#10 Colorado Centennial

This is probably my favourite build so far.  I’ve had the plate for a while and love the design and colours.

Oak neck, new tuners, bolt nut and bridge, piezo pickup, tongue and groove back and leather hanging loop.

Every guitar has a different sound – its amazing considering that they are all of a similar size with similar component parts – some are growly, some are trebly, some are smooth – they all have a different ‘personality’.  This one was old school delta.

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History of the cigar box guitar

I thought I’d break up my stream of guitar builds with a bit of background info. The following is taken from the Daddy Mojo website:-

Historically, the origins of most cigar box guitars performers are found in poverty… CBGs were made and played by Depression-era jug band members who specialized in making instruments out of anything. Follow in the footsteps of Blind Willie Johnson, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Hound Dog Taylor, Big Bill Broonzy and many other old-time blues legends — it has been documented that all of these legendary old-time folks rocked on a cigar box guitar at one time in their career!

We’ve all heard stories about famous bluesmen or country singers that started their careers on a simple homemade cigar box guitar. With a list of artists including Jimi Hendrix, Roy Clark and Carl Perkins, the cigar box guitar has been the precursor to many great careers and countless inspiring stories. It is a wonder that nobody has documented its magnificenthistory history until now.

Cigars were extremely popular in the nineteenth century; many empty cigar boxes would be left around households. The 1800s were also a simpler time for Americans, when necessity was truly the mother of invention. Using a cigar box to create a guitar, fiddle, or banjo was an obvious choice for crafty souls.
The earliest proof of a cigar box instrument is an etching of two Civil War soldiers at a campsite — one is playing a cigar box fiddle. The fiddle appears to sport an advanced viola-length neck attached to a “Figaro” cigar box. The etching is dated 1876.

In addition to the Civil War etching, plans for a cigar box banjo were published in the 1870s by Boy Scouts founder Daniel Carter Beard in St. Nicholas Magazine. The plans, entitled “How to Build an Uncle Enos Banjo” showed a step-by-step description for a playable 5-string fretless banjo made from a cigar box. The plans were eventually published in Beard’s immensely popular American Boy’s Handy Book.

The cigar box guitar has such an awesome pedigree. Blind Willie Johnson made a one-string when he was five – he quickly learned to play melodies up-and-down that lonely string. Later, Blind Willie would record the monumental “Dark Was The Night (Cold Was The Ground)” on a standard guitar. The song is a instrumental classic that has droning chords lying in the background while a haunting melody is played up-and-down the high-E string — a technique he learned on his original one-string cigar box guitar!

#9 – 6 hole cigar box

Back to the cigar box for this build – Ive gone for a wider neck this time – good quality oak (all my necks have been oak so far, except one American walnut – oak is such great wood to work with).  It will be ideal for someone with big hands or arthritis!

6 brass sound holes in the top and an ‘airport’ on the side let this box ring out – it also has an electric piezo pickup (as all of my guitars have so far).

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#8 Rusty Colorado 74

This one has a battered plate and Ive gone for the ‘hillbilly’ look – its got lead corner brackets and a lead ‘laminate’ headstock, ply back from a skip, a rusty hinge tailpiece and bent nail bridge!

It played like a dream and has now been sold.  🙂


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