Picture of My First Box Guitar
It happened when I was cruising the "brick-a-brack" section at Ross.  There it was, a First Act beginner's electric guitar with amp for $35.  Right after adding it to my cart, a musically inspired jewelery box caught my eye.

What you'll need...
A donor electric guitar
A  box

If adding a second pickup...
(I've always been a fan of musicians that run 2 amps to their guitar ala Bob Log III)
A piezo buzzer
1 potentiometer
A 1/4 inch female mono jack
1 volume knob
all the above can be had at your local Radio Shack

And other things you'll need...
Soldering iron and solder
some extra wire length (I used an old headphone wire)
Wood glue
A Dremel
A drill with various drill bits
and a means for cutting wood

Everything else will be supplied by the donor guitar.
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Step 1: Break 'em On Down...

Picture of Break 'em On Down...
First thing is to take apart the electric guitar.

Start by removing the strings.
After that the neck will unscrew from the body.
Then you can unscrew the bridge and pickup.
You will have to cut the wires from the pickup and give yourself room on the pickup wiring.  You will be soldering them back together.
Unscrew the pick guard and the cover on the back.
The volume and tone knobs can be pried up and off.
You then can unscrew the bolts holding the potentiometers and the mono jack.
And don't forget the jack plate and screws.

Keep all the wiring intact with the exception of the wires you cut to get the pickup out.  Set aside everything you take off the donor guitar as you will need them.

At this point you should have something like the picture.  Now would be a good time to remove the hinges from your jewelery box as well.

Step 2: No Matter What Shape Your Guitar's In...

Picture of No Matter What Shape Your Guitar's In...
 Time to cut the body.  You only want to keep the part from the neck to the bridge.
khurlxen4 years ago
what the sacrifice your own guitar.....
it's only a sacrifice if it was nice to begin with... here, a peice of junk was turned into art, in a creative way.... sacrifice is pulling a pete townsend!
abadfart3 years ago
you could also rewire it so that you can run both pickups from the same jack and even at the same time
Great instructable! I've got a cigar box just waiting for something like this. I also have a question though: What tune is "walking blues" and who plays it?
It's very familiar to me, but I can't seem to place it. No luck searching online so far, either, but I won't stop 'til I figure it out. :)

Thanks again
jackbrass (author)  A Big Dingus4 years ago
Thanks man. The sheet music I have says that "Walking Blues" is by Robert Johnson but I've yet to hear a recording myself. If you find it let me know.
All makers of classic one-of-a-kind guitars should hear the "King of the Delta Blues Singers" So here you go!
Whales thomas_c4 years ago
Let them do what they want, if you want to go around and save every abused First Act guitar out there, go ahead. It's not like he just cut up a Les Paul.(That would be blasphemy) He took an El Cheapo and turned it into a one of a kind guitar.
I have made several guitars using a similar method. I will never cut up or tear apart a quality guitar but i have used an epiphone les paul jr. that was beat to crap and i gave it a new life as a unique instrument. But the wood these guitars are made of and even low end big name guitars are made what is basically saw dust and glue. Even cheap parts are some what expensive to get and this just makes it easier without spending a large chunk of change
jackbrass (author)  thomas_c4 years ago
It's all in the "eye of the beholder" my friend. What may look like a good guitar body to some, looks like a giant cookie cutter to others. It may have been the lazier way to go about a project like this, but that's what I'm all about. :)
full scale travel guitar is what i'm thinking. nice job man
I like it! Regardless of what other people might think or say! It is a cool little project in the "style" of a cigarbox guitar and as soon as I find a cheap old guitar and jewelry box etc I am going to try it! You now have a very PERSONAL guitar rather then a cheap guitar and a cheap jewelry box and you should be proud of it!
jackbrass (author) 4 years ago
Yeah, I've been there...tin can microphone? Sounds cool.
Cool stuff. I'm sure you've been to to see their stuffs. have you looked at making a tin can microphone yet? they actually sound pretty great.
I would suggest you replace the title and add some keywords with

"cigar box guitar" it's more recogniceable and will allow more users to come by your ible :)

This is the term the community of cigar box guitar builders uses so I think that would be more convienient to use :)

Just a suggestion.

nice ible btw
But that would be intellectually dishonest, he didn't use a cigar box.
jackbrass (author)  Tool Using Animal4 years ago
 Yeah, my options were either "box guitar" or "jewelery box guitar".  I went with the one that I wouldn't be embarrassed to play AC/DC on.
Yeah I get where you're coming from.

You're right although it's in the style of a cigar box guitar, since it doesn't really use one you can't really call it that indeed.

I didn't say anything :)
Hows the intonation?  Do all the notes sound in tune from fret 1 to the highest fret?  I can see that you did not place the bridge at 2x the distance from the nut of the neck to the middle of the 12th fret, so I was just wondering how good it sounds.
jackbrass (author)  mattthegamer4634 years ago
 It keeps it tune well so far.  I didn't really change any of the measurements from the original guitar.  I did have to adjust the action at the bridge a little, but I planned to do that anyway to aid in my wanna-be slide guitar playing skills.  I plan on posting video of it in action when I'm darn well ready. :)
 What an "f" hole... Sorry couldn't resist... Nice ible.