Picture of Cigar box sitar (tamboura)
This is an easy variation of the cigar box guitar but with a buzzing bridge to make sounds reminiscent of a sitar drone. One of the great things about this project is that there are no critical measurements, almost any configuration will work just fine. The resonating cavity doesn't have to be a cigar box, It can be anything from cookie tins, hardhats to the traditional gourd.

My inspiration for this project is:

The tamboura (tambura, tampura, tanpuras) is an Indian fretless drone lute. The strings have a thread tied on to them to dampen the primary tone but allow the harmonic overtones to ring. Tambouras are tuned in unison with some strings as a 5th above the root note.
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Step 1: Make a cigarbox guitar.

Picture of Make a cigarbox guitar.
Cigarbox guitars range from all scrounged or hardware store parts to works of art a luthier might knock together in their workshop if they have some spare time. What we need is something with a sounding box, nut, neck, tuning pegs and some way to mount the strings. Again, nothing is very critical to the design because all the finicky measurements for tuning and the action on the neck are not needed. Nail a box on a board, add some tuning pegs and mount some strings!

Mine has tuning pegs from a first-act guitar I found in an alley, the nut was another found scrap, the cigarbox was recycled from another project.

The next part is the super simple buzzing bridge.
ShadowHawk18 days ago

I know this is an old thread/build - but would like to know if it makes any difference in the hardness of the wood for the flat bridge? (Hardwoods better than a soft wood like pine?)

dawg0654 years ago
is there anyone out threr making a gigar box bass???
Kilroy66444 years ago
Very cool. I've already built a couple of cigar box guitars and just finished a ukulele, and I was looking for something different. Looks like I found it, even if I am almost two years late.
JKibs955 years ago
First Acts belong in the alley
I just saw the cigar box guitar on the Make podcast yesterday, and I wanted to make one. Maybe I'll do this instead.
pstretz6 years ago
I will have to try that. I'm sort of wishing I didn't fix the bridge on my cigar box guitar. Guess I'll just have to build another. :)