Project:Cigar Box Guitars

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Based on these Make Magazine projects. Guitar and Amp



Part Quantitiy Notes
Cigar box 4
1×2 oak or maple lumber 0 3' length The actual dimensions are 3/4"×1 1/2". A 6' stick, enough for 2 necks, Pick the straightest, flattest, clearest, meaning free of knotholes, piece you can find.
Guitar strings 2sets electric, 2 sets acoustic Standard medium-gauge strings work well. CBGs typically use open G tuning. I use strings 5, 4, and 3 and tune them to G-D-G. [Did you get two strings or two sets, I bought two sets of acoustic guitar strings today. Ciarán] [2sets - N]
Tuning pegs 6 1 Pack of six individual heads
Fret wire 9feet Figuring 2inch width on neck, 24 frets, 2 guitars plus a bit extra
Cabinet hinge 0 with 3 mounting holes on each side [Seems to be some variety on ebay. I have bid on two sets (for 2 guitars), although looking at why it's used we could fashion our own from some sheet metal thats lying around the space - CM ]
1" wood screws Phillips head 0
Bamboo barbecue skewer or other hard, thin rod 0 for the bridge and nut
Super glue optional 0


Part Quantitiy Notes
Toggle switch, SPST single pole single throw Bit box at space?
9V battery 2 [but they're in my other bag - N, and some at space]
Battery connector 2 Plenty at the space
0.047µF capacitor 2 Plenty at the space, labelled as 47 nF
220µF capacitor biggest 2 Plenty at space (drawer is unlabeled)
0.01µf capacitor 2 Plenty at space (there's a hidden row of capacitors)
100µf capacitor 2 Plenty at space
10Ω resistor 2 Plenty at space
Hookup wire 20 or 22 gauge solid core is best We have wire, what gauge I don't know
5K-ohm potentiometer, audio or log taper Lots of pots, but none labelled 5 KW
25-ohm 25W rheostat None at the hackspace (although not sure what I'm looking for, nothing said "rheostat"
LM386N audio amplifier chip 2
8-pin DIP IC socket 2
1/4" mono phone jack 2? Plenty at the space
Chicken head knobs (2) Not sure where to look, didn't see any
Prototyping PC board None at the space -> I'm sure I saw some. There are spare breadboards which will do for now.
Speaker, 8Ω impedance 1 speaker at the space, in the "headphones" box
Speaker grill optional



I had a thought last night that we could do away with the cabinet hinges and get a "cleaner" look but maybe slightly less ornate. Rather than have the strings threading though the cabinet hooks, why not drill holes through the box lid and neck wood? Then the string could be mounted by threading them through the bottom of the wood, up through the lid and across the fret board. More like a normal electric guitar? -- CM

Another option would be to continue the neck of the guitar past the end of the cigar box as per the original video we saw. Also, I've seen some rubbish hinges at £2 type shops, and there's a hardware store that I'm hoping to check next week. The main things I'm aware of that we're still short on now are neck wood, hinges and screws for the guitars, and potentiometer/rheostats for the amps... -- [N]

I've added links to the order on the components page for the potentiometers and rheostats. The 5KW means 5K ohm because the make tutorial can't seem to write greek omegas! You were correct about the rheostats/potentiometers they are the same just depends on how you wire them. Ordered hinges so will drop them off some time this week. Screws we can get from anywhere no not worried about them. Still stumped about the wood though. -- CM

The electronics that I added to the components page have now been removed by Russ, I'm guessing that he's ordered them. Not sure when they arrive though. --CM


Ciarán and Nick are the main instigators but others a welcome to join in!