Ciro Lo Pinto

Bluegrass • Traditional Scottish • Irish • Appalachian • Cajun • Vocals

Rushlight - Handmade cigarbox Banjos & guitars


Cigar box banjos

Banjo No.1

Cigarbox banjo NO.1 – a breakthrough for me. I added the banjo drone string as the 4 th string. The body was painted to look old. The neck is black walnut with a birch fingerboard. The neck is diatonically fretted with the 1 ½ fret for modal notes. I am liking banjos!!!

Banjo no.3

Cigar box banjo NO.3 – I really feel as if I have finally nailed the banjo. Cuba Libre dove-tailed box, cherry neck, exotic hardwood fret board. Highly ornate heel carving, scooped fret-board, tadpole at scarf joint. Great sound due to the thin top. I feel like I have found my niche in the cigar box world with the 4 stringed banjo type. You can only go forward.

Banjo no.4

Cigar box banjo NO.4 – this is my best work and includes some firsts. This is the first instruments with a true electromagnetic pickup. This is the first instrument with the two types of wood on the neck, acting aesthetically, as a contrasting backstrap at the headstock and heel (see photo). The box is a very nice dove-tailed Saison, first harvest, solid mahogany. The neck is solid Pennsylvania black cherry with a PA black walnut backstrap and curly maple fretboard fretted diatonically with the 1 ½ fret. The headstock veneer is a figured rosewood. The pickup is a single coil, Dan Electro style lipstick tube with volume control (no tone control). My very best yet...

Cigar box guitars

Guitar no.1

Cigar box guitar NO.1 – simple, all-wood box, 3 strings, cherry wood neck, mahogany fret-board, frets were tied on using mono-filament fishing line, in the fashion of Renaissance style lutes.  Amazingly resonant for such a shallow box. I got the fever after this and immediately started building more.

Guitar No.7

Cigar box guitar NO.7 - a resonator style acoustic guitar, 3 string, painted top, curly maple fretboard, black walnut neck, tied frets. Resonator is made from the strainer of a French press coffee maker. I later changed from a wooden bridge to a brass bridge. Sounds great when played with a brass or glass slide.

Banjo 9

Guitar N0.9

Cigar box guitar NO.9 – this was the very last of the “tied-on” fret phase. It was the first paper covered box I’ve done…I’ve done more since. The box was shellaced with many coats to prevent peeling. The first with a curly maple neck and curly maple fret board, the first carved heel. Many firsts…while also being the last.

Cigar Box Banjo 11

Guitar No.11

Cigar box guitar NO.11 - “the mighty whale” this was a paper covered box, shellaced. A cherry wood neck, mahogany neck. This was the second neck I scooped for easier strumming, picking, frailing over the point where the neck joins the body. The whale motif in the carved heel and the carved sound hole cover was my first venture into artistic detail in the “folk art” motif. The shellaced box had a great tone and the action was very good.


Guitar No.12

Cigar box guitar NO.12 – another last…maybe…maybe not. The last 3 string version I made. A nice, dove-tailed Victor Sinclair box with a nice thin top. Curly maple neck, black walnut fret board. Diatonically fretted, nice floral carving on heel. A great sound from a small box.

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