I was always a fan of music. After I took up guitar, I started playing classic rock and blues. One night, I was out at a restaurant and I heard a guy playing Delta blues on an old resonator guitar.

I was hooked.
I went home that night and started fooling around playing slide on my guitars. I realized the action was too low and kept fretting out. It just wasn’t working.  As I searched for lessons on playing slide guitar, I came across videos of people playing cigar
Instead of going out and buying  another guitar for slide playing, I decided to build my own guitar. I found some plans online and went to work.

My first guitar was a disaster.


My second guitar. The first was a complete disaster!

The second guitar much better! It had 3 strings, and a contact pickup I bought at my local guitar shop. I tuned it up, plugged it in, and it made music! I was jamming out some 12 bar blues in G. It was incredible.


My first CBG with a humbucker pickup

I loaded the guitar into a gig bag and brought it down to show my friends. They were blown away and insisted that I build a guitar for them.
I kept building and improving my techniques and guitar configurations. I went from 3 strings to 4. The fourth string added new potential for different tunings and soloing capabilities.
I wanted to play more than rhythm on the guitar. I also upgraded my pickups from the contact pickup to a built in magnetic pickup. I cut a hole in the box and added a hum bucker pickup with a volume control.

I started showcasing my guitars at local shops and selling them to customers. I even donated some to charity events to raise money.
By this point my necks evolved to where I wanted them to look more like real guitar necks. I figured out how to build a necks that looked like they were taken off a strat or Les Paul guitar. Everyone knows these guitars.  Fenders and Gibsons are the guitars or choice for rock and blues artists for 50 years.


4 string Strat styled neck

So I built guitar with these necks.

I found however, that not everyone was interested in buying a guitar. It was almost by accident. Instead of selling finished guitars. I started selling kits on ebay. These kits were all the parts you would need but the builder would put it together. Instead of selling the usual Cigar box guitar kit with a box and parts. I added a neck to the deal. Soon enough I started getting requests for just the neck. They could get the rest of the parts pretty easily but the neck was the trickiest part to building a CBG.

finished LP neck

Chillen Guitars 4 string LP Style neck

That’s where you find me today. I build and sell neck kits that the Do-it-yourselfer and put together in their own garage. My necks have the classic headstocks we are all familiar with. The builder can then finish that neck with their own techniques and style.

Face it, no two Cigar box guitars are the same and no 2 builders have the same techniques. My necks provide an affordable headstart to building a really cool guitar. The builder only limited by his/her own creativity and skill.
Building a guitar is a fun adventure. The reward is hearing music come from the instrument you created. It’s also knowing that when you are gone, that guitar will live on, and continue to make music for others to enjoy.

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