I am sorta an open source guy so I thought I would throw up a few pictures of a guitar I just did. To be honest I am quite proud of it. I meant to sell it but may have to keep it as I love the sound. I will see if I have a decent sound clip to attach as well...

I will be uploading all the detail pictures I have to the photo section as well, feel free to check it out.

In any case there are a few things I did that I like about this guitar and I will just go through them for the sake of sharing, in case someone else wants to try it.

In the picture of two guitars (Both built this week) I will be referring to the one on the left. I was given several of these slide top Diesel boxes. I like them a lot but wanted to try a way to get a slightly larger body out of it. It occurred to me to attach two together and a beer, some Tightbond II and a few clamps later I had it all together. I had already built a guitar that was a slide top that could still be opened and liked the sound enough to want to do it again. So I went ahead and cut the neck. I was looking for a good way to attach the strings and make the heart of the guitar (neck, head, tailpice etc.) all one unit that then rides on the top.

You can see in the detail photo that I then carved away a significant amount of the neck on the bottom to attempt to allow as much of the top to vibrate as possible. This part had me wishing I had not sold my band saw a few years back (not the first time I have wished this).

It took a little time to get the two tops to line up properly and get them attached, but I was able to do it. the variety of sound that can be made by sliding the top back and forth is remarkable. It is somewhere between a tone/voume knob and a phaser. The sound is a bit untamed in the guitar and I love it.

The next interesting thing I did, which was a whim as I strung it up, was put 3 high strings from a guitar set, and then the low e string. I then tuned it, from bass to treble, Low D (a full octave lower than expected), G, B, and e flat. It plays like the middle 4 strings of a standard guitar with the ability to do distinct bass notes and bass walk downs. I like it a lot. If you are bored. Try out this string arrangement.

The last fun thing I did was use my current favorite "woodworking tool" on the neck. It is a gas torch. The oak on its own, even when I use some stain on it, is a little light and "new" looking for my taste. A bit of fire fixed that right up!


Riff 3.m4a

The Slide Top twins.JPG

DD body detail.JPG

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  • It does not seem particularly heavy to me, James. The balance is decent so it is not a big deal personally. I have some electric guitars that should come with an exoskeleton to help hold them up, so I have yet to meet a CBG that would compare.

    Better trees, I see what you did there! Nice! In any case, do try all the ideas. It makes for a lot of fun, and so far all the guitar players who have tried it enjoy it a lot.

  • I'll have to try both that tuning and creative setup. Super cool. Totally outside the box. 

  • Are the two conjoined boxes resulting in a somewhat heavy CBG?

  • Indeed. My grandparents gave me a very nice Dulcimer when I was in high school and I am sure it inspired the idea to a great degree. There is always something to try.

    I already have some new modification ideas for it, so we will see what becomes of it.


  • dulcimers are built that way, the neck mounted to the face with a shallow space to allow the belly to resonate freely.  Nice Build!

  • Yep.  I went through a zero fret phase.  Seems like I go through a bunch of phases.  Using a bigger size fret works well for that.   But I think better yet for my own builds has been using a small screw sunk into the neck for the string height I want.   The screw usually keeps the strings in place where with the fret for a nut, I  always needed string guides.

  • Uncle John, I may end up making headstock's a touch longer, but I also have been liking the Zero Fret a lot lately, so string guides will be needed either way in that case. I keep feeling like there is something to the sound that the fret brings.

    As far as how the neck is attached, I am uploading two pictures to help show that. In one picture the way that I carved away some of the neck to allow more resonance in the tops. I think this is a key to getting good sound when mounting the neck this way. The last time I did it I used the jig saw and cut away quite a bit of the wood, but it has been acting very strange lately and cutting very crooked, so I went the slow way and used a saw and a chisel. There is a lot more mass left on the neck in this case.

    After marking and carving I used my trusty drywall screws. (I love drywall screws, surprisingly strong) I do, from time to time, use a measuring tape, but it is often after I have put everything together. "Eyeball twice, cut once, measure later if I remember." But I eyeballed the two tops parallel tweaked until it opened smoothly and then tightened everything down.

    Works fairly well, though there is always room for improvement.

    Neck Carve.JPG

    Neck attachment.JPG

  • Interesting and the riff sounds good.    One thing I've learned is to make the headstocks a bit longer -  more space between the nut and tuners.   Seems to reduce the need for string guides.

  • Seth,

    So, a pair of variable Helmholtz resonators! How is the neck attached, if you can still slide the tops? Just at the neck join? Also, I can't play the m4a file ( and I'm on an iPad, fer chrissake!). Neat, neat idea. I now know what to do with those small boxes I was gonna make into amps...

    Hmm. If you have one top facing up towards the bass, and the other down toward the treble, can you accentuate those tones...gonna hafta try and see.
  • Yeah, I know what you mean. It does not tend to slide much while playing. I suppose over time it may loosen up, in which case some candle wax should help...

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