Hi all of you builders of funky instruments,

I have this pretty nougat tin from France lying around here and it yearns to be made into some kind of stringed instrument. I’m thinking short scale guitar with nylon strings, either a four stringer or a six stringer with three double courses tuned like a three stringer...

I don’t know yet whether I’ll make it a neck-through or even a “neck-around” (something like this:) I have only built instruments with wooden boxes so far and never worked with a tin – and that’s where my question comes in:

How do I reinforce this thing so that the pressure of the strings doesn’t cave in the fairly thin and flexible lid without dampening the vibration of the lid too much? How do you reinforce your tins?

All kinds of advice (and, even better: pictures) greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

Hans

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Cool build and nice playing.  Am I seeing it right that the wooden box has no top?

Thanks! Yes, that's correct, no top on the wooden box. It's notched on both ends for the neck so the neck sits flush with the top of the box and the top of the tin sits a little above it.  

INTERIM REPORT FROM THE TIN REINFORCEMENT FRONT:

I've decided to do a (Kigar-style) neck-around with this tin. So no trough-neck to support the lid, the tin has to be strong enough to withstand string pressure by itself...

First step: I glued a piece of plywood to the bottom of the tin and spray painted it red.

Second step: I cut  a soundhole and did some X-bracing on the lid... looks messy, but seems to have done the job: A first test ( an old string strung over the tin with a piece of scrapwood as a bridge) produced some very nice sounds.

Now I'll have to make the neck... I'll keep you posted...

Looks good.  As to calling it after me, I am sure there are a hundred on this site before I "thought" of it.  But as there are no rules....

Anyway, happy building and keep posting the progress!

Don't worry, I won't name this git after you : ) - Given that it's a nougat tin I'll probably come up with some kind of candy themed name for it...

But since I'm basically using the pictures of your boy scout mess tin guitar as a template I thought I should give credit where credit is due.

Hanns, I don't want to be overly critical of your bracing, looks like a lot of work there. It does look like what one would put in a full guitar, but beware.

As a bit of a heads up, so you don't finish the guitar and find out when it's too late.

The cross braces in a top are there for structural support, and to provide this support they need to be fixed at their ends to the sides. Also the joint where the braces cross, is their weakest point. It has to be a tight firm joint.

I would suggest you lay the top down and apply downward pressure to simulate the strings, to check the strength of the bracing before assembly. Just a thought. I was in two minds weather to bring this up, sorry.

Taff

Don't worry, Taff, your wellfounded criticsm is very welcome! I do all of this guitar building stuff with a trial and error/learning by doing approach and I rarely really know what I'm doing... I learn a lot from this kind of criticism - so go ahead and criticize whenever you think I'm doing something wrong! I appreciate it.

I did check the strength of the lid with some string pressure simulation and it looked good, but I think I have to do the bracing all over again anyway, because the glue doesn't really hold. Probably I should have sanded the tin before gluing, because there seems to be some kind of coating on the metal (to make it food-safe, I guess) that doesn't work well with the glue I used... I'll take your advice into account for my second attempt at bracing this tin.

And in any case I'll build this git in a way that the tin can be easily opened even after it's finished so that I can adjust the bracing if need be.

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