Here at CigarBoxGuitarParts.com we showcase the various parts and supplies you can use to help build and decorate your Cigar Box Guitar, as well as discussing some of the creative ways that these parts can be used. Though not a true “how-to” site (check out our sister site www.cigarboxguitar.com for a growing knowledgebase of cigar box guitar how-to), a lot of good how-to information will be presented in terms of how to make use of some of the parts we feature: things like how to install a piezo, wire up a volume pot, make good use of sound hole inserts, install tuners, etc.
We will showcase parts and supplies from various sources, with the primary source being C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply, the only cigar box guitar superstore. For over five years they have been working hard to bring CBG builders great prices on an ever-growing list of instruments, kits, parts and accessories. If you haven’t yet checked out the C. B. Gitty store, browse on over today. You won’t be disappointed!
What are you supposed to be doing right now? By making the time to read this, something else goes undone.
That’s the way it works.
Going to the school play that your child is in takes you away from the work that you need to do around the home.
Getting in a little walk for some vital exercise cuts into the time necessary to go shopping for groceries.
Putting in extra time at work to push forward in an important project eliminates your participation in the life you have created outside of work.
Being productive is a difficult thing to put into practice
It’s easy to dismiss the opportunity to do something good in hopes to do something great
A young man I have known wanted to make a difference in the lives of others. At the time, his idea of a life-changing act lacked the depth of vision that experience brings. Nonetheless, he wanted to touch lives. He wanted to affect change. He wanted to do something great.
You probably have come to know this young man in your own life. While not the same man, one that fits the same description. He is forever standing on his tip-toes, looking forward to find the next great thing on the horizon. By forever lifting his chin, straining his neck, and focusing his eyes to the distance for that great thing, he loses the ability to see the potential for good that is in front of him.
Don’t let big dreams ruin your project that’s right in front of you
by Glenn Watt
Fighting with a partner or spouse is about as much fun as a handful of smoldering embers. It can be a battle with an immovable object or an irresistible force. Often there seems to be a point at which the search for a clear-headed solution is lost and it just seems easier to bend the matter at hand to your will.
It never truly works. If you’re lucky, you get to enjoy a fleeting feeling of a sated ego but the problem inevitably will rear it’s ugly head again. However, stepping back to catch your breath and gain a fresh perspective almost always seems to work.
Battling a problem is the problem
Written by Shane Speal, www.shanespeal.com
“So, we took some cigar boxes…In those days, cigar boxes were made of wood. So, we worked at it and finally made ourselves a fiddle. For our strings, we had no real strings … we took strands off the screen door. We made fiddles out of that stuff, and then we started practicing. [I visited my neighbor] to see how he tuned his fiddle. He would sound a string, and then I would try mine, but I couldn’t go as high as his fiddle; every time I tried to match his pitch, I’d break a string…. But then when he would break a string, I would take the longest end. Then my fiddle sounded pretty good. And that’s how I learned. It’s just a matter of having music on your mind.”
- Canray Fontenot
Quoted from his National Endowment for the Arts Honor
I first came across the name Canray Fontenot from the dedication page of book, Fiddle Fever by Sharon Arms Doucet. In the book, a young Cajun boy named Felix comes of age when he falls in love with music and Read More…
The game is in the third inning and she’s playing second base.
The batter hits a lazy pop-up with a trajectory that’ll send the ball between first and second. My niece, the girl playing second, throws up her hand, glove in the air, with just enough conviction to feign earnest effort.
However, the act is soft. The ball is not caught. The lack of effort is apparent. She doesn’t give what she can to make the play.
She is scared to give real effort and have it turn into failure. Worse yet, she fears suffering the embarrassment of judgement by others.
Fear of performing in front of people and being judged stifles many a creative endeavor.
There are few things more sensitive and personal than the fruit of creative labor. Performing a song, a lick, a riff, on a handmade instrument, especially of one’s own toil, is an overwhelming challenge for many of us; so overwhelming that often the effort is never made.
