You love building cigar box guitars, but sometimes there are too many obstacles to get the look and sound you want from a cigar box.
Perhaps where you live, you have a tough time finding cigar boxes. Or maybe the boxes you find are too small, strangely shaped, or they don’t look how you want.
Well, have you considered building your own box?
Building your own box is a rewarding experience and, compared to cigar boxes, offers you more freedom to get the size and look you desire.
Of all the benefits you have by building your own box, there’s the...
~ independence to build with readily available, larger boxes
~ satisfaction of assembling the box yourself
~ and the artistic freedom to make the box look precisely the way you want
Don’t get me wrong; building cigar box guitars remains one of the most honest and satisfying pursuits. But by assembling your own box, you take charge of the sight and sound of your guitar, knowing that you built the instrument from the ground up.
Build Your Own Box
Even if you haven’t built a cigar box guitar before, building your own box guitar from the ground up is much easier than you may think.
In this post, you’ll see that by using our Special Limited Edition Truck Graphic Box Kit, and a handful of other C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply components, you can build your own customized box guitar.
With the clear and colorful images in this post, you’ll see...
~ how easy it is to assemble the box
~ how good the box looks in size, and shape, along with the cool custom graphic
~ and how a handful of readily available C. B. Gitty components (including a fully-fretted neck) make building your own eye-popping box guitar straightforward and fun
Keep reading to see how easy it is to build your own custom box guitar.
Custom Box Kit
Here are the parts used to make this fantastic truck-graphic box guitar.
Pictured above are the…
~ and a sturdy neck brace
The only C. B. Gitty components used in the guitar but not pictured here are strings and box corners.
Easy Box Assembly
Assembling the box is a breeze. All you have to do is apply a little wood glue to the adjoining surfaces, fit them together, and place the elastic bands, included with the kit, around the box.
Due to the precision laser-cutting process that we use to make these kits, there may be a little burning on one side of each piece. Turn those pieces to the inside of the box before gluing.
Keeping the box upside-down, place some heavy, oversized objects such as cookbooks over the box bottom to keep everything firmly in place while drying.
Ready To Use, Fully-Fretted Neck
While the assembled box sides and bottom dry, you can prepare the neck. Cut a notch into the neck to fit it under the box lid.
That notch creates space between the neck and box lid, allowing the lid to vibrate and function as a soundboard. To keep from sagging when the guitar is strung up, the box lid may need support.
To support the lid under string tension, a trick used here is to leave a bit of neck in the notched area. That small bit of wood sits right under the laser-cut bridge and supports the box lid without inhibiting too much soundboard vibration.
There is a line drawn in pencil on the fully-fretted 3-string neck. This line indicates where over the neck the bridge will sit. Sufficient support for the lid is made by leaving a little wood on either side of the line. To custom fit the lid, that supporting wood can, if necessary, be filed down in height.
The headstock is pre-drilled for C. B. Gitty string ferrules, which seat nicely in the tail end with a dab of glue...
and installing the sturdy C. B. Gitty open-gear tuners couldn't be easier in the pre-drilled headstock on the fully-fretted neck...
With the neck notched, ferrules and tuners installed, it's time to brace the box.
Brace And Notch The Box
To fit the neck, the box gets notched by first finding the center of both ends. Then the neck width is drawn on to and -- with minimal cutting, filing, and sanding -- removed from both ends.
While there are several ways one can brace a box, for the sake of ease and a positive end-result, this box was braced on each end with wood scraps flush against the notch bottoms. Glue and clamp the scraps into place, and let 'em dry.
After the glue has dried, drilling and inserting screws into both ends assures box strength and stability.
Fasten Neck Into Box
With the neck prepped, and the box braced and notched, fastening the neck is a cinch. Simply drilling for and inserting drywall screws securely installs the neck into your assembled limited-edition box kit.
Install Neck Brace
To support the neck once it’s under string tension, an easy-to-install neck brace fits right under the neck and against the box.
The glued wood brace inside the box is a solid foundation into which the neck brace is secured.
As with all things related to handmade musical instruments, there is more than one way to attach the lid to the box and close up the guitar body.
In this case, you can see the awesome truck graphic on this lid preserved by attaching it to the box with only box corners. The lid fits the box perfectly, retains it’s gorgeous look, and freely vibrates to serve as an effective soundboard.
Install Bridge and Strings
All that’s left to fire up this hot-rod is to string it up and place the bridge.
Since the fully-fretted neck is built on a 25-inch scale length, the precisely-cut maple bridge gets placed on the box lid 25 inches away from the zero-fret nut. And with C. B. Gitty’s own Southbound Strings wound around the classy open-gear tuners, the guitar roars to life, ready to be taken for a spin.
Awesome Finished Box Guitar
As you can see, building your own box guitar is a cinch. Moreover, from soup to nuts, you can get a handful of parts from C. B. Gitty to finish the entire guitar.
Even better, with the custom graphic lid, you can have a guitar that looks exactly the way you want.
Now, get me wrong; building cigar box guitars remains one of my favorite pursuits. There’s nothing like making musical instruments out of things never intended to make music, and the music you can make with a cigar box guitar is like no other.
However, building your own box guitar with a C. B. Gitty box kit and custom-graphic lid, along with a handful of other C. B. Gitty parts, is a satisfying pursuit all on its own.
Assembling your own box...
~ frees you from the hassle of searching for large (loud) boxes
~ is deeply satisfying knowing that you’ve built the guitar from the ground-up
~ and grants you full artistic license to do what you will with your handmade musical instrument
As you can see, building your own box guitar looks great, is supremely satisfying, and is likely much easier than you thought.
So, are ready to take control of your guitar-building and create your finest box guitar yet?