Headed off to Home Depot to check out materials and supplies. Of the wood available there was the 3x1 and 2x1 poplar, 3x1 and 2x1 red oak. I will be using the poplar for my first build and red oak on my second 'proper' build. I then headed through the isles just looking at what was around and what I could incorporate into my build. I found some interesting things that I believe is what others might use, and if not I hope it is a working cheaper alternative.


For sound holes there were these finger holes for a sliding closet door. I think I can cut the middles out and they would finish off the sound holes nicely. They come in brass, black, and silver in 1" and 3" diameters.

Next was this shower drain strainer. It looks like a very nice piece to cover a larger sound hole, if you want to drill into your soundboard to install it. I suppose one could hammer the middle and give it another appearance then being flat, or cut the middle out and weave some wire through the holes, or....you get the idea.


I did get a little time to sketch again trying to figure out how I want o construct the bridge. I really liked the copper tube that was on a previous post and I think setting it in a grooved piece of stock would give me the piece of mind that it is secure while allowing me to adjust it and change the diameter of pipe to experiment. So far I've narrowed my bridge to either a copper pipe or a hand carved one with bone along the top. For my first build I will use a flat piece of stock and a chop stick!

As you can see from the drawing I need to work on my rapid prototyping skills, I lost almost all pen control since leaving school and being in the military. You can also see that I'm hoping to use a golf tee as the post to secure a strap.  I picked up a plastic buckle kit (the snap buckle and a double ring) for $.58 at wal-mart to use in my strap. I think you guys will like my strap as it will be woven parachute cord from the army surplus store. I'm hoping to make it an adjustable and quick release model. The kit comes with enough parts for 2 straps so I'll have one left over. Let me know if you like it when I post a picture and I'll send you the second one if you pay shipping and send me a pick of it on you guitar! First come first serve.


I was able to look at some hinges to hold my strings but there were not any that really caught my attention. I did come across these metal disks used to aid in nailing covering down. I think someone could bend it drill the holes for the strings and it would be a cheap and secure way to attach them to the body. As you can see they are a good size and you get 20 for $2.84.

I though about cutting and using heavy duty plastic zip ties for the frets, but upon further investigation they probably will not last when up against daily use and metal strings. If anyone knows of a unique method of making frets please let me know, I'm up for any idea. As of now I can get a lot of solid carbon fiber rods for cheap that I think will do the job and look cool. Black frets anyone???

This post is short because I'm getting ready to get back home. Since I'll be spending time with my wife I doubt that I will get any building done but I do have plans to visit a cigar shop and get some boxes. I'm also going to start looking around for the tuners and guitar string. I have plenty of buddies who play so they may be willing to donate some used stuff or an old broken guitar that I can cannibalize. I've been searching craigslist, ebay, and freecycle to no avail so far.


So have a Merry Christmas and I hope everyone plays hard and stays safe.




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Comment by Mike Bingham on December 22, 2010 at 12:11pm

Hey Barnyard,

Don't forget to check out thrift stores, Goodwill etc.  There are often a lot of old hinges, drawer pulls, screws, washers, and other treasures that work well on homemade instruments.  Enjoy!

Comment by Jon Pruett on December 22, 2010 at 11:56am

Looks like you're doing good on the treasure hunting - I like the copper tube bridge idea too - might slip one of those in on a build to see how it sounds.  I know the idea of a movable bridge might sound a little crazy at first, but I only fastened the bridge down permanently on the first of my 8 CBG builds.  The string tension really is enough to hold the bridge in place, and being able to change the angle as you are tuning it really helps get everything in tune better. The ideal string length on the bottom strings is just slightly longer than the top strings - but from what I've seen the exact best angle can change depending on the type of string I'm using too.


Some folks have done some really cool frets with cotter pins, but the simplest method is to just click on the CB Gitty ad in the right hand menu and order a small pack of fret wire (and maybe a set of tuners too). Ben at CB Gitty really does do great service and prices - as cheap as eBay and faster for most every time I've ordered from him.


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