So, at the end of last week I had everything glued together and it looked suitably “guitar-shaped”. This time I had the challenge of making it actually playable and adding the finishing touches. This was by far the hardest part of the build and had me sweating with concentration on more than one occasion!
As I mentioned last week, my goal was to go into our workshop and make myself a stringed instrument from the materials I had at hand. I’ve set myself the limitation of not buying any specialist materials or tools – everything has to be sourced from the workshop. That means that frets, tuners, saddles and nuts (the bits the strings sit on) all have to be made by me.
After much “um-ing” and “ah-ing” I’ve decided to make a 6-string guitar, rather than the usual 3-string Cigar Box variety. I just felt that after putting so much time and effort into the project it would be a shame not to play it as often as my “normal” acoustic guitar. So, that’s 3 more strings, goodness knows how much more strain on the neck and I need a way of keeping the thing in tune… what could go wrong?
I always get an immense satisfaction when something that I’ve made not only looks the way it was meant to but is actually usable. It’s a wonderful feeling seeing that your design and hardwork has produced something that works!
This all goes to say that when I received a beginner’s Cigar Box Guitar (CBG) as a gift earlier this year, my mind soon turned from playing it to working out how to replicate it. Now, there are hundreds of blogs and forums on the internet about the instrument, along with countless plans available to build your own. But what I like most about the instrument is that it is homemade; originally built out of scrap and junk that people had lying around. They didn’t have to be perfect; they were meant to make a sound; and as long as they made a sound they could be used to make music.
After a successful homemade sandpit a few months ago, a homemade guitar sounded like the perfect weekend project!