A few weeks ago, I decided that I'd try my hand at building a cigar box guitar. Having listened to a lot of Seasick Steve, lately, I figured I'd go with three strings. I have the St. George set up as a 3-string, and I'm having a good time playing slide on it. But, I think that the cbg works even better with 3 strings.
I went to the Rockler Woodworking store, over on Colorado Blvd, and picked up a 1x2x48 stick of Jatoba wood (Brazilian Cherry). Jatoba is hard and dense, so I hoped that it would hold up well to string tension, since I wasn't planning on using any metal reinforcing.
I wanted to build the guitar in a fairly traditional manner, using no power tools other than a circular saw and a drill. Eventually I deviated from the traditional tools by using a Dremel and SuperGlue, in the interest of saving time.
Eventually, I used sandpaper backed with duct tape to do the final shaping. I used the circular saw to remove the wood where the neck runs under the body, and where the tuners go. It was tedious, and nerve-wracking to make repeated cuts, side by side, removing a saw-blade's width of material with each pass, to remove the wood.
The tailpiece is a belt buckle which I found at the thrift store, with three holes drilled in it for the strings to pass through.
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