“Cigar box” bass build, design phase

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by PennyroyalWe, Oct 28, 2019.

  1. PennyroyalWe


    Sep 2, 2018
    WARNING: wordy post.
    Hello folks, I’ve been gassing for a semi hollow bass for a while. I’ve tried a few production models, and while they’re cool they’re also pretty pricey, and since I’m in the process of moving, money is a little tight. What I do have, however, is a pretty abused Squier Bronco that seems to me to perfectly fit the bill of being a parts donor. The easiest route to make this is to use all straight cuts and make a box bass, not necessarily an actual cigar box. I’ve made a guitar in this style before and much to my surprise it turned out ok, despite not knowing anything about woodworking at the time. I’ve since learned a thing or two, and have access to a woodshop, so I’m feeling pretty good about it. The plan is to take the body to a band saw, cut out the center so as to keep the neck pocket and bridge block, and cut out most of the wood from the center so everything but those two areas are as deep as the pickup cavity. Then I’m going to build a box, around this main center block, for the body out of 1/8” plywood. I have an old teisco “black foil” top mount pickup that I plan to use, still haven’t decided where to place it though.
    While it may or may not scratch the itch for a semi hollow, I think it’ll be a cool quirky conversation piece that will sound pretty unique!
    Here’s the bronco: image.jpg And here’s the box guitar I made, image.jpg the the bass will be similar in aesthetic
  2. fermata


    Nov 10, 2015
    I’ve built four cigar box guitars to date (and sold them). At some point, though, I’ll probably make myself a cigar box bass for keeps...just waiting for inspiration to strike. Looks like it already has for you, so I’m eager to see your progress!
    PennyroyalWe likes this.
  3. Volker Kirstein

    Volker Kirstein Blippy the Wonder Slug

    Cool beans!

    I have a Yamaha RBX250 that has the body cut as you describe, except for the front surface, which is still there. I currently play it as a "stick", but have often considered slapping a "cigar box body" onto it.

    PennyroyalWe likes this.
  4. PennyroyalWe


    Sep 2, 2018
    A quick trip to the hardware store and you could be done that evening!
    Volker Kirstein likes this.
  5. Lizooki


    Feb 24, 2008
    I've done 2.


    The regular neck has a wood insert in the box the neck and bridge is bolted to.
    The white one is neck through and a baseball bat .... but was done early in my building career.
    I'd be happy to answer any questions.
    canuckshort and Volker Kirstein like this.
  6. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    My cigar box bass was made with the largest cigar box they could find in the cigar shop. it was designed as an upright to be used with a NS stand. I gigged it for a couple of years along with my upright washtub designed to be used on the same stand. I've since disassembled both and disposed of the parts since I can no longer play them due to a medical condition. Got no pix though.
  7. fermata


    Nov 10, 2015
  8. PennyroyalWe


    Sep 2, 2018
    I ended up selling the Bronco to a kid looking for an inexpensive bass. I had to move house on short notice and thin the herd, so out it went. Maybe someday I’ll get another chance.
    fermata likes this.
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