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.


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.


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”.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.