Hi folks,

do you have any easy to do tips on how to attach the head at an angle? i am not that skilled with wood and don't have any fancy equipment beside a handsaw, drill and a file. So I am looking for the easiest way to do the tilt.


Views: 7161

Replies to This Discussion

You could try building a mitre box at the angle you what the joint to be (most say 11 to 15 degrees) although I have done them up to 30* ... no problem. Just make the box deeper than your neck is wide...

Hope this helps...

the best,

Wichita Sam
haven't thought of a mitre box. i was more worried about making the joint between the neck and the head hold.
First, get the cut right...(mitre box)... the simple wood glue (I use tightbond II) is enought. Some report using a little fine sand to provide enough friction so that clamping is easier... "cross clamping" where you clamp from the sides and then clamp across the cut works well for me... It isn't intuitive that something that simple works, but it does....

the best,


gene said:
haven't thought of a mitre box. i was more worried about making the joint between the neck and the head hold.

Here is my solution ...no glue, no cut and assembly ... only using grasp, knive, saw and so on ... and angle is enough.


Angling the neck slightly back really helps a lot...Ive done it on my banjoleles using packing under the neck where it sits on the body to get a better set up...banjoleles have a through rod to the base so you can slacken off and tighten...on my cigar box I made a small wedge on the though neck by the base...the neck is glued to the top of the box...tho my box is upside down so the back opens freely as thats the lid....with me???

Try out the bridge in place and with a long straight edge balanced on the bridge and going up to the nut..you will see the path the strings will take...make your decision from this...i think there are recommended distances strings should be from the fret board at the nut end and at the 12th

Its fiddly and you need a temporary build to find out what angle you will need


an angled peghead is not necessary to get proper string tension across the nut.  90% of what I build does not have an angled peghead.  The trick I learned is to leave the strings long and wind them onto the tuning peg until it almost touched the face of the peghead.

If you want an angled peghead, the easy way is a scarf joint

Sorry my reply earlier was for Gary Decker but I cant find his thread

Last ones I made I had trouble setting the neighbor's table saw to the angle I wanted with a fence on the side I wanted it...while fighting with the saw I cut them at 30 degrees and wondered what would happen.

I had read that 15-17 was typical with guitars...I see someone here mentioned 11-15.

To put it into perspective, lutes (those old European bowl-back instruments) are nearly 90 degrees. I read some history on them and the luthiers used a somewhat higher angle with low-tension gut strings to guarantee a good positive contact with the nut...over time, it became extreme but is almost entirely style/tradition.

Many Fender guitar necks don't have an angle, at least not an angled miter 'scarf joint' (no idea why they call it that, but scarf and neck seem to go well together)...instead, the flat portion where the tuners go is thinner so there ends up being an angle from the nut to the tuners.

I think that is the critical part (and don't know if it is as critical with fretless instruments played with slides).

If you have clearance so the strings get where they are supposed to from the neck to the tuners, the nut 'break angle' which is the angle at which the string leaves the nut can be shaped later.

If you're using threaded rod and whatever else CBG'ers stuff under the strings for a nut, I guess a lot doesn't play by 'the rules'. If you have to monkey with something there it get it to work without buzzing and other rude noises, it's usually the angle the string takes at the nut & the saddle.

My 30 degree headstocks are kind of stagnating...I made some airplane tuner knobs and didn't anticipate how much turning radius they needed and had already cut the first headstock too short!!

I think I'll glue some kind of decorative contrasting wood on the short headstock to make it longer, and maybe a thin piece over the glued-together pieces so I don't worry about  when I feel like it coming apart.

I will try a mitre box too...My hand cuts look pretty bad so I was hoping power tools would help the appearance.

or my favorite. reshape and veneer.

I measure out 3 inches on the side of my 1X2 maple neckstock and mark off from corner to corner and then cut it with my bandsaw or tablesaw and then flip it as

Tom Drommond described and that gives me the perfect angle. You can get a plastic mitre box really cheap and make your own cutting slots according to your marks on your board. Hope this helps

Here is how I have done it.  The system is from a YouTube video on building CBGs.  This works, is strong and not too hard to do with hand tools.

Measure down about 4.75 inches from the end of the neck.  Make a mark.  Draw a line across the fretboard side of the neck. Make  tic marks  with a pencil on the 2 sides of the neck at the line you just drew.  Draw a straight line from the tic mark to the end of the neck at the back side of the neck.  That line will be the face of the headstock.  With a handsaw, carefully cut through the neck following that line.  When you are finished, the scrap that you have removed will be roughly a pie shaped wedge going from 0 to 3/4" over about 4.75".  You then glue the scrap wedge to the back of the neck, being sure to glue factory face to factory face, thicker part at the end.  Clamp and let the glue dry.  Next, you will sand or file those 2 surfaces flat.  Cutting with a hand saw is not going to be too accurate, but it will work out ok because you will remove around 1/8" from each of the two surfaces.  The final thickness needs to be the proper thickness for the tuners to stick through with enough room on the spindle for a few wraps of the guitar string.

