My Photographic Guide To CBG Construction
5. Get some Fretwire - £2/metre (online), or from a guitar shop.
6. Snip frets to size, (Cut one that's the width of your guitar neck, then use it to mark out where to cut the rest of the roll of wire), and mark the fret positions from a template onto the neck or a separate fretboard piece of wood. (Length from template, Width the same as your neck timber, and 4-6mm thick), Make sure the timber is long enough to fit through the box with an inch long tailpiece, and a headstock that will be big enough for your tuners, and not too long, or your strings wont reach them. (I made that mistake once !)
This page is excellent for fretboard templates:
CLICK FOR FRETBOARD TEMPLATES
7. Tap frets with mallet, into carefully sawn grooves. A fret saw, gents saw, or hacksaw, and a mitre box will work best. Keep your grooves straight, even height, and 2mm deep, depending on the fretwire 'tang' (the bit that goes in to the fretboard). You should snip them closer to width than I did in this picture!
8. File the frets to width of neck / fretboard. Round off sharp edges. Make sure they are at an even height, and not scratched. Steel wool will help.
14. Drill holes for the tuners, position ferules, and screw them in place on gthe back of the headstock. Make sure you can turn the tuners, so don't drill too far from the edge. Always drill smaller guideholes before screwing in to the wood, and starting small and increasing drillbit size when making holes. The ferules (peg holders) should be tapped in place with a rubber mallet. - A block of wood under anything you drill will prevent splintering.
15. Solder a pickup / socket and optional volume control pot (see below)
Click here for great wiring / soldering diagrams
Glue pickup to underside of neck, and drill holes for socket and control. Screw them in place.
16. Add a bridge, made from anything you fancy, with grooves cut to hold the strings an even width apart.
The bridge should be positioned SO THE DISTANCE FROM THE NUT TO THE 12th FRET (ie. where you find the octave of your string when plucked) IS EQUAL TO THE DISTANCE FROM THE 12th FRET TO THE BRIDGE, a slightly angled bridge (nearer the neck for the high strings) improves the sound when playing with a slide.
Don't glue the bridge. The string tension will hold it, and you may need to adjust it a fraction, until you get the position right.
Cut some soundhole(s) - A sound hole cover is optional. I use eyelets or brass grommets (from hardware stores) glued on my drilled sound holes, as they look good, but you can drill holes, file shapes, or make metal resonator plates, to give your CBG a dobro sound.
17. Drill holes in the end of the neck, add eyelets (for shoelaces etc. from most hardware stores), if you want to. They help stop the strings from cutting into the wood.Your strings will be anchored here, threaded through the holes, and tied, looped, or held in place (ball ended strings will work if your holes aren't too wide.