A Jim of All Trades

Cigar Box Guitar #3

with one comment

I made another cigar box guitar:


This one is a two string resonator, using a motorcycle license plate. I’ve seen a number of “license plate guitars” and want to make one, but most cigar boxes are smaller than license plates, so the builder usually has to make the box as well. I was feeling motivated to make another guitar but didn’t want to deal with the hassle of making a box, too, so decided to just use the smaller motorcycle license plate. I’ve never seen a guitar made like this before, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it has already been done. I’ll make the full license plate guitar at some point.

Why only a two string? Well, because I only had the parts laying around for a two sting, that’s why. I made it completely from things I already had, save the bolt I used for the bridge; I had to buy that at a hardware store.

It only took 12 days, working an hour or two a day, to put this together, and a couple days were just waiting for glue and wood stain to dry. It has an oak neck with oak finger board. There are more noticeable flaws on this one than on my last. I admit that I didn’t pay as close attention to detail as I should have, but I was just doing it for fun and to practice for another, nicer build.

It uses heavier wound strings so has a lower tone than the other three-strings I’ve made. I tuned the strings to the “bottom” (thicker) two strings of the typical three string tuning (G and D) so it plays the same, just minus the thinnest string. The license plate adds a bit of a different tone too, though not as much like a traditional resonator guitar as I had hoped – probably because of the smaller license plate that doesn’t vibrate/resonate as much. I don’t have any sound clips to share though, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. I gave it away a day after finishing it, so didn’t have much time to play with it or record, and I forgot to take a picture of the whole thing with my camera, hence the first picture above being a lower quality cell pic. (I gave the guitar to my dad, who is not a guitar player, but maybe this will put him on the path… He likes it, anyway.)

Here are some more detailed pics:

IMGP9090xs IMGP9089xs IMGP9104xs IMGP9101xs
it has sound holes on the top and bottom


I thought the label on the lid (picture above) was too cool to destroy, so I made the top/lid of the box the back of the guitar, and cut a hole in the bottom of the box and mounted the license plate there.


Thanks for reading, and happy playing!


Written by Jim

August 24, 2014 at 9:28 pm

One Response

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  1. Photos are looking great! This guitar is rad, too!


    August 26, 2014 at 10:11 am


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