CBG first time build - post #2

Went on ebay to find a nice body. Although I think a box 2" x 11" x 8" this Arturo Fuente will fit the bill. Perhaps I can source one from the local shop. 9353720892?profile=original

I also came across this Guitar Fret Simulator that I'm hoping will show me where my notes are so I can at least play some tunes once I put it together.


In reading just from this site, in the Free Plans section there is the post of Smokehouse Guitars. There I read, "I have found that cigar boxes with a minimum length of 11.5" work well for standard scale length guitars." Since I'll be able to use a standard guitar to get my fret distances, and I believe that it will be easier to get my hands into a larger space to figure things out I am aiming for that size. I also will be playing the guitar as an acoustic instrument so the larger the body the more sound is my idea.


I like the use of the hinge to hold the strings on this French CBG.

9353721680?profile=originalI'm not good at identifying wood without leaves on it but I think that the neck is oak? Help me out with this...


As for my neck I think I am going to stick with the poplar 2x1. I am also liking the idea of an angled head. I would like to fret it as I believe that is a skill I would like to have, and the sooner the better. I might look into some of the cheaper options, such as the toothpick frets or some other sort of wire. I've also thought about just doing a simple inlay of square wire to mark the scale but leaving it a smooth neck. I can see myself getting kinda crazy on the neck. I do like the look of a professional fret job...

9353722452?profile=originalIn my sketching I realized that to have an effective acoustic instrument I would need a slightly larger bridge...that would create an angle from the bridge to the nut that is not parallel with the neck or frets. I may attempt to build a neck that has a angled fret board to accommodate for this.

One thing that I come across when reading about frets is intonation. Since I've never heard of this word before today I can't really say how I'll prepare for it. I am not attracted to the idea of a movable bridge, and I doubt that there would be any way I could tell if the strings sounded sharp or not...to be frank, I have no clue how to defeat this possible problem. The only thing that would attract me to a floating bridge is so that I could adjust intonation as well as modify the bridge height quickly in experimentation.

In the way of building techniques there is an awesome series by a Mr. Steve on youtube. I like his saying about glue and using white glue on anything you might have to remove.


In other news, I have decided to pick up my first CBG from a fellow on here by the name of Richard Sanabia. He makes everything by hand and has a real nice craftsmanship to his instruments. He's also doing some interesting things with bass models. In my search for a guitar I also had the pleasure to see the very nice instruments of Wichita Sam. I've learned that he is looking to make some room in his collection and will be parting with some very nice electric 4 stringers. If you like the one below send him a message and I'm sure he can work with you.


Mr. Wichita's Bolivar...my favorite!

9353723058?profile=originalI really enjoy the key, and the box has a really cool graphic as well.


Next are some sketches with me attempting to work out how I think this thing will go together. My main goal is to have the sound board as free as possible for best acoustic quality without sacrificing strength. With my background including remote control airplanes my first idea is to incorporate carbon fiber. I have been working with Kevlar sheets to reinforce foam sheeting so I will be looking into that. While on the topic of reinforcements I am also going to attempt to glue a carbon fiber arrow shaft into the neck, laying it into a groove under the fret board...perhaps it will have a benefit, who knows?


A couple of simple sketches...working out the details.

So today is my pick-up soccer game. I'm going to research some cigar shops and see if I cannot source a body for my first build. Or at least get a box to look at.


Hopefully I can get a couple of materials as well, like a straight neck and some nuts and bolts and hinges, etc. That I want to get my hands on and see how they interact and look together. Since I do not have access to a shop immediately I might throw together a simple build just to get the experience and see what size I like and improvements.


Until next time.



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  • I definitely recommend throwing together a first build with the expectation that it won't be as perfect as you want, that you'll have trouble with unexpected things, and that you'll come up with a hundred great new ideas to try on your next build. And then start right away on your second build while learning to play the first. Repeat the cycle often to build enough instruments and acquire enough boxes to outgrow your storage space, and start giving them away or selling them.


    Man I love this hobby. Welcome to the fun. :)

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