Intro: Cigar Box Uke
This cigar box guitar is super fun and easy to make!
Here are the items you will need to make it:
- cigar box/any box
- guitar strings
- guitar tuners
- door hinge
- small eyelet screws
- circular drill bit
- wood glue
Step 1: Pick Out Your Box
For this project I used an old golf ball box that I picked up for about $5.
Step 2: Find Piece of Wood for Guitar Neck
For my guitar neck I used scrap wood laying around in my classroom but anything is fine to use. Place the piece of wood next to your box to get an idea of how long you want it be, then cut the wood.
Step 3: Cut Notch Into Cigar Box
This notch needs to be cut so your guitar neck can come out of the box. To cut the notch I used a miter box to cut the two sides, and a large drill bit to dig out the rest of the wood. After getting the rough shape of a square, just use sandpaper to smooth it out.
Step 4: Add Support Blocks to Hold Neck Inside of Box
For this step use the extra wood that was cut off while sizing the neck. The block of wood needs to go from the bottom of the notch to the end of the box. After they are cut glue them into place with wood glue and clamp them. If you cannot close the box with the guitar neck inside, do a little sanding.
Step 5: Style Your Neck
To give my guitar neck a unique shape, I used a rounded file to create two notches in the sides. After the wood was sanded I used regular acrylic black paint as a stain, then put a water based coat of polyurethane on top.
Step 6: Glue Guitar Neck Into Box
Use wood glue to glue your guitar neck onto the little blocks inside the box. Clamp your work, and let dry for an hour or two.
Step 7: Drill Holes
Next, drill a hole in your box. This is important because this is how the sound resonates. I used a 1in spade drill bit but feel free to make the hole as big as you want.
Step 8: Make Guitar Bridge
Now its time to make the bridge. The bridge is necessary to keep the strings elevated so they don't rub against the box. Take a piece of scrap wood and sketch out the shape of a triangle. Clamp the wood to the miter box, and saw it into a triangle. When it is done, you can sand any imperfections out. Then glue the bridge to the face to your guitars box. If needed you can file down the wood so the string has a groove to sit into.
Step 9: String Guitar
Next, make a small hole to place your small eyelet screws into the door hinge. Thread the guitar strings through the eye hooks, over the bridge, and tighten them into the guitar tuners.
Step 10: *Tuning Solution Fixed*
When I started to tune the guitar, I was having a real problem. Every time I would get one string right, It would change when the next string was tuned. I figured out that top of the box was being pulled by the strings causing the box to no longer be in alignment.
To fix this, loosen your strings if needed, align the box so it looks square and find a way to keep it in that position. I used a pre drilled metal plate lying around my classroom, and had a friend hold the box so it wouldn't warp as the plate was drilled. This plate also looks cool if I decided to make my instrument electric, I would drill another hole for the jack. But anything is fine to use. If you have any more door hinges, they can be placed on the front.
Good luck making this! It was a lot of fun and turned out great! If you end up making it please post a picture down below.