These free plans come from our sister website, www.CigarBoxNation.com (the #1 resource site for cigar box guitars)
Cigar Box Nation’s Archive of
Homemade Musical Instrument Plans
From the simple 3-string cigar box guitar instructional that started the Cigar Box Guitar Revolution to historical plans dating back to the 1800′s…we’ve collected them all.
These are easy-to-follow plans that started the Cigar Box Guitar Revolution. Build a simple 3-string CBG using an empty box, a plank of wood (easily found at your local hardware store) some strings and tuners.
Once you’ve downloaded these plans, join these Cigar Box Nation discussion groups for building and playing tips:
- Building A Cigar Box Guitar 101
- Three String Cigar Box Guitars
- Cigar Box Guitar Wiring and Electronics
- Super Advanced Cigar Box Guitar Building
- How to Play a Cigar Box Guitar
Brian Lemin presents his own take on building a cigar box guitar. Pictures, descriptions and more. .pdf format (Thanks Brian!)
Need more help? See links above for Cigar Box Nation discussion groups.
Smokehouse Guitars presents Advanced Course in Cigar Box Guitar Building and Design
- Pt. 1 Introduction
- Pt. 2a Tools
- Pt. 2b Tools – Tuning Hand Planes
- Pt. 3 Supplies
- Pt. 4 Design
- Pt. 5 Necks - Scarf Joints
- Pt. 5 Necks - Carving
- Pt. 5 Necks - Fretboard
- Pt. 5 Necks - Fretwork
- Pt. 6 Finishes - French Polish
- String Intonation Explained
- Guitar Wiring Basics
From Guitar Player Magazine, 1976. These are the plans that inspired Shane Speal to build his first cigar box guitar. These plans are based on the cigar box guitar that rockabilly legend, Carl Perkins played as a child.
5-String Cigar Box Banjo - Oldest known cigar box instrument plans
Build an Uncle Enos Banjo first published circa 1870 The oldest known plans for a cigar box instrument, the Uncle Enos Banjo plans were written by Boy Scouts founder Daniel Carter Beard for a childrens magazine. The finished product is a very playable 5-string banjo.
Build a playable 4-string violin. Also includes plans to make your own fiddle bow, too. Get more help, tips and join the discussion at Cigar Box Nation’s group, Cigar Box Fiddles
Vintage cigar box uke plans – fully detailed. Ukulele geeks and cigar box freaks unite!!! It’s time to get your strum on. Plans are a high res .jpg scan. Once you have downloaded these plans, join the uke discussion in our Cigar Box Ukulele Group
From the article: “The one-string banjo, cigar box guitar and similar Vaudeville favorites are giving way to the tantalizing ukulele…” Oh yeah, baby! (Plans download in .jpg file) Once you have downloaded these plans, join the uke discussion in our Cigar box Ukulele Group
Popular Mechanics, September 1923 (pdf file). Get additional tips, secrets and more in the following Cigar Box Nation Groups:
Way cool vintage plans from a 1954 issue of Science & Mechanics Magazine. Plans are in a 2 page .pdf Please note: the pages are mistakenly reversed in the .pdf. Get more cigar box amp tips, designs and ideas at the Cigar Box Nation group It Goes To Eleven (Cigar Box Amps)
Discovered in an old 1936 patent. The instrument uses a cigar box like a slide on a fiddle made from a pitchfork. This picture features proof that someone actually made and performed with this style instrument. Anyone wanna attempt this? Get more tips, ideas and join in the fiddle discussion at the Cigar Box Nation group, Cigar Box Fiddles
Build a Cigar Box Violin first published 1949 Create a 1-string cigar box “cello” violin, similar to instruments used by the great Yiddish vaudeville performers of the turn-of-the-century. W. C. Fields appeared in a movie playing this instrument. Get more tips, ideas and join in the fiddle discussion at the Cigar Box Nation group, Cigar Box Fiddles
Shane has just discovered a lost set of plans for a one-string “Cigar Box Jazzolin,” originally published in Popular Mechanics in 1920. With help from Cigar Box Guitar Museum curator, Bill Jehle, we have these plans available for you to download right now. We encourage you to build your own “Cigar Box Jazzolin” and post pictures. Learn to play it and post videos, too! Let’s bring back the great tradition of Yiddish vaudeville fiddle playing! Once you’ve downloaded the plans, join our Diddley Bow (1-string instrument) Group and our Cigar Box Fiddles Group.
Dr Oakroot’s plans for a great Cigar Box Diddley Bow The diddley bow is a traditional one string instrument fundamental to the early blues. You can easily make a diddley bow using a cardboard cigar box, a guitar tuner, and a few other things. Get more help, tips and secrets at our Diddley Bow Group
Vintage Lap Steep Plans (link broken…we’re working on it)
How to build this ultra-hip LAP STEEL GUITAR! (pdf document). Once you download the plans, join these groups to discuss building secrets for this instrument! VINTAGE LAP STEEL PLANS GROUP. (dedicated to these vintage plans) and Lap Steel World (a great group discussing all aspects of lap steel construction)
Vintage Rebek Fiddle Plans (link broken…we’re working on it)
Build this cool world-music Rebek Fiddle and crank out some one-string goodness. (pdf. document). Need more help? Cigar Box Nation has discussion groups for Cigar Box Fiddles and Diddley Bows (One Stringed Instruments)
Cool plans found in a 1960′s Popular Science magazine. Build your own solidbody electric bass from a standard 2×4!!! Get your thump on and join the discussion group Cigar Box Basses
Funky and primitive cigar box bass that uses a lever tuning/playing system. From an old children’s book. Download is a 2 page Word document. More help at Cigar Box Nation’s group Cigar Box Basses
Not a cigar box instrument, but cool nonetheless. Check out these plans, originally posted in the old Cigar Box Guitar Yahoo!Group. (Thanks to Jim “Gutbucketeer” Bunch for compiling and archiving the information.) Download is a Word document. Bass tips and inspiration at Cigar Box Nation’s discussion group, Cigar Box Basses