Another cigarbox ukulele, built in the summer of 2010. This one has a bubinga back and a top made of “mystery wood”. I tried to identify the wood back then, asked other builders, asked our wood expert at the Theodore Nagel wood shop… to no avail, I still am not sure what kind of wood it is. I have several plates of it from a package of mixed woods that I bought at ebay, none of which were labeled. My best guess is that it might actually be balsa wood, at least it is very lightweight and soft, but still relatively stiff, and it has no real year lines as you would expect from a softwood.

In addition to the back plate, I also used bubinga for the fretboard and the headplate, and even a steel-hardened piece for the saddle.

The original build didn’t have the binding and corner inlays around the top – I added those some time in 2018. I do like the decorative touch that the inlays add.


  • Scale: 300 mm / neck joint at the 14th fret
  • Top: Unknown
  • Sides: Cigarbox, Capital Lonsdale, made of Spanish cedar
  • Backplate: Bubinga
  • Binding: Bubinga with Wenge corner inlays
  • Bridge: Indian rosewood
  • Saddle: Bubinga, hardened with a heated steel burnishing iron
  • Neck: Spanish cypress
  • Fretboard and head plate: Bubinga
  • Finish: TruOil

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