How to build an electric cigar box guitar? – A basic idea you need to know

A fusion of country and blues genres is always sweet for me. There is one reason for this sweetness. And that is the Cigar box guitar. Playing this guitar by wearing a bottleneck in the ring finger is just amazing.

Many prominent country artists tried this bottleneck technique to spice up their guitar solos. Every time they hit the note, I am astonished and ask; how the guitar works. Even in some cases, I explored the way of making this guitar.

Yes! That’s true. And I am here to let you know the process of making an electric cigar box guitar. This article will not make you the master, but it will help you give a good start at the end.

To make your cigar box building smooth, you need to follow some steps you need to know first. I will try to define every step as much as I can. So, the steps are as follows:

Collect all the ingredients you need:

First, you need to grab all the essential equipment before starting. To fill up your essential kit, let me give you the checklists. You will need

  • Cigar box
  • Fretwire
  • A long piece of hardwood for the neck.
  • Tuner pegs
  • Different sized screws
  • Nylon strings.
  • Pickup
  • Bridge
  • Pencil
  • Measurement tape
  • Plywood
  • Standard bolt
  • Oakwood for the fretboard.
  • Wood joining glue.

If you have collected all the equipment as mentioned above, then you are ready for the next steps.

build an electric cigar box guitar

Build the neck and headstock:

From your equipment list, take the long hardwood for making the neck and headstock first. This wood may look like the following picture. Look, you might have noticed that I am not mentioning the exact measurement, right?

Why? It might not work on you -like mine, so it’s better to measure the neck according to your requirements. For example, mine was 44X20m varnished wood. I cut the wood into three parts, like this picture.

One of the parts is used for headstock; others are used for fret board and body parts. After cutting the three sections, I joined everything like this with glue. If you have followed the instruction, then you are ready for the next step.

Prepare the cigar box:

Your 30% of work has finished. Now it’s time to reshape the cigar box. Shaping the cigar box is not that much time-consuming. What you have to do is; just open the box and insert plywood with glue. This is because of the warm sound. By doing this, you have finished 40% of work.

Prepare the space for tuner peg, nut, and fretboard:

Next, you come back to the neck part. Here you will do some technical work. First, take a pencil and mark three or four areas in the headstock. The reasons behind marking the spaces are for placing tuner pegs. Then come to the neck part; here, you will mark two regions. One is for nuts; another is for fretboards.


Join the tuner pegs and fretboard:

By this time, you have done 50% of your building, I guess. Now it’s time to place the tuner and fretboard. So meltdown the standard bolt first, and set it as a nut in between the headstock and neck. After that, glue down the Oakwood with the neck. Done! Finally, drill the headstock that you have marked, and attach the tuner pegs with screws.

Shape the frets now:

This is the sensitive part you are going to handle now. Take your neck where the Oakwood has placed. Then mark up the frets; I mean, how many frets do you want to add in the guitar. When you have done with the marking, then take the fret wire and attach it in the oak wood.

Join the neck with cigar box:

So, you have done 60% of your work. Let’s go for the rest of the work. Cut a space to join the neck part in the cigar box. To measure the size, look at the edge of the neck and cut accordingly. Then join it inside the cigar box. It’s better to use screws for a better grip.

Install the pickup and bridge:

Take the measurement tape, keep one side of its edge at the nut, and the other side over the last corner of the cigar box. The reason for this measurement is to mark up the bridge and pickup position.

Based on the markup, you will cut the hole for pickup. During the time of placing your pick up, I recommend you make some room for the wires and knobs. This option will help you fix the small issues later. .After the pickup placement, your next task is to screw the bridge tightly.

Tie up the strings and test the knobs:

85% of the work is done. Now you will tie up the strings with a bridge and tune it like Ukulele notes; G, C E A. if you have tuned the cigar box according to my instruction, then it’s time to give a test.

Connect the guitar jack with an amp, and start to play some chords and licks. Check every fret thoroughly. There might be buzz sounds or other sound-related issues. If you find anything like this, fix it. Simple!

Things to remember while making the cigar box:

  • Trim the edge of the fret wire for avoiding accidents.
  •  Consult with an expert before installing the pickup.
  • Polish the hardwood precisely to avoid accidents.
  • Take all the precautionary steps before kicking off the work.



Asi said at the beginning that, this article is not a comprehensive guide. It is a precise guide for knowing the necessary work procedure of building a cigar box electric guitar. I hope my endeavor to explain the process has seen the light at least. If you are still facing any problem, seek help from youtube.

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