After that, you will want to add a 1/4" "ear" on each side with glue to make the headstock wider.

The weak point of a guitar is the headstock joint.  With this method you will have a super strong joint that will never fail.  That is due to the large surface area that you are glueing.

The last step is to trim the end of the headstock with your saw.  I do this after the tuners are installed and I know exactly how long I want it to be.  

I don't think you've added enough angle to make a difference besides cosmetic.  The peghead break angle is used to increase the force holding the string in the nut slot. Increasing the distance from the top of the nut to the top of the peghead serves the same purpose.  When I make my necks I use a piece 1/2 inch thick stock on bottom, a 1/4 inch filler and 1/4 inch fingerboard.  That gives 1/2 inch drop from the nut to the peghead and is probably more break angle than you have with the scarf joint and shallow distance from the nut to the face of the peghead.


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

Discussion Forum

canjo building and tuning

Started by Brenda. Last reply by MadGomer Dec 3, 2022. 5 Replies

Minimum tools needed

Started by Wichita Sam. Last reply by Taffy Evans Nov 14, 2022. 21 Replies

High G problem

Started by Michael Myers. Last reply by Taffy Evans Nov 3, 2022. 4 Replies

Doubling the high string

Started by Robert Killen. Last reply by Paul Craig Oct 14, 2022. 23 Replies

Aluminum License Plate

Started by Larry Sobol. Last reply by Larry Sobol Oct 1, 2022. 6 Replies

C. B. Gifty three string fretless kits.

Started by jon neet. Last reply by Taffy Evans Aug 16, 2022. 6 Replies

Frettin' and stainin'

Started by Doug Laffin. Last reply by Order99 Aug 11, 2022. 4 Replies

Bolt on neck to a set neck body?

Started by Paul Craig. Last reply by Paul Craig Jul 17, 2022. 14 Replies


Started by Roy Smith. Last reply by the anonymous pick May 15, 2022. 2 Replies

Help please re Bento Box Uke "nut"

Started by Al Lobe. Last reply by BrianQ. May 10, 2022. 18 Replies

Clarification on pick ups

Started by Michael Myers. Last reply by Taffy Evans May 6, 2022. 5 Replies

Licence plate cbg

Started by Michael Myers. Last reply by Michael Myers May 2, 2022. 5 Replies

Builder's Tips

Started by Wichita Sam. Last reply by MadGomer Feb 23, 2022. 2 Replies

Getting there but needing advice/help please.

Started by Lionhound. Last reply by MadGomer Feb 18, 2022. 8 Replies

Tres Cubano Build

Started by Paul Craig. Last reply by Paul Craig Dec 9, 2021. 18 Replies

CB Gitty Country Roads Banjo kit

Started by Ken Hope. Last reply by Christopher G Daniels Nov 29, 2021. 4 Replies

Drawings or pictures on the box

Started by Martin. Last reply by Chad Taylor Oct 22, 2021. 6 Replies

Hard metal bridges

Started by Michael Myers. Last reply by Michael Fred Johnson Oct 22, 2021. 2 Replies

Getting the most sustain on a fretless CBG.

Started by Joe Plotts. Last reply by Taffy Evans Jun 30, 2021. 4 Replies

2nd Build Electronics Questions

Started by Steven Adler. Last reply by Steven Adler Apr 20, 2021. 4 Replies

Latest Activity

Richard Sundberg commented on Glenn Kaiser's video

MARCH 2023 Canjo

"I enjoyed that! Simple and effective. Is it soup."
26 minutes ago
Richard Sundberg commented on 3 String Blues's video
29 minutes ago
Richard Sundberg commented on A.D.EKER's photo

cant hardly wait callyfest

"Good news! Just received the liquor license for CallyFest! On short notice. Cheers!"
40 minutes ago
Richard Sundberg commented on A.D.EKER's photo

cant hardly wait callyfest

"I’m glad to announce tickets sales are going well. When you see scalpers selling tickets in…"
42 minutes ago
Richard Sundberg commented on A.D.EKER's photo

cant hardly wait callyfest

"Hi A. D. Good news! Power went out because of storms here, but it’s back on. It got tense,…"
44 minutes ago
Scott Schoepf liked BrianQ.'s photo
3 hours ago
Derek Robertson commented on Derek Robertson's photo


"Iive been sitting on this box for a few years just got round to it.thanks for your interest."
8 hours ago
AGP # commented on AGP #'s photo

AGP #493 - ''Juzzie''

"Juzzie Smith Bamboo Lap Slide"
11 hours ago
AGP # posted photos
11 hours ago
Doug Thorsvik commented on Richard Sundberg's video

Going Down To CALLYFEST. A. D. Eker

"The ball is rolling now!!! See y’all at Califest."
13 hours ago
Doug Thorsvik commented on James O Lunsford's video

Going to Cally Fest

"Very creative James O! See you there."
13 hours ago
James O Lunsford liked Calvin Fowler's photo
13 hours ago


© 2023   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 -->