I have been having an issue with the action on this unit since I got it and today decided to pull off the neck and do a real check on it. I know without a truss rod you can have a little relief which all guitars normally have but too much creates a problem but with a bow like this to start with it is not good. If the bow were reversed it would be better as long as it is not this much because then the tension would straighten it out. Today with a straight edge on the neck starting at the 1st fret with the straight edge the bow starts bowing at the 3rd fret and ends at the 19th fret. To me that is excessive and is why I have had to make other adjustments to be able to get the strings low enough for finger picking but now have buzzing as I approach the 14th fret up to the 18th. I would like a few opinions if possible. I am thinking about calling the builder again to see if he can just send me another neck.

Thanks for any info.

Views: 138


Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Bummer, it seems like any good repair is about the same work as a new neck would be. If they won't replace it you need to decide if you want to try to fix it or not. For example you could try to reverse bend it with heat but it could ruin it entirely. Or pull all the frets, plane flat and add a fretboard. Maybe a compromise would be to refret with jumbo frets and file them to make it as flat as possible.

I agree Kigar. It is a bummer for sure. I thought for sure the neck would be straighter than this that is why I took it off just to find out. I was shocked. I do not want to have to send the whole thing back unless I am going to get a full refund. I would rather just have the builder send me a newly fretted neck. I will do the cut outs and install it. I do not mind doing that at all. I would like to just have a straight neck. Also, I made a mistake initially. The bow effect starts at the second fret so basically the whole thing is bad. I think your suggestion of defreting and then planing it straight is probably the best thing and then I would know for sure it is done right. I also noticed none of the fret slots are even. Some were deep and others shallow.  I do not see how anything on this neck was done correct. Unless the thing started bowing afterward. It does have an oak fret board so I thought the chances of getting a bowed neck would be slim but I guess not in my case. 

If you bought it then it should be right when you get it. It's called quality and integrity. Replace it instead of going through the hassle of fixing. Now if the neck was poorly made you may get a poorly made replacement. 

How much is the neck out of true?  How thick is the neck? What is the timber that the neck is made from? Answers to these questions may give some indication of what has gone wrong. However, if it's wrong , it's wrong, so send the guitar back and either get it fixed or get your money back. I've had a fair number of cigarbox guitars from other makers through my workshop which have needed new necks. One common problem is that people spend money on something that isn't right, and try to get it fixed by the same person who doesn't have the knowledge to know why it was wrong in the first place, and doesn't have the experience and skills to sort it out. Send the whole thing back, not just the neck.

Ok John. The neck is made of red oak and so is the fret board. The neck looks like it is 19mm thick with a fret board about 6mm thick. I guess it appears like it started out as  a 3/4" neck and 1/4" fret board in thickness.  I start seeing light under the 2nd fret all the way to the 20 fret where the straight edge rest. The maximum bow at about the middle of the neck at 0.80mm or .032" between the 7th -10th frets. Measurement taken from top of the frets to the bottom of the straight edge. Thanks for your help John.

The Rat is spot on, for a purchased guitar, that really is not good enough, and a repair, to a good finish, is near as much detail work as a complete new neck started with straight timber. Kigar makes a good point as well, but I,d be hesitant to try to bend it into shape, as you would need to initially bend it beyond straight, then let it return, and my feeling is that would be hard to measure and control. As to the fret slot depth, from the pic, they do appear very deep, but to my eye they seem pretty well seated, and unless the slots are very much wider than the fret tang, I doubt that is causing that much relief by itself. I,d be going back to the vendor, as Rat suggested, and see what he can, or will do for you, to me, it,s all on him.

Thanks for your input Darryl. I just figured I would get some opinions from others to see what they would recommend. I do not think I am exaggerating anything at all. When I put a straight edge on it is very apparent. The builder told me to keep an eye on it and that  if it got worse to send it back but I think it is bad enough as it is. After taking it apart I was able to really see the issue very easily.  I think I will give him a call and see what we can do. I just did not want to send the whole thing back because I figure I could put it back together and make some improvements on it. If I can just get a replacement neck that would be fine with me. 

