Cigar Box Guitar
Knocked over another Cigar Box Guitar, Libro de los Muertos or The Book of the Dead.
Oak Neck, Fretted – dunno what the fretboard timber is, just scrap, but it burns well. Humbucker knicked from an Ibanez, volume knob from an early 70’s Kriesler stereo, DIY tailpiece with Fender type bits, leather strapping knicked from my old club vest.
Just waiting on the tailpiece timber cover to dry and tweak the frets and that is that 🙂 must admit the damn thing is loud!!
What with near to and 40+ degrees it’s been way too hot to spend time in the shed, but I’ve caught up a bit now it’s cooled down. The V-Star Embossed is ready for final assembly, the neck is black with a transparent black fretboard and ebony fret markers, you can see the internal pup assembly in the photo. This’ll be the first and last tin I use unless I can find a thicker one as this one was just that tad too thin.
Yes, four 😉 Seeing as I had a stack of marine ply I cut it all to CBG size so now I’ve got masses of tops, bottoms, ends and sides, with that said I started on one, then another and another to the point where I ended up with five body’s ready to go. Discarded one as the more I looked at it the more I disliked it and have ended up with the four as shown in the pic.
They are as follows:
From LtoR Rock On’ – Three string acoustic, Libro de los Muertos or Book of the Dead for non-Spanish speakers – Three string semi acoustic with humbucker, V-Star Embossed (cheers Con) – Three string semi-acoustic, Shovellin’ – Three string acoustic oh and the Shovelhead engraving is off centre on purpose, I didn’t want the bridge to cover it.
All need final tweakin’ but not gunna say what to which one 😉
Decided to make the box and all with this one 😉 Talk about getting carried away. It’s got a three string Tasmanian Oak neck with Fender type tuners, just waiting on the neck glue to dry before final shaping – taking my time as I’m also waiting on brass corners for the box.
UPDATE 20th Jan: It’s finally finished – damn neck fought me like you wouldn’t believe.
It’s a 270mm long Montecristo box stripped of all paper and dyed Royal Blue, the neck has a 15 degree scarf joint and is dyed Plain White and the Fretboard is Chinese Red – all normal off the shelf powdered food dyes not the over the counter stupidly priced timber ones, it’s got a split pair of piezo’s in it, the tail piece and hinges are from a caravan mob, nut and bridge are cut down bolts.
Picked up another Montecristo Cigar Box which is destined to become another Cigar Box Guitar 😉 I’m all but finished with the body as you can see in the before and after photos, I promise I won’t go apeshit with pictures this time ’round.
The carcass was stripped of all paper work and dyed blue which was a logical colour for a blues slide 😛 then I clamped it in the CNC machine and cut out the maps of Texas for the sound holes and got carried away and engraved Texas Blues on it as well. Next cab off the rank is fit a couple of hinges as this make of box doesn’t come with them and line the inside with white paper – I’ll do that tomorra.
Update 8th Dec: Made the neck and fretboard, decided to do the neck white and the fretboard red with white fret markers (it’s fretless) and white stars instead of plain dots – def goin’ the Texas road 🙂 I’ll get photo’s up shortly, I want to wait until the scarf joint on the neck is rock solid before I finish it off.
So, all bits ordered – Gibson style Tuners, a three string pickup, antique bronze box corners and a set of strings oh and the obvious cigar box. I actually bought two (see pics) so I can learn from the first and improve.
I’ve already got the neck blank, but with that I’m going to go a tad loony and insert a truss rod and mill down a fret board (both nicked from a Strat knock off) so I end up with a straight 40mm. As for the bridge, nut and tail piece I’ll make them as I go along from either spare guitar parts or just by hand.
Watch this space for a step by step.
Update 14th October – It Starts!!
You will notice in pictures 11 to 13 a nut made of wood. I won’t being using it, it’s just there as a guide so I can line up the fret board 😉 I’m taking my time as I still haven’t got the three string pickup, tuners, strings and corners yet, so this is all there is, well I may put up a photo of the fret board glued on and finished (burning) and maybe the scribbling on the side of the neck that shows the final shape.
Update 15th October – Got ’em!!
Inserted the truss rod and glued the fret board on yesterday, and what do I get in today’s mail? Yep you guessed it, the tuners, pickup and strings so that got me motivated enough to go out and rough shape the neck and machine head. That’s all for now, two pics of the neck are at the bottom. 😉
Update 17th October – Cheesed off Sorta
Seeing as the Spoke Shaver didn’t arrive so I could finish the neck all proper like I’ve decided to continue on with the box itself. Now personally I’m not overly fussed with the labelling on the box so I thought ‘bugger it, make me own‘ which I did – see picture 16, along with the left and right templates for the half R ‘oles (F holes to everyone else) picture 17 and measured up the positioning for the pickup and tail-piece. When I went to create the the label I didn’t have any clear to spray on to seal it before soaking it in water so that brought that to a grinding halt as well *shrug* I’ll get it finished by the end of next week (25/10).
Update 19th October – Nearly There
I finished making the new labels and added them, bloody fiddly but sorted you can see them from picture 18 to 22 I got a tad carried away and even printed copies of the seals, they’re not the exact size but I thought they needed to be there. Not bad considering I was going to strip it all back to bare timber and stain it 😛 . Anyway, apart from still not getting my Spoke Shaver yet to be able to finish the neck I suppose I can get all the wiring and small fitments done. Oh and before I forget yet again, it’s got a 25.5″ scale.
I was looking at buying a lap steel (dunno why) and fell over this site http://www.guitarworld.com/diy-musician-how-build-2×4-lap-steel-guitar and decided sod it I’ll bloody build one instead. So a brief hunt through the shed gave me an old timber dining table that deserved to be cut up so that was the wood side sorted but as you can see from the pictures I got a tad carried away in that mine isn’t going to be a single 2×4 I’m going to recess it in to a wider piece. Why? Well I thought I might knock up some legs for it too 😉
When will it be finished? Buggered if I know, probably mid next week – I hate sanding and I’ve got a lot to do although I’ll get the notch cut out of the body to sit the neck in today.
Update (a few hours after the original post): From Picture 7 you’ll see I got well carried away, got it all sanded as well as sorting the ‘neck’ pocket – gettin’ there. It’s going to have a single Strat pup with just the volume control, the input jack is going in the right side of the body – just gotta work out the best way to set the strings, through body or Gibson tune-o-matic style bridge although I’m leaning toward through body.
Update (the following day): From Picture 12 (dunno what happened to 11) you’ll see I’ve dismantled a Strat tremolo bridge and it makes an ideal string mount, I’ve recessed the Strat pup, used a spade bit to make the holes for the volume control and input, cross drilled everthing for the wiring and dry fit it all to make sure I hadn’t stuffed it up.. I even got carried away and milled a track for the pup wiring to sit nicely and not cause any grief with the neck. What you can’t see is the earth wire from the String mount as that’s all through the timber 😉
Update (Yet another day passes): Got the frets marked but for some reason near the pick up end of the neck they are off, dunno what happened there. Also got the Machine head cut out, the tuners lined up and everything varnished. It should be assembled tomorrow. 😉
Update (A good few days later): It’s finished, up to and including making a cover (Picture 12) for the holes that make it a damn sight easier to sort the wiring than not being there, I’m just waiting on a new set of heavier strings and then I can call it completely finished – total build time was six days 😉
Next is going to be a three string CBG or a Cigar Box Guitar, I’ve already started on the neck so drop back in a week or so to see how I’m getting on.