Random observations:

  • The scale length on a cello roughly 27.4"
  • If you're going to build a cello out of a box and you plan for it to be a four-string cello like mine, you should make it with a fairly narrow box, otherwise the outer two strings will be *very* hard to play. The box I chose was too wide. Ideally, the box should be no wider than the narrowest part of the cello (approx. 9 1/2 inches). The narrow parts are called the "waist" or "center bouts".
  • Cello necks are rounded to match for the layout of the strings. Mine is flat which means that the middle two strings are higher than the outer two strings.
  • When you buy a cello bridge, you really just buying a bridge blank–it comes with a square top that needs to be sanded into a point. It also needs to be filed down to be the right height for your cello. I did this with a power sander–not exactly a precision instrument.
  • Cello tailpieces are very long compared to the floating bridges on hollow body electric guitars and basses. The thing that connects the tailpiece to the end pin is called a "tailgut".
  • Ukulele tuners work better than you'd think with cello strings. We'll see how they last.
  • All classical bowed string instruments have sound posts–essentially a short wooden dowel that runs from the sounding boar to the back of the instrument. These are almost always located just under the bridge. I put one in my instrument, too, and it seems to help keep the body from caving in.