Building a Cigar Box Guitar 101

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Building a Cigar Box Guitar 101

This group is for discussing the basics of CBG building for newer builders - where to start, what to do, common pitfalls, tips and techniques.

Keep in mind that new builders can find other great informative articles on CBG building, as well as most of the parts you'll need, over at C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply!

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Discussion Forum

canjo building and tuning

Started by Brenda. Last reply by MadGomer on Sunday. 5 Replies

Minimum tools needed

Started by Wichita Sam. Last reply by Taffy Evans Nov 14. 21 Replies

High G problem

Started by Michael Myers. Last reply by Taffy Evans Nov 4. 4 Replies

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Comment by Taffy Evans on November 16, 2022 at 3:00pm

Hi Carl, there are a couple of ways to get nut action, but yes measure are first fret is what I do.

Hi Madgomer, I use the set it the neck, or neck angle as a means to arrive at a suitable bridge height. If I do a good fret job then it’s just a matter of adjusting action in the normal way so strings should not buzz. But as you point out if one does not keep in mind that angelling Of the neck lowers the strings…buzz.
Taff

Comment by Carl Floyd on November 16, 2022 at 11:18am

"At the nut the action is also important and I set mine by eye on a cbg, but it’s probably .5mm."

Measured at 1st fret, correct?

Comment by MadGomer on November 15, 2022 at 9:04pm
Agree with Taffy's points below. The only thing I'd add is if you can build the guitar with some neck angle built in, it makes the action height and intonation job a little easier. I put about two degrees in my last build and really liked the sound and playability. I think I was about.030" at the nut and around the.070" range at the 12th fret, not far from his recommendation. Too much back angle and you risk a lot of fret buzz, but too little seems to make it hard to get good playability.
Comment by Taffy Evans on November 15, 2022 at 2:12am
Hi Murray, it’s a good idea to set your action height before setting your intonation. String gauge and string height will effect the amount of compensation needed
action height is normally measured at the 12th fret, and is the gap between the top of the fret and the underside of the string. It varies between player preference and if the guitar is acoustic or solid body electric.

I won’t go into all the variables but as a a starting point in your case, I’d start at 2mm under your bass string and 1.75mm under the high string. At the nut the action is also important and I set mine by eye on a cbg, but it’s probably .5mm.

Hope this helps.
Taff

If you have done a good fret job and levelled the frets and redound them your guitar should play well
Comment by BrianQ. on November 15, 2022 at 1:32am

Murray, there’s a Search box all the way up at the top right of the page, most of the time you can find answers to your questions in the search results, just type in your question( sometimes you have to rephrase them)? Here’s a video by a member about Action for CBG’s, good luck : https://www.cigarboxnation.com/forum/topics/almost-all-about-string... 

Comment by Murray Wall on November 15, 2022 at 1:20am

Hi

Action height.  Where/how do you measure it? What should it be?

Fretted fret board, strumming, no slide.  Now looking at a 23" scale.

Comment by MadGomer on November 13, 2022 at 6:24pm
My understanding is that the scale length is theoretically the vibrating string length between the nut and the peak of the saddle as Taffy states, but that actual distance is generally greater because in reality the vibrating string length is less so you have to compensate for it by sliding the saddle a bit further from the nut. Some of the online fret calculators attempt to show the compensated bridge position (thicker/stiffer strings require more deviation than light/flexible strings).
Comment by Taffy Evans on November 13, 2022 at 2:50pm

Hi again, you may find that the guitar has had compensation added to correct intonation, but the scale is from front edge of a nut to the centre of the saddle. If the saddle has crown on it. If not to the front of the saddle. Hope this makes sense.
Taff

Comment by Murray Wall on November 13, 2022 at 2:20pm

Hi Taffy

Thank you for the photo, it provides a lot of thinking ideas.

Another item on my list is fret placement.  I have a fret spacing calculator based on the rule of 17.817.  When I compare the fret spacings from the calculator with a junk acoustic guitar I'm using for parts, it appears that the measurement is to the bridge edge of the fret and not the crown.  Is this normal?

I'm starting the measurement from the fret board side of the nut.

The between fret spacings from the calculator are correct for the junk guitar with it's 25.5" scale.

Comment by BrianQ. on November 13, 2022 at 1:36pm

Hey Murray, here’s some reading on string selection:

https://www.cigarboxguitar.com/knowledge-base/how-to-pick-the-right...

 

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