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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!

Members: 1205
Latest Activity: 3 hours ago

Discussion Forum

First CBG

Started by Jim Derrenbacker. Last reply by Jim Derrenbacker Jul 7. 4 Replies

Somewhat Dumb Question About Zero Frets...

Started by Brian Revels. Last reply by Wichita Sam Jul 1. 28 Replies

Building a CBG from scratch

Started by Slowpaw Steve T Jun 27. 0 Replies

Comment Wall


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Comment by Ellwood T. Bear 3 hours ago
CB Gitty also sells mounting plates.
Comment by Suspect Device 3 hours ago

Brian, another thing you can do is drill oversized holes (larger than the jack & pots themselves) with a spade bit and mount the jack and pots directly to a thin plate made of metal or wood.

Comment by Wichita Sam 6 hours ago
Brian, Drill the right size holes for the stems and then us a dremel sanding wheel to remove material from the underside until you get the jack and pot threads to show through to the topside. the best, Wichita Sam
Comment by Brian Revels 9 hours ago

Hey Folks,  I am working with a rather thick, all wood box right now. It's a black, Perdomo box.  I am wondering, without a forstner bit how folks are able to drill the holes for the jack and volume pot? If I just drill the holes for the shafts, they still won't fit through the walls of the box.  I am thinking I will have to make a plate for them both, but thought to double-check.  Thanks in advance!

Comment by MadGomer on Tuesday
Yep, no rules. That's liberating to some, terrifying to others. The more you can remind yourself that this is an incredibly educational and satisfying hobby, the more fun you're going to have. I can't wait to get back to the shop to try more, and I haven't even gotten to the point on my first efforts to call them "done". I never finish anyth ;-)
Comment by Barry R on Tuesday

 "there are no rules" - a mantra that kept me going.  Build it, play it, change it if you have to.  It's not like you are are hacking into a vintage Gibson.  One thing I would suggest is watching Chicken Bones Johns videos on setting the action - really good advice if you want to build and play your CBG

Comment by Ellwood T. Bear on Tuesday
Adjusting Fret Height

An easy way to check the string height is to see how a 1/8” drill bit fits between the string and the wood (Fret Board) at the LAST fret (near the body).

Setting the string height like this will make a big difference in the playability of your instrument.

If your strings are just a little higher than the proper height at first, you may only need to file the notches in the BRIDGE a little deeper.

If you have 1/4” gap at the LAST fret, I remove the BRIDGE and sanding the underside to lower the string height. That will be much easier than trying to cut deep notches in the wood.

It’s OK to reduce the height of the BRIDGE considerably, if needed, to achieve the proper string height. Conversely, it is also fine to glue a shim under the BRIDGE, if necessary, to raise the strings to the proper level.

I learned this little trick from my friends at , has has worked for me every time!!!!
Comment by Wichita Sam on Monday

The nut grooves essentially set the string height at the # 1 fret. The bridge height essentailly set the string height at # 12 fret. The only other variable is the neck angle. If you do not have adjustable necks, by the time you're stringing a guitar these two things are all you have to adjust.

Comment by gary sheldon on Monday

File,file, file.  Sand, sand, sand.  Shim, shim , shim.

Comment by Bill Baker on Monday

I would like to see comments on best way to reach these action heights.

Every CBG is different as far as how strings are routed, bridge type and nut.


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