#1 resource for Cigar Box Guitars, Free Plans, How-To, Parts & More!
Cigar Box Nation is sponsored by C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply, your one-stop-shop for Cigar Box Guitar parts and accessories!
I am very new with the 6 string thing, I have only built 3's and D-Bows so far. I am wanting to build a 6 string but find myself with a lot of questions. Do you guys use truss rods when you build the necks? And secondly, how are you attaching the necks to the boxes? I'd like to get started on one, but as I've been thinking about it, I don't think I know how to do it correctly. I would prefer to do a bolt on type as opposed to a neck through but am also wondering how much you have to beef up the box to take the added pull from the extra strings.
Any info on this subject would be greatly appreciated.
I've cruised around on this site quite a bit since my orignal post and I see a lot of my questons answered here, probably should have done that first, huh? I still wonder though, can you get any acoustical value from these when they have so much wood inside them? I'd like to be able to play it acoustically as well and am wondering if there are alternitive ways of doing it to open up the inside more.
It is my belief that your alternatives are 1. use a 'truss rod' (or other piece of metal) in the neck to give it strength, (2) make the neck quite thick as I do with my guitars (see my photos on my page - I play on my lap so this isn't an issue) or (3) accept that the neck is going to bow.
My advice is to have a good look around on this site at as many photos as you can then comb the many sites on building 'normal' guitars and modify to your own design. My first guitar, whilst having a pickup etc. is essentially an acoustic (see my photos of the Black Pearl especially the one showing the internals). I extended the neck through the body but I have spacers between the front face and the neck so that the front face is free to vibrate. Because it is a small box I didn't put any struts on the front face. It seems to be coping ok even with the medium 0.13 strings on there for playing lap style.
Let me piggy back on Kevin's question. Would the truss rod be necessary if the neck was made from quartersawn white oak?
Mr Toad, I was thinking the same question, maybe not white oak, but quartersawn anyway. I've heard other people say it works.
Come to think about it I have an old 1940s guitar that belonged to my Dad that doesn't have a truss rod and it isn't bowed.
something a lot of guys here dont seem to grasp..
a truss rod does not prevent a neck from bowing..
its there for correcting it when it does..
its kinda like admitting defeat before you start (imho)
the amount of wood you remove in order to install it may in fact be the reason it bowed !
i do put em on basses and i made a 12 string converting neck for a friends strat copy a while back with one, but by and large i dont think you need em for guitars. It may interest you to know that leo fender first went into production on the esquire without a rod, and he only added one cos the guys at national epiphone and gibson were making fun of him at trade shows, he didnt thoink it necessary either, and that was on a one piece neck
ps definitely do a thru neck for your first 6 string.
if you do a bolt in etc the box will need a lot of reinforcing or it will collapse on itself
non adjustable truss-rod, either round or square steel or aluminium tube, glued in solidly, i've used alloy round tube before, work's fine, probably all down to the wood you use for the neck, but i would'nt like to put hour's and hour's of work into a neck for it to bow after a while, so for a 6-stringer i'd definitely use a truss-rod,
all the electric 6-stringer's i've made you can obviously hear them un-plugged, some louder than other's, fine if your just sitting at home playing, but no good if you want to play in public,
size is your friend for acoustic volume, bigger the box the more volume, the loudest one i made was this wine box for 3 wine bottle's, the other pic is show's the brace bar i used, 2" x 1/4" flat steel, for a smaller box it allow's more room inside the box,
i've also put non-adjustable truss rod's in 3-string neck's if the wood i'm using is a bit light,