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Beginner Questions - ABCs


Beginner Questions - ABCs

Check here first if you think it might be something asked over and over. Ask here for answers. We'll try to fill this with everything you need to get started.

Members: 76
Latest Activity: Jan 13, 2016

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Discussion Forum

Mono verses stereo

Started by rick harris. Last reply by Wayfinder Oct 7, 2015. 1 Reply

is there a…Continue

Nut Material

Started by rick harris. Last reply by Mike S Jun 15, 2014. 1 Reply

By using one or the other as in bone,wood, bolt, for a nut is there any difference in sound that comes by using different material?Continue

Missing note?

Started by PJ Pilkington. Last reply by rick harris May 25, 2014. 7 Replies

Hi,   I built a second cbg and fretted it.  Well the frets didn't seat in properly and so I decided to go fretless.  So I easily took the frets out, filled the slots, resanded the fret board.  But I…Continue

Bridge Mystery

Started by Jim Kasmir. Last reply by rick harris May 22, 2014. 9 Replies

On a lot of the builds I see here, a small metal rod is used as a bridge , usually floating atop a piece of wood. I've been looking for a similar small rod to use on my own builds, but so far have…Continue

Comment Wall


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Comment by Mike S on September 13, 2013 at 9:37pm

If you are using steel strings, the tension will be the same for elec or acoustic. My oak necks are just a 20mm X 40-50mm slice of board. No finger board, frets are set straight in. Haven't noticed any bending yet, but if you are using a wound pup, you'll need to brace the back of the neck inside the box to allow for the cut out. Oak and mahogany are strong and stiff woods, unlike pine/willow etc.

Comment by Mark T. on September 13, 2013 at 2:22pm
If your making a 3 string electric do you need to reinforce the neck (truss rod) etc? Or is using oak and oak fret board enough?
Comment by PJ Pilkington on April 26, 2013 at 5:50pm

I was using a small precision hack saw.  I have a coping saw but it doesn't work well.  I bought a fret saw and it has arrived.  So I guess I will try one more time.


Comment by Ted Crocker on April 25, 2013 at 10:53pm

What are you using for a fret saw?  Maybe the kerf is too wide.  I haven't had a problem with curved wire.

Comment by PJ Pilkington on April 25, 2013 at 8:03pm

I wish among all the video's  etc.  that you find upon researching that someone would have said not to use curved fret wire!!  I have learned a lesson twice and now more confused than ever.  And a few dollars poorer!  It is NOT as easy as they show! Anyway... I will keep trying!


Comment by PJ Pilkington on April 23, 2013 at 5:53pm

Thanks to you all!!  I will keep working on it.


Comment by Frank Tennyson on April 23, 2013 at 11:04am

PJ most do not use any curvature on 3 or 4-stringed fretboards. However if you look at any manufactured instrument coming from a factory you will find some curvature. Finger Barring the last two strings on a 3-stringer on a flat fretboard often is difficult for some, but barring the strings on a slightly curved fretboard is easier. Ergonamics!

Either glue and then clamp flat the fret wire for a flat fretboard and wire or put a slight curver to the fret board using any old mfg'ed guitar for reference.

Comment by jim on April 21, 2013 at 7:31pm

PJ, some folks use a small amount of super glue in the slot and then clamp the neck down flat on a table.

Comment by PJ Pilkington on April 21, 2013 at 1:12pm

On a my first two builds the fret wire I bought has a slight curve to it.  When I pounded them in they still seem to hump in the middle.  Should I try and get flat fret wire?  Any help would be appreciated.


Comment by Mike S on April 18, 2013 at 7:07pm

RE: What Wood?  My main preference for necks is mahogany. A single strip of 45-50mm X 20mm for a cbg type build where you dont have to cut a pickup in ie piezo. Full electrics get 2  35-40mm X 20 strips laminated together with join on the string side. Very strong! I usually source the timber from bed heads or old furniture brought very cheaply online. I like to finish with either Danish Oil or raw linseed, 3-5 coats of either. Had good results with English Oak in the same dimentions, but it's much harder than mahogany. Tone-wise I think Mahogany has the edge, but given the variables that go into a hand made instrument, I suspect it's a case of 'follow your bliss'.:-)


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