Building the Lady - a step by step guide to building a basic CBG

Building the Lady is a step by step guide to the creation of my most popular and basic guitars, the "Parlour Lady".

Many feature guides on various different processes in isolation but here the whole build is featured from a collection of parts to the finished article ready for the road! The process continues over a weekend between glueing stops, everything is condensed into just over an hour viewing time including the optional fretting stage...

Part one - cutting and preparing the neck.

Part two - preparing the box.

Part three - bringing neck and box together, shaping the neck, fittings and stringing up.

Part four - concentrates on preparing and fretting the neck.

The finished guitar is build no.55,  a three string 25.5" right handed fretless with a small sized box, ideal for the beginner or traveller, the guitar is fitted with a 35mm piezo and has a big sound, the nut is made from a brass bolt and the bridge is an old metal key mounted on a small hardwood spacing block. The neck is made from precut mill lengths of 1.5 inch x 3/4 inch American hardwood.   The fretboards are made from pre-cut strips of maple, sapele, walnut or cherry.

The processes have been edited to save time but still shows how much work goes into building even a simple guitar design, and just about marketable!


NOTE;   For a harder sound a slightly heavier string combination can be used, especially for fretted guitars;

  36 - 26 - 17

Full demo here  ;


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Comment by Jon Leslie/Runaway Veal Music on July 14, 2014 at 9:40pm
Helpful vid. Thank you
Comment by Michael E White on June 27, 2014 at 8:32am
Thanks SP! I saw a CBG on American Pickers and got the bug.Have built 2 and workin' on a bunt cake pan either banjo or guitar.My son found me an old National washboard in VT on Father's Day.That will be next,Again Thanks
Comment by Slowpaw Steve T on June 19, 2014 at 6:00am
Comment by Uncle John on June 18, 2014 at 3:32pm

Well done, Steve. 

Comment by Slowpaw Steve T on June 11, 2014 at 7:35am

thanks Glenn! (-:

Comment by Glenn Watt on June 11, 2014 at 6:47am

That's great Steve! Thank you for taking the time to compile all of your good work and put it into one post to share with everyone. That is the kind of giving that makes this community excellent.

Comment by Slowpaw Steve T on June 11, 2014 at 1:46am

cheers Thomas and Leslie - yes it's is the richest man who has the most time  on his hands, will be joining the ranks of the grey army soon myself,  I don't believe it...!     funny how at last you have time to spend money but not so much coming in! (-;

Comment by Leslie D Stubblefield on June 10, 2014 at 3:31pm

    Retirement keeps getting better. Will be ready to build my first soon.  Thanks Steve. I learned a lot in a short time.

Comment by Thomas "Duck" Petry on June 10, 2014 at 9:36am

Thanks Steve. Always interesting to see how others work their builds and there is always some little "why didn't I think of that" moment that can get added to our process.

Comment by Slowpaw Steve T on June 10, 2014 at 6:31am

cheers guys!  keeping busy (-:

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