Though i have been instrument making for many years in a different field to CBGs, I am amazed at the paucity of articles about CBGs, both in general and specific. Even the plans that are on the net are not madly easy to follow for a newcomer. You have to take from one and add to another to get the full picture.
CBG makers seem to hide behind the fact that "there are no rules" True there are none, but first time makers need rules, measurements, techniques.
What has prompted me to ask this of you is that i was going through the archives and noticed that "Necks" kept coming up.... all sorts of questions, many of them basic techniques.
Another is the matter of Piezos, amps and pick ups. Many, like me are ignorant of such matters and i would love to have a hand holding/idiots guide, even step by step with lovely coloured pictures on how to construct a suitable amp for our piezos.
There are a scad of videos on different aspects of CBGs, many are very good too, but many fall short of information for a first time maker, the other thing is you cant really take a video out to the workshop to guide you through each step... printed stuff is much better.

Some of the hobbies i have have Magazines devoted to them. CBGs, has this excellent forum.

I would love to see a heading of "ARTICLES" up there with "plans" and "podcasts" etc.

Meanwhile we frequent luthiers sites, there is a lot of information there but they are talking about high class instruments designed for the concert hall or something like that. (Leaving aside the solid wood amplified guitars)

My first CBG is not even completed yet, you should see all the questions I have asked even with an instrument making background. I am now confident (at last) to work without rules, but it has been a quantum leap from making lutes and other Early Music instruments.

I also need to add i just want a functional, twangy slide blues three stringer. I have all the pretty and acoustically correct instruments.

Once i have made my CBG and realized all the "non" mistakes I have made i will volunteer to write an article. I think "boxes and sound boards" might be my thing. But i will not be upset if anyone writes it before i get around to it.

I know we newbies can get all enthusiastic, but my comments should be regarded as supportive to others rather than negative.

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I think a lot of us build by the seat of our pants - if I wrote down what I plan to do, it would be completely different from what I had actually done by the time I had a playable instrument. And sometimes I take it apart and rebuild it differently several times (this happened with my recent Blues Jam Special, which first needed a different pickup requireing the neck to be trimmed to make space, and then needed the string attach point and bridge moved because the neck some how got out of alignment.)

On piezos, there's a wide variety of opinion - mostly some of us have found a way that works after lots of trial and error and are convinced that our way is the only one that works, lol. Consequently, if any of us wrote it up, it would be full of superstitious behavior that really has nothing to do with the success of the pickup.

Even my 10 minute guitar that I posted plans for recently has changed since I wrote up the plans (just a few weeks ago) and I'm contemplating further changes already.

As for Articles - good idea. I would suggest starting a group and post articles in it's forum. Or blog - do groups have blogs as an available feature? Have to check that.

Or, if you want more control, set up an Articles member acct and post articles in the blog. Ask authors to send you articles to post there.
Great point, Brian.
However, there is really no cbg central authority here with editorial carte blanc.
If you identify the need - you must make it happen.
Just a fact.
K
Pretty much my thought as well. If there was some "standard" of construction, it'd be pretty dull. Regular luthiers already do that quite well.
I love the constant wild creativity the builders here show. Every time I think I've seen every possible use of some crazy object to make an instrument, somebody comes up with something else!

If you want "principals", then you have to look to the standards of regular instrument construction. Durability, vibration, intonation, mechanical soundness, etc. Once you get those things sorted....Go Crazy!
Great points Brian and I agree mostly. There is something to be said for having a great set of plans or more of a clear cut guide. Great idea too as a supportive suggestion!

Shane (?) has a basic guide on the site here and though it does not answer all the questions, it does give the basics of CBG construction. I think I share your frustration (I feel you were frustrated...) in the fact that one has to search in lots of spots to get the bigger picture and I have seen here some really great questions being asked. You more experienced luthiers understand quite a bit more about acoustic design than we weekend-strummers do ;-) .

All in all, I found my experience more an engineering task. That is to say that I found myself working through problems that I would reckon luthiers did centuries ago. Also in that vein, I see from example that many early CBG builders (1800s/1900s) had no plans other that what they could see on original instruments (violin/guitar/mandolin/dulcimer). What problems they faced eh?

All said, this site Shane started is a GREAT place to find answers and ask questions. No. No clear cut compendium but there are a lot of howtos here (I particularly like the article on using gelatin as a substitute for hide glue). Oh and there is a group "Ted's Mad Scientist Lab" where I found lots of articles. Check that out!

