Monday, October 09, 2006

Monte Christo Cigar Box Guitar

My favourite so far and one I'm keeping. It's tuned to open E using the lower three strings of a 12 guage set. The tuning is EBE giving an open E tuning. The lower E string is same pitch as that of a standard tuned guitar. It works well as a sort of drone when playing and gives a nice bassy back fill to the sound. The low tuning seems to encourage slow, moody, swampy delta playing. I fitted two internal piezo pickups - one under the bridge area and one under the string area near the soundhole. There's a switch (not visible here) which will select one or other or both. There's no tone or volume control (keeping things simple - you can adjust it on the amp) but I thought the twin pick-up idea would give me a simple switchable tone control as the bridge pup will have a brighter tone than the one nearer the neck. It does work to a degree but not anything dramatic. I'm still experimenting with designs which is half the fun of making them.

This is the first one I have added a strap to. I saw this webbing on a car boot stall. A huge reel of it for about £1.50 and thought it would make great straps. It goes particularly well with this one color-wise picking up the red element in the box logo. On the same score notice how I echoed that logo with the fret markers as a novelty. The fret "dots" are triangular shapes burned in with the centres painted red and the headstock looks similar to that on a Fender telecaster and the face is painted a similar shade of warm yellow as the box. These bits of colour echo the colours and design on the box front. I just love those colours, this one's a keeper for me. Photo to follow soon.


David S said...

This is a lovely piece of work. Have you made any since?

What process/tools/jigs do you use to cut the headstock at an angle to the neck?

David said...

Thanks for the compliment. I have made quite a few guitars now but each one is different. You can see most of them in the gallery section of my site Although the photo looks like the headstock is angled it isn't. It's just cut back by routing a cm or so off the front, rather like a Fender Strat/Tele