Long time guitar player here, but I'm mostly an electric bass player these days.  Anyway, someone posted a link to a Samatha Fish video on the TalkBass forum a couple of weeks ago.  That put a burr under my saddle re- CBG.  I have a tad of building experience, I made two electric bass guitar bodies last year.  Paired with bolt-on commercial necks, that was fine and worked well. 

Anyway, low and behold last week at the community garden, there's a wooden cigar box sitting on the "Free" shelf.  The guitar gods had spoken, apparently. 

Anyway, I snagged it and used the community shop CNC laser to burn an F-hole in it yesterday.  Soaked some hardware from the junk box in vinegar night before last to age it.  That worked well.  Next up -  hunting for neck wood.  I think I'll buy a pre-slotted fretboard to epoxy to the neck. 


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Position markers laid out on the fretboard and upper side of the neck.  Light coat of Danish Oil to seal the wood in preparation for CA gluing the markers. 

Neck is walnut.  Sadly, not exactly quarter-swan.  Almost exactly 1.5" by 0.75".  Rear of neck has only been rounded over with a 3/8" "router bit, so I have some shaping to do.  But it seems appropriate to do the markers first, while the back is still mostly flat.  

Hi, neck looks nice. The bridge should ideally be positioned in the most responsive part of the top, so it can excite the top and air in the box into movement, vibration and sound waves. At the moment those are limited by the close position of the bridge to the sides.
However it will sound ok, but not the best.

I like to put the bridge in the "sweet" spot, before I start, then plan scale ect, around that. Next build will be better and the one after that better again.

I like your thought process though.

Interesting thanks.  Not too worried about the unplugged sound, frankly.  I'm prone to practicing while others are sleeping.  If it's too "responsive', I'd likely wedge the top with some foam or whatever.  

Seems that it'll look funny with the FB not snugged against the box.  I guess it's a cigar box, it already looks funny.   

Yep, with odd/different size box's there are always compromises to be made.

Here is what you are talking about. The fingerboard does not go up to the body/box.

Still works and sounds fine.


Back on the laser today. 

Created a control plate out of 1/8" ply.  Since the box itself is a bit too thick for the shafts without some tedious Dremel work.  I'll laser the hole in the box later.

Burned a logo on the headstock.  Not much room.  J&L are our two dogs, Jack and Libby. 

Overall, I'm pleased. 

BrianQ - Thanks for the burning tip on the metal, that worked well. 

Position dots installed and neck heel glued up.  The dots were a royal pain on the face due to the frets.  Hard to sand.  I wouldn't even install them on the face next time. 

Hi, the first thing I noticed about that neck when you said fitting markers was it is best done before fretting.
Anyway, another lesson learned.looking good nice and neat.
Cheers Taff

Re- markers before fretting.  Totally agree, but I bought a pre-fretted neck, so I was kinda stuck. 

Good afternoon in the shop. 

- Neck shaped.  All done with orbital sander followed by hand sanding in grain direction.

-Walnut supports cut and glued into box.  The tail one is cut back on the lower half to allow more room for controls. 

-Neck cut back for box top and also cut back at angle to (hopefully) give better string angle, higher bridge etc.  Found good advice on this somewhere.   I marked the one end 1/4" deep and the tail end 1/2", then hit it with the big bandsaw.  According to my (poor) geometry, 1/4" drop across 8.5" is somewhere in the ballpark of 1.5 - 2 degrees. 

Hi Lark, if I want to raise the bridge height I would tilt the neck back. If as you explained you lower the tail end that would tilt the neck end up. Raising the string action, so would mean lowering the bridge to get the desired action.

Tilting the neck back lowers the strings to the frets, this allows for a higher bridge setting. Maybe that's a typo re your deeper recess at the tail end. Forgive me if I have misinterpreted your meaning.
Cheers Taff


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