This Instructable shows how to create a Cigar Box Amplifier, of course it can also be used as an MP3 player or Phone amplifier. I decided to build the amplifier before the guitar since it's certainly easier, but hopefully a Cigar Box Guitar Instructable will follow soon!
If you haven't heard of Cigar Box Guitars, you should check them out. YouTube has lots of videos demonstrating amazing sound from these 3 stringed instruments.
Here's an example of a CBG in Action:
Actually they don't all have 3 strings, but hey this is about the amplifier anyway,
let's build one!
Step 1: Gather Tools and Parts
- Cigar Box - I have a friend who occasionally smokes a cigar, he tells me they are all legal (at least somewhere in the world ;-) ). I noticed these can also be found at Yard Sales, on eBay and sometimes for free in Tobacco Stores.
- LM386 chip based amplifier circuit - I got a kit for this from https://www.tindie.com/products/tymkrs/tymkrs-amplify-me-lm386-amplifier-kit/ (some sites sell pre-soldered kits as well) but you can likely make your own. Parts needed are: Potentiometer, LM386 Chip, Resistor, 2 Capacitors, 9V battery connector and Guitar jack.
- 8 Ohm Speaker (I got mine from an old projection TV)
- Switch (optional) - didn't come with the kit, but I thought it would be handy to save on batteries.
- Miscellaneous parts for decoration, most important is something to cover the speaker, (I used the plastic which originally covered the speaker on the TV). Optional: Handle, Legs, battery holder, Something to keep the cover of the box closed,
- Soldering Iron and Solder (unless you buy a pre-soldered kit)
- Hole Saw (optional) to cut the speaker hole (or use a drill and Dremmel or X-Acto knife)
Step One is to solder together the kit, as seen in the picture below.
(It's a good idea to get a general feel for where all the parts are going to be installed before you actually start cutting wire and soldering. You'll notice I left way too much slack on my speaker wire)