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Smokin' Mandolins

Cigar Box Mandolins

Members: 112
Latest Activity: Sep 25

Discussion Forum

4 or 8 strings?

Started by Steven. Last reply by Mark Bliss Oct 13, 2017. 1 Reply

Hey all I'm new around here. I've been playing mandolin for a few months now and i love it. I'm thinking of doing a CBM build.My question is 4 or 8 strings? If i go with 4 strings would the CB Gitty…Continue

Can I make a neck out of a pice of maple that's 2" squared by 18" ?

Started by Anne M. Fridley-Owen. Last reply by Brian Archer Dec 20, 2016. 1 Reply

Would that be wide enough for a mandolin neck?Continue

Playing chords with the melody

Started by Paul Cooper. Last reply by Craig Franklin Wolford Oct 13, 2014. 21 Replies

I am new to cigar box nation,  I learned to play the violin so I can pick out a few tunes, but I've never learned to play chords,  Is it possible to play the melody with chords so as the tunes are…Continue

Tags: chords, with, melody, the, Playing

Cigar Box Mandolin help

Started by Dakota McGivern Sep 4, 2012. 0 Replies

i am new to the cigar box world and i was hoping to get some tips on Cigar Box Mandolins! Continue

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Comment by Thomas Case on September 25, 2019 at 3:55pm

On this one there is not Mark.  I have started putting as large a gap as possible on subsequent mandos, just need to make sure there is no gap at the bridge area.  I also stopped leaving them open, the sound is not as good, and the hinges wear out of you leave them open.

Comment by Mark Bliss on September 25, 2019 at 12:56am

Interesting. Is there no gap between the soundboard and neck/stick?

Comment by Thomas Case on September 25, 2019 at 12:04am

Here are some additional pictures, hopefully you can see the details I described in my last post better.

Comment by Thomas Case on September 24, 2019 at 11:38pm

Hi Mark,

I just felt like most CBMs I have seen had a really boring flat neck.  I wanted to replicate the way a curved top mando has the fretboard floating in the air.  Just felt right.  My first mando was the My Father the Judge dark brown box, the neck was flat, and it was missing something.  I loved the look of the second mando, the white mando, although the angle was really exaggerated.  The last 3 I built felt like they were the perfect balance.  The only structural support I use is a small 1/2 inch square corner brace in all 4 corners with whatever scrap wood I have.  All are neck through, but the wood I use in the through neck and the corner braces is always less than would be had I built the box up and used a bolt on neck.  I also designed a small L brace on the end of the tailpiece that prevents the string tension from crushing either the box or the neck.  I believe the sound is the best possible from a cigar box.  I have messed up a couple of mandos, so it has been trial and error.  But if I can give any advice, please let me know.

Basically just think of the neck as the entire load bearing piece, and the box is just the sound board and reverb device.  Each neck has 2 scarf joints.  The first is the headstock, the second starts where the neck enters the box and allows the fingerboard to float off the box top.  Both are around 6-10 degrees.  I dont have a large tablesaw, so have had to adapt a not-so-perfect jig and sand away any errors.

I cant carry a tune, but I will try to post some sound/video in the future.

Comment by Mark Bliss on September 24, 2019 at 6:37pm

Hi Thomas!

I noticed that several of your builds incorporate high bridges and generous neck set angles.

I'd like to know more about your box bracing and general construction design, as far as managing the large string load. 

Nice looking builds, love to know more and hear them.

Comment by Thomas Case on September 24, 2019 at 11:16am

Have not seen any posts here for a while.  Thought I would show my 5, 8 string mandos.  By far my favorite thing to build, sound amazing.

Comment by Dave S on January 10, 2015 at 1:51pm

My first mandolin build- a four-string Punch box just like the previous post.  My goal was to build an angry-looking little mandolin just right for playing folky/Celtic punk (checkout Flatfoot 56's "Knuckles Up").

Comment by Will King on November 19, 2014 at 10:42am

My 1st Mandolin.  I used Aquila Soprano Fifths 30U strings tuned GDAE.  Thanks to Uncle John, I am only using two fingers for the chords.  The Rod Peizo/Pre-Amp works great, not that I play well enough to want anyone to hear me.  Play it almost every day.  I also have a concert size CBU (wider neck at the nut) with the same strings, that I like even better, because it gives me more finger room and I don't have as much buzz and dead strings.

Comment by Slow Slough Guitars on October 12, 2014 at 8:04pm

I just bought my first mandolin. An Ibanez A style. Now that I have my blueprint I'll be building shortly after my license plate doubled string resonator with mag pup is done. Do most usually go with a wider neck than a standard mando?

Comment by Uncle John on January 8, 2013 at 7:25am

Standard mando strings (GDAE) tuned GDGD- actually less pressure.

 

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Discussion Forum

4 or 8 strings?

Started by Steven. Last reply by Mark Bliss Oct 13, 2017. 1 Reply

Can I make a neck out of a pice of maple that's 2" squared by 18" ?

Started by Anne M. Fridley-Owen. Last reply by Brian Archer Dec 20, 2016. 1 Reply

Playing chords with the melody

Started by Paul Cooper. Last reply by Craig Franklin Wolford Oct 13, 2014. 21 Replies

Cigar Box Mandolin help

Started by Dakota McGivern Sep 4, 2012. 0 Replies

Bolt on VS Through Necks for Mandolins

Started by Tristan Chambers. Last reply by Mark Werner Sep 8, 2011. 2 Replies

Mandolin Nut Course Spacing

Started by Steven Miller Jan 4, 2010. 0 Replies

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