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This is my first build and I will be learning to play on it as well. Originally I planned a 24.5" scale but a little miscalculation left me with ~ 21-21.5" from nut to saddle. All things considered, how many frets should I plan for? It will probably be tuned to an open G and I will use a slide + doing some chording.
Correct, the fingerboard ends at the box lid. The other walnut piece on the tail is just added for decoration and it slightly overlaps the lid. In retrospect I should have made the fingerboard longer and let it overlap the body so I could have squeezed in a few more frets but I knew the first guitar would be a learning experience. I still have to help my wife and daughter build theirs, they can benefit from my mistakes "experience".
Was going to solder up my piezo, pot and jack today but I can't find my soldering iron... grrr.
Thanks for the pic, but my fingerboard stops at the box lid so I would still have to splice into it and since it's already glued on, I don't think I'll risk it. But I'm glad you posted because I hadn't planned on relieving the neck under the lid until you mentioned it. I thought I should just glue the lid and neck together. I have four more cigar boxes to practice on.
Not sure about the piezo yet. I was going to tack it temporarily and move it around to see how it sounds. Probably will start under the bridge inside the lid and then move it toward the fretboard to see how it sounds.
how far down the box does 21' put your bridge mate?
About 1 3/4" from the edge.
Here's a link to a picture of the short scale guitar I built. I really liked it.
It was pretty close to 20" scale length and you can see that I only put on fret markers in positions 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 22. That is a pretty small box so I fit more than you will. Practically, I hardly ever played above fret 12 anyway.
It was tuned DAD and was a real joy to play. With that tuning and the frets marked like I did, it only had sweet notes to play. The string tension was just right for sliding or fingering notes. Sadly, I don't remember what gauge strings I used, but the were all wound strings from an acoustic pack. I'd guess the A D G strings but you might need a little trial and error to test.
Like I said, the 20" scale was great fun to play. Very fast and a nice tone. I put up a video here but something is wrong and it won't play. I'll have to see if I still have the original file on my phone or tablet.
This forum has me changing my mind on the guitar on my bench right now. I was going to build a gibson scale guitar but now, i'm thinking 20 3/4 like my lap steel. Short scale seem like it might work well with open E tuning with some fat string. A small slide guitar with fat strings .Hate to chop the neck of and be disappointed. Roll of the dice!