Handmade Music Factory

  • 8 Reviews
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By Mike Orr
Back to the roots: how to make cigar box guitars and fun low-tech instruments.

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Handmade Music Factory

Item # 0920

$20.65 $16.52

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By Mike Orr
Back to the roots: how to make cigar box guitars and fun low-tech instruments.

Cigar box guitars and more! The ultimate guide to making foot-stompin' good instruments will inspire you to turn ordinary stuff like cigar boxes, cookie tins and hubcaps into cool "roots-simple" instruments. Colorfully photo-illustrated step-by-step building projects, helpful fret placement patterns and simple wiring diagrams give you a great start.

Handmade Music Factory shows you how to make low-tech guitars from recycled parts. They're simple, inexpensive, and as much fun to make as they are to play! There's no end to the funky creativity you can add.

"Get back to music's primal rootsàthere's nothing else that compares to playing a simple guitar you build with your own hands." —Shane Speal, Cigar Box Nation

"You really can make an instrument out of just about anything!" —Mike Orr

Contents in brief:
Foreword by the Robert Johnson Blues Foundation
Building a washtub bass
Making a 1-string diddley bow
Electrified stomp box and washboard
Building a 3-string cigar box slide guitar
Cookie tin guitar
4-string tenor guitar
Ironing board lap steel guitar
Tips on piezo-wiring your homemade instrument
Making a simple amp from a tape deck
Patterns for fret scales and headstocks
Washtub bass patterns

Photo galleries:
License plate guitar
Bedpan guitars
Hubcap banjo
Cigar box guitars, bass and uke
Cookie tin guitar
Turpentine can guitar
Handmade instrument contest winners

160 pages, softcover.

Trade Secrets! Newsletter

Build your own custom pickups

Erick Coleman needed a pickup like a good old Gibson P-90, but sized to fit a 3-string cigar box guitar! Here's how he built it, and how you can build yourself a custom pickup for any instrument.

Ratings & Reviews

Handmade Music Factory

  • Based on 8 Reviews
Write a review

Great book

By Alain Meilleur from Quebec, Canada
(Customer's Reviews) Thursday, November 14, 2013

A very good reference for a cigar box guitar and ukulele maker. High quality whit nice photos. I read it twice a month!

Handmade Music Factory

By Colinz from Auckland New Zealand
(Customer's Reviews) Sunday, January 27, 2013

Not a building manual more a guide to a world of fun in musical instrument building. Hours of fun for the whole family.


By Annieviolette from France
(Customer's Reviews) Thursday, September 06, 2012

Excellent book, it helped me building my first guitar and I go on reading it in bed as it's also a nice book, nice photos...

Fun and thought-provoking

By Gibby from Sydney, Australia
(Customer's Reviews) Monday, May 21, 2012

As Luthiers (both amateur and professional) our objectives are to create an instrument that sounds good and hopefully looks good. There are many ways to achieve this objective and not all of them may involve the finest tonewoods and intricate purflings or inlays.

Here is a book that shows another path. The path of creating a fine instrument out of things that may have been used before. It is full of photos and resources that allow you to see the intruments and hear how other musicians use them.

This book has spun me off in different directions but has kept me with the same goal - to make instrument that makes beautiful music.

Nice book

By +üngel De Prado from Vigo, Galicia, Spain
(Customer's Reviews) Friday, May 11, 2012

It is not exactly a manual of construction but has sufficient information to realise the projects that includes.It is worth it

Fun Reading

By Wout Blommers from The Hague, The Netherlands
(Customer's Reviews) Saturday, March 24, 2012

This is not a book being a real guide of the type How Too. The photography is exellent. All projects are swell documented and in short descriptions. You can read it in any time you like. Therefor I suggest a MUST HAVE coffee table book in every studio or producer office where musicians have to wait for a while. They will love it! Again, the Photography has a very high standart!

Birthday present

By FolkwayCT from CT
(Customer's Reviews) Thursday, February 09, 2012

I received this book a a present. I have started plans to build everything in it. The simplistic ideas that just get your mind going. It also has great full size pictures for the necks, and very clear instructions. This book has been a slight opsession for the past month.

Fun Book...

By Bones from Santa Cruz, CA
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, February 08, 2012

I got this because I made a CBG a few years back just using info from the internet. Since then CBG and homemade music instruments have taken off. This book offers lots of great pictures and ideas along with details on how to make several CBGs, a washtub Bass and an amplified stomp box and amplified washboard. It even gives info on how to convert an old tape deck player to a small amplifier. Good book - lot's of fun! Check it out!

Shown on page 90 of our latest catalog.