Hello, I am currently working on building a 4 string 'bass' box guitar.  I'm not using a cigar box, as I am building my own.

I've attached the neck as it currently exists.  I will be putting a fretboard on.

Here is the plan I have for the fretboard (ekips.org):  4 string fretboard

I want a bass, as that I was I know how to play.  So my big questions:

1.  Will this design do what I want?

2.  What strings should I use?  (gauge/size) for an EADG bass style tuning.  Understanding it will be several octaves above an actual bass guitar.

3.  I'm planning to use Sapelle for the fretboard.  Thoughts?

4.  Any other thoughts or guidance that you have?


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I'm curious why you are going a couple octaves above a regular bass. I did a three string bass at 25.5", EAD using bass strings (and bass tuners) with no problem. It's just a matter of finding the right gauges for your scale length, desired tension and desired pitch. 

I have no particular reason for going higher octave.  I made an assumption that a smaller instrument would have better sound at a high pitch.  I think (I don't know) that trying to get a 'bass' sound out of a smaller chamber will be very very quiet, or will have no resonance.  I could absolutely be wrong.  This is only my second instrument. :)

Oh, and I don't have any bass tuners. :(  Though I suppose that is a little less important as long as the strings will work with the ones I have.

How do I find the right gauges for my scale?  Is there a tool out there?  Or is it all experience?

This is the best tool I've found. Just fill in the blanks and it will tell you what diameter strings to use. The tension I was going for was 15lbs. You might prefer more, probably not less. 

That's great.  Thank you.  I will definitely check it out.


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