I just stumbled upon the coolest Facebook group, The Great CBG Builder Swap Off. Two or three times a year, the group moderators declare a swap off and give instrument builders six weeks to make a fantastic cigar box guitar. Then they match up builders to send each other the instruments, completely sight unseen!
(Photo above: John Paluzi built this drop dead gorgeous cigar box guitar for New Egypt Folk String Instrument Co. in the swap)
Jason Greer built this three string BoneShaker cigar box guitar for Charlie Nolan in the last swap. (Note: I totally stole Greer's photography style elsewhere in my blog. It's so clean and captivating!)
What makes this even better is the unboxing videos! I don't know if the recipient is required to film the unboxing, but most of them do. Not only is the workmanship top-notch, but each builder has the look of complete fascination as they pull out their new axe from the box.
The legendary GS Monroe received this Stove Flue Cigar Box Guitar from builder, Burton Philbrick.
Builders are asked a few questions prior to the swap, such as whether they're right or left handed along with some other preferences. In the past, a $50 parts limit was enforced (a great idea in my opinion!) and everything is kept top secret until the postman shows up at your door.
It's very obvious that this group creates a deeper community than I've seen elsewhere. I think I'll be taking part in the next swap. Learn more by visiting The Great CBG Builder Swap Off here.