MAKE Volume 21: Traditional cigar box guitar builds

MAKE Volume 21: Traditional cigar box guitar builds

Back in MAKE Volume 04 (2005), we ran a project for making an electric cigar box guitar. In the newest issue of MAKE, Volume 21, our editor in chief Mark Frauenfelder offers a DIY on making a classic cigar box guitar, and we’ve had a few people commenting on the article page and sharing gorgeous images of the guitars they’ve built. We love when that happens, so I wanted to share a few of them here. What I like most about this project is that everyone has their own distinct take on it. Seen above is Jason Hitesman’s CBG. You can see more shots on his photo stream. Below are front and back shots of Jake Sunding’s cigar box mandolin (build notes on his blog), inspired by Mark’s article:

jake sunding mandolin.jpg
jake sunding mandolin2.jpg

One more for now. Here is Dan Morrill’s CBG build. Love the surrounding workshop in this shot:


Have you built one? Share your pics with us in the comments and/or add them to the MAKE Flickr pool! And if you don’t already have Volume 21, you can pick it up at fine newsstands near you, order it from the Maker Shed, or subscribe.

volume 21 little shot.jpg

4 thoughts on “MAKE Volume 21: Traditional cigar box guitar builds

  1. Darren Landrum says:

    This just made me put out a wanted message on the local Freecycle for cigar boxes. Thanks!

  2. badfishtoo says:

    Check out my man Ben Prestage to see what beautiful music you could be capable of with a cigar box “GEE-tarr”

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I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at or via @snowgoli.

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