Hi Guys,

  I'm new at this and I would like to know how much distance to put between the strings center to center. The neck on my guitar,( my first attempt), is an inch and a half wide. Is half an inch enough room between the strings ?  Thanks,Bob

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Hi Bob, Some builders I know, and me included,would like to, and are trying to make a 1.5 inch wide fretboard as a sort of "standard" dimension for three string CBGs. The middle string down the center, and the outside strings 3/16 in from each edge. The players like those specs for picking. As the three bears say, not too wide, not to narrow, but just right.
My necks are 1 3/4 wide and I use a 1/2 space between the strings. It works.
Richard,
Thanks for your help, it is hard to know some of this stuff when you are just getting started. I found out long ago that there is no shame in asking, if you don't know something, you need to ask before you mess it up. If I cut the bridge the same as I set up the holes for the tailend then it looks like my spacing is going to be about .475 inch apart. I guess that will work for me for the first one anyway. What doc most builders cut their bridge slots with and how close should they fit the strings? Thanks again, Bob H.

Richard Sanabia said:
Hi Bob, Some builders I know, and me included,would like to, and are trying to make a 1.5 inch wide fretboard as a sort of "standard" dimension for three string CBGs. The middle string down the center, and the outside strings 3/16 in from each edge. The players like those specs for picking. As the three bears say, not too wide, not to narrow, but just right.
Michael,
I appreciate your good advice and as I told Richard above, it looks like I am going to end up setting them at about .475 inch apart. That is just about halfway between what each of you recommended. I think it will work for me ,anyway. Thanks for getting back to me on this. I am a rank beginner and I feel like I am feeling my way along in the dark sometimes. I appreciate your help. Bob H.
As far as the bridge..I slotted one with a hacksaw. Use a bolt.. works great bc they fit a slot regardless of spacing : ) I've got a couple bridges that aren't slotted at all. steel rod..seems to work fine... Any advice on that , from the more seasoned players?
Thanks for the reply Dave.

David Fultz said:
As far as the bridge..I slotted one with a hacksaw. Use a bolt.. works great bc they fit a slot regardless of spacing : ) I've got a couple bridges that aren't slotted at all. steel rod..seems to work fine... Any advice on that , from the more seasoned players?
Coming from the stick-dulcimer (strum stick) perspective, the necks are narrower than what guitar players use and the strings are placed like 9mm (0.9 cm, or just under 3/8") apart. Since the neck width is 22mm, that leaves about 2mm between each of the outer strings and their respective side of the neck. From my rather clumsy fingering experience, extending the width of the neck by 2mm on each side of neck between the edge and the outer strings would be helpful in preventing your melody string from catching on the edge of the metal frets. The string spacing you prefer probably depends on your background - what you are used to. For a three stringed instrument, that might be guitar sting spacing or stick dulcimer spacing.
Thanks for the info. I am making stringed intruments for each of my grandchildren and they need all the room I can give them so they don't make too many mistakes.
to the neck edges is best
Do you mean put the middle string right down the middle and the other two clear to the outside of the neck? What width of a neck are we talking about? Most of mine are 1.5 inches wide and fairly parrell sided. That would be about 3/4 of an inch between strings and that sounds like too much to me. These grandkids of mine are small kids, the oldest is a girl of eleven years and she is small for her age. Her sister who is eight is just as big as she is. The boy is six years old. Bob H.
yes thats best, it not important the width of the neck, just that the middle string in the middle and the other 2 spread out to the edges....thats the easiest way to learn.

Robert Hynden said:
Do you mean put the middle string right down the middle and the other two clear to the outside of the neck? What width of a neck are we talking about? Most of mine are 1.5 inches wide and fairly parrell sided. That would be about 3/4 of an inch between strings and that sounds like too much to me. These grandkids of mine are small kids, the oldest is a girl of eleven years and she is small for her age. Her sister who is eight is just as big as she is. The boy is six years old. Bob H.

Robert,

 

The thing about advice is to check out who's talking... BeetleJuice (aka RedDog, aka John McNair) is probably one of the authorities on three string guitars, including CBGs.  Now there are a lot of people with different opinions on the subject, but don't discount what John has to say on the subject...

Advice?  Build a CBG with bolts for nut and bridge and then you can try out an infinite number of string arrangement (including assymetrical setups) and form your own opinions based on your playing style and what feels right to you...

 

the best,

 

Wichita Sam

Robert Hynden said:

Do you mean put the middle string right down the middle and the other two clear to the outside of the neck? What width of a neck are we talking about? Most of mine are 1.5 inches wide and fairly parrell sided. That would be about 3/4 of an inch between strings and that sounds like too much to me. These grandkids of mine are small kids, the oldest is a girl of eleven years and she is small for her age. Her sister who is eight is just as big as she is. The boy is six years old. Bob H.

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