I'm building a couple of Bento Box ukes from C.B.Gitty. I have not glued the box, so my pictures have it held together in some painter's tape. But I wanted to show it off as is, partly to help people decide if they want to stain or paint before buying. The pale white poplar pieces have good enough grain for water-based stain, but the pieces are laser cut, which results in some not very sandable scorch marks. Any dark mark is indeed very visible on the natural white color although they are easily be hidden on the inside of the box or inside edges at least. The bottom interior was stained maple, which can be seen through the soundholes. The bridge was already dark.
I'm going to replace the bridge with a C.B.Gitty "Rail Runner" Bridge with Embedded Rod Piezo (similar height) and install a pre-amp. Therefore I still need access to the interior and have just taped it together so far. Ordinary masking tape will lift splinters off the wood, and unfortunately I've had to sand surfaces as a result (light 220 grain does the job) I will also polyurethane most of it, but maybe not the top soundboard. I've bought a cheap soprano uke with varnished/coated top and it seems to have a bad effect on sound clarity. Although I may be overthinking this- YMMV.
I don't want to skimp on photos so here's some more raw pieces. The headpiece on the right is from a second build which doesn't include a "Bento Box" logo. Dark red box underneath is from an entirely different project, it just happened to be on the workbench at the time. The string holder glued over the zero fret is a bit different on newer Bento Box kits, and can be placed higher up over the fretboard.
I stained the back "Colonial Maple" already, I sanded one side edge (left- but right side of uke) with a Dremel, which brings out a plywood stripe. I think I prefer the edges left dark, so I may "touch-up" with dark stain. you can see underside of unstained top with more tiny scorch marks.
Kool, thanx for sharing. Ben really delivered on this kit! I’m getting ready to pop on a few myself. Looks like a good project for me n my daughter this summer? Keep us posted?