A Step-by-Step Guide On How To Make a Straight Headstock

No fancy tools required to make this awesome headstock for your cigar box guitar

By Glenn Watt

Thanks to craftswoman Farley Andresen for the demonstrating the work Straight heastock featured image

 No fancy tools required to make this awesome headstock for your cigar box guitar

Cigar box is in the name, but the neck is what turns the box into a cigar box guitar.

And the headstock – the part of the neck that anchors your tuning pegs – is a critical component to getting, and keeping, your CBG fully functional. Continue reading “A Step-by-Step Guide On How To Make a Straight Headstock”

Cigar Box Guitar Building Tip: Neck Reinforcement with Humbuckers

In the video below, Shane Speal shows his technique of reinforcing internal bracing on neck-through cigar box guitars with extra wood. He also shows how to use a Forstner bit to route out the cavity for a mini humbucker pickup. (Note: the pickup used is a C. B. Gitty Toaster Bucker mini humbucker.) Continue reading “Cigar Box Guitar Building Tip: Neck Reinforcement with Humbuckers”

How to Notch a Fretted Cigar Box Guitar Neck for a Nut

Fretting directly onto a guitar neck is a great option to showcase the natural beauty of the wood you have chosen for your neck, rather than using a fretboard. However, this does make using a traditional nut a bit more challenging. This article shows you one way you can install a bone (or hardwood) nut blank onto your fretted cigar box guitar neck.

Fretting directly onto a guitar neck is a great option to showcase the natural beauty of the wood you have chosen for your neck, rather than using a fretboard. However, this does make using a traditional nut a bit more challenging.

This article shows you one way you can install a bone (or hardwood) nut blank onto your fretted cigar box guitar neck.

Tools you will need:
Handsaw or File
Square or ruler
Pencil

Determine the Location for the Nut

The first step is to determine where the nut is going to sit on the neck. This is determined by the scale-length of your instrument but it is usually placed right at the end of the head stock.

If you are using one of, the nut has already been marked out, making this step of the installation a breeze.


Click Here to see C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply’s Selection of pre-fretted necks, available in 5 different wood types!  They also have the Bone Nut used in this article!


If you plan on fretting the neck after the installation of the nut, you will likely already have the correct spot placed for your nut relative to the scale-length that you have chosen for your guitar. 

Draw an outline

Once you have determined the location and have drawn a line across your piece, place your bone nut blank so that it is flush with your position mark for the nut and trace a line on the other side.



Now using your square, mark a line about ⅛” down on both sides from the top of the neck. A little over or under is okay, as we are going to cut short of this mark. Connect your lines so that you have a basic outline of the channel that will house your nut.

Creating the Slot

Now, using your file, carefully start creating the cavity where your nut will sit. It is recommended that the dimensions of this slot be slightly smaller than your desired nut. It is easier to remove material than it is to correct too much taken out.

If you are using a saw, you will need to make several small cuts to the top of your 1/8″ line, one just inside each of the lines and then spaced regularly throughout the slot. The thinner you can make these pieces, the easier it will be in the future. This is easily done with a thin saw. From there, if you got the pieces small enough, you can break them and clean out with a file.

Check the Fit

Keep in mind that you will want a snug fit, so that the nut does not move around during playing, which will affect your intonation.

When the slot gets wide enough, check the fit often, making sure that your cut remains level, and that the channel doesn’t get too wide. If it does end up a little wider than you want, you can always use glue when installing the nut, to help snug it back up.



Once you are sure you have a good fit, set the nut aside until it comes time to shape.

Thank you for reading this how-to article on installing a nut blank into a pre-fretted neck.

Have you used a bone nut with one of C. B. Gitty’s pre-fretted necks? How would you go about installing one? Let us know in the comments below!


Share your build with the C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply Customer Gallery

Video: How To Install Fret Markers on your Cigar Box Guitar Fretboard

In this video how-to, Glenn Watt walks you through a great way to add fret position markers your cigar box guitar fretboard using wooden dowels. While a lot of folks are happy with just using a Sharpie or woodburning fret marks into their fretboard, using inset fret markers looks really good and definitely can give a build a more professional look. If you’ve consider it but thought it too hard or too much effort, think again! Glenn shows you just how quickly you can add this great feature to your next build.

Video: How to Make a Scarf Joint for a Cigar Box Guitar Neck

Glenn Watt recently created a great how-to video walking you through how to create a scarf joint on a cigar box guitar neck. A scarf joint is a special angled cut which, when glued back together, angles the headstock away from the fingerboard surface of the neck at a specified angle (usually about 15 degrees). Having the headstock angled like this makes it easier to get the strings to stay tight against the nut (this is referred to as the “break angle” of the strings).

So check this video out, and give a scarf joint a try on your next build. It does take some care and attention to detail to make one, but it is well worth the effort!