uncle Gus” Turpen's Page



Latest Activity

Norbert commented on Clint “Uncle Gus” Turpen's video
Nov 25, 2018
Norbert liked Clint “Uncle Gus” Turpen's video
Nov 25, 2018
Mark Prentice replied to Clint “Uncle Gus” Turpen's discussion Spokeshave: flat or round?
"I've been using a spoke shave since watching Chickenbone Johns neck carving video. I use a modern Stanley 151 and the key is to properly sharpen the blade. If you are not sure how to properly sharpen a blade you should watch some youtube videos…"
Aug 16, 2018
Clint “Uncle Gus” Turpen replied to Clint “Uncle Gus” Turpen's discussion Spokeshave: flat or round?
"Or even more fundamentally: “How do I make a CBG?” (I’ve been doing this for six years. I think I may actually be getting dumber. Or I’m psyching myself out comparing my work to others’.)"
Aug 16, 2018
Taffy Evans replied to Clint “Uncle Gus” Turpen's discussion Spokeshave: flat or round?
"Hi, maybe your question could  have been, " should I get a spokeshave or a bench first?" . Any old table or chest of drawers or kitchen worktop/unit or desk can be made into a cheep bench. Taff"
Aug 16, 2018
Clint “Uncle Gus” Turpen replied to Clint “Uncle Gus” Turpen's discussion Spokeshave: flat or round?
"Thanks for the input, folks. I think I’m on a very different level, as an instrument-maker, than just about everyone. And I don’t mean a higher level, either. After all of this, I think what’s going to probably happen is that I end…"
Aug 15, 2018
Kigar replied to Clint “Uncle Gus” Turpen's discussion Spokeshave: flat or round?
"I like my spokeshave ok, but what Taffy is showing I always knew as a drawknife and I find it a much superior tool for necks.  They work great unsharpened too, and can round a neck in a couple minutes. Sometimes the grain will fight it but…"
Aug 15, 2018
Clint “Uncle Gus” Turpen replied to Clint “Uncle Gus” Turpen's discussion Spokeshave: flat or round?
"Wow, you build nice ones. Maybe I can clamp ‘em to the lawn tractor. (In addition to a vise, I don’t even have the bench said vise would normally be attached to. I’m really winging it here. Furiously winging it.)"
Aug 15, 2018
Taffy Evans replied to Clint “Uncle Gus” Turpen's discussion Spokeshave: flat or round?
"Hi Clint, My suggestion may only apply if you also plan, at some time, to carve shapes like the heal of a guitar, or to blend the roundness of a neck into the square features of  peghead. Go for a curved style.  My two shave's were…"
Aug 15, 2018
Clint “Uncle Gus” Turpen replied to Clint “Uncle Gus” Turpen's discussion Spokeshave: flat or round?
"Thanks for weighing in, all. I got an okay-quality flat spokeshave. And then I realized this: I don’t have a bench with a vise. So I can’t even use the thing until I figure something out. I am beginning to suspect that I am not…"
Aug 15, 2018
Clint “Uncle Gus” Turpen commented on Clarky's video

Sweet Leaf - Black Sabbath - Cigar Box Guitar Cover

"Well hell yeah! I did “Electric Funeral” on a one-stringer a while back. Maybe I should have used this method...would have spared everyone my “Octave-Shifted Ozzy” vocals."
Aug 15, 2018
Clint “Uncle Gus” Turpen liked Clarky's video
Aug 15, 2018
John Sawyer replied to Clint “Uncle Gus” Turpen's discussion Spokeshave: flat or round?
"CBJ is wise... I love my spokeshave.  Keeping the blade razor sharp is worthwhile effort.   I use mine on Maple..."
Aug 15, 2018
Kirk liked Clint “Uncle Gus” Turpen's discussion Spokeshave: flat or round?
Aug 14, 2018
Kirk liked Clint “Uncle Gus” Turpen's photo
Aug 14, 2018
BrianQ. replied to Clint “Uncle Gus” Turpen's discussion Spokeshave: flat or round?
"Yes chickenbone, good advice. Cheap tools are just as such- cheap & no good for any kind of longevity & lack finesse "
Aug 14, 2018

Profile Information

How did you learn about Cigar Box Nation?
The book titled Handmade Music Factory
How many instruments have you built so far?
What do you find most interesting about cigar box guitars? (If you do not enter something meaningful here, your membership may be rejected).
The sheer weirdness and DIY spirit of the instruments and the people who build and play them.

