Building a Cigar Box Guitar 101

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Building a Cigar Box Guitar 101

This group is for discussing the basics of CBG building for newer builders - where to start, what to do, common pitfalls, tips and techniques.

Keep in mind that new builders can find other great informative articles on CBG building, as well as most of the parts you'll need, over at C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply!

Members: 1477
Latest Activity: 22 hours ago

Discussion Forum

Hard Plastic Box -> Git Build?

Started by Andy Busch. Last reply by Order99 22 hours ago. 6 Replies

5-string banjo neck for a cookie tin banjo build

Started by Andy Busch. Last reply by Don McMahan on Thursday. 3 Replies

Strings, Intonation and Harmonics

Started by Fomhorach. Last reply by John Matrishon on Wednesday. 1 Reply

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Comment by MadGomer on Wednesday

Yeah, screwing one of those eyes into an old piece of hickory is probably tougher than they were designed for!

Congrats on finishing up a great build!

Comment by Mark K on Wednesday
So to wrap my story up, I fiddled with the slots in the nut to make them pretty close, and used some eye screws as string retainers (hey if it's good enough for Justin's shovel guitar it's good enough for me) to get a nice angle and I think I have pretty much solved both the buzz and the slight height difference. Only issue I had was that the cheap crap eye screws they sell nowadays actually had the heads snap off even with a pilot hole more than deep enough. Now my only problem is the fretless guitar is spoiling me - when I use my slide on my fretted CBG I am banging the frets a lot because the action is so high on the hubcap git. Practice will fix that though - thanks again to all the folks here for the advice and encouragement.
Comment by Mark Bliss on January 15, 2017 at 8:45pm

"the D sits a little lower than the G's making some stuff harder to use my slide on...."

Dead easy to fix while you are at it.

While all my fretted setups compensate for string thickness on the bottom (fingerboard side) I would set-up for slide with the top surface even.

File the slots as needed for depth to achieve the above, while keeping the width just snug for the specific string gauge, and roll off the tuner side of the nut to approximate the string break over the nut. (I target 15 degrees. But whatever works.)

Comment by Mark K on January 15, 2017 at 7:13pm

Thanks folks - I am going to try Mark's suggestion first as its the cheapest and easiest (couple new strings, wind them down further, along with cleaning up the nut), if that doesn't work then a string retainer (primitive of course) will be figured out....

I kinda knew I'd have to address this - the D sits a little lower than the G's making some stuff harder to use my slide on....overall though I am pleased!

Comment by Mark Bliss on January 15, 2017 at 5:09pm

A string tree would also work, but if it were me, I'd try the previous recommendation first, as IMO the existing rustic look would be better retained without.

It looks to me as if leaving enough slack when stringing it up, so that the wind goes nearly to the bottom of the post would create plenty of angle.

Looks like the same tip might be a good idea on the high G as well.

Comment by Paul Craig on January 15, 2017 at 3:20pm

String break angle. The string is supposed to angle downwards towards the tuner, not straight in-plane to the tuner. Need a string retainer/string tree.

Comment by MadGomer on January 15, 2017 at 11:38am
What Mark Bliss said. Ideally you'll want all three strings having their last contact with the nut on a straight line, and also manage your slot depth so all three strings are in the same plane otherwise you'll have difficulties playing slide. Just takes a little time to get it all balanced, it's a very cool git, well worth the effort!
Comment by Mark Bliss on January 15, 2017 at 10:29am

New strings always stretch a while then settle in, that may be most of the wandering tuning issue.

Next time you string it up, I would try the following-

File the back side of the nut to allow the front edge to provide a clean break, and leave more string so you can wind down further on the tuner post, to provide more angle over the nut.

Comment by Mark K on January 15, 2017 at 9:31am

Oh, and @Paul Craig:  hubcap is from a 62 Lark!

Comment by Mark K on January 15, 2017 at 9:30am

Hey all - thanks for the suggestions.  I think I just need to be patient - I believe the strings are working their way into their grooves (I am sure I cut them sloppily) since the more I play it the better it gets - holds its tune and is easier to get right on the note as well. 

But I am sure photos are always fun to look at, so here's some detail shots:

Nut:

Bridge:

Pickup:

and finally hookups:

 

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Discussion Forum

Hard Plastic Box -> Git Build?

Started by Andy Busch. Last reply by Order99 22 hours ago. 6 Replies

5-string banjo neck for a cookie tin banjo build

Started by Andy Busch. Last reply by Don McMahan on Thursday. 3 Replies

Strings, Intonation and Harmonics

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Altoid Git Building Plan--what's the best?

Started by Andy Busch. Last reply by Andy Busch on Tuesday. 2 Replies

Grandma's Cane and a 5-String Banjo Neck

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Bamboo for biscuits.

Started by Slow Blues Dani & Ol' Grey Bear. Last reply by Slow Blues Dani & Ol' Grey Bear Jan 9. 6 Replies

Resonator cbg

Started by Rubén. Last reply by Rubén Jan 7. 4 Replies

Pickup Routing

Started by Aiden Fontana. Last reply by Order99 Dec 30, 2016. 4 Replies

Beginning to doubt my solid top and box resonator design.

Started by Slow Blues Dani & Ol' Grey Bear. Last reply by Slow Blues Dani & Ol' Grey Bear Dec 30, 2016. 18 Replies

How to make a neck flat???

Started by Richard Haas. Last reply by Richard Haas Dec 16, 2016. 8 Replies

Building a neck

Started by Wendell Low. Last reply by Jonathan Dec 16, 2016. 5 Replies

First 4 string, first reso

Started by Ken Vickerson. Last reply by Ken Vickerson Dec 12, 2016. 10 Replies

Bone Nut & Bridge

Started by RIch Seevers. Last reply by darryl kernaghan Dec 11, 2016. 8 Replies

How do you use your double-neck?

Started by Lane Martin. Last reply by Lane Martin Dec 2, 2016. 9 Replies

The neck wood.....is there really that thin?

Started by Scavanged Sound (Pete). Last reply by jamie bark Dec 2, 2016. 25 Replies

measure decimal

Started by PattJ. Last reply by Wayfinder Dec 1, 2016. 10 Replies

Best finish for paper covered boxes?

Started by Scott Ross. Last reply by Wayfinder Nov 30, 2016. 14 Replies

Grounding strings

Started by BILL GRONER. Last reply by darryl kernaghan Nov 6, 2016. 1 Reply

Hmmm...3-string, 4-string, or 15?

Started by Lane Martin. Last reply by the anonymous pick Oct 26, 2016. 1 Reply

string spacing on nut and bridge blanks

Started by Littleshovel. Last reply by Paul Craig Oct 26, 2016. 40 Replies

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