My latest build, #8 - "LA DOUCE" - neck-around six string nougat tin guitar:Big shout-out to the folks here on CBN and especially to Korrigan, Kigar and Taffy Evans! Without your advice, encouragement and inspiration this guitar wouldn't have come to be.

  • 21.5” scale length. Short, but still very playable, actually quite comfortably so, except for the highest two or three frets.
  • Neck made from a 4 by 2 cm piece of oak, finished with five coats of clear lacquer. I usually prefer oil finishes, but this oak was impossible to sand as smooth as I like it, so I opted for a lacquer finish this time. Turned out nicely and allowed me to add the spray painted red stripe on the headstock. But I still prefer oil finishes.
  • The fretboard is rosewood (with a thin layer of walnut underneath to give me more height over the soundboard), the fret dots are made from a plastic coat hanger and the side dots from Q-tips. First time I used these materials, worked great. Frets are medium/medium nickel-silver.
  • Because the tin lid was definitely not strong enough to withstand the pressure of six strings I X-braced it. Took me two attempts (beware of the stuff they coat food tins with to make them food safe. This stuff does not react well with epoxy!) So far it seems strong enough to counteract the string pressure. And to give the tin more stability I glued a thin piece of plywood to the bottom and spray painted it red.
  • The nut is bone, the bridge is a store-bought ebony and maple banjo bridge, the tailpiece is made from a fretboard scrap.
  • There is a piezo rod embedded in the bridge plate. Sounds surprisingly tame and isn’t very loud. Not at all what I expected from a piezo that sits right on the metal and directly under the bridge. But through a preamp it produces ok volume and nice sounds.
  • Strung with 6 nylon strings in three double courses. Tuned to eE–bB–e’e’ – so basically this guitar is to a three string what a twelve string is to a six string. Works really well because it has the full tonal range of a six string while at the same time also sounding like a three string.

This little guitar lives up to her name (and to her former life as a container for delicious French sweets): She sounds really sweet. She’s surprisingly loud acoustically and has much more sustain than I expected from a little tin like this (maybe the pretty massive oak construction around the tin helps with the sustain?) And when played a little more vigorously, the tin starts singing in slightly distorted overtones – beautiful!

I’m really proud of this guitar (can you tell?) – definitely my most ambitious build so far…

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Comment by Hans on Thursday

The neck goes around the tin because I didn't want to reduce the resonance body of this fairly small tin, Bluesbob, and because I wanted to balance the whole thing so it doesn't get top-heavy. And because I had never done this before and I'm always looking for a new challenge...

Comment by BluesBob on May 12, 2018 at 6:00pm

So the neck goes around the box, correct, not through the box? Why?

Comment by Hans on May 11, 2018 at 3:15am

Thanks, guys!

Comment by BluesBob on May 9, 2018 at 12:33am

This is impressive!

Comment by Donkey on May 8, 2018 at 9:32pm


From the design to the final result, this is an awesome guitar.

How you chose to frame the tin is terrific. I've seen similar designs used to good effect, and this is no exception.

The X-framing under the lid with the rod piezo looks good.

And I love your choice to double each string, producing a full sound. Making it even better is your decision to use the mellow tone of nylon strings. All-around good stuff, Hans.

This is a great looking guitar. 

Comment by JB on May 8, 2018 at 6:12pm

Very nice indeed!! Inspired me to try to build a tin box cbg now well done :) 

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