Hi folks

Despite having built 7 guitars, I've never made one with nylon strings like a classical. So, this is exactly the guitar I'm starting to plan. But I'm wondering if there are any pit falls that I might be facing with a nylon stringed guitar?

As you can see from the photo, it's based on a large 3 bottle wine box, which I'm hoping might make a nice enough sound, and I'm intending to use a classical guitar bridge with a rod piezo. I'm a little bit worried that I might not get the bridge in the right place, so I'm thinking of slotting bolt holes in the lid to allow for adjustment. I was hoping not to use traditional classical tuners, as that would need a wider head to accommodate the two wide slots. Are there any single tuners like the run of the mill acoustic types that would work with nylon strings?

I'm not planning on bracing the lid, as the classical bridge will not be pushing down, and the nylon strings won't be as highly tensioned. Is this a mistake? Will it still lift the lid upwards? 

Has anyone made anything similar? If so, what problems might I come across? Any advice would be gladly accepted, before I make a pig's ear of it.

Cheers folks

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my number one problem with nylon strings: you're gonna have to wind those suckers forever to get in tune.

as for the rod piezos, check out randy bretz, here on the nation, - he's the rod master.

one cool looking guitar for sure.

Cheers for swinging by and adding a comment. I'll check out randy bretz. Thanks, man.

Why do you think the nylon strings will need constant winding to keep them in tune? I play a classical as my non-homemade player, and the strings keep in tune for ages. 

i agree  with  the  nylon strings   seemingly   winding  forever to    get them   up  to  tension    the  first time  ..   you  will also  notice  they   will  need   time   to  stretch   to  eventually     stay  in  tune     once  left  unattended    for  a  bit  ..  but  it  gets  better   with time  . they  will stretch and stay in tune eventually  .   

the  only    other  drawback  is     not  being able  to  wrap  your  head around  why  they  work  soo  good  with  a slide  ..

 and convincing  others  of   it  too  ;-)


Thanks Pick!

Slide on nylon strings?! Don't make me laugh!

see  ..  ya  dont  believe  me  ..  lol,   try  it   .

If you're worried about intonation I'd say the easiest way is make a nice thick saddle that you can buzz the compensation into with a dremel.

I'd call their biggest limitation a serious loss in volume compared to steel, you want a much lighter top

Nice idea, kid.  I knew I could count on you to come up with a solution.

I grew up playing classical guitars, so I'm used to quieter guitars. That's one of the reasons I'm fitting a rod piezo, like the one on my electro-classical. What did you mean by lighter top? Top end strings, or top of the box?

Wow! That sounds aces! Who knew the Pick was right?

He's got that tuned like a ukulele if I'm not mistaken? Actually, it is a ukulele isn't it?

nylon  on  tin , with  rod piezo     , pickin  and slidin   and  amped   dirty .

Find more videos like this on Cigar Box Nation


Is this a 6-stringer? I'd guess so, judging from the bridge and saddle width. Love the wine box. What scale length? Judging from the CD cases, I'd say 25"...How thick is the wine box top? I'd do a quick string up with a nail where one of your machine head posts will go;, and another on the tail end of the box, to test resonance; I think your bridge may be set too far back. You could get away with a 22" scale that way, without changing the neck length (which is gorgeous wood by the way; like the half-moon curve). The adjustable bolt slot sliding bridge idea is intriguing. You could do standard 3-on-a-plate classical machine heads, by routing or multiple-hole-drilling-and-chiseling a single slotted headstock, then offsetting the plates on either side, so that you have the same thing as an oud or lute. That would work better much with a scarfed headstock than a stepped down one. Single tuners could be done exactly the same way.

Thanks Ron,

Yep I'm planning for it to be a 6-stringer. I was looking at it being about 25" scale length, as I read somewhere that the longer the scale the louder the volume. I know the bridge was placed a little too far towards the bottom of the box, but for me there is always aesthetic versus function battle. I like your idea of rigging up a test string, I'll have a go at that tonight. I like the idea of having offset tuners, I'll give that some thought.

Cheers man.

Can't wait to hear the results and see the finished product. BTW, what are the actual box dimensions? They look to be about 18" x 18" x 3-1/2"...reason I ask is that I make my own boxes. My current builds at 12 x 10-1/4 x 3-1/2, and I was thinking of going a bit longer and wider with the same depth...


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