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Thread: Has Anyone Built a Cigar Box Mandolin?

  1. #1

    Default Has Anyone Built a Cigar Box Mandolin?

    Cigar box guitars have become a bit of a fad. My son is trying to build one. I understand that you can build cigar box mandolins too. (The ultimate "beater" mando?)

    Has anyone out there built a cigar box mandolin?
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Has Anyone Built a Cigar Box Mandolin?

    I have not built one yet, but I plan on it.

    Others have as well, but I have yet to see very many of them.

  3. #3
    '`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`' Jacob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has Anyone Built a Cigar Box Mandolin?

    Cigar box mandolins sometimes appear at Elderly.
    They appear to have a neck-through design like the true cigar box instruments currently available.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Has Anyone Built a Cigar Box Mandolin?

    Jon, I suspect you have already visited Cigar Box Nation. If not then take a look at that site.
    There is a builder in the builder's database that builds some cookie tin and cigar box instruments. His site is H E R E.
    I built a cookie tin tenor guitar with my youngest son several years ago when he was 9. He never really played it but I pick it up and play it from time to time. It is neck through construction and sounds like a quiet banjo. I tried a similar thing with a mandolin but instead of neck through I tried using some 3/8" all thread going through the instrument similar to a dowel rod so I could use a neck I had on hand and it did not work so well. The cookie tin has too much deflection in it and the action is ridiculously high.
    Bill Snyder

  5. #5
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Has Anyone Built a Cigar Box Mandolin?

    I built one a while ago but after a few weeks it started to fold up under the string pressure. I had it completly lined and X-braced with a bolt on neck. You might want to go with four strings and a through dowel stick.
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    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  6. #6
    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has Anyone Built a Cigar Box Mandolin?

    I too had issues with the top not holding up under tension. I should have redesigned a more robust brace system for it.
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    Cabin Fever String Band, Bill Gorby and the Musical Mercenaries

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Has Anyone Built a Cigar Box Mandolin?

    This is a very old thread, but I wanted to give my 2 cents for anyone interested.

    I learned to build 3 string cigar box guitars first. The box is a resonator that allows the string sounds to vibrate and amplify. There is no structural support from the boxes. I was intrigued about how to build cigar box mandos. I did not see a lot of true 8 string builds online. So I set out to discover how to make it work.

    Here are my 3 versions of an 8 string mandolin. The last build was a couple of weeks ago. The dark painted box has been on travels to 5 countries now, and has held up like a trooper. I will soon a a humbucker to make it a true electric mando. The last build has been my favorite by far, and has an excellent, deep, mandolin sound. I hope you enjoy my work.Click image for larger version. 

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