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Diese Bauanleitung soll auch weniger geübten "Bastlern" die Möglichkeit geben sich seine eigene Cigarbox-Guitar zu bauen. Alle Bauteile dafür findest du hier im Shop.



  • Doppelmeter
  • Bleistift
  • Japansäge
  • Holzbohrer
  • Laubsäge
  • Holzfeile
  • diverse Schraubendreher


I build my cigarbox guitar

What should it be?

Before you start sawing, you should think about it.

  • 3 strings or 4 strings
  • what color for the bridge and the mechanics
  • Where do I place the potentiometers?
  • where should the jack be mounted

I opted for a 3-string CBG here. Since the box is black with golden fittings and paper strips I will use a golden bridge and golden tuners

the cigarbox

The cigar box is the heart of the CBG. There are so many different cigar boxes on the market. One prettier than the other. The bigger the cigar power the bigger the soundbody (resonator)
In addition, a certain size of the box is required so the scale fits. I used a BrickHouse box for this tutorial.
First, of course, the white warning glue catches your eye. Of course he has to leave. This is best done off with tweezers and a hard dryer. Carefully warm up the sticker and detach it with a pair of tweezers. Caution is advised if this is glued on the paper strip as here.


Zum Produkt

the neck

With a prefabricated neck a lot of work is taken off. Wood from the hardware store is usually stored poorly and the square wood is already warped in the frame.
Or it happens after stringing with the strings. That's why I developed a neck specifically for CBG and had it made. The headstock is raw and can be customized.
The width of the neck is chosen so that a 3 or 4 strings CBG can be built. There is already a section intended for a pickup. At the back of the neck, the neck must still be adapted to the Cigarbox

CBG Neck 2

  • scale length 25.5 Inch (647.7mm)
  • maple
  • rosewood fingerboard
  • headboard to design yourself.
  • Saddle bones
  • Abmessungen BxH = 38x27mm inkl. Griffbrett
  • fretboard length 465mm
  • overal length 900mm

 Zum Produkt

Scale length:

The scale length is the distance between saddle and bridge / bridge. The prefabricated neck has a scale of 647.7mm, which corresponds to a Fender Mensur.
It is best to place the pre-qualified neck in front of the empty cigar box. The end of the fingerboard to the front edge of the box. Then check the scale length with the tape measure.



elektromagnetic  pickup

A pickup is an electromagnetic pickup that converts the vibration of the Saiutians into an electrical signal. I have opted for this construction manual for a pickup which is already pre-wired.
Thus, no keien soldering station is needed. Electrotechnical expertise is therefore not required. The pickup is designed for 4 strings, but also works perfectly with a 3 string CGB. It comes with a volume and a tone potentiometer. The Tone Potentiometer can be recognized by the green capacitor which is already soldered. The two knobs and the 6.35mm mono jack are also included. Of course, a piezo sound wave pickup can also be used. This article can also be found in the shop. Piezo pickups have a special sound but feedback can be very close to the amp.

4p pickup

 Zum Produkt

ready to go

Die headplate

The headstock is individually customizable. Mark a desired shape and then use a saw (jigsaw or scroll saw) to cut the top plate.


the saddelbone

Glue the supplied bridge bone with an adhesive to the neck or to the fingerboard. I use a 2-component adhesive from UHU. The notches for the strings can be subsequently ground or sawn. For a 3 string CBG I use a string spacing of 11mm. With a 4 strings I go to 8mm string spacing.


the mechaniks / tuners

In the exact position of the mechanics, note the strings, so that one string does not come into contact with the mechanics of another string. Mark strings on the segway bone. Draw holes on the top plate


After that the holes for the mechanics are drilled (10er drill).

Loecher Mechaniken

Then with sandpaper the last fine work afterwards, the top plate can still be treated with a transparent varnish.


After drying the lacquer, push the mechanics through the drill hole and fasten with the supplied washer and nut. There are left and right mechanics, aslo beware at installation.

