A few months ago I was working on making my own instrument from a cigar box. There are many guitars made out of odds and ends, and cigar boxes have been popular for do-it-yourself blues players since pre-war legends. Being an amateur craftsman with wood, I made the best out of my skills and the hand tools at my disposal. I was able to make due with some wood/metal files, a hacksaw, a power drill, and sandpaper. I decided not to put frets on it after realizing that the action would be too high, so I made it a slide guitar. As you can see in the photo, I made f-holes as seen on violins instead of the typical round hole of acoustic guitars because the neck extends through the center all the way past the bridge. The tuning pegs were too high to secure the strings properly, so I had to add a riser to the nut (hence the high action). I also put in a homemade pickup that plugs in just like an ordinary electric guitar. It’s not a guitar pickup, but it does amplify the sound and works with 1/4″ guitar chords (notice the jack on the bottom/right).


I’m going to try to make another one soon, but I want to use a metallic body of a chocolate tin this time and experiment with more primitive hardware for hardware like the bridge (I used a banjo bridge from a local shop for a couple bucks). I gave this to Bolie Folke to try out and he was sliding a haunting blues number that sounded like neighbors to Robert Johnson. Take a listen to a sample and travel back 70+ years. This is what is sounds plugged into an amp.