I am going to built my first CBG. A frettless 3 string.
My Box has 30x20cm (about 11,8x7,8 inch)

1.I want many playable frets. Is 19 to much? That would mean joining point (neck/box) would be 21?
What would be a common amount of playable frets

2. I did read many different advices where to podition the bridge. 1/3  or 1/4 of the Box, just an inch,.... what would be a common bridge position?

3. I know both would have an impact on my scale length and if i, for example, plan 21 fret as "joining point" and 1/4 of the box size as joining point i would get a real long scale length of approx 26,3 inch? And that wouldnt be a "regular" but long scale length

so my questions are

- how many frets
- where to position the bridge
- what scale length

also i am thinking about, whats a common, regular box size, because i am not using cigar boxes

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Welcome Andreas, firstly, if you intend to build fretless, don't bother counting them, it just doesn't matter, you say you want many playable frets, but with a fretless guitar, that,s a tall order.A generally agreed on dimension for a cigar box bridge , is around 1/3 from the back of the box, different boxes will have varying tonal qualities, but 1/3 seems to work ok, scale length is totally up to you within tuning limits, if you have long arms, go for 25'' or 630mm, or down to around 22'', or 550mm, below that you may need to consider string gauges a bit more. as to box size, they vary very much, but 30 x 20 is in the general area of common boxes, a 30 x 20, 6 cm deep will give you a pretty good chance of getting a nice sound if the box is soundly made of good wood. Given your box OF 30 cm long, with a bridge at 10 cm from the rear, that gives you 20 cm , or roughly 8 inches to the front of the box, the chart i will link shows that at a 60 cm scale the front edge of the box is very close to the 19th fret if your bridge is 10 cm from the rear .......http://www.stewmac.com/FretCalculator

I just realised that the Stewmac link doesn't open to the page I was referring to, just add your best guess at a scale length , 20 plus frets, and you should find something to work with

Thank you for your reply

I know the stewmac frett-calculator. I did calculate my given above example on it.

The point is i do care for frets because i think i will want to play high notes (19th frett) Maybe theres my mistake, maybe i will not play them?!?

Anyway, 21st fret as "joining point" and bridge at 1/3 of the box size would make a scale length of approx 26,3 inch and that is quite long isnt it?

Hi, if I neaded  more fret access and was building my own box, I would put a cutaway in the body. That would give you access to a two octave fingerboard. 

Taff

Thanks for your reply

The question is, do i real need 2 octaves?
The only CBG i have has a jointing point of 16th fret and i can play 14.... i just thought i may want more but i am not sure.

Otherwise i would use a common scale length

Anything above the 12th fret is your second octave and you can go with 19, 21, 22 or 24 frets. the distance from the neck side of the nut to your bridge should be the scale length you've chosen or the fret positions will be off.

Did you look through the Essential Pages at the top right of this page? lots of info, diagrams and pics to help out.

http://www.stewmac.com/FretCalculator

Yes the fretcalculator was helpfull.

THank you for your reply

The easy answer is that you will be building more CBGs and if your first build doesn't give you enough "fret access" you can change the design on your next build.

Putting the bridge at 1/3 of the box length (11") is pretty generous, but gives you more frets free of the box.

I've built around 40 CBGs and have settled in on a scale of around 24". It is long enough to sound good and short enough to be easy to get around.

I tend to put the bridge toward the end of the box so the box design is not covered by bridge. I go for a bridge around 2~3" from the end of the box.

With an 11" box and bridge at 2" from the end, you have 9" of box before the neck. With a 24" scale you have 14" of neck before the box. That gives you 16 frets clear of the box. You should be able to reach at least two more fret positions without straining. That gives you access to 18 frets. Beyond 18, the sound will likely get pretty shrill, so you may find yourself stopping somewhere around 14 when playing.

But, as I said at the beginning, if you build one you will build more (it just works that way). If you need more than 18 you can design that into your next build. For now, just get to building and playing. You will not regret it.

Good luck.

Thank you for your answere Tom.

When playing with the bottleneck on my 3rd finger, i cant reach the "fretts" on the top of the box.
As i said " the CBG i have has a jointing point at 16th fret and i can play 14no more".
But i was thinking, maybe i want more. I have no experiance with sdlide guitar and wasnt sure.

But all answeres and reading a lot here at cigarboxnation, did help to get sure about what i want for my first built. I will go with 648mm same as my Fender Strat. And i will set the Bridge at a 3rd of the Box, and i will have at least 19 playable "fretts" (notes/tones).

For the second built i still can change the plan ;-)

It's always a good thing to think it all out and research other builds before you start.

I try to put the bridge just a little past the middle of the box, which usually has a couple frets on top of the box, but still able to fret without cutting into the box. This allows space for pickups or sound holes.

 I usually get a tape measure or yardstick and put the 25" mark on the top were I want my bridge to see if I have enough space for the end of the fretboard, pickups and sound holes if planned. The fret calculator gives you a measurement for the last fret to show where the end of the fretboard will be. Take all that into mind when planning and don't forget about space for the headstock.

Then work out the height of the bridge as compared the height of the fretboard. String break angle over the nut and bridge has to be worked out and if the neck has to be angled for the correct string height all the way down the fretboard.

All this is usually why people give up building one or just make fretless slide guitars. ;)

Thank you Paul

Yes i did think it a lot about it. But now i know what i want.
And even if frettless i want playable high notes ;-)

-----------------------

As i said above already:

All answeres and reading a lot here at cigarboxnation, did help to get sure about what i want for my first built. I will go with 648mm same as my Fender Strat. And i will set the Bridge at a 3rd of the Box, and i will have at least 19 playable "fretts" (notes/tones).

For the second built i still can change the plan ;-)

Thank you Uncle John

I DO care for acoustic sound thats why i decided to set the Brigde at the 3rd of teh Box. And not nearer to the end. - Thanks for the advice.

And well, i think i am one of those players who dont need more than 12 fretts (not even knowing what to do with those first 12 ;-)) But who knows maybe i will be happy about high playable notes

As i said above already:

All answeres and reading a lot here at cigarboxnation, did help to get sure about what i want for my first built. I will go with 648mm same as my Fender Strat. And i will set the Bridge at a 3rd of the Box, and i will have at least 19 playable "fretts" (notes/tones).

For the second built i still can change the plan ;-)

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