Let me start by saying that I don't consider myself an expert in this subject, but I have made two very successful resonator boxes with simplest of tools and cheapest of materials.

This particular box is made from 6mm ply for the sides, 3mm ply for the top and back and 10mm quarter radius pine beading. Construction is very simple.

1. Ply for sides is cut to desired dimensions minus the dimensions of the beading which will be at all intersection to give the box rounded edges.

2. Four pieces of beading are then cut to the depth of the side pieces and then glued to the two longest sides. These are held in places with masking tape. You can get a really good tight fit using tape and holds everything firmly in place.

When dried glue together all four sides, again using masking tape to clamp it all nice and tight.

The great thing about using quarter radius beading is that it's easy to make things square.

3. More beading is added to the inside corners of the box and along the top and back inside edges. These edge pieces will eventually be what the top and back are glued to. Corner pieces act as bracing and give the box rigidity.

4. The outside edges of the top and back are formed by adding mitered beading to the edges of the ply sides. Everything is glued in places and again, held tight with tape.

5. The top and back are cut to the internal dimension of the last pieces of beading added, try will sit along the top of the beading added to on the inside of the box. I actually cut four pieces the same size, two of which have their middle removed leaving a 5mm "frame" the same size as the front and back, thread were then glued to front and back pieces. This last staged ensured top and back Sat flush with tops of the sides.

6. Sound hole was then cut in the top with a hole cutter in a drill press.

7. I added hardwood bracing and a bridge support to the inside of the top and ply bracing to the back. Whether this was necessary, I'm not sure, but as this is a non neck design I decided it may be prudent.

8. Top and back were then glued in place, this time with clamps and cauls just to stop any unwanted bowing. The top and back are a nice tight fit.

I'll add progress shots in further comments

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Replies to This Discussion

More pics
Edge beading
Top and back
Bracing and top and back in place

Hi Sasquatch,

That's a nice set of build photos. What I like about your box building method is all the nicely rounded corners. The box looks very sturdy as well, but I wonder if you might have overdone it with all the bracing under the sound board. Maybe on your next build you can try to at least "thin down" all that bracing. Most my instruments (which use 2mm plywood veneer for the sound and back boards) don't use much bracing unless I am mounting the tail block (i.e. bridge with built in tail block) to the top side of the sound board like on a ukulele). So, with 3mm plywood sound and back boards, you shuildn't need any bracing at all. Believe me, it simplifies the build.

I also like the flush mounted sound board idea, because it would hide the ugly sides of the 2mm plywood veneer that I use on my instruments. One reason I paint some of my instrument bodies black is to hide the unsightly edges of plywood veneer. On solid wood, this wouldn't be a problem, but I have yet to locate a source in China for 12" x 10" (or similar) pieces of 2mm would. I'd be even willing to by it in large 6' x 4' dimensions and cut it down. (Also, one reason is my language barrier... I tend to buy what ever I can find on hand at various 'Mom and Pop' wood supply shops).

Well, I hope your project turns out well. I took the liberty of taking 2 of your photos and re-formatting them into one to show our reader's the box we're talking about so they don't have to bother following all the links to your hi-res photos.

Well, keep up the good work...


Hi Rand. Thanks for the kind and concise comments. You are right the bracing etc is completely overkill. I hadn't done a non through neck design before, so thought I'd do a simplified version of the classic guitar type bracing and got carried away. The bracing on any future projects would be greatly refined.

As regards the flush mounted soundboard, it really does hide the ugly edges well and provides nicely softened edges to the box.

Wow! China! I would love to do a solid wood box, but I'm going to build up to that. Believe if or not I struggle to get hardwood at decent prices in the UK, maybe I'm being a little tight fisted!

The project turned out great. Check out the uploaded pics. Slight amend needed to tuning pegs, I'll do them more like traditional violin pegs.

Feel free to reformat any of my pics you like. How do you get them directly into the comment box?

Hi Sasquatch,

The build tuned out real nice. The headstock design is great. Maybe you should do a photo series & write-up on how to build a headstock like the one on this instrument and post somewhere on CBN.

When you take photos using digital cameras the resolution is actually too high for convenient use on blogs / websites like CBN. So the thing I usually do is to use a photo viewer to view the picture (near) full screen and then (on my PC) do a Ctrl-Alt-PrtScrn to cut the image shown on-screen to the cut & paste buffer and then go into MS Paint and do a Ctrl-V to paste the image into MS Paint. Then, after editing out the parts of the screen image I don't want, I save the image and it will be saved in the resolution somewhat less than the resolution of your screen; cutting down the size of the image file to something more easily handled by CBN (smaller image file sizes and faster loading). Save using the file type ".JPG" (a few other image file types may able work but I generally use .JPG).

Then when adding a comment on CBN, use the "Image" icon on the menu bar of the comment editor to upload and display the image in your comment. It's the second button from the left. Clicking it will display a new dialog box called "Add Image" with two tabs: "From My Computer" and "From a URL". Use "From My Computer". I generally save the images to be uploaded on my desktop to make them easy to find, but if you save them elsewhere, you'll have to navigate through your directory to locate the file. The other options on the "From My Computer" tab page don't matter much, so use the defaults. When you click on "OK", the photo should appear in your comment. Do it a few times and you'll be an expert as it really is pretty easy to do. Here's your 3 new photos...

As the photos show... great workmanship!  I really like that headstock!


Hi Rand

Thanks for the advice and very kind comments.

Maybe I will do a step by step, I'd love to use one of these headstocks on a six string resonator.

Here is a photo of the heel of the guitar as a test.

Thanks again.



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