BUILDING TIP: Scrap wood "Feeler Gauge" measures perfect action on floating bridges - by G. S. Monroe

editor's note:  G. S. Monroe is a Florida based folk art instrument maker.  Shane Speal calls his instruments "visionary and a true throwback to the Depression Era sound." Visit his website at GSMonroe.com.  Connect with him on Cigar Box Nation at the Official G. S. Monroe Page.

Getting the right string height (aka "string action") on a fretted cigar box guitar can be tricky if you're using a floating bridge as seen above.  In the past, many of us have spent a long time cutting and re-cutting them to get the strings at the exact level above the frets to make playing easier.

Builder, G. S. Monroe has come up with a simple solution to make the floating bridge the right height from the very beginning, using a triangle scrap wood piece he calls a "feeler gauge." 

G. S. Monroe writes:

Anyone that has followed my builds or seen my instruments will know that I'm a huge fan of "floating blade" style bridges combined with a "Zero-Fret" string guide/nut. I have found this combo to be one of the most consistent ways to achieve low string action.

I'm going to now share with you one of my secrets to how I make my floating bridge the correct height.

I use a simple wedge feeler gauge:

I locate where the bridge will sit on the soundboard, and slide the feeler gauge under the string. I then check the action and adjust the gauge until I have the action that I want. I mark that height on the gauge with a pencil:

I then take the gauge to my bridge material and mark that height.

I then draw out my bridge design, cut and finish.

I hope this little tip will help you.

-G. S. Monroe

 

Views: 3271

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

That is pretty cool.  Do you know what is the angle of his wedge is?

I believe the angle is not important all you need to do is mark the height it is at when you get your string to the right height.

Love the simplicity of it.

Nice tip, a sharp angle scrap to wedge up the string

Simple, ingenious and sweet! Awesome. Thanks for sharing. 

Excellent.  I am five instruments away from seven hundred builds. With the exception of four or five all have been strictly acoustic. Somewhere around five hundred builds l designed exactly what you have only I marked off the heights in eighth inch increments for ready reference. I started at 3\8s and worked up from there to 5\8s. A long taper seems to do the job for me.   I also pre plane stock to match my anticipated needs, then slice and dice from there.  I.e. 3/8...1/2..5/8...3/4. 

Congrats!  I'm 2 away from 100, I'm impressed!

Great idea on the pre-cut stock.   I'm off to the shop to make a hardwood wedge... I might just Step-cut it to height.  

One thought:  With only one string, I have found I need to set the action low as the additional tension on the neck will raise the action. 

Great info and technique.  

Great idea!

Simple and brilliant!  Thanks!

I have been using a similar method for some time now and it works like a charm. I use  heavy mono fishing line as a test string to get the action height I want by making a loop in one end to fit on the middle string tuner. Saves a lot of time :-)

Nice tip. What about string notches? Do you allow for this, if so, how much?
Solid tip, thanks!

RSS

The Essential Pages

New to Cigar Box Nation?How to Play Cigar Box GuitarsFree Plans & How to Build Cigar Box GuitarsCigar Box Guitar Building BasicsCigar Box Guitar Parts Store

Site Sponsor


Recommended Links & Resources

Forum

Neck Varnish

Started by mitch jones in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by mitch jones 6 hours ago. 12 Replies

VIDEO: Tommy Emmanuel's Cigar Box Guitar - by Del Puckett

Started by Shane Speal shanespeal.com in Feature Articles. Last reply by Del Puckett 8 hours ago. 8 Replies

Free Christmas TAB Music for Cigar Box Guitar

Started by Shane Speal shanespeal.com in Feature Articles. Last reply by Kool Karl 18 hours ago. 2 Replies

Ammo Can Guitar

Started by Graham Wedepohl in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Paul Craig yesterday. 1 Reply

VIDEO - Building Guitars with Antique Cigar Boxes

Started by Shane Speal shanespeal.com in Feature Articles. Last reply by Paul Craig yesterday. 5 Replies

My first real work bench.

Started by Cause the Blue rat in Other stuff - off topic, fun stuff, whatever. Last reply by Cause the Blue rat on Thursday. 16 Replies

mongolian band

Started by GARAGE HERMIT in Performances, How to Play, Lessons, Concerts. Last reply by Timothy Hunter on Monday. 6 Replies

Blog Posts

To Fret or Not To Fret

Posted by Tom Thunder on December 15, 2018 at 5:58am 2 Comments

Number of frets to use?

Posted by David Bowes on December 6, 2018 at 3:21pm 3 Comments

Never know!

Posted by Jim Morris on December 5, 2018 at 12:18pm 8 Comments

Whats your Holy Grail?

Posted by Andries D. EKER on November 26, 2018 at 4:52pm 79 Comments

Creative ...or crazy?

Posted by Rich on November 25, 2018 at 7:12pm 6 Comments

Latest Activity

Dave Lynas commented on Dave Lynas's video
Thumbnail

December Thaw

"Thanks Denbo. Thanks Uncle John. I love when we can spend some Winter sunshine at the Lake. All was…"
3 minutes ago
Phill Hill Charlie updated their profile
1 hour ago
Cause the Blue rat commented on Bill Turner (Wunkyman)'s photo
Thumbnail

rustbelt 3

"This is awesome! Love the shape and the finished look. "
1 hour ago
Dennis "Denbo" Goodinson commented on Dave Lynas's video
Thumbnail

December Thaw

"Idyllic bliss, I'd like to move in for the chill-out factor, snow or not :)) Great video Dave"
2 hours ago
Dennis "Denbo" Goodinson liked Dave Lynas's video
2 hours ago
Dennis "Denbo" Goodinson commented on Downtown Vinnie's video
Thumbnail

The Forest

"Love the vibe on this one Vinnie, its Whaa...cool :)"
2 hours ago
Dennis "Denbo" Goodinson liked Downtown Vinnie's video
2 hours ago
Dennis "Denbo" Goodinson liked BUGGY (C)'s video
2 hours ago
Dennis "Denbo" Goodinson liked Blind Doughboy's video
2 hours ago
single string sideshow replied to Slowpaw Steve T's discussion CIGAR BOX NATION 2018 CHRISTMAS ALBUM SUBMISSIONS PAGE
"will this be available before or after christmas?"
4 hours ago
Chris Dickens replied to Slowpaw Steve T's discussion CIGAR BOX NATION 2018 CHRISTMAS ALBUM SUBMISSIONS PAGE
"I got it late, but I sent "Rudolph the Snowflake Reindeer"."
5 hours ago
ILL GREEN replied to Cause the Blue rat's discussion I love auctions! their like yard sales with an MC.
"Nice finds and nice prices.  The sander is a killer find. Saves helluva work."
6 hours ago

Music

Loading…

© 2018   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://api.ning.com/files/Stym6V-ACBaiDP5ilIPA6bJ3rn0ZdlI1EwGHWgROvEkwiCCaNgzJRcZTZH8OGkV3fvK-NboXjThXltWFbcihM-jI4Mwz5SV3/scrollup_icon.png") 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 -->