A friend and I are building a matching pair of steel string tenor ukes while he's in town (so they need to come together pretty quickly).

General plan:

  • I'm going to be making the "cigar boxes" from scratch - I have some pretty spalted maple I'm going to use for the sides and some 1/8" ply I'm planning on using for the top and back
  • Necks are going to be some spare black walnut I had laying around
  • Not sure if I'm going to make a fingerboard or just put the frets in the neck yet, seems like either way would be fine
  • Planning to use steel guitar strings (randos on the internet seem to suggest that the smallest 4 or middle 4 strings of an electric guitar set will work fine)
  • No pickups, these are going to be acoustic only

2 main questions:

  1. Truss rod - do I need one?  My guess is "no" but is it worth/will I need to install something to stiffen the neck?  I could inlay a small steel tube or fiberglass rod pretty easily, but I'd rather skip it if I don't need it.
  2. How sad will I be if I just glue the neck straight onto the soundboard and notch a saddle directly into the neck a-la mountain dulcimer? (as opposed to using a floating bridge, or mounting the neck inside the box with a recess to let the soundboard vibe freely).  I'm not trying to make a stradivarius, just something that makes fun sounds and isn't so quiet it's useless. Mostly just trying to save on construction effort since theses ukes are a do-it-in-a-single-weekend-while-friend-is-in-town project.

Anything else about the plan that seems like a Bad Idea™?

Views: 173

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi, a number of things spring to mind.

If you do not want "not so quiet" do not hamper the vibrations of the top, or at least as little as possible. The bridge sitting on the top would transmit sound to the top more efficiently.

If using a "rod" style reinforcement in the neck, keep in mind that, that rod or bar [and bar is preferable] should not be flexible, eg it can not bend between your thumbs.

Dulcimer necks are often hollow inside and only contact the top minimally.

You say, maybe, no fingerboard. Well, there goes some neck stability, and the usual way neck reinforcement is covered, if one is used. Unless it is inserted from the back of the neck Fender style.

It's a shame you have time constraints, remember - you get out what you put in - so get up early. Ha ha. Enjoy your project. It will make music.
Cheers Taff

I did not know that about dulcimers!  I think I probably will be going with a fingerboard after all - I found some nice slices of curly maple and osage orange.

Here are my recommended gauges for steel string ukes. My goal was emulating the soft feel of nylon strings by choosing low tension. With a separate fretboard your neck will definitely have the strength for this selection of strings... provided you aren't using balsa wood. :-)

Thanks!  SUPER helpful.

Thanks Korrigan , this is indeed super helpful.

RSS

The Essential Pages

New to Cigar Box Nation? How to Play Cigar Box GuitarsFree Plans & How to Build Cigar Box GuitarsCigar Box Guitar Building Basics

Site Sponsor

Recommended Links & Resources


Forum

Busking Songs...

Started by Nomad Jack in Performances, How to Play, Lessons, Concerts. Last reply by J. D. Woods on Wednesday. 7 Replies

crossover guitar.

Started by Timothy Hunter in Other stuff - off topic, fun stuff, whatever. Last reply by Timothy Hunter Apr 10. 14 Replies

Tune up songs

Started by Ghostbuttons in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Timothy Hunter Mar 9. 5 Replies

Duel output jacks

Started by Justin Stanchfield in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Taffy Evans Mar 8. 6 Replies

How to Get Your Own Music on Spotify

Started by Cigar Box Nation in Feature Articles. Last reply by Southern Ray Feb 21. 2 Replies

Latest Activity

Southern Ray commented on Doug Thorsvik's video
Thumbnail

Don't Worry Be Happy: 3D Printed Cigar Box Guitar

" Now that is the way it should have been done. Never cared for the original. Thanks!"
3 hours ago
Rich Butters replied to Rich Butters's discussion UK - Best Place to Buy Cigar Box's
"Cheers mate.  I will look"
4 hours ago
Southern Ray commented on Gary O'slide's video
6 hours ago
AGP # commented on Doug Thorsvik's video
Thumbnail

Don't Worry Be Happy: 3D Printed Cigar Box Guitar

""Well Done Again Slingers", I remember when this Catchy Little Tune first came out,…"
9 hours ago
Slow Mick posted a status
"New Lesson-Chords for "What'll I do"(Irving Berling) from Slow Mick. MIDI pick-up. https://rutube.ru/video/8661d1ecb556c5a151e3c33834567cb6/"
12 hours ago
Gary O'slide posted videos
14 hours ago
BrianQ. liked Doug Thorsvik's video
15 hours ago
A.D.EKER commented on A.D.EKER's video
Thumbnail

Up the Hill A D Eker 2024

"Hello John !yup it plays suberbe, just the sticker artwork is bad qualety ,the build is marvelous!…"
15 hours ago
Moritz Voegeli and Matthias Bichsel are now friends
19 hours ago
David L. replied to Rich Butters's discussion UK - Best Place to Buy Cigar Box's
"I have found these are…"
20 hours ago
J. D. Woods replied to J. D. Woods's discussion Are metal frets necessary?
20 hours ago
Doug Thorsvik posted a video

Don't Worry Be Happy: 3D Printed Cigar Box Guitar

Cigar Box Guitar Slingers - Spokane, 198th Zoom Mtg 04/15/24. Only 1-finger chords, free songbooks here: https://www.cbgslinger.com/download CBG Songbook.pdf...
20 hours ago

Music

© 2024   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

\uastyle>\ud/** Scrollup **/\ud.scrollup {\ud background: url("https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/963882636?profile=original") no-repeat scroll 0 0 transparent;\ud bottom: 25px;\ud display: inline !important;\ud height: 40px;\ud opacity: 0.3 !important;\ud position: fixed;\ud right: 30px;\ud text-indent: -9999px;\ud width: 40px;\ud z-index: 999;\ud}\ud.scrollup:hover {\ud opacity:0.99!important;\ud}\ud \uascript type="text/javascript">\ud x$(document).ready(function(){\ud x$(window).scroll(function(){\ud if (x$(this).scrollTop() > 100) {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeIn();\ud } else {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeOut();\ud }\ud });\ud x$('.scrollup').click(function(){\ud x$("html, body").animate({ scrollTop: 0 }, 600);\ud return false;\ud });\ud });\ud \ua!-- End Scroll Up -->