Piezo disks work best as pickups in cigar box guitars if you provide some cushioning for them. This helps tone down their harshness. Embedding them in a generous glob of hot glue when mounting them to the inside of a cigar box lid is a popular method.
Learn more about using piezos from our free knowledgebase.
People often ask how thick to make the headstocks on their cigar box guitars. Most standard guitar tuners, whether sealed-gear or open-gear, are intended to be used on a headstock that is about 9/16” (0.5625 inches/14.3mm) thick. Ukulele tuners are made to work on thinner headstocks, usually in the range of ⅜” (0.375 inches/9.53mm) or 7/16” (0.4375 inches/11.1mm).
Remember that the “scale length” of a cigar box guitar or other stringed instrument refers to the vibrating length of the strings. It is measured from the point where the strings leave the nut to the point where they first touch the saddle/bridge.
Need help calculating your scale length? Try our free fret spacing calculator tool!
When mounting sealed-gear tuners in cigar box guitars or other handmade instruments, be sure to keep the gear towards the instrument body, not the top of the headstock. The gear is inside the rounded portion of the sealed tuner base.
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