A couple weeks ago I decided to make a second cigar box guitar. This time I followed the plans from CigarBoxGuitar.com. It was more complicated than the MAKE magazine version I made previously. The neck runs through the box rather than just being glued to the top. I also decided to use real strings and tuners, and make it electric.
Hooking up the pickup was ridiculously easy. I took a Radio Shack piezo buzzer, hooked it to a 1/4″ input jack, taped it together, and that was it! Before installing it into the guitar I plugged it into my amp to make sure it the connections were good, and everything worked fine the first time.
The biggest problem I hit was that I had shaved down the headstock too much. In trying to make it a little more guitar-looking, I planed down the headstock area. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize until the very end (when I was stringing the finished guitar) that I had made the headstock too thin. The tuners stuck out high above the nut, and the action on the guitar would be unplayably high.
After I supressed the urge to smash the whole thing, I re-drilled the holes for the tuners where the nut was, and re-filed the groove for the nut further down the neck. That worked out fine, and the project was saved (whew).
The action is still high but it sounds good and is definitely playable. I’ll have to make a clip of Jack or Joe playing it and post it.