Hello all. I want to put fretboard on my cbg. My question is that if I put a 1/4 inch fret board on a 3/4 inch neck that makes the neck pretty beefy at one inch. Am I missing something about fret boards or is there a way to deal with thickness

Views: 139

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

It's the way it's usually done. A 6 string guitar is close to 1" after putting it together, but then the backside is carved and the fretboard gets a radius. The first fret area will usually be rounded and the higher end will usually be flater to enhance hand comfort/control and ease of play.

A 4 string or 3 string has a neck that's not as wide. That gives easy finger access all the way over the fretboard. Some prefer a large mass for the entire neck for comfort/control on these necks. It just comes down to what is more comfortable for you and gives you the control you need.

I have medium length and width fingers and find that the 3/4" necks with 1/4" work well for me. I usually carve a V shape to the back of the necks and use a radius on the fretboard because I'm used to that from playing 6string guitars for many years. Some prefer a squarish neck with rounded edges.

One inch is "thick" for a neck at the nut end, but not down at the box end. Without a truss rod, the additional beef at the nut end may be warranted (or not depending on the string selection). Most players/builders keep it simple and just play with the neck at a constant thickness (1"). Since the neck is only 1 3/4" wide, it's not like trying to reach around a log.

There are several things you can do regarding the neck profile, depending on the wood being used and how much work you want to put into it.

It is possible to taper the neck from nut to box and round the neck contour.

If you have access to a table saw or a band saw a taper jig is pretty easy to build so you get consistent results.

Another thing that you can do is use a fret board that is a bit under 1/4" thick. There is a practical limit to how thin you can make it based on the frets you use, but once it is glued to the neck, it will be strong and rigid.

A final thing is to taper the neck from the nut to the box in the up/down direction. This is pretty much what a traditional acoustic guitar has. My Gretsch acoustic is only 9/16" thick at the nut (including the fret board).

While there are many things you "could" do. I would suggest that you begin with a normal 1 3/4" wide neck and a 1/4" fret board. Fully round the underside of the neck. Make it nice and smooth the play it for a while and see if an ultra-thin neck is really worth the additional work.

Good luck

Keep us posted

Tom's reply shows how people on this page are willing to share their knowledge.

If it is a 3 string and both woods are hardwood, 3/4" is plenty thick in total.  Built and seen plenty of 3 stringers in oak or maple with no fretboard and no issues.  Poplar and other soft wood is another story.  Whether it is worth the effort to thin it down is the next question!  You can always build it, then round it or thin it more if you don't like it, but it is not so easy to add some back.


The Essential Pages

New to Cigar Box Nation?How to Play Cigar Box GuitarsFree Plans & How to Build Cigar Box GuitarsCigar Box Guitar Building BasicsCigar Box Guitar Parts Store

Site Sponsor

Recommended Links & Resources


Fret dot recommendation

Started by Douglas Eric Marsalis in Performances, How to Play, Lessons, Concerts. Last reply by Brendan deVallance 2 hours ago. 29 Replies

My first build

Started by Calvin Harris in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Korrigan on Tuesday. 3 Replies

Sting Issues

Started by Roland Wood in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Paul Craig on Sunday. 11 Replies

Blog Posts

Just not quite right!?

Posted by David on January 17, 2018 at 10:02am 2 Comments


Posted by Chuck Numbers on January 15, 2018 at 9:46pm 1 Comment

My fret slot cutting setup

Posted by Jim Brown on January 5, 2018 at 4:24pm 8 Comments

Latest Activity

Ron Lutz posted a status
"#39,40 poplar boxes handmade, canvas prints of local historic photo and one of my pinhole images which is also on canvas. 21" scale. GDG"
5 minutes ago
Ron Lutz posted a photo
5 minutes ago
Erasmo Coco commented on Erasmo Coco's video

Tricone Tube Screamer Blues - Backslider Guitars

"I like that Kat ! Thanks Nancy !"
11 minutes ago
Paul Craig replied to Paul Cezanne's discussion Trouble converting an old radio to an amp
"Lugs 1 & 2 on the back are the on/off power for the radio. Lugs A, B, & C on the bottom are…"
16 minutes ago
StorminSteve liked sparky37's photo
38 minutes ago
StorminSteve liked sparky37's photo
38 minutes ago
Paul Craig replied to Taffy Evans's discussion Shop/homemade tools and & Jigs
"Item #4375 for $4.86"
41 minutes ago
Keith Rearick liked Uncle Gus's video
46 minutes ago
Keith Rearick liked Downtown Vinnie's video
47 minutes ago
Nancy kat liked Janis Wilson Hughes's video
47 minutes ago
Nancy kat commented on Janis Wilson Hughes's video
48 minutes ago
Nancy kat commented on Janis Wilson Hughes's video

Linger by The Cranberries - CBG Tribute

"Janis this is beautiful your voice is so sweet very Angelic! Watched it three times loved it.. and…"
48 minutes ago



© 2018   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service