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Shane's Main Cigar Box Guitar
Shane's Main Axe:  A 3-string cigar box guitar
(click on the picture for a really cool close up shot of the guitar!)
Guitar Specs:  Macanudo 'Portafino Cafe' cigar box body.  Poplar neck (3/4 scale and fretless) with frets woodburned on.  Bridge is huge eyebolt.  Nut is stovebolt.  Headstock contains cheapo guitar tuners and roundhead screws that serve as string guides.  Strings are Martin Darco acoustic guitar strings, guaged .045, .035, .026. 

Shane plays with several 'found object' slides such as a 3/4 inch socket, hambone and a section of copper pipe
(click here to see them).

Tunings include A (A, E, A'); G (G, D, G'); A7 (A, E, G'); G9 (G, D, A') among others.
"Ask Shane Speal to play a song, any song, and he'll meet your challenge within minutes.  All he'll need is three strings, a plank and a wooden cigar box." AP News

It's the instrument time forgot.  The ultimate blues guitar.  Shane Speal's main axe. The heart of the band
Jug Fusion.

"Does it play?" That's usually the first question I get from the crowd after introducing this instrument. I must admit, she doesn't look like much, with her chewed-up, paper covered face and three simple strings gracing her neck.

"Sure, it plays," I say, handing the cigar box guitar to the probing audience member.  "Here's a slide."  The guy will take hold of her delicately and try to glide the chrome socket slide over the strings. 

"Wrrrrreeeeahhhrrrrr!!!" screams the contraption.  He hands it back to me with a disturbed look on his face. 

I've got 'em right where I want 'em.

I slip the 3/4" socket on my ring finger and launch into a hyper version of (Cigar Box) Guitar Rag.  Eyes pop out of their heads.  Smiles appear like a herd of cheshire cats.  IT'S SHOWTIME!!!

Ah yes, it's a 3-string symphony.  My cigar box guitar is amazing.  She can wail the blues.  She moans in new age and heavy metal.  Even jazz is part of her identity.  I've learned to always expect more from her...and she always delivers.

My name is Shane Speal. 
Since nobody has ever taken the title "King of the Cigar Box Guitar," then I claim it for myself.


You've heard about these instruments in music history.  Maybe you've even made one as a kid.

Now a guy trained in heavy metal and blues has adopted this 3-string creation as his main guitar.  In fact, he is using it to plan the next revolution.
How to sorta build yerself one of these

- One wooden cigar box
- A stick (1x2x3 poplar plank bought
  at Home Depot)
- Big eye bolt for bridge
- Stove bolt for nut
- Three used guitar tuners
- Three guitar strings (acoustic
  A,D,G strings recommended)
- Woodburning pen

1. Shove the stick thru the box by cutting, notching and carving.
2. Cut out soundholes in box.
3. Notch out a groove for stove bolt 'nut.'
4, Carve out headstock.
5. Put in guitar tuners.
6. Woodburn frets on fingerboard.
7. Drill 3 small holes in the butt end of the stick.
8. String her up by threading the strings thru the back of the stick butt and up to the tuners.
9. Wedge 'bridge' and 'nut' in place.
10. Tune to an open A chord
(A, E, A').
11. Place a 3/4 inch on yer finger and grind out some pure Delta boogie.
"Sounds as funky as it looks."  Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers, Gov't Mule)
          "The only thing square is the box!"  Allen Woody (Allman Brothers, Gov't Mule)
                       "It's great!  I love it!"  Dave Dederer (Presidents of the United States of America)
                                    "A cute little machine and plays not at all bad."  Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull)
                                                 "This is cool."  Ted Nugent
                                                           "I love it."  actor Tim Allen
                                                                     "What the heck is this?"  BB King