Doug Thorsvik


Medical Lake, WA

United States

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  • Ice Bob

    thanks doug this thing is just getting warmed up
  • Nathan King

    Hey Doug, that strummer jr is tuned to open G (GDG) on a 20" scale. I'm using the top three strings from an acoustic set of 12s... (I wanna say 12-16-25 or so)
  • Nathan King

    Doug, I actually used the link you provided for the USTC program, and that kinda helped me figure out which strings to use on that strummer. I think you were telling me about your first with the intonation problems... so I've kinda tried to use that program and kinda see where I stand.

    I notice that the first fret is a little off... I wanna say maybe 10-15 cents on the tuner. That's probably due to builder error rather than anything else, though :-) It's really not noticeable, though. And I gotta say, it's pretty comfy to play. I just finished another strummer with a 25.5" scale, tuned to open E, using the same strings. It feels about the same as far as tension goes, but I think I prefer the short scale instrument... although that could change tomorrow :-)

    Plus, it doesn't hurt that a set of acoustic 12s come in 12-16-25... I ran out of everything else, and just used what I had left over!
  • chris

    thanks doug i like all of your guitars
  • Tom (mezzy) Hiles

    thanks for the kind words Doug.. the Spam guitars tuning is G-D-G or also known as a 1-5-1 tuning... the gauge is 17-26-36. and it is a 24 3/4" scale , like a Les Paul...
  • dg

    THANK YOU FOR THE COMMENT DOUG, tell me are all the brown designs on your guitars wood burning or something else?
  • Mr. Toad

    Thank you for all the information. It only piqued my desires more.
  • Ilan Speizer

    I got it last passover at Wegmans. glad you like it!
  • Mr. Toad

    Hi Doug, Last night I was fooling around with the programs you gave me . They will be very useful but the one that works out the fret template was only a short cut and I couldn't open it. One question. I told you, I think, that I have an old banjo neck. It's got a broken dowel stick and is concave where it attaches to the banjo pot. I want to trim the end flat to fit on a cigarbox. I'm assuming that if I cut off too much that would be a bad thing for the fret placement since the frets are already there and I can't move them. If that is correct do you have any suggestions?
  • Doug Thorsvik

    You can pull down the whole fret template printing program at:*1i1HcpGqo0Y4eq*U/ As you consider attaching the banjo neck, you have to calculate if it is possible. Measure from the nut to the 12th fret. The scale length from nut to bridge is twice the length from the nut to the 12th fret. Now you should be able to determine if it is possible to do. Doug
  • Mr. Toad

    Hi Doug. Was that you that I saw at the CONOCO station earlier in the week. I thought maybe it was but I didn't have time to talk. I have a quik request. Could you explain to me again about the zero fret? I thought I had it down but the more I think about it the more I wonder. The scale length I am working on is 20" tell me how the nut comes into play.
    I discovered that the banjo neck I was going to use has a twist in it so I'm not going to use it.
  • Nathan King

    Hey Doug,
    For the most recent build, I bought Artec's AB2 preamp (which comes with a piezo) off ebay. The preamp is pretty decent, I enjoy having a vol and tone right on the box. Yeah, it could be done with pots... but I think the active preamp really helps. Especially in comparison to the "radio shack buzzer" piezo's, this combo really stands out! Course it's around 30 bucks... but one of the first things I noticed is that it doesn't squeal at ya like the buzzers do.
  • Tom Lanford

    Thanks Doug!
  • Dianne Woods

    Very nice builds, and great designs. Great job.
  • Dianne Woods

    You are very welcome, Doug. Thank you for commenting on my tin. I haven't played it, when I tightened the strings, they are pulling the gromlets out of the string holes. I need to change to something else, but haven't done it yet. I did have plastic tops in the holes, but the strings just cut right through them, so I changed them to brass gromlets.
  • Dianne Woods

    You are right, it is a trial and error thing.
  • Mr. Toad

    That turned out very nice Doug.
  • Mr. Toad

    Doug thank you so much for inviting me over to watch you shape your neck. I did mine the other night. I bought a rasp and used it then finished up with a ro sander. I think it looks pretty good. Yes I would like to see your base guitar and hear it. I would like to wait until I finish my guitar so I could bring it over for you to critiqe it.
  • Roosterman

    Thanks for your kind words Doug :o)
    Iv often thought of making a branding iron to stamp my headstocks with, but its just another thing on the long list of things to do at the moment.
    I do have a woodburning pen somewhere, but Im useless with it - seems you have it down though!
    Keep up the good work
  • Mr. Toad

    Well Doug, I finished it up this morning. There are a few mistakes that I made. I'd like to bring it over some evening and let you look at it and critique it. It sounds better than I thought it would. I tuned it to GDG like you sugested and I haven't glued the bridge down. I hope you're happy with your base and making good music with it.
  • uncle Lou

    You make sweet instruments. My mando is ash strong enough where no truss rod is needed
  • dogfinger steve

    cheers doug, was gonna put some brass star surrounds on em but think it looks better without :0)
  • Bluesheart

    Thanks for the nice comments Doug. It sounds very good w/ the nylon strings both unplugged and plugged in. The short scale keeps the tension low and it is very easy on the fingers, which is what I planned on since she is not a regular player, YET!
  • The Valley Boys

