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Cigar Box Guitar Headquarters - CBG HQ

My first guitar has a three string 1 1/2 x 3/4" thick birch neck with an oak fretboard (simply what they had at home depot - oak was a bad
choice, lots of rough softer grain to mess up those string bends I don't
tend to do anyhow). I ended up leaving the neck in the original
profile, just light rounding of the corners. I actually like the
feeling, to my surprise, and I'm afraid to take any off because it bends
from string pressure just a tad already.

I'm building my second neck, this one a four stringer carved from one piece of 1 3/4" square hard maple. I'll add a decent rosewood or ebony fingerboard as well, just haven't decided.  With the tiny bodies of a cbg a truss rod would have to be longer than normal for a guitar but shorter than for a bass (unless I do some funky stuff inside the box). The cheapest rods stewmac carries are plenty long enough and are sold uncut and unthreaded, requiring a tap (extra $5 from them). That would work, but I'm unclear on a few things:

First, how may of you add truss rods?  Any advice, warnings, comments or preferences? What do you use?

How deep does the channel need to be routed for a traditional simple compression-only rod? If I make it deeper (farther from fretboard), should I glue in a strip of wood to fill in the void between fretboard and rod? Or should I just route enough so that it fits, no more? It seems it would work more efficiently if deep (matter of leverage) but that big channel seems to spell trouble for me.

How about using just a non-adjustable length of metal, like the square hollow stock stewmac and lmi sell?

Anything I forgot to ask?

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Naz, thats gotta be one of the more foolish things iv read in a long time

Naz Nomad said:
Why not make a playable neck with a trussrod in it instead?

jim said:
Why not just make a fat neck? and use good quarter sawn lumber. ?
There are multiple ways to do things. I already built a fat neck, though not quartersawn, but truss rods exist for a reason, and are used in necks made with quartersawn lumber as well.

In other words, I have a number of reasons to go this way:

I wanted to try it and see if I could without a router or table saw.
I wanted a thinner neck, with more strings and less flex than my last.
I didn't want to wait to order quartersawn wood, nor did I know where to get it locally - I got this at the place people have said has the best selection of hardwood in the region, yet they had almost no quartersawn at all. (I have sense found a couple of better places to check out... next time)

I'm also carving the whole neck by hand - don't have power saws of any sort, only a coping and jeweler's saw and some crazy folding survival saw someone left in a drawer here, but I did have a new block plane, a new to me jack plane and a spoke shave I needed to learn to use, so I carved it all down using those. NOT the easy or "right" way to do it, but I learned how to tune the hell out of my planes, sharpen them very well and, most importantly, use them. An extra inch of planing was worth that to me.

ЙД∑∑Ψ said:
Man, what-the fuck-ever, ok!
I am so impressed! I drew up a set of plans and realized I simply didn't have quite enough wood to carve a nice peg head, or that if I did, it would be too compact for the tuners I had on hand (wanted to use the wood I got and use tuning machines, not tuning pegs). I figured I would make one next - one of the most beautiful forms I've seen anywhere. I found a reprint of a work on strad violins that went into detail on the math of the curves used... simply wonderful. Oh, I also realized I should learn to use my chisels first :) I tried carving a design on a harp I made years ago - failed. Now I understand what SHARP means, and running a truly sharp chisel through wood is great.

What are you going to do with that neck?
Thanks :)

Oh, one more question: what is the best way to deal with the floor of the slot? Not sure of terminology here... how do you get a nice surface on the inside of the deep cutout where the strings go around the pegs or tuners? I'm sure this is woodworking 101, but it's all new to me.
Thanks, I'll check the link out. An upright bass was my original intention, prior to finding cbg's. I scrapped one together to see if it was worth doing, found even that pile of farm tools (washtub, hand railing for radiused fingerboard, rake as vertical/triangulating support for fingerboard, ww lines) played like a dream! Maybe a bad dream, but a dream :) Next bass will have to be a cable tub, though the Dennis Havela style washtub with a soundboard is in the competition.

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