How to Make an Electric Cigar Box Guitar for $25

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Introduction: How to Make an Electric Cigar Box Guitar for $25

About: I like turning boring things into awesome things! Usually on video.


Total build (not including glue dry time) took about 3 hours for this guitar. I did my best to use the most inexpensive parts possible. The only tools I use to carve the neck are a knife, hand saw, and a sharp hatchet. Green wood is the easiest to carve, but you risk it splitting as it dries. I used a green piece of maple cut off the tree only hours before and had no problems.

The cigar box should be as strong as possible, made of solid wood, not cardboard or particle board. Java by Drew Estate uses an excellent box for this, and makes for a very nice looking instrument. The one I came across I have already used to make a stomp box, but if I find another it will become a guitar.

Parts list:
Tuning Heads - $18
Cigar Box - $2
1/4" Jack - $2
Bolts (bridge/nut) - $1
Neck - Free
Microphone (speaker harvested from any outdated electronics) - Free
Finishing Nails - Pennies...Free enough

Certainly there are ways to make a nicer instrument. The point of this video is to show how quickly and cheaply a guitar can be made, not how to make a masterpiece. Depending on the feedback I get from this video I may make another showing how to build a nicer fretted guitar.

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    65 Comments

    It doesn't need to be modded. A speaker turns electrical energy into vibrations, and can thus turn vibrations into electrical energy. All speakers are inherently microphones, and vice versa.

    Well I am a guitar player and I can honestly say you have turned my imagination onto these instruments... great instructions and great playing... cheers

    awesome I actually saw your video on youtube first but when I saw your account name here I had to check it out again. I was wondering do you think it would be daminging to the box to screw the neck into the end so it will be longer?

    2 replies

    The neck has to run all the way through or the guitar will not be able to support the string tension.

    point taken I just personally as a guitarist prefer a longer neck.

    Saw one of these at a local Maker's Faire... I can't play, but I might just have to learn! Awesome!

    This. Is. EPIC. Hey, do you think this design would work in a old hollowed-out dvd drive from a pc? I have one, and i wanna make an electric guitar with a geeky design. Ive already hollowed it out, so I hope it works.

    2 replies

    Yeah it should work just fine, and sound pretty cool too.

    Cool. Ill be working on that and ill post an ible ASAP.

    Awesome instructable! I'm not usually much of a guitar person, but you've changed my mind. What are the dimensions of the box you used and the neck? (approximately)

    4 replies

    The box is 5 1/2x8" and the neck is 22" long from the back of the guitar all the way to the end of the head. That's pretty short and you might do better to go longer. The box may need some extra support to hold the pressure of the strings with a longer neck is all.

    What other sorts of wood would you be abl to use instead of maple?? (considering Australian trees?)

    I'm not sure what trees you have in Australia and what their wood is like. You might be best off to buy a piece of oak (or whatever hardwood you have there) lumber from a hardware store.

    Thanx for reply.
    Um yeah, aussie woods are like eucalyptus, gum tree and that sort. I'll take your advice and get some 'o' that hard wood. Thanks again for reply.

    Nice Work, I would love to see some more DIY instruments.

    HOLY SHIZ YES......THIS IS THE BEST INSTRUCTABLE I HAVE SEEN FOR GUITARS SO FAR