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Clint “Uncle Gus” Turpen's Blog

Let’s Get Philosophical (or: Here’s Some Self-Absorbed Handwringing about Finding Purpose, Creating Value and What It All Means)

Posted on August 6, 2018 at 3:19pm 2 Comments

The third time I screwed up my current project’s pickup bezel because I was trying to shape it with a Dremel tool instead of a small file or other human-powered implement, I began to suspect that I am not amazing at the woodworking part of the Cigar Box Guitar Thing.

This hypothesis was upgraded to a theory later the same day when I spent several minutes trying to make a hole in the headstock with the drill set on reverse.

In my defense, it was dark outside. Not in my…


I was going to say "I've been away," but that makes it sound like I was in jail this whole time

Posted on May 1, 2014 at 7:05pm 5 Comments

And I totally wasn't.

I just ain't been doing much, music-wise.

And then I think, "Hey, I'm gettin' back into 'er!" and start talking and planning stuff, and then I stop.

So none of that this time. I made a new song, made a new video. That's been posted and dealt with. That's yesterday. Tomorrow is another matter and what have I done today that's worth a dime?

And there's so much stuff that gets posted to this site on a daily basis that I can't even begin to catch…


Recording Cigar Box Music and the "Just Toss It Out" Principle

Posted on August 13, 2013 at 7:06pm 23 Comments

I'm starting to notice a pattern when I record songs with my cigar box instruments.

Whenever I'm stuck on a recording of a song...whenever something just doesn't "sound right," the answer is almost invariably "toss something out."

"Something" being one of the other tracks. Drums, basses, buckets, washboard, that brake rotor I've been banging on with a hammer. Taking something out leads to the music sounding fuller. fact, ESPECIALLY when I'm…


It's me, it's me, it's Uncle G.

Posted on July 21, 2013 at 6:03pm 10 Comments

It's been a helluva year.

I won't reiterate our family's loss here, it's in a previous blog entry. I'll just say this: sometimes it takes a long time to get back into the swing of life, and it's never the same once you start taking those steps.

I want to ease back into making some music on my three-string sound-producing devices. I haven't done much these past several months, haven't played a note in front of other human beings, haven't put a note on "tape" (i.e. hard disk). I…


Comment Wall (13 comments)

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Join Cigar Box Nation

At 9:07pm on August 6, 2013, Clock The Wolf said…

At 11:13am on April 29, 2013, Downtown Vinnie said…

I welcome yer friendship bud.....carry on.....salud

At 10:52am on March 27, 2013, Marty Newbery said…

Thank you for making them available Gus and thank you for the friend request too Mate, Love your style, Cheer's

At 8:03pm on March 20, 2013, JF Laflèche said…

Gus, your recordings sound really good. Good Job!  I'm still playing around with my Tascam portastudio 4 track...hard to convert it to digital.  Anyway, keep it up!

At 11:39am on March 17, 2013, Marty Newbery said…

G'Day Gus, Thank You Mate, just downloaded Showman's Rest, really enjoy it, Thank's again for that Gus, Cheer's

At 8:35pm on November 4, 2012, J.Rob said…

Uncle Gus, thanks for the question.

I used a hack saw before i learned about fret widths.

I hardened the tooth picks with super glue..

i picked up a cheap saw at lowes  the dude there even used a micrometer to check to see if it was thin enough. Also martin guitar was selling a "craft saw" for cheap  have been using that for about a year now. My next adventure was to try a saw from Michaels craft store around 10.00 see pix below


I use a program i got for free called WFRET found it online  for pc works real good prints out a template according to my fret amount and scale length.

i use a builders square and a "c" clamp to use as my saw guide.

slots work well with medium fret wire.

Sorry about the lengthy post just give it a try let me know if you have any more questions.

Thanks again



At 7:41pm on October 25, 2012, Reeds Taylor said…

Thanks for the friend request Uncle Gus.

At 4:35am on October 18, 2012, BUGGY (C) said…

Great Music Uncle there a link to your album?

Best regards BUG

At 8:22am on October 7, 2012, frank tennyson said…

Uncle gus, about to build according to your 1 hr videos. Ok a question. You mention building several to have on hand to sell. About what do you charge for one of your 1 hr creations? I recently watched vids on the Pergatory Hill Harp and went Wow. Guess that is the normal reaction - huh. So modifying the build in your 1 hr vid to a 4-srtring to be tuned low E (bass) then EBE. Already have interest in it, so that is why I'm asking. If I sell it will be my first ever build sell. OH had my first build, sounded weak and thin. Changed the bridge and nut to match the 1 hr build and added a retainer to hold the strings down at the tail, amazing difference!

At 4:21am on August 20, 2012, South Paw,Davey said…

Thanks for the invite keep em coming;-)


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