This is my first post here though I've been browsing for over a week now, great to see such a friendly and resourceful forum/site for CBG's!!

As the title suggests this is my first build and I have a couple of questions.

I live in the UK and as most of you will know hardwood is pretty hard to acquire. I've managed to order a single piece of sapele mahogany from eBay, the dimensions are 4ft length 20mm thick and 35mm face width. 

I'm following this tutorial:


Question 1 -I was wondering if I could fit a paint can lid resonator on this design and if the string tension would hold the lid on at the bridge?

Question 2 - Also if the bridge was placed on the center of the resonator would the neck need to be slightly longer than advised in the video to keep the scale length the same?

Question 3 - Does the paint can lid need to be in the center of the cigar box?

Thanks in advanced for any input, also if I can't fit a lid resonator to this design I will make a regular CBG for my first and look at a paint lid or dog bowl resonator on a future project. I'm extremely eager to get started but want to know what I'm doing before I start haha! 


All the best 


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  • I didn't know that but it certainly makes sense! I should have figured that out any way really seeing as its fretless.

    Thank you that's really helpful!!

  • If you are building a fret-less CBG, the scale length is not important. It is only when you have frets that you need a specific scale length so the frets are giving you the intended notes. On a fret-less guitar, you just finger or slide the strings where it gives you the proper notes.

    Does that make sense?

  • Thanks for the informative replies this really clears a lot up for me. Guess I need to get ordering my box and other bits now and planning everything out!

    Thanks again and I'll post a pic when it's finished :)

  • Welcome Jack,John's set you off in the right direction,i'll add that if your bridge ends up central to your tin lid,the tension should be enough to hold it in place,that 1/3 of the box for bridge placement is a pretty good rule of thumb to go by as it gives you a good playable area as well as getting good volume out of the box,depending on size of box,and lid,if you mount the lid just inside the rear edge,maybe an inch or so from the edge,if that puts the centre of the lid 1/3 or nearabouts down the box,you should be fine,then just work your scale from there

  • Welcome to the insanity!

    You should decide what you want your scale length to be, and design where you want everything accordingly...   I have built guitars that I messed up on, and the bridge was right at the edge of the box.  I have built others (on long boxes) that the bridge is about 1/3rd the length from the tail end...

    This is all up to you.

    Here is a pic of one I helped  my friend build.  the bridge ended up about 2" ~50mm from the bottom of the paint can.


    If you have a nice, rectangular box, I, personally, would put the paint can lid toward the tail, maybe 1" (25mm) from the end of the box.  I would then measure my scale length from where I wanted to put the bridge.   If it is a large paint can lid, having the bridge in the center may not be practical, from a playability perspective.  

    If I had to do over the above guitar, the paint can would have been shifted down...

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