Greetings fellow builders, players and enthusiasts!

I've got an idea for a group project: let's starting building an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about strings and get information down in one place so we don't have to search all over the place for it when we are building or replacing strings on an instruments.  I would like folks to offer up what they know about each type of instrument and what gauge strings they use, as well as the string numbers if it is a guitar, as well as how they tune it.  We could then take that info, put it into one document, create a PDF and place it in the plans section of the website.

It would look something like this:

Diddly Bow:
# of stings and gauge plus tunings

# of strings and gauge plus tunings

2-string CGB
Which strings and gauge, scale length, plus tunings

3-string CBG
which strings, gauge, scale length and tunings

4-string CBG
which strings, gauge, scale length and tunings

5-string CBG
which strings, gauge, scale length and tunings

6-string CBG
string gauge, scale length and tunings

CB Banjo
Strings, gauge, scale length, tunings

CB Fiddle
#strings, gauge, scale length and tunings

CB Uke
scale length, gauge, tunings

CB Dulcimer
strings, gauges, scale length, tunings


We could add things as we go and make a central place where folks could view all of the different strings choices and tunings that folks generally make when building and/or playing.  I am just tossing this structure out there as an idea so please chime in if you have other ideas on how we could get all of this info in one place.

I recommend starting by posting the type of instrument, the number of strings, the gauges, scale length and the tunings that you use.  If we are taking about typical acoustic guitar strings, it is always helpful for me to know number of the strings that you are using (for example 5, 4, 3, or 4, 3, 2, etc....) as well as the gauge of the pack.  Thanks to all who want to help out other folks by condensing this info and getting it all in one place!


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Replies to This Discussion

Mama M,
Thank you for adding this idea. The gauges ie .012, .18, .024 wound ect. bronze or steel and the note it is tuned to is a great help. This would make it a lot easer to mail order strings. Once again great idea.

Bob - thanks so much! You raised an important piece of information re the type of string (i.e. wound, steel, or bronze). This is critical info and needs to be added into the draft that I created. Also, folks should feel free to add instruments that I left out as well. I didn't add a lap steel and that certainly needs to be included!
The other thing that might be helpful is the type of wood that folks are using for the necks as I know that I frequently use maple and oak, which will accept higher gauges than poplar....
Hey Mama. I just built a poplar neck for the first time. It's definitely more flexible than maple. This could be a problem with the acoustic strings I currently have on it. Looks like I'll have to go to light gauge electric strings.
Hey folks - just wanted to let you know that I have placed an order today so that I can start carrying strings in my store. I am going to be packaging these into common 3 and 4 string confingurations for a common scale length, to try to make it easier for folks.

If you're not already a member, join up over at to get all the updates and product announcements.
Sure we can buy "sets". When I feel adventurous I sometimes remember an Old Banjo picker (new in town) asking me "where to get wire". He would buy a spool of stainless steel wire for the unwound sizes, and cut his own to length. since Banjos use loop instead  of ball end, it works great. scale lengths not limited to the "store bought" strings. weed eater cord can be found in small sizes too. Maybe not as sweet as "real" strings, but a spool lets me do a lot of experiments.


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