March 2011 Blog Posts (23)

String Spacing Calculator

Recently I came across this article online where this guy uses a caliper and calculations to measure the optimum, equidistant string spacing using the neck/nut width, the string gauges and number of strings, the 'margin' on either side of the first and last string and then does a specific calculation to arrive at the spacing.


Its not complicated but I made a spreadsheet and have an example of what to do and how to use:…


Added by Wes "I'm Baaaaack" Yates on March 31, 2011 at 2:28pm — No Comments

Building my first Cigar box uke! (actualy my first anything)

Will have pitures up soon Could use some advice on what to use for fretting

Added by Lankey on March 23, 2011 at 1:44pm — 1 Comment

CBG Kit templates

Below are all the templates I have created for the Cigar Box Guitar kit: Download all of them. There is also a Quick Start guide if you want to make a simple CBG from the kit.


Main Kit Instructions - KitInstructions.pdf

Quick Start - How To Build A Cigar Box…


Added by Wes "I'm Baaaaack" Yates on March 21, 2011 at 8:30am — 4 Comments

Pickup covers

I love brass all nice and shiny.  Here is a completed prototype of my version of the Thin Pickup.  This is one of a few sizes I ended up designing.  This one is wide enough for a 6 string and measure in at slightly over 1/4" thick.  For my typical builds, it is not a problem mounting this on right on top of the box.  Like this one.…


Added by Don Goguen on March 19, 2011 at 4:13pm — 5 Comments

Fret Scale Template-Accurate! Cheap!--How To Make

  Here's my first CB building blog. It's just a short one to get the hang of it. It's about making an accurate fret scale template for about 3$US as opposed to buying one for 40+$US. It has sub-millimeter accuracy with just a little care taken in its making. First, you need a 3$ 'Swanson' yardstick from Lowes i.e. ( Of course it can be another quality brand from somewhere else as long as it has mm marked its full length. After completion…


Added by DrByte on March 18, 2011 at 11:43am — 23 Comments

My Wonderful Wife set me a Challenge

The other day my dear wife Jan set me a challenge.

The challenge was to build a Cigar Box Guitar in one day.

The conditions for this challenge was to build one from bits that i already had in my workshop,nothing posh, a none fuss box standard Cigarbox Guitar.

Its was like a red rag to a bull.......

So 11am -ish  on Wednesday the 16th of March 2011 i set about the Built.

Got a box .... check

Got a neck....check

Tuning pegs .... few…


Added by Soulcatcher & His DooFa Diddley on March 18, 2011 at 8:26am — 2 Comments

Lost My Voice in Atlanta

Earlier this week, I was in Atlanta for Pittcon.  It's the largest conference for Analytical Chemistry in the US and although attendance isn't what it once was, its a big deal for many companies, mine included.


As I was speaking with punters at my company booth on Monday afternoon, I noticed my voice getting a bit rough.  By the time I got back to the hotel that evening, I didn't have anything above a whisper.  Tuesday, nothing.  Wednesday even less.  Either someone slipped…


Added by Bad Finger (Eric) on March 17, 2011 at 9:18am — 2 Comments

Profile photo

I'm have trouble adding a photo to my profile. I have tried everything I can think of and no go. Any help would be great.

Added by Mark Bishop on March 14, 2011 at 12:57pm — 1 Comment

Thin Pickup (part 2)

A fairly productive day.  I got one of my favorite standard CBG builds completed for use as a test platform and wound a few variations of my baseline design.   I picked up 4 different magnet sizes and so far have experimented with 2.  So far I've wound 7 different coils ranging from severe under wound to slightly overwound. 

In the above picture I used a small square of…


Added by Don Goguen on March 13, 2011 at 10:00pm — 1 Comment

Thin pickup (an open source post)

Like many, Shane's post/challenge put my creative side into overdrive.  I had made some attempts at a thinner pickup but really didn't like the way my experiments turned out.  A lot of time and learning has passed since these early experiments.  What I have learned in the last couple of years has to do with why some parts of pickup design just doesn't directly translate when you make them smaller.  There are a bunch of reasons that a 3 pole single coil pickup wound with the same number of…


Added by Don Goguen on March 12, 2011 at 6:14pm — 1 Comment

Papa's Boxes not currently fulfilling orders

I just recieved this email from Papa's Boxes today after I emailed them a month or so ago. I wonder what issue it is they are having?



