Yo, Adrian, I made some saw dust today.

Here is a pretty common box that makes a pretty decent acoustic instrument.  The Rocky Patel.  I picked up a bunch of these at a cigar shop not really knowing what I was going to do with the curved sides but I liked the build of the box and at $1 each, I couldn’t pass them up.  I made the first one of these for a friend of a friend kind of build.  He was going to get whatever experiment I was going to come up with.  After it was built, I really didn’t want to give it away.  It sounded really good unplugged.

rocky

Most cigar box guitars are built top up.  This one doesn’t really have much of a good looking label and I was trying to figure out how I was going to make it structurally stable.  That is when I decided the answer was bottoms up.  So I sanded the bottom label and print paint off.

rocky_back

I have a bunch of neck blanks on the shelf ready to go.  Going to glue one up and make some coffee while it sets in the clamps.  I typically do scarf joints.  A little bit more work up front but easier for me with the machine heads and nut later.  Add a couple of wing pieces to the sides to widen it then a few passes on the joiner plane to thin out the head stock down to about 1/2”.

rocky_scarf

A little scroll saw work and this one is ready to get fit into the box.  I’ll also cut out a section where it fits underneath the box bottom.

rocky_headstock

I make the neck cutout by laying out the width of the neck and the height minus the box thickness.  I use a gents saw to make two vertical cuts and use my dremel with a saw blade to cut the rest.  I under cut it then use files to clean and square it off.

rocky_cutout

I also leave the small kerf pieces of wood that came with the box inside, I just cut both ends out to allow the neck to slide all the way in.

rocky_neck

With everything all fit together, time to work on the fret board.  Today’s build is going to be purple heart.  The color contrasts well with the black box.

rocky_fit

I’ll need to decide if I am going to add binding and if so which color on this build.

rock_purpleheart

That is about it for day one.  I’ll have to check binding stock and perhaps need to place an order.  Stew-Mac has the best because the edges are cut square making it easier to use.  I’ll also need to make a pickup for this one.  Got a busy weekend planned.  Maybe I’ll have another peaceful day next week to work some more on this project.

Till then, thanks for reading.