by admin | 5:13 pm

Welcome to East Coast Cigar Box Guitars. Here on the east coast of Canada we have a rich musical history, and I am proud to say has influenced everything we do here. Whether it is showing you how we build our instruments or providing lessons on how to play them. We look forward to serving your needs.


About 5 years ago I came across a video on YouTube showing a busker on the street playing a 3 string cigar box guitar. He was playing top 40 rock songs of the day. Now I had heard of these guitars before and knew way back in the 1920s to the 1940s many very famous blues musicians like Robert Johnson got their start playing these. But I had never seen one before,  so that day I went down to a local cigar shop and asked them if they had any empty cigar boxes. I was determined I was going to make one. I then went to a local music store to buy all the parts I would need. The parts they did have were for 6 string guitars and not 3 string, plus they were expensive.

Well, 5 years later I was cleaning out the closet in the spare room and found the 2 cigar boxes, I had done nothing with. Looking at them and thinking about the guitar I wanted to make, it occurred to me back in the day if Robert Johnson could afford to buy expensive guitar parts to turn a cigar box and a stick of wood into a guitar, he would have just bought a 6 string guitar instead. So what did he use for strings, bridge, nut and tuners? I decided I needed to research this further and after reading some books and some internet search results, I found out parts were made from many different things, like door hinges, bolts, door screen wire, etc.

So I started going to second hand shops like Value Village, the Sally Anne, weekend garage sales and even online at kijiji. I was able to complete my first Cigar Box guitar and even made it electric. I showed it to a friend who liked it so much he bought my next one before I even got started making it.


I decided making these musical instruments was both fun and rewarding and something I would like to share with others. It’s great to walk through a hardware store and find things in the plumbing department, cabinet fixtures or electrical department and see something that gives you a whole new idea of what you can use it for. Like making a bridge out of a spoon using the handle as a whammy bar, very cool


The goal here is to provide you with everything you need from tools to parts to inspiration.

If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,

Barry Leavitt


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