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Old 01-18-2016, 02:43 PM   #1
Kevštuhri
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Suitable bodies for a "Cigar Box Guitar"

I'm interested in building a CBG just for fun, and I'm pretty sure I have easy access to most materials needed. I can get some tuners and strings from pretty much any shop around here, and I can probably find some nice wood and tools from my grandpas place. Only thing I'd say I need to spark the project is a suitable body.

I don't expect running into an actual cigar box around here, but I'd like to have a wood body, as opposed to a tin box or something like that. Using some used and non-guitar related material has it's charms, so I don't really want to buy a kit either. Does anyone have any tips on what kind of shops I could look into? I think I could also put together some planks and make a box of my own if I can't find a cool box otherwise. Do you have any product in mind that uses the kind of box I could use? Any thoughts are appreciated.

Also, as a quick closing question: how reliable could a fretless CBG be, tuning wise? Is it a wasted effort to build a fretless box guitar and except it to work like any fretless instrument? I'd like to get a fretless bass or a guitar someday, so I'm wondering if a box guitar can be a reliable form of practice in fretless instuments. Cheers.
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Old 01-18-2016, 05:49 PM   #2
dspellman
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You can build a fretless CBG, and I don't know where reliability issues would even appear. It should work like any fretless instrument.

I'd suggest building your own box and then, if you want some graphics that suggest a real cigar box, either paint those on by hand, use a stencil, or have axewrap.com or axewraps.com build you a transit vinyl wrap that has your graphics on it.

I've seen several guitars built around and into various cans as well. Google gas can guitar and see what comes up in the Images section.
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Old 01-18-2016, 06:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dspellman
You can build a fretless CBG, and I don't know where reliability issues would even appear. It should work like any fretless instrument.

I'd suggest building your own box and then, if you want some graphics that suggest a real cigar box, either paint those on by hand, use a stencil, or have axewrap.com or axewraps.com build you a transit vinyl wrap that has your graphics on it.

I've seen several guitars built around and into various cans as well. Google gas can guitar and see what comes up in the Images section.


Thanks. I was thinking about the fretless part as a matter of intonation. Of course, I plan on building it as accurately as I can, but I'm not a luthier, so I'm concerned that if I do it too crudely the tuning of the fretted notes between the strings would be all over the place.

Those gas can guitars are also very cool, I'll definitely keep that in mind.
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Old 01-18-2016, 06:20 PM   #4
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Do a Google image search for ideas on cigar box guitar as well as gas can guitar, there are literally hundreds of them.

I can't see any problem with going fretless if you want to try fretless fingering or slide. You could still incorporate fretboard markers, perhaps just at the main positions. Stewmac has a good fret spacing and bridge position calculator.
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Old 01-18-2016, 06:40 PM   #5
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Nah, I don't want fret markers. I want to trust my ears. If a violin player can do it without looking at the fretboard, I want to do it too, even if it took me the next twenty years of ear training.

I did see a cool video where someone did frets using basic nails, and it was pretty sweet. But that might be an another project for an another day.
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*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
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Old 01-18-2016, 11:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevštuhri
Nah, I don't want fret markers. I want to trust my ears. If a violin player can do it without looking at the fretboard, I want to do it too, even if it took me the next twenty years of ear training.


Yoo Kahn Dew Eet!
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Old 01-18-2016, 11:26 PM   #7
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Worth noting, by the way, that you can also simply buy a fretless guitar at Rondo Music for $99...

http://www.rondomusic.com/eg628wpp.html
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Old 01-19-2016, 12:22 AM   #8
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necks if you want to work with regular necks and want them cheap
http://www.guitarfetish.com/Factory...Sale_c_410.html

the frets arent going to be flawless and the neck may need a light sanding but its not like we're touring with a cigar box guitar right

this sums up everything though when it comes to pickups and all about what is suitable for a guitar how you can use a lot of weird things and they'll all work.
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Old 01-19-2016, 04:48 AM   #9
Kevštuhri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dspellman
Yoo Kahn Dew Eet!


For some reason this sounds sarcastic as hell

And that 99$ guitar will probably not be a 99$ guitar when it ships to finland Anyway, my point wasn't to build a fretless box guitar because I really wanted a fretless instrument right now, I just don't want to bother with frets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallwood13
Concrete block guitar


Sounds nice, seems impractical
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Originally Posted by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

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*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
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Old 01-19-2016, 05:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevštuhri
Nah, I don't want fret markers. I want to trust my ears. If a violin player can do it without looking at the fretboard, I want to do it too, even if it took me the next twenty years of ear training.



From what I have seen, eg my daughter, beginner violinists have the 4th and 5th intervals marked, typically with scrapbook stickers.
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Old 01-19-2016, 05:51 PM   #11
dspellman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevštuhri
For some reason this sounds sarcastic as hell

And that 99$ guitar will probably not be a 99$ guitar when it ships to finland Anyway, my point wasn't to build a fretless box guitar because I really wanted a fretless instrument right now, I just don't want to bother with frets.


I think almost any chunk of wood could do for a neck. Flat (okay, with a radius) in front, whatever you like in the back. Since the neck is fretless, what kind of intonation could you possibly do?

That guitar is probably available somewhere in the EU. It's not a Rondo exclusive. And it should STILL be cheap.
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Old 01-19-2016, 06:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dspellman
I think almost any chunk of wood could do for a neck. Flat (okay, with a radius) in front, whatever you like in the back. Since the neck is fretless, what kind of intonation could you possibly do?

That guitar is probably available somewhere in the EU. It's not a Rondo exclusive. And it should STILL be cheap.


I'll look around for it.

With intonation, I mean stuff like getting a clean octave at roughly the same spot on each string.
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Theory: Not rules, just tools.

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*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
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Old 01-22-2016, 11:54 AM   #13
PTModIT
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Hi, I bought 2 wood boxes from Michaels Craft store. I had to reinforce the corners . Perfect size for the body.
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Old 01-27-2016, 03:26 PM   #14
viennasunsetb
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These look wicked!
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Old 01-28-2016, 12:27 PM   #15
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What if you used a couple of broom sticks side by side as the neck like a Lowebow?
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