CBB# 1 My Personal Banjo
Cigar Box Instruments.....
A few months back, I purchased Todd Treadway's "Cigar Box Banjo" CD. I fell in love with the sound, and couldn't believe the beautiful, mellow sound that a cigar box could produce. BTW, Todd's pickin' is top notch! I started looking for some cigar boxes and actually found some at "Second Chances", a local thrift shop that supports the SPCA. I decided that I would build one out of as much reclaimed materials that I could.
I made the neck out of an arm rest from a broken recliner that was heading for the dumpster at work. The fingerboard was made from a "mistake" that was made several years ago when making a left-handed neck. I shortened the fret board and reshaped it. Since I cut away the "mistake", it now has a 19.6 scale length. I cut away too much wood from the back of the neck, so I added some scrap curly walnut and ebony to fill in the mistake. (If you look at the back of the neck up-side- down, it looks like a Parker ink pen!)
All of the pearl is from pieces of "waste" pearl. Sometimes when I saw out book matched inlays, an interesting pattern is left behind in the waste pearl. If It catches my eye, I save it in a special box. I went thru this box and found some that would work on the finger board, with a little extra sawing and grinding. I also added some abalone dots made from some waste pieces. The "Walker" emblem is one that I sawed out several years ago, and it cracked. I didn't want to use it on a "good" banjo, but I hated to throw it away, so it was in my box. It was put to use!
I made the side dots from a piece of white plastic that came off of something that was thrown away years ago, but I saved the white plastic dowel that was in it. The bridge was one that was saved from a banjo repair that had sanded down feet, that I found in my junk drawer. I glued a piece of maple veneer to the bottom of it, and it worked perfectly! The screws for the tailpiece are some that I scavenged from phones that are non-repairable before I discard them at work. The string nut spacer and pip were made from bone.
I did buy the strings, and I bought the tuners from eBay ($10.98).
I finished the neck with tobacco stain and tung oil.
I built an amplifier from the guts out of an old CD player. I removed the amp, split the volume and tone controls for separate left and right volume/tone, built an F.E.T. preamp, added input jacks, and installed it into a cigar box.
It does sound kinda nice! Below are pictures of it and more that I have built since.
Only a few of them were sold because they were built by request. The rest of them were given to their owners.
CBB# 10 "The Brick House" Built for John Mark Batchelor , Richlands, North Carolina
CBB# 7 Built for Brayden McMahon, Sylva, NC "The Mountain Faith Band"
CBB# 5 Built for T. Reece Parker, Angier, NC
CBB# 3 Built for Amy Burton, Wilmington,NC
CBB# 2 Built for Jerry Byrd, LaGrange, NC
CBB# 9 "The PawPaw" Built for Mack Luther , Goldston, North Carolina
CBB# 6 Built for Josh Williams, Nashville, TN "Rhonda Vincent and the Rage"
CBB# 4 Built for Tim Kitchens, Alabama
Basically, A Box With A Stick Run Through It!
CBB# 8 Built for Ron Block "Alison Krauss and Union Station"
CB UKE #1 Built for Drew Peoples, Kinston, NC