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Diane in Chicago
  • Female
  • Chicago, IL
  • United States
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Diane in Chicago's Discussions

WTTW report on David Sutton's CBG book!

Started this discussion. Last reply by Wichita Sam Oct 11, 2012. 7 Replies


fixing a snapped fiddle neck

Started this discussion. Last reply by Diane in Chicago Jan 14, 2012. 16 Replies

I have a violin without a fingerboard.  The neck is broken clean in half right below the head.I can get the two pieces to nest back together and glue them, but I also want to add a splint on the…Continue

what happened to the chat?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Diane in Chicago Dec 3, 2011. 12 Replies

Mine is all greyed out, and completely blank. Is it just me?Continue


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Building small acoustic guitars in my small basement.


* travel fiddle
* a pentatonic dulcimer on a vintage tin with a crane - for me!
* upright 4-string washtub bass

* handful of 3-strings to go over to folks in Afghanistan

* four Afghani-tars, sent overseas to servicemembers there
* pair of matching ukes for the Teen Girl Uke Squad
* mountain dulcimer on paired boxes, dual melody strings tuned D d dd
* uke for my daughter
* mountain dulcimer on paired Las Cabrillas boxes, D A AA
* mountain dulcimer on paired Padron boxes, with the sinful 1+ fret for wayward teenage daughter
* 19" strummer for my sister's nephew-in-law
* pentatonic kalimba with 9 3mm tines
* mountain dulcimer on paired boxes, dual melody strings tuned DAdd
* eight 17" stick dulcimers on tins/lunchboxes to use in a workshop coming up.
* one double-box chromatic mountain dulcimer

Diane in Chicago's Blog

Cigar Box Fiddle, Progress Report #3 - the Box

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 6:30pm 2 Comments

I cut the box down to be just over 1.5" deep.  I was able to get the bottom off finally, but only be destroying the scraps of sides that were still attached.  Those nails were really rusted in and were not coming out.


I reinforced the corners before I did much more work so the box had more strength.  I've decided to screw 'n' glue the box closed - it works for a guitar so why not a fiddle?  The sides are so thin, I am not convinced a glue bond will be secure over time.  So…


Cigar Box Fiddle, Progress Report #2 - cutting the neck

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 6:30pm 2 Comments

The neck has been cut and final sanded at this point, and I've glued on the fingerboard.  I used a mortise drill to cut out the peghead, and then chisels to smooth out the pegbox a bit - but it is still pretty rough inside.  Here is a sequence of shots of cutting and shaping the neck



Cigar Box Fiddle, Progress Report #1

Posted on April 10, 2011 at 10:38am 4 Comments

I had a block of black walnut all glued up from more than a year ago when I tried the first fiddle.  Armed with that experience, some time to contemplate and a really cool box I've been saving, we begin.  All the parts were at hand and the tape measure was there, and next thing I new I'd sketched out a template for the neck, with a super-simplified scroll.  I've got these really beautiful geared tuners made just for a fiddle.  And since the lid is warping and quite darkened, I'll likely use…


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Ted Crocker left a comment for Diane in Chicago
Apr 26, 2019

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Welcome to the Clubhouse! How did you hear about us?
A little bird told me.
What instruments are you building or playing?
cigar box guitars, mountain dulcimers, stick dulcimers and the occasional bowed instrument

Comment Wall (73 comments)

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At 7:10pm on April 26, 2021, Ted Crocker said…

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At 8:28am on April 26, 2018, Danny Gordon said…

happy birthday

At 10:39am on April 26, 2017, Ted Crocker said…

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At 10:12pm on February 6, 2014, Sonny Armintrout said…

Diane, I was reading one of your replied to someone and you mentioned the fretting on blues fret of a diatonic scale and mentioned different frets to skip on regular guitar fret board.  If I understand it correctly and I probably do not, will this fretting work for any scale?  I have been using the fret board  chart from CB Gitty will they work for setting these blues ( 0,3,6,7,10,12) frets of diatonic? Oh, and the 0 means no frets until the 3rd fret?  Help me Sonny


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