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Grantham engineer creates unique cigar box guitars

A Grantham engineer has begun crafting unique cigar box guitars after teaching himself how to make them.

Andy Wallis launched his business Vestigia Cigar Box Guitars during lockdown earlier this year in February 2021.

He has been playing the guitar for 20 years and has always had an interest in cigar box guitars.

Andy Wallis working on a cigar box guitar (49810078)
Andy Wallis working on a cigar box guitar (49810078)

Andy said: "I'd seen that you could make these things over the years and always fancied having a go and then I happened to watch a documentary on the BBC which basically was all about the UK cigar box scene and it fascinated me."

"I thought I've been an engineer since I left school and I've always been pretty handy so I thought I'd give it a go, so I did a bit of YouTubing, taught myself how to do it and made a few, and then I just made loads."

"It's opened up my eyes a bit and it's re-ignited me with passion for the instrument as there's something nice about being able to make your own music on something that you have made yourself.

Finished cigar box guitars (49810086)
Finished cigar box guitars (49810086)

Throughout lockdown Andy started reading books the Rivers of London series by Ben Arronovitch which inspired him to name his business as Vestigia, as this is a word that regularly appears throughout the series.

The series will be celebrating it's 10th anniversary this year, and to help them celebrate Andy is making a cigar box guitar for them to give away to a fan.

He will be using a punch cigar box for the guitar in honour of one of the series characters, Mr Punch.

Andy Wallis working on a cigar box guitar (49810073)
Andy Wallis working on a cigar box guitar (49810073)

All of the cigar box guitars are handmade by Andy at his workshop, but they can take weeks to make depending on the design.

He added: "Guitars are quite complicated pieces of equiptment but I try and make as many with hand tools as I can.

"They are really nice things to do as they are not mass produced, every one is a one off and they are all done by hand."

Andy is also planning on creating some Vestigia boxes to use rather than just cigar boxes that have been used, and hopes to create a kit so that people have the option to make the guitars themselves.

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