Mistakes^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^HVariations in progress

So I am still working on my first cigar box guitar. I thought I was about done, but then discovered I’d been not paying enough attention to instructions (the ones for the first guitar in Mike Orr’s book) and ended up with too small a headstock, with the nut way too close to the first tuner. There was no way it’d string up correctly. I tried a screw as string tree to help with that, but with results that were, we shall just say, not what I’d hoped for.

So last night I took my new Japanese style hand saw and sawed through the fingerboard about an inch and a half from the end. (Practice for fretting?) Chiseled that piece off the neck and sanded, and next I’ll apply a few coats of finish. What I’ll end up with is pretty close to what it was supposed to be in the first place.

I could still have a 25″ scale, I think, if I put the bridge very close to the end of the box. In fact that’s what Orr did, not that I was paying enough attention to that fact until now. His headstock is about 6.5″ long, his scale is 25″, the neck sticks out an inch or so from the tail of the box, and he says the neck is 33″ long: do the math, the bridge is right down there. Or just look at the freakin’ picture, that’s what I didn’t.

But it seems to me that acoustically it should work better to put the bridge further from the edge. So I’ll probably do that and just end up with a 23.5″ or so scale.

It’s good to get these screwups inspired improvements out of the way on a fretless instrument, isn’t it? So I can come up with new ones when I start doing frets.

Yeah, I figure this will not be my last instrument. Oh, by the way, I bought three cigar boxes at a garage sale this morning.



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