Cigar Box Guitars


It all started when I was disassembling the last pieces of a parade float we had built a few years ago so our grand kids could ride in a parade. The float resembled a steam boat and there were two oak spacers between the smoke stacks. I could not bring myself to throw away the two pieces of oak. They looked as if they would make good cigar box guitar necks. I like the idea of making something from found stuff and junk from around the garage and house. The original oak pieces were sawn from a junk oak shelf. To see the two oak pieces acting as spacers between the smoke stacks, check out the  following steam boat video.

Some pieces I am using are not junk and found stuff.  The tuning machines, cigar boxes, strings, and bridges were purchased from Amazon and CB +Gitty. If a traditional three string instrument is being built, you might as well build two and buy a regular set of 6   tuning machines. I am building two.  I do not have the patience or skill to build a fretted neck so the two instruments will be slide only.  The distance from bridge to the nut ( the nut is really a bolt ) is 25".  Each instrument has two piezo pickups, a disk type on the sound board and a rod type in a ukulele  stile bridge.  See the schematic below.   After reading Merlin Blencowe's preamp book and discussing things on the AX84 Forum.  I learned that Piezos should look into at least 10 Megs. So the preamp will have an input impedance of 15 meg. and a voltage gain of  10.

For lack of better names, one CBG will be called a baritone, and the other a tenor.  The cigar boxes are slightly different in shape, both were rapped with a knuckle and the one with lowest sounding thump became the baritone.  The strings used on the baritone are regular guitar strings.  The tuning is:

G2   97.999 cps.

D3   146.83 cps

G3   196.00 cps

For the G2 string a regular guitar E2 string was tuned up to G2,  For D3 and G3 The regular guitar strings were tuned as they would be on a guitar.

The tuning for tenor is:

G3   196 cps

D4   293.665 cps

G4   391.995 cps

This tuning range is too high for regular guitar strings especially the G4 so a special set by Southbound String Co was purchased from CB Getty.

                                                     More details later


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