CARVING THE NECK
If you only plan to play lap-style you don't really need to worry about the neck angle, and you can keep the back of the neck square. I wanted to play this one conventionally, so it needed a neck profile.
With no truss rod or reinforcement I wanted to keep as much depth as possible, so a ‘V' neck seemed like a good solution. I drew a pencil line down the middle and went to work with my spokeshave and also used a small sanding drum on my Dremel near the nut.
After a fair bit of sanding I was happy with the result, so I glued the neck to the top of the box then glued the two pieces of the box together.
When testing the neck angle I used a piece of dowel, but metal bars are also popular with cigar box guitar builders. The results were okay but I felt the guitar had the potential to deliver a bit more, so I decided to carve a bridge from a leftover length of ebony.
I planed it to 1cm square then cut it to length, making sure to leave an overlap each side of the centre block to transfer vibration to the top. Then I planed it to a triangle and ramped the ends using a sanding drum.
This project was tremendous fun and I'm certainly happy with the result. My cigar box guitar wouldn't win any prizes for sheer volume, but it does have an intriguing tone and it's very punchy.
I'd describe it as a cross between an old bowlback mandolin, a four-string banjo and an African oud, and I can hardly stop playing it. Don't hesitate: build one.