July 3, 2007

Cigar Box Git-Fiddles...

by Chris Randall

I've been experimenting with making cigar-box guitars; I made one, then re-made it a couple times, using various parts I had lying about. Then I ordered a bunch of parts from Stew-Mac and E.M.I. to get a little more sophisticated. I've noticed that most of the CBGs available on the interwebs, either on eBay or privately, have toothpick frets or something similar (if they have frets at all.) I actually got a big roll of fret wire to give mine real frets.

While it hasn't reached the point where I'm gonna put Sperzels on 'em or anything, I do have hopes of making a fairly useful instrument when all is said and done. Right now my main concern is pickups. I can use a piezo in its various configurations, but I was entertaining the idea of hand-winding pickups or some such. Is anyone aware of a four-string pickup that is narrow enough for this application? It'd be nice if it was floating, like the ones made for archtop jazz guitars, but that'd be a stretch, I'll grant.




Jul.03.2007 @ 1:41 PM
You might consider half of a p-bass pickup.

Jul.03.2007 @ 2:02 PM
Chris Randall
I had considered that, but I wanted something that kind of looked semi-slick; the half-a-p-bass approach would work, but it wouldn't look cool.



Jul.03.2007 @ 2:56 PM
Stew-Mac just published an article on making your own pickups for cbg: link [www.stewmac.com]">link [www.stewmac.com]

Jul.03.2007 @ 3:54 PM
link [meatexz.com/ches.htm...]">link [meatexz.com]

Jul.03.2007 @ 8:33 PM
Chris Randall
Nice. I recall getting an email about the Stew-Mac article, now that you mention it, but it had slipped my mind. I'm well familiar with cow magnets, having grown up on a cattle ranch; it never occurred to me to use one to make a pickup. Although, in all honesty, they're quite big for the task at hand, I would think.

Maybe there are sheep magnets or something...



Jul.05.2007 @ 11:05 AM
Track down an electric mandolin pickup. If you look hard enough you can find excellent 50s Gibson P90s (or would they be P60s?) for not that much.



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