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Building a Cigar Box Guitar 101


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!

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Discussion Forum

Gitty Man manual

Started by john mackay. Last reply by the anonymous pick on Thursday. 3 Replies

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Comment by gary sheldon on Thursday

Nice stuff Richey


Comment by Richey Kay on Thursday

I made this guide on making banjo style bridges for CBGs:

Comment by tdq on Thursday

Interesting to hear about using banjo bridges. So I did a google, found this hand made banjo bridge.  My give it a try.

Comment by Suspect Device on Thursday

Yeah. That is a good idea, Sam. I'm definitely going to try doing one with a fret wire saddle. I use floating banjo bridges on my film can builds. Normally I just laminate a saddle of hardwood or bone, then carve it from that point. But a fretwire saddle would be easy to install, once you had the bridge height correct.

Comment by gary sheldon on Thursday

I like that idea.  I'll have to try it.  Since I often make my own bridges, it should be easy to just cut a fret slot in the top and drive the fret wire in.

Thanks for the tip

Comment by Wichita Sam on Thursday

Gary, thanks for the reply.... I have recently become infatuated with "violin/banjo" style bridges, topped with fret wire. This gives a really crisp tone, but depends on the tail piece for the spacing..... thebest, Sam

Comment by gary sheldon on Thursday

I use different materials for bridges.  Sometimes a threaded rod with nuts, sometimes CB Gitty's hardwood (Zebra), sometimes I make my own of Walnut, or Oak or whatever hardwood I have laying around.

I don't even slot them.  I just put them in place carefully and let the strings do the work for me.

Sometimes I put a spacer under the bridge, if I need more heigth.  I change bridges around quite a bit, To change action or just experiment to see what sounds best.

There are 2 guitars in recent photos.  One has a CBG Zebra and the other, homemade Walnut.  I put a brass spacer under The homemade one to raise the action, but I don't think it is in the photo.  I don't have metal at the top on bridges unless it is the threaded rod.

Comment by Wichita Sam on Thursday


can we get a close up picture of your bridge. Can't tell from the pic if it's simply hardwood with notches or if the strings are riding a second material (metal?)?

I generally like floating bridges, although at the recent KC CBG fest, I lent a young musician a paint lid reso with a floating bridge and he hammered it so hard the bridge popped out during his set... Arrrrgh!

If you have a relatively stable setup, you ought to be able to get the intonation really close. many fine instruments have fixed bridges and they do just fine.

the best,

Wichita Sam

Comment by the anonymous pick on Thursday

intonation changes  with  many things  , including string gauge ,  and  action  . and tuning  . even  time  .    a  floating   bridge  keeps  your   options  open   to  compensate  for,   adapt ,  or  change    it  .  

Comment by John Rivers on Thursday

Had a question for the old timers.....what is the reason for a movable bridge...seems to me once you have the bridge where you have the best intonation that point would be the place the bridge should stay....thanks


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