Cigar box guitars, part two:


Well, then, I made one more which is acoustic only:

I decided to build another guitar. (See the past post on building the first one.) I had purchased a very nice box and decided I would like to build one with a magnetic pickup. The box is cedar, the neck is poplar and the strings are Martin 80/20 acoustic. I used the D, G, and B strings and the instrument is tuned open G (GDG).

There are instructions all over You Tube , C.B. Gitty, and an e-book by Gittyman available.

The trick is to go slowly and double check. Certain tools are needed, but nothing unusual. I made an error in my build, but I think I solved it.

I bought the box on e-bay. I did the painting later.Measured cutouts for tight insertion of the bottom of the guitar neck which occupies the box. Another piece of wood is glued to the part of the neck that will be in the box  for strength and stablility.

Here is the assembly of the box and neck. I did a little decorative painting to make it look old and hand made. Then I drilled two holes in the box with a Forstner bit so it can be loud enough if played acoustically.

The bridge is a cut down 1/4 inch bolt and the strings are stabilized with the hollow part of rivets for leatherwork. The nut at the other end of the strings is a smaller bolt fit into a cutout shallow trench. The grooves on the bolts hold the strings in place.This is the magnetic pickup. I put it too close to the neck. A deep groove must be cut in the back part of the neck (in the box) to fit the pickup and this weakened my neck so it bows when the strings were tuned. I thought the piece of wood glued to the underside of the neck would stabilize it, but there was just not enough length from the groove to the edge of the box. I drilled this “too short” space and placed two large screws between the neck and the neck support piece (inside the box) and so far so good.

The photo below is complete, except for insertion of the pickup.


Canadian Adventure!

Last week my daughter and I went on a Canadian fishing trip to Black Island at the Lake of the Woods. She came to Fond du Lac and we drove to Duluth and stayed overnight at a very nice suite, having been given a free upgrade (thanks). We had dinner at the nearby Texas Roadhouse. The next day we drove on to Baudette, MN and crossed the border.

I had to get out of the car to dig out my passport from my wallet and the border guard questioned me about that. But my heart was pure and she let us cross into Ontario. Then we drove on to Morson for pick up by a boat from the Island. We bought our licenses at the North Pier park and pickup point (cash only).

Much of the first half of the trip was through farmland and scrub, small towns, and not much traffic north of Oshkosh and after Duluth we had little traffic. Then we were into continuous pine/ spruce forest the rest of the drive. The roads were very good: some expressway, four land divided highways, and then two lane farther north.

The boat driver, Nibs, picked us up and Julie and he carried our baggage into the boat since I was having some back problems (I helped loading the food supplies some). And we sped along the lake to the Island.

Forming thunderhead, but we had no rain.

The Black Island Resort is tier one in every respect. EVERY respect.

The three day routine was a full breakfast at 0730, get in the boat at 0800, fishing, shore lunch (very good; very traditional) , fishing, and return to the Island at 1700h. Then a fabulous and overly generous dinner at 1830. The cuisine was Canadian/U.S. fare and was very good. The guide, Greg, did all the icky stuff in addition to guiding. After dinner we read our kindles, showered, and went to bed.

This was Julie’s first experience fishing and she “done good.” That first day she caught one of each species except muskie. That is, walleye, small mouth bass, perch, crappie, and northern pike. And a few rock bass too.

Our technique was bottom jigging and trolling. Our baits were either frozen minnows or leeches (better). We did not do any casting, I suspect, for safety reasons.

The weather was excellent although hot and we burned even with the repeated use of sun screen. I learned that in the future I will wear light weight long sleeve shirts and sun gloves.

Early morning sun. Monster walleye,  smallmouth bass, and northern pike.


Pelicans and eaglets.






The shoreline, our boat, lunch comin’ up! Our cabin.

We took a south and then east route home after crossing into the U.S. at Baudette, avoiding or bypassing all the cities except Grand Rapids, MN which had a traffic jam! (10,000 population). We made it home in one day without problem.

A little airport on the way.


Tonight—>fish for dinner.

Next year I plan to take my son on this same trip. It is a wonderful father- daughter or father-son bonding experience.