Cigar Box Ukulele, Made From the Leftovers of Other Projects


And again about the “leftovers”.

1. When I shop for cigar boxes I always pick up small ones if they are: wooden, nice looking and FREE!

The “Mouton Cadet of the Baronne Philippe Rothschild House” small cigar box was one of them.

I used it for a while to collect some bills.

2. Then I’ve got this 2 feet piece of the poplar plank from the P-Bass Cigar Box Guitar project as a leftover. At our hardware store, you can only find the 6′ plank of the right profile. And I used only 4′ of it for the neck.

3. The three tuning pegs are also (2+1) leftovers. I usually make 4 strings CBGs. But since there are  only 3 pegs left, let it be 3 strings this time.  Moreover, you just can not place more than 3 pegs on such a small plank.Cigar Box Ukulele

So. a Small free cigar box, a small 2′ poplar plank and 3 free pegs. Anything that can come out of this doesn’t deserve to be qualified as a guitar. That’s why I called it CBU: Cigar Box Ukulele.

And as with any “leftover” project I tried to avoid any purchases as much as possible. The only exclusion (like frets) is the materials which I already have in my workshop.

So, here is the first draft: no frets, no electronics or anything else extra. To some extent, I now regret I had proceeded with those upgrades.

Recently I had a post on how I make the DIY CBG Pickup.
So that was a great occasion to try it before going to bigger projects.
In the following images, you can see the front end and the back end of the construction.
Please note that I placed long enough screws through the neck plank. This approach gave me a nice opportunity to maintain the distance between the strings and the pickup.
Also, you may notice that I’ve put 2 magnets per each pickup. I can put even more if I need to.
And the last thing to mention. The shielding inside the cigar box. I used the aluminum self-adhesive foil here.
Without the shielding, I could hear some radio program when plugged this thing into my amp.:)

Cigar Box Ukulele: Frontend Cigar Box Ukulele: Inside

Yeah, I know the hole for the pickups in the middle looks ugly. It happened because originally I wanted to buid the pickups from the ferromagnetic magnet buttons from the fridge magnets. They are bigger but they didn’t work as well as expected.
So here is the final look of this tiny instrument:
Cigar Box Ukulele: final look

Oh. And one more possibly useful tip. The plastic cover of the peg head. Not my original idea though. The “Home Depot” or any other hardware store which offers kitchen countertops has a stand with a huge amount of plastic covers. Just don’t steal all of them! You need just a few. 🙂

Here is a small demo of what came out. No effects were used:


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