    Good question. I was a little vague. It's actually four parts. Two screws and two threaded posts
    inside the box. Look closely at the picture. The holes are smaller than heads of the screws so the bridge is floating on the screws. It works very well. I have another design coming soon. Check and study the Tune-o-matic bridges. I found this was the missing link in the slide/
    fingering transition. Hope this helped.
  • Bluesheart

    NP. Now I think you have inspired me to try some woodburning on a future build.
  • colin mcgrath

    Yeah, I need a better cheap way to slot the nut's though, I might use your idea, not really. I think I might use a bar on the headstock to hold down the strings. Hey, just playing around till I find what works great. Thanks, take care.
  • Mama Mojo

    Doug - thanks so much for your generous and thoughtful comments on my page! It's nice to connect with such a talented builder! best, MM
  • Theo

    Thanks man makes me want to start the next one..
  • Roadkill a.k.a. John Maw

    Hi Doug. It would be easy to adapt this to incorporate the tail function. Either by cutting keyholes in the plate (might need to extend the plate a little) or bending the back edge up with a bending brake (such as a vice brake) and putting holes in. All the best. John
  • Richard Sanabia

    Hi Doug. I play mandolin, so I try to incorporate the paired strings often. Rich
  • Tom Caneschi aka cbg tom

    Doug I get them from ebay  I found a bass bridge you might like better

    here it is there are many listings ...

  • Savage Mojo CBG

    Hmmm maybe I should look into using parallels, for my mac, I do like the word program, and that Wfret program seems neat.
    Thanks again for the templates!


  • Mike Strehlow

    Hey Doug, thanks.  I should have thought of that.  What threw me off was the was the pre-loaded lengths were expressed in fractions.  

    I have a cheap tourist model uke from a trip to Hawaii that I know is out of tune. The scale length was (note the past tense) 12 7/8.  I wanted to measure the fret spacing to see.  I took it apart tonight and I'm using the neck and new fretboard on a proper CB build for my grand daughter. I'll post pics when it is done.

  • Mike Strehlow

    Just checking out your page.  You have some very creative ideas.  I'm going to try the slotless string guide.  I hate messing with slotted nuts.

  • Burt Philbrick

    I tried it out just to see how it works, really easy! I have a fretboard cut,shaped and sanded for build number 2. I'm going to print off the template and try it out. I'll let you know how it goes. I have people asking me to build them one with frets so this will be great, instead of having to measure every one of them. I'd like to try out some different scale lengths, and a bass eventually.

  • Jonathan

    Hey Doug I use a set of Ernie ball - ball end classical strings. I use the 3 plain nylon strings for the treble G tuning (the black strings) the other 3 strings in the set are wound (low E, A, and D) I've used tenor uke strings and they don't have as much tension and just don't sound quite right. The lower wound nylons work great for DAD tuning (used them recently on a resonator and they sound nice)
  • George Jones

    Hey Doug, 

    You still alive and kicking???  :-)

    Just finished up two dog bowl resonators (my baby-bluz resonators), which are a bit more advanced than what I was building and bringing to the Huntsville CBG festival last year . . . (see attached photos)

    Been doing license plate guitars like crazy since the Huntsville CBG festival.  Got those down pat these days . . . string action set at less than 1.5 mm on the 12th fret, and maintained throughout the rest of the remaining frets on the fret board...  Are you going to any festivals on the eastern side of the U.S.A. this year?


  • Rick Flink


    Thank you for responding back with some great advice. My only problem is I am struggling getting my first build done. Then I have to learn how to play it before trying to teach others. So I am literally trying to find a couple of experienced builders in my area that I can ask question of and bounce ideas off of. Then, I really would love to follow your suggestions of how you are building your Spokane group. If I get to Spokane this summer, would it be alright if I contacted you for coffee or a meal so you can fill my head with your knowledge and wisdom?


  • Ed Parry

    Thanks Doug.

    I'll try to join in as work allows. Got a fretted 2 summers ago, and making progress on it.


  • Richard Sundberg

    Hi Doug! Sounds like a great idea. The Cigar Box Nation virtual festival (CallyFest) is member driven. It’s open to any ideas, and no rules. I’m personally not on Zoom, or for that matter have a PC. You might post an announcement or blog here on the forum section and see how many members might be interested. I’d love to see it, your videos and the Zoom style would be a nice addition. Thanks Doug.

  • Derek Rose

    Thank you for the friendship Doug!

  • Dave Lynas

    Thanks Doug. Glad to be a friend. ... Dave

  • Joe Caruso

    I appreciate the work it took to put that songbook together. Many thanks Doug.

  • Mickey Sadler

    Doug, thanks for all the work you put in on the song book and for sharing it with the cigar box community.



    Thanks Doug, quite a few songs in there that I had forgotten all about. Well done and thanks for sharing.  Cheers Russell

  • silvernitrate

    Thanks Doug - very nicely done and a great collection.
  • Mike Willmouth

    Thanks Doug for sharing your songbook.  It's fantastic! 

  • Bill Tankersley

    Thank you for the great songbook!

  • Paul L. Hanz

    Thanks Doug for the Awesome Song Book! Very well done, and greatly appreciated. This just mightt be a way to attract more newbies into the grand art of CBGs.

  • Martin

    Hi Doug, thank you so much for the songbook. Great stuff man!!!