I posted a topic about this on cigarboxnation.com, revealing some of my thoughts on this subject. Through conversations with several veteran performers I have put together three rich tips that will help you overcome your fear of performance.
- Practice, practice, practice: Get to know your material in and out.
Cal Ripken, Brett Favre, and Bobby Orr didn’t step onto the diamond, field, or ice without having to put in the work of preparation. As nervous as they may have been in the biggest games, they walked in knowing that they were as prepared as possible. It is that same confidence you can gain through practice that will help you to nail your performance. Get to know your stuff!
- Be your own audience: Record yourself and watch the game-tape.
Use whatever device you have handy to record videos of yourself. Phones, laptops, and a host of other devices are available for recording. Use the video to not only help you tighten up inconsistencies in your performance , but just as importantly, to get used to performing under the pressure of a watchful eye. Practicing in front of a camera can simulate the pressure of playing in front of live eyes.
- When in doubt, hang ‘em out: The key is to take action!
Take a swing at the first pitch. Upload one of your videos to youtube and tell a friend to check it out. Go to an open mic with an instrument and sit in with another performer. Ask yourself, “What is the worst that could possibly happen?” You’re not playing Carnegie Hall or the Super Bowl halftime show. Whatever discomfort you may feel will be out-shined by the pride of accomplishment you will experience by taking action.
Life is going to send pop-ups your way from time to time.
These are opportunities to learn and to succeed. Your success is easily within your reach.
Find the courage to not only put your glove up but to also make the effort to catch the ball.
There will be plenty of drops but the catches you make will have you flying high and looking to dive at every opportunity that comes your way.
Written for CigarBoxGuitarParts by Glenn Watt, www.glennwatt.com
Maybe you are familiar with a certain Tolkien story about a hobbit. In this epic tale the main character, a hobbit named Bilbo, sets out on an adventure that is fraught with fear and doubt. The object of his quest is to burglar a gem from a dragon. However Bilbo must endure a journey filled with great danger before he can even arrive at the dragon’s fiery doorstep. It is with the help of many other characters, all playing their own specific roles, that Bilbo can finally face the dragon and outwit the beast to claim what he came for. Without the help of various curmudgeonly dwarves, suspicious elves, wary humans, and a wise wizard, the hobbit would never have reached his goal.
Imagine yourself as the hobbit. The dragon represents whatever obstacles, reservations, or fears that stand in your way to finding the inspiration or direction you need to build your first, or your tenth, cigar box guitar. It is your adventure to outwit the dragon and take from it the know-how and imagination to get on with your build. To get you to the point where you can face your dragon, you can first find the encouragement to spur you into learning and growing with the help of your own community (dwarves, elves, and wizards aren’t necessary). Read More…
The idea of reclaiming wood and making new use of it in cigar box guitars and other homemade musical instruments is very appealing. Using materials that have a long history and story brings that history forward, gives it new purpose, and lets you tell that story as you use or attempt to sell what you’ve built. Unfortunately, reclaiming wood from shipping pallets (also known as skids) is not a particularly easy task.
Pallets are usually a hodgepodge of different woods, ranging from the softest pine up through the hardest and most stubborn hickory. On pallets that have seen some use, the wood often is cracked and splintered in places. Pallets are often assembled with blunt-tipped nails that are specifically designed to stay put, and they are especially stubborn when sunk into hardwood. These same nails have heads on them that like nothing better than to fold up into a clamshell when you put the pry bar to them.
With all of the challenges presented by pallets, you might ask yourself whether it is worth using them at all? My answer to that is a resounding “yes”! Read More…
Metal box corners come in a variety of styles and finishes. From low-profile surface-mount varieties to long-legged trunk corner styles, they can be a great way to spruce up your homemade instrument builds. In addition to their decorative appeal they can also serve some very useful structural roles – namely, they can be used to effectively keep your cigar box closed, so that you don’t have to rely on the flimsy latches. And of course they serve their original protective purpose quite well, keeping the corners of your box from getting all dinged up over time.