Thank you for your email and your inquiry into our products.  We are not able to fulfill any orders at this time.  Please check back with us in early May as to the availability.  You are correct that the availability has been out of stock since late last year. I am sorry for any inconvenience.

Thanks, Ilene

Added by Paul Curry on March 10, 2011 at 3:51pm — No Comments

Acquiring more tools...big style

Well, I've bought a pretty serious tool...a 12" Record bandsaw! Got it from eBay at a good price. I'd been looking at prices of new ones, but for a decent sized one they were out of my budget..and seeing as this is pretty much the same one as JuJu has I thought it would be a safe bet.  It needed a bit of work to get it running right..a new bandwheel tyre and a new blade, but for half the price of new I reckon it was a good buy. It's already proving its worth, as tedious jobs with a handsaw…


Added by ChickenboneJohn on March 10, 2011 at 2:17am — 3 Comments

Here comes the sun

  Spring time is just around the corner and it couldn't come at a better time. This winter has brought our area a mountain of snow...nearly a storm per week since Christmas 2010. While my family spends lots of time outdoors sledding, walking, and more during the year's darkest days, I am quite ready for warmer, longer days.

 Of course this means I will be busier than a one armed paper hanger with the crabs...but who can complain? At least I don't have crabs...haaa.



Added by Scott aka Farmer Ted on March 9, 2011 at 10:52am — No Comments

CBG on my film scores.

I'm a film composer (4 features, countless shorts with 12+ albums.)

I've got a couple of Dan Sleep's Humidor CBG's (and CBU''s.)


Here's the tracks where my Humidor CBG #1 ( Corona box) was featured:

Giant Place Detail - 3,13,16,23,25,34,37

GPD on Cdbaby

GPD on…


Added by christopher north on March 6, 2011 at 2:25pm — 1 Comment

My first cbg

 Greetings everybody, I'm getting ready to build my first cbg. Just starting to collect my parts. It will take a while to build it. I want to take my time so it will look and sound ok. When finished I will post a picture of it.

Added by Mark Bishop on March 6, 2011 at 9:00am — No Comments

Making a four string neck part 5 (pressing the frets)


Once i sanded my fretboards how i like them I pressed and trimmed the frets

The pictures tell the story. I used to hammer the frets in  but that was a pain in the ass so I made this press. and Also made a few blocks and shims so I can press all the frets up to the high end.notice how I turned my kitchen table into my workshop. this makes my wife so happy.....not.        


dig the blurry pics…


Added by mike g on March 5, 2011 at 5:53pm — 5 Comments

Making a four string neck part 4 (beveling the neck)

After I cut the frets I am ready to bevel the back sides of the neck on the bandsaw following some guide lines. the neck in cross section will look like the picture below.
I mark the neck .4 from the bottom and draw a line the whole length of the neck (lines with arrow… Continue

Added by mike g on March 5, 2011 at 2:29pm — No Comments

im not a computor person

          I will share more when I get a bit better at it. Every thing ive tried including sending music has hit a wall. I will keep trying.

Added by nicholas mackay sampsell on March 5, 2011 at 1:48am — 1 Comment

Making a four string guitar neck part 3 (marking and slotting the frets)

Now I am ready to mark and slot the frets. I square up the nut slot with a nice square file and clamp a dummy nut in to measure from so there is no guessing where I'm measuring from. I charted out my fret distances on a piece of paper and marked the neck with a nice sharp pencil. Mine is a 24" fret scale.…

Added by mike g on March 4, 2011 at 2:29pm — No Comments

Home Made Fret Press

I made this fret press and thought I would share it before I finish the neck making posts. I need to fret three necks so I broke down and made this press. It features 2 inch thich quarter sawn white oak. The whole unit is 21" long by 7-1/2 wide and weighs about forty pounds or more. I used a brick chisel for the press head. first I flattened and shaped the face of the chisel to accept the groove and then I…

Added by mike g on March 4, 2011 at 1:46pm — No Comments

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