What gauge strings are best for a 20" scale if I want to tune to GDG?

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I'm the president, been doing that since I was a kid, use to go out on garbage and collect all the bicycles and parts people were throwing away, ended up building some decent bikes....at least that's how I remember it, I was pretty young pre-teen

Rooster, I use the method that R.L. told about. 

under 22 1/2 your on your own but regardless of anything on the net or you here from us hobo's here try different string to really find what each guitar likes.

Rooster, I believe you are a good builder.  Your stuff looks great.  Of the answers here, JL kind of thought the way I do and was direct in one answer, telling you to use 6, 5, 4 - the big three strings from a six pack.   That would work fine, I think if your desire is GDg tuning without overly loose strings. 

Using 5, 4, 3 would work too, I've done it for short scales, but with electric strings, they were kind of lose in  GDg.  Tuned up to AEa was better.  Using the 5, 4, 3, from a heavy acoustic 6 pack would likely be a good answer. 

People here have said these guitars know what they want as far as strings and tuning and sometimes we have to figure that out by trial and error.  I have found that to be true.  And if you have a stout build, good tuners and good strings, you can crank those strings pretty high and tight.  For example, my Swampy has the 5,4,3 strings and it is 25.5 inch scale.  It is usually in GDG, but it likes AEa better and I have cranked it up to CGC and DAD which was TIGHT.

I built a 19.1" scale red oak box with a teak top and maple neck to fit in a Mandolin gig bag.  It is tuned Low Open "G", G2D3G3, with .052"w, .032"w and .022" Ernie Ball strings tensioned to 20.0#, 17.0# & 14.3#.  This is a great sounding guitar.  I like the 14# high string for ease of picking and the short scale helps to keep the strings from stretching at the low tensions.  They are much easier to pick at the lower tensions too.

I just got through playing it on a Boss Katana 50 amp and both the guitar and amp sound awesome with incredible bass.

Thanks for the compliment Uncle John!

Guys, this has all been very helpful. I am now a wiser cbg builder. My first instinct was too use lighter gauge strings, but now that I've processed all of this in my mind, it all makes sense. Thanks again!


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