In the C. B. Gitty workshops, we put metal box corners onto most of the cigar box guitars and amplifiers we build. Personally, I like how they look. I think they give an old-timey vintage look and feel to cigar box builds, and their role in helping seal boxes shut saves us having to make other often clunky arrangements with bracing blocks and screws.
Now, some builders look down on metal box corners. They feel that they are overused, kitschy and unnecessary… and that’s fine. I certainly don’t think every build has to use box corners. With some cigar boxes that have rounded sides or other fancy shapes, it is impossible to use them. And on more decorative boxes, the design of the box is often cool enough that you don’t really need any additional decoration, so sometimes we leave them off.
So here is an overview of the types of box corners that we carry here at C. B. Gitty, with link to each one’s product page and some thoughts on their use. If you have never tried box corners, take a look at these and give them a go. Also keep in mind that they can be used on all sorts of other woodworking projects too – from jewelry boxes to kitchen cabinets – anything that has a nice square corner!
Standard 2-hole 1 1/4″ Box Corners
Available in Brass, Nickel and Black Oxide finishes.
These plated steel box corners have a scalloped front side, and legs that are about 1.25″ long. They have two mounting screw holes on the back portion, which make these good for sealing a cigar box shut. These are the most popular variety of box corner we sell. Note that this style of corner has a slight radius (roundness) to the point of the corner, so sometimes you have to file a little bit of the corner point off on your box to get them to fit snugly.
|Square-corner 3-hole 1 1/4″ Box Corners
Available in Shiny Chrome, Shiny Gold (brass), with Antique Brass coming soon!
Similar to the style above, these plated steel box corners have no radius to the point, so the are better at fitting snugly onto the corner of a wood box without having to do any filing. They do have a third screw hole in the top face however.
|Square-style 3-hole 1″ Box Corners
Available in Brass and Nickel finishes.
These are made from heavier-gauge plated steel, and extend 1″ onto all 3 faces of a box corner. They have a bit of radius to the point so some filing of your box’s corner point will likely be necessary. These corners require 3 mounting screws each, with a hole on each face. For their simplicity, these corners give a nice look and provide good protection without distracting from the design of the box itself.
|Low-profile 1 1/4″ Box Corners
Available in Brass and Nickel finishes.
These plated steel corners are much lower-profile than any of our other styles, with the 3 mounting holes all being on the top surface. Their legs are about 1.25″ long and they only extend about 1/8″ down the side of the box, making them a good choice for thinner boxes and more space-constrained uses. Their simple design can be a nice understated accent for a more decorative cigar box.
|Small Trunk-style Corners
Available in Brass and Nickel finishes.
This style of corner is more reminiscent of what would be mounted on large heavy steamer trunks and the like, both for decoration and for protecting the corners against being crushed. This is a smaller plated steel variety of that style which is great for use on cigar boxes. The point does have a radius to it so a little bit of corner point filing on your box is usually necessary to get a flush fit. These corners are awesome for sealing boxes, since they extend a good ways (about an inch) onto each face of the box. They mount with three screws, one on each leg.
|Medium Trunk-style Corners
Available in Shiny Brass finish.
This is a little larger and flashier trunk-style corner. Made from brass-plated steel, they are good for larger cigar boxes since the legs extend further down across the box panels (about an inch and a half total). These corners will actually hold the bottom panel of your box up a little bit due to their rounded/raised design. These look great on cigar box amplifiers, and are also good for larger cigar box guitars. They mount with 3 screws, one on each leg.
|Larger Art Deco-style Corners
Available in Shiny Gold (brass) finish.
These plated steel box corners are 1 3/4″ long on each leg and extend about 1″ down the back, so they are the largest of the box cornet styles we offer. They mount with 2 screws through the two back faces. These can be a very nice decorative addition to larger cigar boxes.
I hope this survey of our metal corner varieties has been informative for you. We are always on the lookout for new varieties of these, so stay on the lookout for new additions. Keep on buildin’!