This is a cigarbox style ukulele with a “floating” bridge and “tailpiece”.

I actually made the box myself, because I wanted to use walnut with the cedar top and I also wanted to arch the back and top more than you could with a prefabricated box.

It was my first attempt at a “floating” bridge, so I had to guesswork my way through it. When it was finished I was quite pleased with the sound, especially the sustain, but after about 18 months or so the top started to warp from the downward pressure on the bridge and the action got lower and lower and started to buzz.

Alright, lesson learned. The thin and rather soft piece of cedar I had used for the top and the reduced bracing clearly were not enough to withstand the pressure on the bridge, so I decided to take the top off and put on a new, somewhat thicker top with stiffer bracing. I knew it was not going to be easy, but as Samuel Becket once said: “try again − fail again − fail better”.

Tonally I think the new top is just as good or better. It has the typical warm, woody cedar sound and combines very well with the walnut back and sides.


  • Top: western red cedar
  • Back and sides: German walnut
  • Neck: German walnut
  • Head plate and fretboard: roasted, flamed maple




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