This is my first cbg build. I initially had it strung with 10/13/17/32, and tuned to open E, but the strings seemed a bit slack. I restrung it with 13/17/28/38, and have it tuned to open D now, but I was getting buzz at the bridge on the thinner strings. I found that by adding pressure behind the bridge omitted the buzz. So here's my fix: a "rear string tree", if you will. I'm sure it's nothing new, but wanted to share anyway. I took a 1/4" piece of brass stock, cut it to size, drilled the holes, rounded the ends, and chemically patinaed the brass. There's 2 nuts beneath it to lift it off the body face. The screws go through the box lid, and are held in place by nuts inside the body cavity, with double nuts on each screw to act as locking nuts. Problem solved. :)

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  • Great idea, I've done something similar many times to overcome the break angle problem when anchoring strings to a neck thru.  Did it eliminate the buzz or just tame it?  I notice that your slots for the strings are way too wide, way too deep and way too long - which can give a kind of sitar buzz.  I've done that on purpose at times to get that sitar or banjo like twang.

    • Yes Ted, they are waaaay deep. After restringing it with thicker strings the action was way high, so I ground the back of the key/bridge, and cut the slots a bit deeper to lower the action. I'm no luthier...just a craftsman playing around. :) It did stop the buzz all together though. And your right, it did have a sitar kind of chime to it before.

  • I would be interested how you chemically patinated the brass

    •  TA Norman.
      Browse the catalog, and on page 17 is the "antique patina" I used. I use it all the time on my nonferrous tattoo machine builds.

  • Nice, elegant solution.  I have a question. How did you go about putting a flat on the back of that key?  I have one of those and was thinking of trying to do the same, but figured that I would just mess it up using a grinder or similar.

    • I was going to mention a belt sander - I have a stationary one as well as handheld - I just built myself a little gizmo to hold small stuff flat - keeps my knuckles and fingernails much safer!!

    • Yes, mine is a stationary belt/disc combo. :)

    • Thanks Ron, and Jawbone! @ Ron: The key is brass, and I just used my belt sander to flatten the backside of it, taking off a little at a time until the bridge height was correct. I just made sure I kept an equal amount of pressure on the entire key, paying close attention that it remained even. Then polished it, and chemically patinaed it dark to match all the other hardware.

  • Good idea, though it is not necessary to cut slots into the bridge if the break angle is steep enough (-:

    try turning the bridge around, no slots, and hear if there is still a buzz...

    next time have the bridge nearer the back of the box and string anchors lower, without slots the break angle should be enough to stop the buzzing. 


    • Thanks for the input Steve. I didn't calculate the scale length...I used my Shane Speal 3 string as reference for the scale length. The box on mine was a bit longer than the SS 3 string, so the bridge fell where it did. The vintage jailers key I used for the bridge was flattened on the bottom side for string height, so flipping it over wasn't an option. All in all, it was a great learning experience. And she's a screamer now! :)

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