DIY 4-string Cigar Box…Ax: Part III

It’s finally looking like an instrument as I fit my home made franken-neck on to the carved up cigar box. Nerve wracking.

First you find the center of the box and then the center of the neck on the box lid. Line them up and trace down where you’ll be cutting. Leave extra wood, like I didn’t. See next pic. Then measure, mark and cut the body of the box similarly.

Subtract the width of the box top thickness before marking. I used a coping saw and X-acto knife.

Putty and paint make a carpenter what he/she ain’t.

I ran a line of the dairy glue inside all in corners and edges, these boxes are much more fragile than normal instruments. Feel like I’m beating it to death with my ham fists like the clumsy oaf I am. I ought to beat my brain out.

Here is the ugly way you make space for the box top to vibrate. Cut handsaw kerfs across, then chisel work, finally sureform or rasp is good enough, it will never be seen. Only critical part is the two ledges, one on each end that position the neck level with the box top. In my case more or less level.

I need to finish the buttstock end, drill four holes in it for strings, then measure and mark my fret-lines prior to another coat of tung oil. Undecided if I will put the oil on the box itself, or not. Anyhow, it looks like it’s all downhill from here so I’ll just leave the horses in the wagon.

Nice that it finally looks like a cute little instrument you might want to pick up. Even more so when I install the tiny machine heads.

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