hey guys, how long does it take you from start to finish in building a cigar box guitar, and do you have any advise,secrets to not spending to much time on a cbg

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I build'em one at a time, but mostly just plain Jane builds. I used to say it takes 3 hours, but now i'd say 2 hours to build a fretted box. That does not include drying time for the glue or shellac, but I can still get one, glued, shellac'd and playable in 2 hours, maybe using an extra screw or letting string tension hold the whole thing together.,.,.,

I am pretty slow. I have no deadlines usually for the build and because this is a fun hobby, I work on the tasks at my leisure. Initially, after my plans on paper are done, I get the box and neck cuts made for length and fitting. Done for a few days. Next up is finish the cuts and shaping of the headstock and the part that may or may not go through a box. done. a few days later, maybe work on the box if there are sound holes or whatever on the inside or outside. Done. A couple of more days later cut for the length the fretboard....you get the idea. The tuna can tricone took me 5 months.. Now I am working on the regal R200 and have yet started design for next build. I am tossing around ideas and will need to look at some of my designs I drew up years ago. I also have the Uncle Buddy King Richard (see my pics page) 3 string CBG that has frets with rough ends on them and now that I have the Gitty fret file that is new, I want to use it to file down those frets. 

I'm currently tracking my time on a build out of curiosity, but let me offer a perspective here...

If it's your first build, dive in with the absolute simplest design and get it over with.  Build a three string fretless slide guitar and don't be too picky about things along the way.  You'll get it built in a handful of hours and you'll learn more about how long it takes YOU than anyone here can tell you.

In general, the more elaborate the design the more time it takes.  Installing frets?  Shaped headstock?  Little details?  Really taking your time to do things just right?  All of these add to the build time.

As already mentioned, lots of time goes into just thinking about things.  This happens in the workshop and outside of it too.  As also mentioned, don't worry so much about the time.  Take your time, think about it but don't overthink it, not too much anyway ;)  Enjoy the process more than you look at the clock and you'll end up with a guitar you really enjoy at the end.  Once it's done and you're truly satisfied, you won't care how long it took.

But, action beats planning 9 times out of 10.  Get building, make guitars, make mistakes.  You can always back up, redesign, rebuild, build another one.  As with many thing, you learn way more actually doing it, even if you do it very badly, than thinking or reading about it.


Oh, and here’s how Uncle Crow builds a really simple guitar and how long it takes: https://youtu.be/dmDssZ6MbOg

Interesting to read all the differences! When I kept track of my time carefully, it was about 20 hours for 2. I try to build in pairs for economies of scale. More than that takes some fun out of it for me! :-) And these guitars starting with 4S neck and fretboard wood, including...

- scarf jointed headstock
- hand carved neck
- dot inlays
- hand-sawn frets
- basic neck-thru box design
- wood/bone bridge/saddle
- piezo rod, volume pot
- danish oil + paste wax finish

A basic guitar with a 1 x 2 neck and a piezo pickup can be knocked together in about 2~3 hours. It will be rough, but playable.

A nice box with F holes. A stepped, rounded and tapered neck with an angled headstock add time, but create a quality piece of craftsmanship. It takes me around 10~14 hours to build a nice guitar that I would not be afraid to offer up for sale.

The more you build, the more tricks and short cuts you discover which help to improve quality and reduce build time. The important thing (for me at least) is to enjoy the building process.

It normally takes me a month to build one because I make my own boxes and I take my sweet time.

I make most of the hardware by hand and that itself takes time. 

When building the neck I like routing a grove done the middle 1/4" deep and putting a 1/4" steel rod in before gluing the fret board on. It works like a truss rod and It makes the neck that much stronger.

Just don't rush and your guitar will turn out nice.

4-20 hours, depending.

The best way to save time is to build in batches.  Once I setup my table saw, I make 10 necks at a time....  30ish fretboards, or whatever...

Doing things in a more iterative manufacturing way saves setup time, but isn't as much fun...  Still, I can focus on 4-6 builds at a time... The best part for me is having several necks cut and ready, then I can do the fun parts, gluing, sanding, finishing, fretting, etc...

I like the idea of building components like necks in batches. You can still get the feel of building an individual guitar even if you made some of the pieces earlier.

I can only peak for my many Canjo Builds, but usually 2 or 3 hours if I'm only building one.

Just got to get the order of things right. start with the neck, get it cut and sanded and screw on the machine heads and nuts before working on the body. when you get to the body, drilling and cut the body in all the places you need to using as view tools as possible to do so. for me its the power drill and dremel with a cutting disc. then wire the body up with the pickups and electrics and then attach the neck, align the bridge and string it up.

Nuff said.

For what it's worth. this one took me just over 21 hours.  2 hours of that was fixing a misplaced fret and some chipout that happened when I drilled the fret board for markers.  I need to be more careful in the future, fixing those was a total pain and time I could have easily saved.

More pics on the whole build: https://photos.app.goo.gl/vbdiybXBwWL3FRpC2

wow, the colors pop out on this. I like the total package. 


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