Tuesday, May 17, 2011

CIGAR BOX GUITAR - Part 8 of 10

Day 7 of my Cigar Box Guitar Project:

I drilled a hole for the volume knob and another on the edge for the input jack, and then this dog was ready to for finish.

This is my new favorite finish. Minwax Wipe-On Poly (clear satin). With sprays I have trouble with runs and drips. This stuff goes on with a rag, so it's easier, and it adds a yellowish antique tint to the wood, and the more coats you use the better it looks. I used 600 grit sandpaper between each coat and it took about 6 coats. It dries fairly quickly for polyurethane - about 2 hours. The spray urethane I used in the past took more than 24 hours to dry. Maybe I didn't shake it enough or something like that. Who knows. This stuff is great though.

After the finish cured over night I screwed all the hardware onto the body. Since I cut the tuner strip in half it required one extra hole and an extra screw. I couldn't find the exact screw to match the rest, so I didn't even try. This one is brass.

I snapped in the sound hole grommets. Those were easy. The brass corner protectors took some time, just because there were so many of them. Eight. Eh, I guess that's not so many. Never mind.

Here's the back view. I'm happy with the color of the box. The neck is poplar so it has a temporary greenish tint. As it ages it will become golden brown.

Here's the top face. Oh yeah, I also put in some new fret markers. They are made from dowels. I put some of the Wipe-On Poly finish onto the fret markers too so they wouldn't eventually turn dirty and gray from finger sweat. That's another nice thing about this finish. I can control where I want to apply it. I only wanted the markers to have finish, not the fretboard, and it was pretty easy to do by dabbing the specific spots.
All that's left now is the electronics. Then the Big Wolf shall live. The first song it'll play is probably going to be Wild Thing.

More to come...


  1. Now THAT is cool! Love to hear or see video of you popping her cherry.

  2. Actually~ I don't think you're supposed to shake polyurethenes at all. At least several brands, including Min-Wax, say not to in the Instructions. (Despite my own personal motto: "Instructions ! We don't need no stink'n Instructions !", I accidentally found this out while reading a can in my bathroom; this stuff smothers out stinky odors & numbs yer tongue).

    Can't wait to see what Part 10 is about !

  3. Thanks guys,

    You aren't supposed to shake the can? Well maybe THAT'S what I did wrong.

    It's always better to have a numb tongue while in the bathroom. That's what I always say.

  4. This puppies smokin'. Can't wait to hear you shred.

  5. So cool. One question - how to you make the cigar box stiff and strong enough to support the neck? It seems the wood of a cigar box would not be thick or tough enough to support the strain of a guitar neck (I am absolutely certain you have an answer for this).

  6. Willy, Thanks!

    Jeeves, you'll hear it. I don't know if I'd call it shredding.

    Thanks Mykal! The cigar box is fingerjointed and the walls are actually thicker than the walls of a full size acoustic guitar. It's got a thick mounting block inside the body too.
    Also since the strings are shorter, it doesn't require as much tension to get them tight. I think it'll survive longer than me.

  7. I knew you had it covered. I want to hear this baby so bad I can taste it. You must post that!

  8. I'm giggling like a 12 year old at "Wipe On Poly." I bet she hates when people do that.


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