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i  was wondering if some of y'all thin out the box to get more vibration out of the wood. i just finishe my first build was very happy except it was kinda quiet unless i plugged it in. i was hopin' for a little louder sound unplugged. i was thinking about  taking the box  apart sanding or gouging the top and bottom out to thin out the wood to try to get more response out or it . i know this is old stuff to most of y'all but i'm working some of this stuff out for the first time so bare with me. what about it what do you do. just depend on the pickups or try to get the box to talk? oh yeah i found the guitar/fiddle i was asking about someone had it on ebay its on page 22 or 23 of the posts. sure looks good little somebody made it i was wondering how it sounded was it bowed or picked or slide . well enough questions for now.

 

mike

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I built one a year or so ago and thinned the lid out a little because it looked a bit thick to me. It sounded great when I was done. I didn't try it at full thickness beforehand though. I can't see how you could go wrong as long as you don't go too thin. Not sure how thin "too thin" is though. I only took a little bit off, maybe 1/16th inch or so.

By the way, make sure you leave about a half inch all the way around the edge of the lid alone so it still lays the same on the box when you are done. If your neck is set flush, you won't have to re-adjust all of that again.
I just read an article on Stradivarius violins. They are still doing reasearch, but a builder has been scanning the famous violins on a modern medical scanner. One thing that they have found is that his violins are as thin as 1 millimeter in some areas. Most other violin makers of the time, according to the article, were quite a bit thicker. Stradivarius was doing something right! I thin my tops and it makes a big difference in sound to me. I've even seen some luthiers make the tops of their guitar so thin that they make a warbling noise like a saw when you shake them(before attaching to the sides). Give it a try, I think you'll be pleased with the results.
makes sense to me i'm gonna try it . an't got much to lose 'cept a 5 dollar cigar box thats what is so nice about this hobby even if you screw it up it an't the end of the world just put the box in the bottom of the trash can so the wife can't see it and start another one.

mike
well i learned that there is such a thing as too thin today . build number two is in the trash . thinner may be better but i went for it one too many times . oh well onward and upward.
mike
On my current build I am actually replacing the lid with a piece of instrument grade Mahogany top.

mike miler said:
well i learned that there is such a thing as too thin today . build number two is in the trash . thinner may be better but i went for it one too many times . oh well onward and upward.
mike
Thinner is better to a point. Luthiers "tap tune" tops as they thickness. At some point you get a kind of metallic tone. I've been experimenting with some big boxes with solid tops to see if I can tune them.
ive seen that on youtube but don't really understand what sound you are trying to get out of it ?a ringing or a metallic sound what do you think tap tuning is ?
mike

DeDa Badaddy (AndyE) said:
Thinner is better to a point. Luthiers "tap tune" tops as they thickness. At some point you get a kind of metallic tone. I've been experimenting with some big boxes with solid tops to see if I can tune them.
To me, it's a lot like strumming a string - you can hear a certain tone, or ringing sound when you tap the wood.

mike miler said:
ive seen that on youtube but don't really understand what sound you are trying to get out of it ?a ringing or a metallic sound what do you think tap tuning is ?
mike

DeDa Badaddy (AndyE) said:
Thinner is better to a point. Luthiers "tap tune" tops as they thickness. At some point you get a kind of metallic tone. I've been experimenting with some big boxes with solid tops to see if I can tune them.
One of my boxes had a very thick top, almost 3/8", so I flipped it and used the 1/8" ply bottom for the top.
I also added a bit of neck angle... Sounded quite nice but the "top" started to collapse within a couple of days.

I added a typical "X" brace and it's still holding up well some months later; I can't see any further collapse.

Most all "real" instruments, plywood or solid, use some sort of bracing.

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