My first fretted CBG (part 2)
Updated: Oct 25, 2018
Mr. Punch--yes, I'm naming my guitars--is a success. I had to do some fine-tuning, and I learned a lot in process.
First the specifics:
---Red Oak fret board
---Walnut nut and bridge
---Black tuning pegs
---Antique bronze hinge tail piece
---Three antique grommets for the sound holes
---Ernie Ball Slinky strings from a "Power Slinky" six string set. D string, B string, E string
---Inside supports--two pieces of red oak
---A necessary steel "L" corner brace behind the neck
I learned a lot making this CBG. The fret board was actually quite good. It has a slightly rise by the nut, so selecting the piece of wood is something I need to do more carefully. The spacing of the fret is perfect. The sound is good.
Speaking of the nut, I had to figure out how to make one. My idea of a nut is forever changed. I see it differently. I had some plastic nuts for ukuleles, but these were too short. After looking on Amazon for some possibilities and being worried about the measurements (in metric which really means almost nothing to me) I decided to do more research. I had used bolts to make bridges and nuts on my fret-less CBGs. That was a possibility, but I decided to try something else. I watched people make a few on youtube. I figured what the hell. I decided to use walnut. It worked well. Filing it worked well, too.
The bridge was another experiment. Because the scale is a 23 inches (tenor guitar size) I had some issues with the bridge. I had a beautiful bridge from CB Gitty. I decided to cut the feet off it. I filed it to control the action--the strings were too far from the fret board.
After working it for a while with the file, I decided the real problem was the tail piece. I drilled the holes too high in the converted hinge. Thankfully, hinges are sold in pairs. I made another with lower holes. The end result after more sanding was pretty good action. It is still a bit high, but not too much. It's probably really good for playing with a stubby slide.
I learned about the tension on the neck. I'm thinking about making some type of metal reinforcement in the interior for the next one. I settled for an external L bracket this time.
The tone is solid on Mr. Punch, so is the playability. Overall, this was a success.
By the way, I am not using poplar anymore for necks. It is not that hard and for the price mahogany, birch, maple, or walnut just make more sense. Poplar bends too much, which is fine for a fret-less but not a fretted CBG.