Minnesota Man Tunes Cigar Box Guitars Into Hobby for Everyone

60-year-old Jeff Swenson started the hobby in 2007

FARGO, N.D. — You can make a guitar from almost any object or material.

A Minnesota man is taking his love for the instrument and tuning it into a hobby he can share with others. KVRR’s Danielle Church has more.

It was after he retired that 60–year–old Jeff Swenson’s itch for music only got worse.

So he solved it with a guitar.

“I’ve always had a deep love and appreciation for music and had tried to play a six–string guitar but had limited success at that,” Swenson said.

That’s why he combined his love of music with his love of woodworking.

Quickly learning from the internet how to create a guitar with a few tools, three strings, cow bone, a cigar box and “lots” of super glue.

“After I made one, I was hooked. And now I can’t stop,” Swenson said.

Swenson has made more than 60 guitars since 2007. But cigar boxes eventually weren’t enough.

“Because of the dimensions, the cigar box is a huge limiting factor. I wanted to make more noise,” Swenson said. “Within a few years, I kind of graduated away from the cigar box guitars into making my own boxes into making quote on quote ‘real guitars.'”

He’s now sharing his skills and his love for the hobby with everyone he can.

“I’m excited. I got my kids excited. We’re all going to go pick up some supplies and make our own,” said Ronnie Horner, who came to Swenson’s class with his kids.

But with the inspiration comes a warning.

“Don’t start doing this unless you want to be totally into something because it gets you. I don’t know what it is amazing,” Swenson said.

He also makes guitars out of old silverware boxes, baseball bats, briefcases and old toolboxes.

As long as a material has an echo chamber, you can find Swenson turning it into an instrument.

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