How about this as an idea. One I would suggest -- a wiki on CBG.

-Wes
Oh DAMN.

THAT explains it.

I got it assbackwards and was using hide glue as a substitute for gelatin.

Wes Yates said:
Great points Brian and I agree mostly. There is something to be said for having a great set of plans or more of a clear cut guide. Great idea too as a supportive suggestion!

Shane (?) has a basic guide on the site here and though it does not answer all the questions, it does give the basics of CBG construction. I think I share your frustration (I feel you were frustrated...) in the fact that one has to search in lots of spots to get the bigger picture and I have seen here some really great questions being asked. You more experienced luthiers understand quite a bit more about acoustic design than we weekend-strummers do ;-) .

All in all, I found my experience more an engineering task. That is to say that I found myself working through problems that I would reckon luthiers did centuries ago. Also in that vein, I see from example that many early CBG builders (1800s/1900s) had no plans other that what they could see on original instruments (violin/guitar/mandolin/dulcimer). What problems they faced eh?

All said, this site Shane started is a GREAT place to find answers and ask questions. No. No clear cut compendium but there are a lot of howtos here (I particularly like the article on using gelatin as a substitute for hide glue). Oh and there is a group "Ted's Mad Scientist Lab" where I found lots of articles. Check that out!

How about this as an idea. One I would suggest -- a wiki on CBG.

-Wes
Funny :-P Real funny.

Knotlenny said:
Oh DAMN.
THAT explains it.
I got it assbackwards and was using hide glue as a substitute for gelatin.

I just finished my first cbg and I have to say I enjoyed thinking "outside the box" in concern to figuring out how to create my guitar. The fact that there are no rules helped me out in a way. It pretty much said that I'm allowed to make mistakes. I don't know, I feel that gave me the confidence to just have fun with it and figure it out. Freedom?

I've been on this forum and a few other places and I find that most beginners just want straight plans and don't really want to invest the time to figure it out themselves. Which is fine but defeats the purpose I think.

I think vague questions should be answered in an article somewhere. Questions such as box vibration and piezo placement. Things that aren't guidelines per say, but things that CAN create a desired effect such as a type of tone or sound. Not necessarily how to construct the entire thing.

Usually thats what forums are for but I find that it's kind of a hassle to find all of it. That or you don't quite put the right words into the search bar and you're left without valuable info.

I don't know, am I making a vague amount of sense?
Well , I have started the text of an article. ( Almost finished in fact) No idea how i will illustrate it, or where I will put it.
I do have a web page of my own. I could park it there for comments.
Anyone volunteer a set of pictures I could choose from and then dimension etc in photoshop? A VERY simple construction set please. No separate fret board or neck "bending" for the tuning keys.
Can I purloin what I want from the Forums picture gallery? Please do not ask for referencing! :(

I have never done Wikki and it rather scares me. Can i get it finished then ask for "hand holding" to get it up there?
Let me know if you need any illustration help. I have Illustrator, Photoshop, and can do some things in Google SketchUp (kind of a CAD program. Did a headstock design in it.)

-Wes

Brian Lemin said:
Well , I have started the text of an article. ( Almost finished in fact) No idea how i will illustrate it, or where I will put it.
I do have a web page of my own. I could park it there for comments.
Anyone volunteer a set of pictures I could choose from and then dimension etc in photoshop? A VERY simple construction set please. No separate fret board or neck "bending" for the tuning keys.
Can I purloin what I want from the Forums picture gallery? Please do not ask for referencing! :(

I have never done Wikki and it rather scares me. Can i get it finished then ask for "hand holding" to get it up there?
Something that could be batted around in an article, sound holes. Am I using correct terminology?

I'd like some more info on them. Basically what people have done and how it's worked out.

I don't know, just an idea.
Brian...Look for the August issue of Premier Guitar magazine. I will have an article in there about CBGs, Shane, the CBG movement, and other movers and shakers from this forum. Shane and I have spent time together, he built me a CBG, and we have talked for hours. I think you and the other members here will be pleased.
Don't remeber seeing that Mag on the Newsagent stands! Next time i will look closer.

Great...it is great pastime and needs to be shared around!

Bob Cianci said:
Brian...Look for the August issue of Premier Guitar magazine. I will have an article in there about CBGs, Shane, the CBG movement, and other movers and shakers from this forum. Shane and I have spent time together, he built me a CBG, and we have talked for hours. I think you and the other members here will be pleased.

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