The main guide I used was over at Cigar Box Guitars and their How to Build a Cigar Box Guitar tutorial. I found this had the main information I needed to build my guitar. This is the guide I used to build my CBG.
Another good resource was at Cigar Box 101 which includes a downloadable PDF of notes taken while Michael Glenn built his CBG.
The short notes for building a CBG are:
- There are no rules!
- There are lots of resources for how to build a CBG.
For my guitar, I winged it on a ton of details. I wanted to see what it would sound like ASAP so I did not get fancy and was able to put it together with a minimum of tools. For the openings in the body of the cigar box I just traced out a pattern and then used a dremel with a cutting bit to cut out the designs. They are not symmetrical but I don't care, it's unique.
One thing about my guitar, you know it is hand made. Nothing fancy going on here.
|Headstock is shaped due to a split in the wood, not by design.|
The photo above shows my headstock which I had to trim down on one side not by original design. I was trying to line up my tuning nuts like someone suggested and then ran into a split in the wood as I put one of the nuts in. I grabbed the circular saw, chopped off the split, and then drilled a new tuning nut hole. I then sanded this down to ge the design above. I then had to put a screw in to act as a string guide since the alignment of my tuning nuts were off and the 3rd/top one had it's string colliding with the other 2 nuts.
So, even though I planned some things out, I ran into issues which resulted in unique "design" decisions for my guitar. That's one thing I love about this guitar. It did not come out as I planned but it still looks good and is fun to play.
The building of this guitar was a very Agile process. The building of it was very agile, in software speak. I ran into issues I tuned the headstock. I got the bare minimum put together and I stringed it up to test that it played ok. That worked so I took it apart and put in pickups and sanded down the neck so it felt good in the hands. I played it again and the neck was still not perfect so I sanded it more.
Now I have a smooth, nice to hold, custom guitar.