That's pretty bad. I guess if the builder sold it as a "slide only" guitar he could get away with it but I don't think most builders would let something like that leave the shop.

If you can, work with the builder on an amicable solution. If that's not possible, you could fix it by removing the frets, leveling the fretboard then re-fretting it.

I told the builder I wanted to play both finger picking and slide. I just think the neck just started to go bad after tension was put on it being a four string.  He was kind of surprised too and wanted me to keep in touch if it got worse but the way it looks I feel I will be in contact because I feel he is an honest guy to deal with.

Hi, looks to me that the neck has way too much relief and that's without any tension of strings. I would think planing the fingerboard would require the removal of a lot of material and weaken the neck even more. The frets slots are way too deep and also contribute to a weekend fretboard/neck. I'd recommend replacement.


Yes Taffy that is what I am thinking also. Thanks for your reply.


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


digital tuner

Started by Brent Kasl in Performances, How to Play, Lessons, Concerts. Last reply by Silent Jim 21 minutes ago. 7 Replies

What's on your workbench?

Started by Paul Craig in Other stuff - off topic, fun stuff, whatever. Last reply by Cause the Blue rat 12 hours ago. 690 Replies

Cbg snare

Started by Matt Schaller in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Cause the Blue rat yesterday. 8 Replies

fret cutting jig

Started by Alan Dillard in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by steve hale yesterday. 3 Replies

The first sale

Started by Blues Frog in Performances, How to Play, Lessons, Concerts. Last reply by Blues Frog on Wednesday. 4 Replies

Tap Tuning

Started by Ken I in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Cause the Blue rat on Wednesday. 6 Replies

Blog Posts

3. German CBG Festival

Posted by Markus Gaiser on September 16, 2018 at 3:42pm 1 Comment

..absolute authenticity!

Posted by billy jones bluez on August 18, 2018 at 10:30pm 0 Comments

Other woodwork

Posted by Tom E on August 16, 2018 at 5:00pm 4 Comments

kannel/ kantele (Baltic psaltery)

Posted by Tom E on August 16, 2018 at 1:00pm 4 Comments

Latest Activity

Tim Connor replied to RTZGUITARS's discussion First Build Registry - Post Pics of the First Instrument You Built
"My first, from a smoked salmon box I found at Goodwill. The neck is an oak 1x2 with a maple…"
5 minutes ago
Michael Hackwith joined James Bush's group

New Mexico & Four corners builders and players

If your from NM, AZ, CO,UT and are interested in events, jams, art shows, festivals, etc. Please…See More
32 minutes ago
Tom T replied to Tim Hooper's discussion 6 string reso travel guitar build pics!
"Beautiful craftsmanship! These are guitars to be proud of.. The neck construction is really first…"
59 minutes ago
Andries D. EKER commented on Andries D. EKER's video

New Tomorrow A D Eker 2018

"Thanks for the Like Denny ! Appriciated !"
1 hour ago
Andries D. EKER left a comment for Paul Craig
"Thank you for your Like of approval ! Appriciated Greeettsszzz A.D."
1 hour ago
Danny Joe commented on Danny Joe's photo


" Did this for a friend of my kid who is left handed.. I like it but the gold around the sound…"
1 hour ago
Andries D. EKER commented on Matthew Borczon's video

you gotta move

"Like! Bonefide !"
1 hour ago
Danny Joe posted photos
1 hour ago
Andries D. EKER commented on Downtown Vinnie's video

Cows in the Pasture

"Flows like Dairy Milk, refressing aswell ! Greatfull dead tradition ?"
1 hour ago
Andries D. EKER commented on Silent Jim's video

American Lullabye

"So this is where it all begins, innocent  covert horror, that slains a Nation. momentem play…"
1 hour ago
Andries D. EKER commented on Andries D. EKER's video

New Tomorrow A D Eker 2018

"Thanks dave!  i usaly use one of my vingers(we call it the pointing vinger) as a pick, then…"
1 hour ago
Andries D. EKER commented on Andries D. EKER's video

New Tomorrow A D Eker 2018

"Yep Richard ! Let surely hope so ! One at a time ! thanks for the kind and lyrical comments! and i…"
1 hour ago



© 2018   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service