Thus building a cigar box ax became my project for the week. If you want to fret and slide, you might need to make a few compromises. The higher the strings, the more tension they have, and the harder it will be to fret the notes. When I was bragging about my son to a new friend of mine he told me about this whole cigar box guitar/amplifier culture and I was intrigued. The radius of that large circle is measured in inches. The source of the breaking turned out to be scale length (the distance between nut and bridge, aka, the 2 bolts). Download Truss Rods Made Easy for free. I initially tuned to E-A-D like on a standard guitar and while that was fun, I think I’ll get more mileage from an open tuning, which is what a lot of the cigar box guitar sites recommend. A hand-drawn, illustrated guide to setting up your own Strat. The radius of that large circle is measured in inches. A light slide allows you to find that sweet spot in your setup where you can use the same guitar for two very different techniques. To prevent this while cutting the nut, use the feeler gauge as a limiter on the cutting height of the nut file. Certainly, this is a reasonable argument. Building a 3-String Fretless Cigar Box Guitar, http://coyotemercury.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/cigar_box_guitar_noodling.mp3, Tweets that mention Building a 3-String Fretless Ax | Coyote Mercury -- Topsy.com, The Lost Book Club: The Wizard of Oz, Watership Down, and Carrie Revisited. One thing I vowed never to do again is build a guitar when it’s 103°F outside. This arc, or curve, is called fretboard radius. The height of the saddles should form an arc to match the curvature of the fretboard, or fretboard radius. However, rather than just increase the action by raising the bridge (or shimming the saddle on an acoustic) it’s probably more important to consider the nut. Next up was the wiring. I wired it up, but could never get the ground wires soldered onto the back of the volume pot. I enjoyed reading about your first build as I just completed my first build. However, many players have no problems at all dealing with the radius. That should get you pretty close to where you need to be. Thanks for the opportunity to talk. Haze Guitars, 54 Rossberry Avenue, Lucan, Ireland. In the plumbing department, I found some little pieces of copper tubing with flared ends. Ha! Until you’re a frickin’ genius of the slide guitar, your bottleneck pressure and placement are much more likely to make things sound out than your intonation will. The article also mentioned a few websites with plans for building your own, which sounded like more fun than buying one. I was telling a friend just last week that wish I knew how to make things. I went to my parents’ house to get some help from my dad since I don’t even have a workbench. It was awesome!….but I didn’t use that special box. (see last picture) Think of it as a small segment of a large circle. The height of the saddles should form an arc to match the curvature of the fretboard, or fretboard radius. Some techs will slacken off the truss rod to give a bit more relief but I’ve never found that to be absolutely necessary. Here is where I had to go off plan. Now it was time to tune up. If the string height at the nut and the saddle is correct, you shouldn’t need more relief because you’re not actually fretting. I plan to make more of these. That solved the strings cutting the wood problem, but the balls on the ends of the strings could slide up the tubes, so I used this solution, which I saw in a picture on Cigar Box Nation: You can see holes, where I tried staples, but that didn’t work as well as the nail. Right now, I’ve got it tuned to open G (G-D-G) which lends itself to slide playing. To my surprise, it worked. Again, this is a reasonable argument. There I glued a number 6x 1 1/2 machine screw. Thanks, for the tip, Dom. And, since flattening the string heights is not easily reversible on many guitars (any without individually adjustable saddles), I’d advise you to see if you can handle the radius before you commit. ©2003-2020 Leading Tone Media, LLC - all rights reserved, Copying or distributing studybass.com content, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited. Two inch thick pork would be real fine with me. Blessing. Experiment a little to find the right balance. Derek Trucks has said that he plays on a guitar that’s not setup particularly differently than normal and I’ve watched Joe Bonamassa play annoyingly perfect bottleneck on a Blue Collar guitar that I’d set up to be pretty slinky. It's not that scary. I like it. I built my son a cigar box amp using salvaged parts and a circuit from “Guitar Fuel” and gave it to him for Christmas. Especially things that work. It seems to hole the string just fine. You’ve heard the saying ‘close enough for rock and roll’? Anyway, I am now building a 3 stringer and cb amp for myself and I’m determined to piss my son off and learn to play fretless slide before he does.