Cigar Box Builds


Hey guys, Ive been lurking on these forums for some time and I figured I would stop by and post a thread.
I noticed while building my stick that one of the hardest parts of building a custom stick is the box. Well here is an easy way to solve that.

**1. Head down to your local cigar bar or hookah bar and ask one of the workers if they have any leftover cigar boxes you can take a look at.
From my experience they are almost giving these things away. In most cases they wont be more then a dollar or two a box…sometimes more. But, if your really lucky they will give them to you for free.

Some advice when looking for the right box:
When hunting I try and call ahead to see if they have boxes and the price they are going for. It also helps to know how many they have for sale. Sometimes the clerks are nice enough to tell you if they have a box in a size your looking for. In my case I was using the term ‘shoebox’ to help identify the size i was looking for.

**2. Make sure to pick through the stack. **

If you take the time to look through the stack of boxes sometimes you will strike gold and find one that is perfect for your project.

As an example:
The box that I chose to build my stick around is stained solid oak with a cedar lining on the inside (cedar will almost always be the interior of the cigar box). As an added bonus the flip top lid is held close with two pairs of small magnets. This makes access to the inside of my box amazingly easy while at the same time holding it securely closed.

3. Build away knowing that one of the hardest parts is already done for you…And your wallet will thank you too.

Thanks guys for all the amazing info…I wouldn’t have been able to complete this project without you. Especially Toodles and is amazingly easy to install Chtulhu PCB.

Here’s my somewhat finished stick. (It still needs a fresh coat of paint and some art). Sorry for the poor camera quality.


Thanks for this guide, i’ve been tempted to make an arcade stick from a cigar box recently, since the Hori Real Arcad Pro 3-SA i preordered from amazon aint shipping until october.
I’ve never owned or made an arcade stick but have gotten a couple of the parts, (octogon gate, balltops)

just curious, are you using the Snap In buttons or the ones with the Nut that you tighten?
i’m not sure what is too thick or too thin for the Snap In ones

I’m a frequent at this coffee/tea/candy shop that has recently started selling cigars, i may be able to obtain a cigar box from the owner.


I used the screw-in buttons because of the thickness of the wood. snap ins are possible…but making sure that the lid is the exact thickness for the snap-ins is a pain.
Also, on a side note sanwa buttons are somewhat of a hassle to screw into a thick lid because of the short threads. My cigar box had a thick lid so i had to drill a larger hole for the nut then cut the rest of the way through with a smaller bit for the threads. That should be the easiest way.

All in all im very pleased with the proformance of the sanwa parts. they even seem more responsive then my madcatz TE stick (even though it uses the same parts)

Good luck with your cigar box stick. If you have any questions feel free to pm me.


This is a very intelligent idea! Man all those wasted dutch masters boxes. :stuck_out_tongue:
Anyways, it’s possible to make a box from shisha packaging? I’ve never seen that before.


I would assume that some shisha packaging would work. I just used a cigar box because most manufacturers spend extra time on the box design and in the end the box just gets tossed out. Also, almost 90% of the cigar boxes I’ve found around here have hinges. So, if your looking for a design that uses a hinged lid this is the way to go.


Just curious, i don’t have ANY hardware parts, except for an old electric drill thingy

Could i be all ghetto and just carve at the damn thing to make the holes for the buttons? :stuck_out_tongue:


I don’t see why you couldn’t, outline the holes and hollow them out, shouldn’t be that hard.If you want it to be perfect, arts and craft stores sell compass-esque knife (sorry I forget what they’re called, lol.)


ah, ya,

Exacto Knife or X-Acto Knife. ya that was an idea i had, but wasn’t sure if that would be best (i tend to doubt my judgement)

I shall try that out
Thanks :slight_smile:

OH! and i had NO LUCK today Cigar Box Hunting around where i live, but tomorrow i should be at the coffee/tea/candy/cigar shop that i frequent near where i work.


This is possible, although very lengthy process. Especially on thick lid boxes. In the end you may just give up all together.

I would recommend finding a friend or neighbor with a power drill and buying spade bits for the different size holes (or borrowing them if your lucky). If you know the sizes you need they may run you less then $10 for all of them.


Keep it up, I’m sure that you’ll find the perfect box soon enough. If the coffee/tea/candy/cigar shop doesn’t work out here is some more advice that might save you a lot of time

When hunting I try and call ahead to see if they have boxes and the price they are going for. It also helps to know how many they have for sale. Sometimes the clerks are nice enough to tell you if they have a box in a size your looking for. In my case I was using the term ‘shoebox’ to help identify the size i was looking for.

Hope this helps.


I was thinking something like a the size of a ream of copy paper for the printer would be perfect.


Looks pretty good, even with such a crappy pic. :arazz:

Since I’m not a smoker of any type, I’ve never actually handled a cigar box. Are they pretty sturdy?


Yes, from my experience cigar boxes are extremely sturdy. Although this will vary company to company.
As mentioned before, cigar boxes almost always have a cedar interior while the exterior will usually be made of a much stronger wood. As a bonus they sometimes will felt the bottom of the box making it much more comfortable in your lap while playing.

In general this is an amazing case of one mans trash being my arcade stick treasure. :smile:


Oh what a sweet idea! I love cigars and video games and after just modding my HRAP3 I kinda thought about making my own from scratch. Using a cigar box would both give me an excuse to buy a new box of cigars and to make a new video game peripheral!!! No waste!


Good luck with your cigar box build. If you finish a stick post pics please. I would love to see another persons work. :smiley:


Or use an XBox 360 or tupper ware box :stuck_out_tongue:


The guy at the tea/coffee/candy/cigar shop is currently out of Cigar Boxes, due to someone already buying many from him to make Cigar Box Guitars. But the guy said he’ll hold on to the next one for me :smiley:

so for right now, i’ll make a tuperware one until i find a cigar box (will still be looking)


Cigar box guitars…lol. Looks like Cigarsticks have some competition. I’m surprised that anyone had another use for these boxes…

ponders other ideas


I know one guy that made an amp for his guitar out of one.


That’s smooth man.

Tupperware Stick, is creative