Thursday, March 22, 2007

making a cigar box guitar part 3 - the box

So it's time for the box. It needs to be a wooden one not cardboard. I mainly use the paper covered ply boxes with hinged lids. I cut about a 1 inch (25mm) soundhole in the lid using a Forstner bit. The neck will fit just under the lid when closed so you need to cut notches in the ends for it to drop into. I open the lid and mark the centres of the two ends. Measure the section of the neck and mark this at these centres, allow a bit more depth for the thickness of the lid which usually sits inside the sides.

Carefully cut these pieces out using a coping saw or sharp craft knife. Aim for a close tight fit. The neck should fit into it now so try closing the lid - you might need to make it a bit deeper yet - the neck should protrude out the back a couple of inches (about 2 cm). There will be a gap under the neck between it and the bottom of the box. I make two pieces of narrow wood to fit tightly in this gap to support the neck and glue one at each end of the box. When set I drill through the back of the box and through these blocks. Next I put a wood screw with cup washer through each hole and and screw into the neck. Obviously choose screw lengths that won't come right through the neck. This secures the neck to the box.

If adding piezo pick-up I next drill a hole for the jack socket, glue the piezo disc to the underside of the lid where the bridge will be and wire it out. When happy with it close the lid and secure it with a few panel pins (usually there's one already in it in the middle - add another at each end)

coming next - the bridge, string trees and stringing it up. Any questions feel free to mail me.


Anonymous said...

which side of the piezo do you glue to the box? the all brass side or the side with the white circle?

David said...

Brass side, be careful with the white circle, it's quite fragile. I use a thin layer of Araldite and place it under the bridge area inside the box. I hold it in place with a piece of masking tape over the wires until it's set.