The Extended Heel - a Pro Tip from Master Builder Jack Bowers

Recently C. B. Gitty customer Jack Bowers shared one of his building techniques with us, a great way to add some extra stability to a neck without having to do more bracing inside the box. His method is simple - add an extension onto the bottom of the heel, out over the back/bottom of the cigar box.

Jack has built over 700 homemade instruments, so when he shares a tried-and-true building tip, we take notice! See the photos below to get an idea of how he does it.

Here's what Jack wrote us about this method: "Pictures show the method I use to put necks on cigar boxes and other boxes that conserve as much inside space as possible. An acoustic instrument needs as much internal volume as possible so years ago I decided to wrap the fret board over the top a bit and extend the lower part of the heel to allow a butt joint that would save as much volume as possible. 

It works for me and as I rarely augment electronically, I get all the noise available. After the glue is set I mix a small amount of fine dust and glue together and use it to blend the neck to the box, visually. Understanding the relationship of compression to tension, means this is a solid joint for light strung instruments. Have yet to have a failure. The box itself is glued together and I have mounted a small block inside to accommodate screws to anchor strings to. 

Keeping it clean keeping it lean!"

Thank you for sharing this with the Cigar Box Guitar community, Jack!