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 Use Hard-tail Bridges

Hard-tail bridges are a must-have piece of hardware for building professional-level electric guitars and cigar box guitars. This article walks you through the different styles and varieties, as well as how to install them on your special build.

What are Hard-tail Bridges?

This cigar box guitar sports a gold-plated 3-string hard-tail bridge. It is a "Metamorphosis" model built by Glenn Watt at C. B. Gitty.
This cigar box guitar sports a gold-plated 3-string hard-tail bridge. It is a “Metamorphosis” model built by Glenn Watt at C. B. Gitty.

Hard-tail bridges are pieces of hardware often seen on solid body electric guitars. They combine bridges and saddles in such a way that the intonation and string action (height over the fretboard) can easily be adjusted post-install. These styles of bridges are best known from Fender’s Stratocaster™ electric guitars.

Because of how they are made, hard-tail bridges work best when used with magnetic pickups (the sort seen on solidbody electric guitars) as opposed to piezo-style pickups. They help with achieving a professional intonation, maintaining a nice low string action, and increasing sustain (due to their solid metal construction).

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This 6-string hard-tail bridge has an opening for a single-coil pickup. This item is available ready-to-install from CBGitty.com.

Some hard-tail bridges also include openings for pickups such as Fender-style single coils and humbuckers. The basic versions just have the bridge and saddle components.

Although they are best known for use on solid body electrics, hard-tail bridges also work great for cigar box guitars. There are now 3 and 4-string varieties available, which make them even more suitable for electric cigar box guitars that have magnetic pickups.

Varieties of Hard-tail Bridges

Continue reading “How to Use Hard-tail Bridges”

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What are Strap Buttons?

Basic chrome strap buttons from C. B. GittyA strap button is a piece of hardware mounted to a guitar or other instrument, as an anchor point for attaching a strap.

A strap allows the instrument to hang from the musician’s shoulders, making it more comfortable to hold and play, especially when standing up.

A strap allows an instrument to hang comfortably from musician's shoulders while standing.
A strap allows an instrument to hang comfortably from musician’s shoulders while standing.

While strap buttons are optional on a guitar, including them will make the instrument much more appealing to a person used to performing on stage, and can lend more of a professional, finished look and feel. We recommend that builders always put them on their cigar box guitars. Continue reading “How to Use Strap Buttons”