New How-To Plans: Build a Cigar Box Tambourine!

Ben Gitty Baker and his Cigar Box TambourineEver wondered what to do with those wide, flat and thin cigar boxes? Well wonder no more! In this article, Ben “Gitty” Baker shows you how he turned just such a box into a playable cigar box tambourine!

It only took him about 30 minutes to whip this tambourine together, and there is a lot of room for experimentation and improvement, and even possibility of using all reclaimed items! Check it out and post pictures of your creations over at CigarBoxNation.com!

How to Install a Pre-wired Single-coil Pickup Harness in Cigar Box Guitars

54-020-01 How-to Guide Pages
Click the image above to view the PDF how-to document.

This new how-to guide, written by Glenn Watt, walks you through installing one of C. B. Gitty’s Pre-wired 4-pole and 6-pole Magnetic Pickup Harnesses.

This guide has a lot of photos, and shows you what size holes to cut and drill, how to deal with neck-through builds, considerations for where to put volume and tone knobs, and more. Glenn’s

Build-Your-Own Tremolo…for Scaredy Cats!

Hi, just saw Shane Speal’s feature article on the 1957 tube driven tremolo plans. Pretty cool! But frankly, high voltage stuff scares the bejeezus out of me… that and my brain can only handle super simple electronics circuits. Other wise it becomes a fog of confusion.

More my speed is a simple little stomp box circuit I found on diystompboxes.com called “The Tiny Trem”: Continue reading “Build-Your-Own Tremolo…for Scaredy Cats!”

Cool Cigar Box Amplifier Mods!

by Shane Speal

I’m an electronics idiot. There, I said it! I suck when it comes to soldering and breadboards and all that crap. I couldn’t wire my way out of a paper bag, if the truth be told.

…But then C. B. Gitty came out with a pre-wired cigar box amp kit and I just had to dive in and try one out. And then another and another.

The Gitty amp kit a simple 2.5 watt amp that delivers living room volume in a tiny package. Most of their pictures show a standard cigar box with a hole cut in the middle and a speaker with some sort of grill or cover.

I figured if I was going to build cigar box amps, I might as well use as much found-object stuff on them to make them look otherworldly, just like some of my best cigar box guitars. Here’s three examples that used the standard Gitty kit and the parts I used to mod them: Continue reading “Cool Cigar Box Amplifier Mods!”

How to Build an Electric Guitar – Historic 1959 Plans (Free Download)

JUST ADDED TO THE ARCHIVES:

The Strat and Les Paul were only several years old when Mechanix Illustrated magazine published these plans, penned by Captain America creator and artist, C. C. Beck in their September 1959 issue.

Like many how-to articles from this era, the article is somewhat vague in carving and building techniques and instead puts most of its weight into the diagrams with measurements.

Continue reading “How to Build an Electric Guitar – Historic 1959 Plans (Free Download)”

Build a One-Tube Cigar Box Amplifier (Vintage Plans from 1954)

We love vintage plans, especially ones from the Eisenhower Era.  Here’s another one to drool over and explore: a One-Tube cigar box amp!  The plans were first published in Science and Mechanics, Feb. 1954.  We’ve taken a scan of them, cleaned them up and put it all together in one downloadable .pdf file below.

Continue reading “Build a One-Tube Cigar Box Amplifier (Vintage Plans from 1954)”

Free Plans for 3-string Balalaika

Free Balalaika PlansExperienced cigar box guitar builders know that studying traditional & conventional folk instruments is a great place to pick up new tricks and methods for building CBGs.

These free plans are for a 3-string, triangle-body Russian instrument known as the Balalaika. They were written by James H. Flynn, Jr. in the early 80’s and some time ago he made them freely available. This version of them are listed on www.Luth.org, the site of the Guild of American Luthiers.

Click the image to the left, or click here, to view the full how-to guide in PDF format.

Ever wanted to know how to build a One-string Cigar Box Violin?

W. C. Fields and his one-string Cigar Box Violin
Click the image above to view the knowledgebase post.

One-string cigar box violins/fiddles played a big role in early vaudeville performances, and if you’ve ever thought about building one, here’s your chance! We just added a new entry to the “Historic Plans” section of the knoweldgebase – a great old magazine article from 1948 showing you how to build a simple one-string cigar box violin.

We even included a link to a video post over on Cigar Box Nation where you can see W. C. Fields making quite a todo over playing one of these instruments.

 

Cigar Box Ukulele Lessons from One-Hand Dan

Click to see the knowledgebase post and view the video.
Click to see the knowledgebase post and view the video.

We’ve been wanting to add some ukulele-specific content to our knowledgebase for a while, but we didn’t have a uke expert in-house so it wasn’t going very well. Enter One-Hand Dan Russell, a performing musician with an awesome unique style and immense musical ability.

We first met Dan down in Huntsville, AL at the Lowe Mill Cigar Box Guitar Festival last May, and ran into him again at the Chicago CBG fest this past November. Dan plays a mean cigar box uke, so it’s a natural fit to feature some of his how-to-play content in our knowledgebase here on CigarBoxGuitar.com!

This first video lesson has Dan walking you through how he plays the song “Hold On” by the Alabama Shakes. We’ll be adding more great videos from Dan as he creates them, so stay tune. Viva la Ukulele!

New Video: The Essential Canjo – Part 1

61-013-29 Image 1We’ve just added a new post to the Canjos & Diddleybows section of the knowledgebase here on CigarBoxGuitar.com. The subject is Part One of a 4-part video series by C. B. Gitty on the instrument known as the Canjo. If you have ever wanted to know about these fun little instruments, this video series is for you!

Check out the Knowledgebase Post for more info and to view the video!