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: 1425
Latest Activity: yesterday

Discussion Forum

Which 3 strings to use?

Started by Al Wenkebach. Last reply by Al Wenkebach yesterday. 8 Replies

Wood for Neck Bowed

Started by PhilUSAFRet. Last reply by PhilUSAFRet on Wednesday. 8 Replies

What are double neck guitars for?

Started by Slow Blues Dani & Ol' Grey Bear. Last reply by Slow Blues Dani & Ol' Grey Bear Jun 24. 33 Replies

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Comment by BILL GRONER on May 31, 2016 at 3:32pm

Well I went with Michael Fred Johnson's suggestion.  I used two short pieces of .047 music wire to hold the two pieces together......it worked great.  Thanks Fred.  Also thanks to everyone else for your suggestions.

Comment by Wayfinder on May 28, 2016 at 12:59pm

Good point Gomer-- sand, not small pebbles. : )

Comment by MadGomer on May 28, 2016 at 9:46am
Wayfinder, I have used sand as well as salt, and it works fine. Just be careful not to get pieces in the joint that are too course (small pebbles etc). The material needs to imbed fully in the wood so you end up with a tight joint. The staple approach is fine as well, have done things like that on other projects.
Comment by Wayfinder on May 28, 2016 at 9:20am

Michael's method is the one I like best.  It's easy to do and really holds.   I've tried the salt before and the neck still slipped because the salt would dissolve.

Someone here a while back mentioned clamping the neck lightly from the sides before clamping vertically.   Seems like a good idea, although it takes more clamps.  The staple method is simple and works.

What I think would work well (if someone has a supply) is coarse sand.  Just a few sprinkles and we have a great movement inhibitor.

Comment by Michael Fred Johnson on May 28, 2016 at 7:03am

If you have a staple gun fire a couple of staples into one face(sit the gun on a piece of scrap ply so the staple isn't driven flush with the surface)cut off the top of the staples leaving the legs about 3mm above the surface.Line up the parts of the neck and press them together.Separate,glue and clamp.

If you haven't got a stapler knock in a couple of small nails and cut them off 3mm above the surface 

Comment by BILL GRONER on May 27, 2016 at 5:01pm

Last one I did OMG!  I wound up clamping the neck down to the bench, putting the end of the head against the basement wall and then clamping it.  It came out fine, but I really had hoped you guys would have some better suggestions.  Thanks for the suggestions so far, I hope there are more coming.

Comment by Paul Craig on May 27, 2016 at 4:55pm

I like to clamp the pieces together dry and drill 2 small holes through 1 piece and deep into the other. Take it apart apply the glue with 2 tooth pick through the holes and clamp it all back together. After glue drys you just trim the tooth picks flat with the surface.

Comment by MadGomer on May 27, 2016 at 4:38pm
Bill, yes it works. A little grit in the glue really helps keep things in place on the angled joint under clamp pressure. Regular table salt, not coarse salt or flakes, and not a significant amount.
Comment by BILL GRONER on May 27, 2016 at 4:10pm

Did I see a post somewhere that said if you used salt on the glue when making a scarf joint neck it wouldn't slide around as much?  Does this work?

Comment by Wayfinder on May 23, 2016 at 7:48pm

On disk piezos:  you can encase them in silicone and it works fine.  It dulls down the sound quite a bit (which with disk piezos is actually a good thing), makes it richer and more mellow.   It also helps prevent feedback, as the silicone is resistant to internal-box sound waves. 

Another method is to clamp the disk between the neck and the box face.  This changes the sound, significantly different from silicone.  Also greatly reduces feedback.  If you've carved out the neck to leave a space between the neck and box, a piece of wood to hold the disk in place works well.

There was discussion a while back about using diodes to prevent power feeding back into another line, but that was pretty much scrapped for a couple reasons:   the diode has to be a precise strength or it doesn't work well... if it doesn't work well the sound strength and range decreases considerably... it's apparently not necessary.  It was an experiment based on something someone mentioned in a side-comment as a possibility, based on reading that someone had tried it and got good results, but as Mark says, system works without it.   If it ain't broke...

Regarding handling a piezo git:  handle it like you would a microphone, namely:  don't bump it around, scrape it on clothing or jewelry / rings, don't handle it excessively.  

Rather than being a negative thing, some musicians use the microphonic nature of piezo to enhance their music.  They can add percussion, intentional scratching, finger tapping etc to their playing.  There's one Uke player in particular who is known for such things-- getting unusual sounds out of a piezo-based Uke with nylon strings.

Also since they are microphonic they can teach you to play better.   You'll learn to avoid rubbing your fingers up or down a string when you change chords, learn to fingerpick better, learn to play more accurately.  The reason is a piezo system is less "forgiving" of finger noise, and you'll hear things a mag pickup might not ordinarily get.   So with a piezo you'll quickly learn to improve your playing style-- or you'll hear every mistake.  They're pretty sensitive devices.   I like 'em.  : )

 

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Discussion Forum

Which 3 strings to use?

Started by Al Wenkebach. Last reply by Al Wenkebach yesterday. 8 Replies

Wood for Neck Bowed

Started by PhilUSAFRet. Last reply by PhilUSAFRet on Wednesday. 8 Replies

What are double neck guitars for?

Started by Slow Blues Dani & Ol' Grey Bear. Last reply by Slow Blues Dani & Ol' Grey Bear Jun 24. 33 Replies

Cedar Box Build

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Calculating Fret placement.

Started by Jonathan Rhine. Last reply by Ron "Oily" Sprague Jun 22. 6 Replies

Stupid, stupid, stupid

Started by BILL GRONER. Last reply by QGolden Jun 22. 8 Replies

Surface Mounted Neck Pickup.

Started by Philip Hale. Last reply by Philip Hale Jun 18. 5 Replies

pickup

Started by BILL GRONER. Last reply by the anonymous pick Jun 16. 5 Replies

Using a Vegetable Peeler as a Spokeshave

Started by PhilUSAFRet. Last reply by Paul Craig Jun 8. 6 Replies

intonation

Started by gene warmouth. Last reply by gene warmouth May 30. 8 Replies

fret work with a Harbor Freight press

Started by John Sandoval. Last reply by Steve Wonser May 17. 9 Replies

Resonator Cones

Started by BILL GRONER. Last reply by BILL GRONER May 1. 7 Replies

Pickup Advice Needed For Resonator CBG

Started by MadGomer. Last reply by Wayfinder Apr 30. 7 Replies

Tuner Keys

Started by Rickyboy. Last reply by Rickyboy Apr 27. 18 Replies

Trouble finishing the fret ends

Started by Robert Killen. Last reply by Wayfinder Apr 26. 14 Replies

What am I supposed to do with this?! Box puzzle.

Started by Slow Blues Dani & Ol' Grey Bear. Last reply by Slow Blues Dani & Ol' Grey Bear Apr 26. 27 Replies

Blog Posts

a day in the Life of a CBG

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Long time no see

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