Sean Murphy's Blog (10)

Fretboard wood - what to do, what to do?

I am close to finishing my latest build, but need to do my fretboard still. I have a lovely piece of bocote (middle), a really interesting strip of zebrawood (right), and I though about using poplar to tone with the label on the box. Neck is black walnut.



I like the poplar most, from the color-theory perspective - but the zebrawood is amazing too.



(also, too: I'm seriously flirting with trying a bound fretboard on this one - trying to talk myself out of it, but I want to…

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Added by Sean Murphy on July 31, 2019 at 6:40pm — 7 Comments

Getting ready for next build

Parts assembled for next build. I'd thought about using another piece of bocote for the fretboard but I think a nice piece of poplar might make a nicer color complement. 

Added by Sean Murphy on July 17, 2019 at 12:54pm — 8 Comments

What wood is this?

Got a nice piece of wood from my dad this past weekend, but neither he nor I know what it is. It's definitely mostly grey-ish.

The piece on top is mahogany - trying to ID the wider piece.

Any thoughts?

Added by Sean Murphy on July 16, 2019 at 10:48am — 7 Comments

Overpriced cigar box in antique store?

I visited an antique store this past weekend in search of goodies that might make for a good CBG project, and noticed a cabinet that had seven or eight cigar boxes. In checking them out, I noticed a lovely Don Diego "Playboy" box, a bit worn, 25 "Churchill" cigars.

I considered picking it up until I noticed that the shop had the box priced at $165.95!!!!

A quick search on the internet shows similar boxes for around twenty bucks.

Is there any conceivable reason one of…

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Added by Sean Murphy on July 14, 2019 at 8:36pm — 7 Comments

Latest build

This one was a pain in my backside - seemed like something went wrong almost every step, compounded by my trying a bunch of new things on it.

I was prepared for the final result to be terrible, but it came out great - sounds lovely (has kind of a dulcimer-like sound) and is super comfy in the hand.…

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Added by Sean Murphy on July 5, 2019 at 8:34am — 5 Comments

Adventures in headstock-making

Working on my latest build, got a nice piece of mahogany for the neck (first time using something other than box-store lumber), and a piece of bocote for the fretboard. Working on a more stylized headstock with a three-in-line tuner setup, on an angle so the strings come straight off the peg and across the nut and down the neck.



Got the headstock all set up and measured where the pegs would go at least four or five times. Drilled the holes...and damned if they're a different…

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Added by Sean Murphy on June 15, 2019 at 4:41pm — 2 Comments

Latest build

I love me some canjos, but I had a really tiny cigar box that I thought would be a good candidate for a one-string diatonic build. Used it to try my hand at a shaped headstock - still a lot to learn there - but it came out right purty, and sounds nice!

Red oak neck, poplar fretboard.

Because I had one to hand, I stuck a bottlecap piezo pickup in, so it can be played through an amp. That was mostly for fun though.…

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Added by Sean Murphy on May 8, 2019 at 9:03pm — 4 Comments

Sunday canjo fun

Yesterday I helped a friend put together his first CBG, a four-string. Today I spent a couple hours in the garage throwing together a quick-n-dirty canjo - definitely picked up some lessons for the next ones I make! But much fun had, and it sounds pretty good.…

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Added by Sean Murphy on April 21, 2019 at 5:26pm — 2 Comments

Secret Santa gift!

We did a Secret Santa exchange at my office and I mentioned that I build CBG's - my SS gave me a box of boxes! One of them even had some finger picks and a guitar strap in it!

Added by Sean Murphy on December 16, 2017 at 10:30am — 7 Comments

First attempt

Finished my first attempt at a CGB today and I'm feeling a bit let down right now - I knew there would be warts but there were more than expected. A few things that will go down as learning experiences:

1. There was too much work that happened on the neck and fretboard before gluing them together; as a result, the fretboard didn't really lay down flat on the neck and there are gaps all along the edge (despite full clamping).

2. Using small brass eye bolts as the tail to hold…

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Added by Sean Murphy on November 11, 2017 at 4:02pm — 8 Comments

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