Just finished building my first CBG and pleased with the result until I tried to string it. Used strings 2,3 and 4 from a set of Dunlop nickel wound electric. These are 42,30 and 17 gauge respectively. Used a digital tuner to tune to G,D,G. The 2 string snapped as I reached the correct pitch (G). As I had only the one set of strings on hand I decided to go with 3,4and 5 (13 gauge). Got to G on the top string but it was quite dead so tried to take it up to A but it too snapped before it got there.
I can't believe it's a fault with the strings.
The neck is a "through-the-box" and the strings go through grommets in the tail stock so there's no issue there. In both cases the break occurred at the machine head.
Most disappointing. Was hoping to play it this weekend.
Any help/suggestions greatly appreciated
There can be several reasons for string breakage on new builds. I'll try and suggest a few then I'm sure others will be able to help some too.
Check the machine heads for burrs or sharper bits to make sure that's not why they're snapping at the machine heads.
Make sure your break angle over the nut and/or bridge isn't too severe. If it's too steep of an angle going over these then that can create similar issues.
Along with break angle, if you're building a slide guitar, make sure your string height above the neck or fretboard isn't too high. Better a lower action even for a slide guitar unless you're building to lapsteel specification?
As you said they're new strings I won't suggest avoiding using old strings.
Last one I can think of right now is make sure you're tuning to the correct octave of GDg. Even with an electronic tuner it can be easy to tune past the correct octave tuning to a higher octave that the strings weren't meant to tune to. Unfortunately I don't know what the correct octave is or whether your tuner gives a readout for octaves but generally you should be able to depress the strings without too much pushing.
Try these things and as mentioned I'm sure others will be around to help soon. Have a great day and best regards,
Many thanks. I'll check it all.
the correct octave is G 2nd octave D 3rd and G 3rd. I got that from a book while trying to string my first build last weekend. It worked great!
Thank you. That's good info.
Deburr with fine sandpaper, I’m sure it’s a sharp point somewhere? Tuners can have sharp edges? Good luck.
Thanks Brian. That was suggested earlier. I think it's the most likely.
Arthur, I have been using .044, ,034 & .026 and have never broken a string. Generally build to a 25.5" scale and tune G,D,G.