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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Cigar Box Ukuleles: The Simpsons Tribute & Happy Face Lunch Box

I built my first CBG four years ago this month. Building these instruments has led me down a very interesting path. CBGs have become a real passion, bordering on obsession. Making music from unusual objects is a fascinating and gratifying pursuit. I look around me and when I see different objects I'm always asking myself, "How could I make this thing into a musical instrument? What kind of sound would be produced?"  Every CBG builder loves that anticipation. We never know for sure how something will sound until we string it up and try it out. That's the mystery and the beauty of it.

Here are two ukuleles made with some parts purchased from C.B. Gitty and found objects. The Simpsons uke makes use of a Simpsons Trivia Game box for the body. A large tin box with such wonderful graphics like this one is just begging to be repurposed. Visually, this is my favorite uke build so far.

See and hear the uke demos on YouTube: https://youtu.be/3Dg_PZfXg_E

The graphics are so important to the look of this uke, that I didn't want to ruin the effect by placing a large sound hole in the top of the box. Instead I opted to use multiple, smaller, sound holes and locate them on all sides of the body. I've never tried this before and it worked. Every build is different and each one has lessons to teach me.

The neck is attached to an interior support structure which I like to call "the back bone". I build this into all of my ukes to ensure body integrity.


I found this reproduction of a vintage lunch box at my favorite re-sale shop. This uke has a fun look about it and makes a particularly nice sound. 

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