I have a 17x6x5 box. My first build with a bunch of questions. Should the neck be set deeper in the box or the bridge moved toward the center. The strings, will they be too long if they are attached to the end of the box(cabinet hinge) or should they be fastened toward the center screwed into the neck! Soundholes, "f"holes or round, size, placement and number. I think it will have a mellow sound. It will have a fretted fretboard. Thanks for any help.

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Will, you are asking some good questions, some of your questions are a function of personal preference.

since I’m new I will say that, for you to be happy, your guitar needs to be setup, with a scale in mind.  Meaning the distance between the nut and bridge, often 25” or 25.5”, in cbg’s.

Pit must be exciting to build your first Git, enjoy brother

If you can post a pick. 

Pic of big box I built, maybe help you.

Awesome build what are the box dimensions?




Banjo 26.5" scale

DeArmond vintage Mustache pup, 10K+ ohm.

Testarossa is a nasty girl!!


Gibson style tale piece and bridge. Bridge can be adjusted for height and each string for intonation. With the Mustache pup it is one of the best sounding axes in my studio.

There are multiple trade offs you have to balance...  

With a bigger box, you don’t want the bridge at the edge of the box as it reduces the number of playable frets on the neck.   At the same time, if you use a tailpiece at the end, if the bridge is too close to the middle of the box, your strings don’t have enough of a break angle (downward pressure on the bridge), and you end up with buzzing or low volume.

Personally, I like to put the bridge no further in than 1/3rd the box length,  the strings 2-3 inches back.. if the strings mount too close to the bridge, it can be a problem.

Some of these considerations are mitigated by the type of bridge.  Personally, I love a floating, banjo style bridge as you can set the intonation precisely.  I don’t care for the neck through design I generally make ‘neck to’ the end of the box design, then drill holes for string ferrules through the box...  (See my posted photos).

Take a look at the photo gallery, and see what others have done.   Lots of good folks here are happy to help, planning is the key to success, but don’t be too married to your plan as you discover problems, be ready to adapt,

Oh, make sure your fretboard is above the body.  A common mistake is not leaving yourself room to pick the strings as they are too close  to the lid.  This is fixed either  by raising the neck and fretboard, and/or angling the neck back a bit...


17” box   And a floating bridge, mentioned by John ( great Bridge)

John Sawyer's advice is very good. If you play sitting down especially, I think that approach sets you up for a comfortable playing position too. I have a similar sized box, intending to build it as a resonator with a layout pretty close to what he's describing.

Thank you everybody for the advice. I have an old pancake Turner that I'm thinking about using for a tailstock for the strings and finishing nails for frets. Also considering springs for reverb (acoustic) any thoughts?


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