Maker: Cigar Box Guitars with David Piasta

How did you ever get into making ‘cigar box guitars’, David?
I have been making CBGs for about 12 years…while recuperating from a hear attack I was cruising the internet and came across a site where this guy was talking about cigar box guitars. I had been building dulcimers for about 7 or 8 years already so it was an easy thing to try a CBG…I always wanted to build a 6 string guitar so I thought this would be a good starting point.

What are some of the unusual materials you have used in creating them?
I like using found objects, like drawer pulls, spoons, forks,hinges and spatulas as tail pieces. I also have used candy tins for a resonator as well as dog dishes. Right now I have found a great source of wood for my projects….old fir door jams…all made of straight grain old growth fir…nice stiff wood for necks. I have also used pallet wood in my builds.

How many have you built, approximately?
Numbers wise i say I have built between 50 and 75 so far. A few years ago i started giving my guitars a serial number and date when built.

What is the farthest distance one of your instruments has gone?
I don’t know, but I sold one to a guy in Vancouver who was sending it to a friend in Toronto.

Do you do custom builds for people or is everything out of found materials and random inspirations?
I have been doing custom builds for people the last couple of years, but I am always looking at other builders to see what they are doing and getting inspiration from them.

What is the biggest challenge you have experienced in building your guitars?
My biggest challenge has been moving in he direction of solid body electric guitars…. electronics and wiring can be a challenge as well as getting your neck to remain straight.

Are there any other makers you’d like to collaborate with from the local or worldwide maker community?
I would like to try to do some steam-punk style guitars …. I have seen a few….also all metal or all glass guitars would be interesting.

What other kinds of ‘things’ do you make?
I build bows from wood and also PVC….they look like Mongolian horse bows….I have been doing various wood working things for some time and have started to research doing pallet wood and reclaimed wood projects. I also am a mushroom fanatic as you know, and love to cook, and also brew and do interesting things with spirit liquors.

Watch a short video of David playing Laurie McConnell’s cigar box guitar!
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