Montage Mechanik

Then turn around the neck and screw in the small screws that prevents the twisting of the mechanics. Attention, they are very small screws. With a 1mm drill pre-drill otherwise it may happen that the screws are turned off.


adjust the cigarbox

the neckline

Glue a painter's masking tape onto the cigar box. Caution: If necessary, glue the tape to a different surface and pull it off again. Thus, the cigar box is not injured when removing the masking tape. Width and height of the neck transferred to the box. The neck should be fitted as exactly as possible in the box. Otherwise something with the file repair.


the finished cutouts in the Cigarbox


Installation pickup and potentiometer

The ready-made neck already has a notch for the pickup. Again stick an adhesive tape on the front of the cigar box. Center the pickup frame sideways and transfer the contours to the masking tape with a pin. The same applies to the two potentiometers. Then cut out the cutouts with a drill or a jigsaw



Potentiometer for volume und tone

The two potentiometers and the pickup can be installed. The potentiometer with the green capacitor is the tone controller. Alternatively, an additional wire can be soldered from the ground of the potentiometer.
This can then be connected to the bridge. Thus, the strings are at the same Potentonal the remaining Elektronk. This can eliminate any humming on the amp. 

Verdrahtung innen

6.35mm  jack

Installation of the mono 6.35mm jack in the box. It should be noted that this is moved back so that the plug is not pressed if the CBG is played sitting.

Mono Buchse

cut the neck lenght

Since each Cigarbox has a different format, the neck still needs to be adapted to the box used. Align the fingerboard at the front edge of the box and determine the length of the neck. Then shorten the neck to the size.


Cigarbox with fitted neck and already mounted potentiometers for volume and tone

Hals eingepasst

Exact location of the neck or strings

This point should be given special attention. Once the neck has been glued or screwed it comes to a final surprise surprise.
Hang up the bridge at the final position. Then place a strip on the bridge at the front and at the back of the bridge.


What is the distance from the fretwire to the auxiliary bar? If he is too big like here, the neck has to be placed a bit lower at the front or slightly higher at the back. Thus, the position of the strings can be adjusted. A small correction can be made at the end of the bridge.


Something like this should be the distance of the strings to the fretted wires.

Saitenlage korrekt

Mounting reason for the neck

The neck must still be installed in the box. This varies depending on the cigar box and requires an individual adjustment. Here the top of the neck in the box has been shortened a bit


Front and back in the box, a square profile is fitted. With the cutout for the neck support, the exact position of the neck or the strings can be adjusted here. If the neck is mounted higher at the back than at the front, the neck tends slightly downwards, which also brings the strings closer to the tie rods. Special attention should be given to this step, as the adjustable height of the bridge can only be slightly adjusted at the end. So, allow yourself enough time to fit the neck..

Montagegrund Hals

Once the mounting profiles have been adapted and checked, they can be glued to the box.


Mounting the guitar neck into the Cigarbox

Screw the neck to the two prepared square blocks.

Measuring and mounting the bridge

For the exact location of the bridge, I have written a separate report "bridge placement and octave compensation" so I would not go into more detail here. I'll get a ground connection under the bridge here
Thus, possible humming noises can be compensated.

Bridge einmessen

raise strings an tuning

First, the question arises which strings should be on it? Have since a small collection of moods brought together. Here I am using the A-D-G string of a standard pack and will be the CBG on Open G cast. G-D-G, which is probably the most used Cigarbox guitar tuning. Pull the strings through the bridge from behind and lead them to the tuners.

Saiten aufziehen

The bridge bone with grooves provided for the fixation of the strings. I can still do more according to the motto.

Saiten Mechanik

fintuning on the bridge

With the included internal key you can now set the exact height of the strings to the frets. The string should be as close as possible to the fret bar. However, when pressing do not touch the fret bar lying in front of him. Fine tuning is required.


Für das Bundreinstimmen habe ich bereits einen separaten Bericht verfasst. "Cigarbox Bundrein stimmen"


he strap button

Fit the belt button at the back of the neck and at the end of the box


the finished Cigarbox Guitar