Have a question for the wisdom of the group.  I'm about to start my 2nd build, with a CB Gitty concert uke kit on the way.  I have a box I'd like to use, that's about 10" x 7" x 2-1/2" (see pic #1):My question is about the "top" of the box, the side shown above.  The top is solid with wood strips making a frame around the edge, with the bottom strip about 1-1/2" wide; each strip is about a 1/4" thick (there are similar strips on all sides except the back).  Here's a close up that shows the width:My question is if I make this side the front of the uke and put a shim under the bridge to match the height of the wider strip, will this have a dramatically negative impact on the ability for this side to vibrate?  I could remove the strips -- they are just glued on -- but I like the look of the top as is.  I'm also thinking about cutting out the sound hole so to preserve the wreath, including the center of the wreath.

Any advice?  Thanks!

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Most wooden boxes (cigar boxes, wine boxes, etc) are not built with what would be considered good "tone wood". Additionally, most boxes are quite thick by comparison to purposed built string instrument boxes (acoustic guitars, violins, etc). Bottom line is that the boxes we all tend to use are not great acoustically and the box tops are not going to vibrated noticeably no matter how you set it up.

That is, however, no reason not to utilize your favorite boxes. If adequate sound holes (or F holes) are used in the box, volume is reasonable. Also, you'll notice that almost all box guitars use an amplifier (pickup) of one type or another to get the volume and tone we all desire.

So, use your box (top up) with a bridge spacer. With good sound holes, it should work out fine. You may think about installing a pickup, just in case.

Hi, my suggestion is maybe not put an infill across the top, but to make the bridge higher instead.

You could also consider an infil strip but not glue it in place, play to test, then use a higher bridge and test, I suspect the higher bridge system would offer less resistance to a vibrating top and work better.


I agree with Tom and Taffy. I definitely recommend studying up on f holes. They can make a big difference. More wood will reduce vibration, so I agree about making the bridge higher, but not filling in the entire space with a shim. Plus, it’s probably going to look better with more of the original top showing.

Bridge spacer (height), good sound holes and maybe pickups.


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