Long time guitar player here, but I'm mostly an electric bass player these days.  Anyway, someone posted a link to a Samatha Fish video on the TalkBass forum a couple of weeks ago.  That put a burr under my saddle re- CBG.  I have a tad of building experience, I made two electric bass guitar bodies last year.  Paired with bolt-on commercial necks, that was fine and worked well. 

Anyway, low and behold last week at the community garden, there's a wooden cigar box sitting on the "Free" shelf.  The guitar gods had spoken, apparently. 

Anyway, I snagged it and used the community shop CNC laser to burn an F-hole in it yesterday.  Soaked some hardware from the junk box in vinegar night before last to age it.  That worked well.  Next up -  hunting for neck wood.  I think I'll buy a pre-slotted fretboard to epoxy to the neck. 


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Re- neck angle.  Yes - I cut an extra 1/4" off the TOP of the tail of the neck, so the neck is tilted back.  Means that the tail support is 1/4" higher than the other one.   I didn't explain it well in my previous post.  You can kinda see it in the image. 

Big day in the shop. 

-Bad news first.  Walnut supports must have shifted up slightly when clamped/glued.  With almost no tolerance, now the box won't close properly.  Some dremel work fixed that.  Then the neck heel  needed some belt sander touchup, since it was sitting higher also.

-Neck drilled for screws.  Temporarily attached and tailpiece location confirmed using string.  Action looks acceptable.  

-Walnut block prepared to use under the strikeplate tailpiece.  Problem is the strikeplate screws aren't going to hit much wood.  With the wider walnut, I can screw it into the meat of the box.

-Tail ground wire installed and tested. 

-Walnut patch prepared to go in spot where FB doesn't quite reach the box top. 

-Control plate isn't going to work.  There's just not enough 'real estate' on the box top to have both pots and the input. The upper pot is too close to where the bridge will be.   I need to go side of the box with the input and move the pots to horizontal. 

Takes a good bit of planning to get all the components to fit.  I sometimes leave out the tone control.

Sure wish I could cut out an F-hole that nice!

Turns out the pot shafts are long enough to go directly through the top.  I can always add a plate later.

I hear you on the tone.  Without it, leaves more space.  And it's likely rarely changed.  But, not knowing how this will sound, I wanted to include it.  


There are other ways to change the tone without using a tone pot.  ;)

Hi, good to follow your progress, warts and all, Haha.

Not only different ways to get tone, from the amp, from a pedal, or multiple pickups but also different places to mount and extra pots.

Here are a couple of ideas I have used. Tone and volume on the side keep the top free of stuff.

Guitar on right has pots in the top side This guitar has volume disguised under a dummy sound hole cover and tone on the tail end.


Cool, thanks for sharing.  I thought about moving one or both.  I didn't want them on the bottom for 'sit-ability' and my ends are too thick. 

Re - pickup location.  I know from my old guitar days that I prefer a neck pickup.  Bridge is too trebly.  I measured my P-basses.  On them the P/U is 85% of the scale length from the nut.  So, on a 25.5" scale, that puts the P/U at approximately 21.5" from the nut.  I'm using a flat bucker, so I can blue tape it down and move it around for a while. 

Getting close. 

-P/U mounted.  Soldering done.  Drilled out and mounted jack plate.  "Click" tested with headphone amp. 

-Partially finished the bridge. It's 7/8" high which is probably at least a 1/4" too tall. 

-Glued a walnut scrap on the underside of the neck between the box supports, just to beef it up.  That glue needs to dry overnight before I tension it with strings.

-Finished the walnut piece to fit between the FB and box.  It looked like a bad patch job when oiled, so I stained it black.  Looks better to me. 

-Four knob options. two shown here.  Halves of a wine stopper.  I beefed the hole up by dripping CA into it.  Others are copper end caps that I filled with epoxy.  Also have some turned ones from Oak and some plastic OEM Yamaha ones.  

Been a blast.   

Plugged it in yesterday and started plinking around.  The humbucker in the neck position with the tone rolled all the way off (heavy electric strings) sounds great through my Ampeg bass amp.  My wife walks in all google eyed and states "At works!".   Made a temporary bridge out of a dowel with a craft stick under it.  Need to get to the belt sander at the shop and take the bridge height down. 


Using the dummy sound hole cover was a really slick idea. Very cool look.

Hi Lane, thanks for the comment. I've posted a "how to do it" on here.



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