I am new to CBG building. I have built 2 so far and I have used 5/16 bolts for the nut and bridge. I recently bought two laser-cut wooden bridges and two bone nut blanks. My question is: the wood bridge is considerably higher than the 5/16 bolt. Does anybody else use these and do you cut them down in size? Also, are there any special techniques I should use installing the bone nuts? Thanks for any suggestions/solutions.

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Hi Lou - I build with both a bone nut and a shaped oak bridge. The height of the bridge and nut will determine the action - the height of the strings above the fret board - and frankly it's a repetitive process for me of sanding down the bridge and grooving the nut until the action is where I want it. (This is where one of the battery operated power winders comes in handy.) The bridge I sand down the bottom to reduce the height. The top of the bridge I put a bit of a peak on it and leave it floating. The nut however, I do not sand down the bottom. It is nice and flush already and that I leave. I file in the grooves for the strings and keep filing the depth of the groove until I get the action I want. Then I file down the top of the bone nut until it is just above the bottom of the grove (professional standards will say the top of the nut should leave about half of the diameter of exposed string above the top of the nut). I have experienced if the bone nut is not filed properly on the takeoff towards the tuners (you'll want to round this down a bit), you may get string buzz. I usually find my buzz goes away by either filing the grove on the takeoff towards the tuners, or cleaning up the groove in the nut. There is plenty of info here and also on the net on filing grooves for bone nuts. After the first few, you'll be a pro at it. ;-) P.S. I did all my grooves without any fancy files for most of first builds and they play just fine. Hope this helps - any more questions - ask away.

Thanks for the feedback, Joe. I am building it fretless, so the string height is not super critical, but I would like to keep it around 5/16". I'll be sanding away! Thanks again.

Hi Lou - further to my note (for some reason I can't seem to edit my note) - there is also plenty of info on Youtube on this subject, and how to check for proper action.

It sounds like an acoustic; are you planning on ever adding a piezo and input jack so it can be plugged into a amp? I believe under the bridge is a good place for a rod piezo, especially if your soundboard is small and you don't get a good sound from the piezo on the soundboard, and/or you have other space constraints in the interior. Maybe it's possible to embed a rod piezo into the top of the bridge? I don't know, but I am so excited about the possibilities that I'm going to install one in a cheapo ukulele, just to see if it works. A pickup also could save a "failed" build, so I'm taking this into consideration for all my future builds.

Actually it's cheap enough to buy finished bone nuts, so I haven't tried to notch my own. Also, I'm assuming you're aware that usually notches are made in proportional size to the strings. This may be overkill on a CBG, no doubt you noticed the bolt works fine. Although if you want to make it convertible to string left or right handed, you might avoid gluing the nut.

I installed the pre-amp bundle from CB Gitty that comes with the rod piezo. The rod is directly under the bridge and I think it sounds great. The bone nut took a little time and effort to get it to my liking, but I am satisfied with it. The Patron box makes a beautiful guitar. Thanks for your input.

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