Neck blocks and neck fitting.
Hi all, in the current thread running at the moment “CBG resonator question” by Snuffy Smith, Richard Dean asked me about how I mount my necks. I thought I would start a new post as others may be interested but not following the Resonator thread.
I have always built my own boxes so these ideas are based around known dimensions. If building using an actual cigar box I would use the same criteria, minimal intrusion into the box, minimal dampening of the top/soundboard but adequate sizing to suit the CBG being built.
If building a custom CBG for a customer I may vary my approach to the methods shown here, due to 3-4-6 strings, resonator, electric or acoustic. But I am always mindful of top vibration and over-bracing. It must come from years of acoustic guitar building.
I have not put captions with the photos, just sowing seeds.
The types of neck fittings shown are the traditional [popular] neck through, removable [bolted] neck through, simple neck block with heal 3-4 string, larger neck block with heal for six stringers[heal allows more movability of neck to get better saddle placement.
It’s not rocket science, I’m sure many of you do what’s shown here. Much of what’s in the photos was experimental over a few instruments, but I’ve never had any failures.
There are quite a few more but let’s not confuse the issue.
2 Questions if I may, the ones with the external heel, are they only glued, or is there a fastener holding them in place as well? And, what's the purpose of the acoustic bracing on the bottom of the box going from side to side? Does it help with the acoustic tone?
Thanks for the pics, I do something almost identical, but maybe overkill, I add almost the same internal bracing but for through necks heel and all(first build). And for bolt ons, I actually extend the bracing from front to rear of the box for fear of flex. I'm going to give your method a try to see if I can achieve the same structural support without all the added timber taking up valuable inside space. I also prefer to build my own boxes to my specs, but enjoy the challenge of the cigar boxes as well.
Thanks for posting this, I appreciate it, I'm sure many will benefit.
Back bracing on this CBG is mainly for adding support to the thin rosewood back. In a full acoustic guitar the back braces provide support, and control back vibration. The heal can be screwed as well if needed. I glued a heal on upside down once and had a hell of a time trying to remove it without damaging the box side.
I think what I like most about the designs, you mentioned saddle placement, definitely an advantage there where a lot of people struggle, and end up having theirs near the end of the box due to size constraints.
Good write-up and pictorial presentation Taffy.
How did you make your corners on the box? What thickness of wood did you use?
I do not have any standard style or size for much of the box components, except for the main box dimensions, where I have what gives me the best response for the materials used.
The first two boxes are my "budget" models and have plain square courners (sized to suit the particular box).
Another has more refined corners, the last box has no corners due to the sides having a toungue and groove joint at the corner. These last two CBG's pictured I used rosewood and cedar.