Handmade Music Factory - great DIY book

As a maker of cigar box guitars, Handmade Music Factory is a book I've been waiting for for a long time. It's written by Mike Orr, a professional carpenter and the owner of Built2Last Guitars.

This beautifully produced, full-color book shows you how to make your own musical instruments. Projects include a washtub bass, a soup can diddley bow, an electrified stomp box and washboard, a variety of cigar box guitars, an ironing board lap steel guitar, and an upcycled tape deck amplifier.

Besides including these detailed step-by-step instructions, Orr's book includes profiles of cigar box guitar builders and a large photo gallery of beautiful instruments made by cigar box guitar aficionados. One of my favorites is a banjo made from the hubcap of a Volkswagen.

If you're interested in getting started in building your own musical instruments, or you have built them but would like to learn additional tips and tricks and find out how others have created their own musical instruments, this is a great book.

Handmade Music Factory


  1. I’ve been a wind instrument maker for, gosh, a decade and a half now.  If you are interested in more than luthier work, Fundamentals of Musical Acoustics and virtually anything by Benade is fabulous reading.  Although nothing is more important than patience and well calibrated measuring tools :)


    Also, for those of us instrument nuts, I moved to Phoenix a couple months ago and was absolutely blown away by the Music Instrument Museum.  http://themim.org/  It has the largest collection of valved trombones I have ever seen :D


    how could i forget, the tome that me and a good friend of mine spent way too much time in high school reading. http://www.amazon.com/Art-Organ-Building-Comprehensive-Construction/dp/0486213145

    Dover press is like O’Reilly to nerdy musicians.

  2. Love these homemade instruments, reminds me of some of the wonderous things Seasick Steve plays haha. My grandad recently gave me an old cigar-case guitar that he made years ago, lovely little thing! :)

Comments are closed.