It’s no secret by now that we’re huge fans of cigar-box guitars. From their humble southern origins to how you can’t be entirely sure of their personality until they’re actually, you know, built, these three-string and four-string guitars have always captured our interest. Which is kind of obvious if you think about it: one of the Loogs is actually inspired on the classic cigar-box shape, all the Loogs have three strings and, well, you kind of have to assemble them before playing 😉
So considering how we’re always sharing links to videos and posts and pictures of these fascinating homemade three-strings, we thought it might be time to actually nudge you toward building one yourself. We’re not going to lie – where DIY is involved, cigar-box guitars aren’t exactly the easiest in the Pinterest to-do file. But they are NOT as hard as they seem – and definitely NOT beyond any single one of you.
We’re obviously leaving the step-by-step instructions to the experts who’ve done these before, but have selected some instructubles that seem the clearest to us.
UNDER $25: For instance, these are the most complete step-by-step instructions we found. Brian Saner even divides the instructions in five parts to make sure you’re not missing anything (there are even historic facts, videos of famous cigar-box guitarists and the sort) AND only spends around $25 on building it. You can find part one here, part two here, part three here, part four here and part five here.
GENERIC: Of course, you could use a more hands-on approach and go the simpler route with the generic instructions on wikihow. We’d recommend you check them out even if you’re looking for something with more pictures and a clearer step-by-step; it makes a good job of explaining the steps from another POV.
4-STRING UNDER $50: However, this user on Instructubles built one for his brother for under $50 and using almost no power tools. Just a quick thing though – his has four strings instead of three.
FULL-BLOWN EXPERT EDITION: And finally, one of our favorites. Mark Frauenfelder, editor-in-chief of MAKE magazine took a shot at building his own and the results are breathtaking. His approach does, however, require a wider set of tools and more finished, pro look that might scare some beginners away. But if you’re up to the challenge – don’t let us stop you!