Cigar Box Gutar Neck

How to Make a Basic Cigar Box Guitar: Shaping and Sanding the Neck

Before painting the neck and adding logos, we have to round over the corners on the back edge of the neck to make it more comfortable, cut the nut slot and sand the whole piece down to a uniform finish.

Rounding the corners

Grab your router and fit a round over bit into it, the one I’m using is a ¼ inch round over bit.

Router with round over bit installed.

I like to clamp two pieces of wood to the back of the neck to act as router stops, one just after the nut line and one just before the neck enters the cigar box. Adjust the router so the end of the round over bit just about touches the neck edge and start routing. Take it slowly as you don’t want to chip any of the edges with the router, move the router up and down the length until the desired round over has been created.

Neck bottom has been rounded over.

Cutting the nut slot

I’m using a bolt for the nut and this needs to be recessed slightly so that it will be the same height as the bridge. I clamp a piece of wood across where the slot will go and use a round file of a similar size to my bolt to make the recess.

Cutting the nut slot.

The finished nut slot.

Sanding the neck

Now it’s time to sand the neck so that the finish can be applied. Start with a coarser grade of sandpaper (something like 100-120 grit) and sand using a sanding block; be careful not to sand the round over to hard or you might have to do it again.

After the rough sanding has been completed move onto finer grades of sandpaper 200, 400 and 600 and do the exact same thing; this gets rid of the scratches and provide a smooth surface for the finish.

Sanding the neck.

The sanding has been finished.

Side note: The better your prep work in this step the better the finished piece will look. It’s pretty tedious sanding with all of the different grits, but the finished result will be worth it.

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