Building a ukulele..My first..

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realityguy
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Re: Building a ukulele..My first..

Post by realityguy » Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:03 pm

Don't expect a lot..I've only been playing since january with "youtube video lessons"( :roll: :lol: ) and my fingers are really sore from plunking the strings trying to get them to stay in tune...
I tried the video camera closer but it just blew out the sound quality so stuck it across the room.I had to get up in the end and let a cat out before he started singing along with the caterwauling... :roll: ..Oh well,gives you a sample of the uke..sounds great!I'm going to start a tenor larger one today..Got the neck carved,the skins thinned out and ready for cutting..most wood is ready for cutting down to size,cutting frets,etc..I'll get the sides soaking and bent tomorrow..Gotta clean up a a hell of a mess in the shop today and get a big furniture project out of the way which will open up the other half of my shop.
Image
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sudden
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Re: Building a ukulele..My first..

Post by sudden » Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:07 pm

That does have a nice sound to it. Thanks for the vid.

You said you're making another one. Is it easier to keep making them once you're setup, do you just make adjustments to your jig, or do you have to start all over with the tenor?
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realityguy
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Re: Building a ukulele..My first..

Post by realityguy » Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:03 pm

Most of my jigs are dual size..Once you make them up,it's a lot easier to make the same type or size.Most of the time I spent making this first one was spent on making jigs.I plan on making several ukuleles in different sizes and configurations,shapes and number of strings.While I was buying the better strings,I bought two sets for sopranos(the pineapple and another standard shape I plan on making,a set of 4 strings for a tenor,and another 8 string tenor set(like an 8 string mandolin or smaller guitar).A friend has an 8 string tenor he's going to bring by to check and see if they add additional strength for attaching the bridge because of the "double stress" on that portion.
I have lots of parts from other ukes as far as tuners and that,plenty of wood planed down to the right thickness for probably 6-8 ukes(or more!) of different sizes in older african "ribbon type" mahogany and the black oak this one is made out of..except for one piece front soundboards in the black oak wide enough for the tenor(I'm going to see if my neighbor has any short pieces of the wider black oak left that we milled when he gets home.. :mrgreen: ).I need 9-1/2"X 13" pieces(my widest with good grain is 7-1/2" or so :roll: ).I can piece the backs together but I'd like the front as one piece.I can make the fronts out of wide mahogany..got a ton of that,but it would be nice to match it all up.
I made up a set of cabinet doors for a small kitchen with the black oak I had..and used up most of the better grain there.This pineapple was made from the WORST grain/portion of what I sawed/planed down to the right thickness..just in case things went wrong.I figured the first is a prototype and could be disposable if needed...glad it wasn't!
If a person is going to make one..BUY A KIT!Grizzley Tools sells a kit for as little as $25(same one some people on ebay are selling for up to $50,even using Grizzley's catalog pictures.. :roll: ).Some people say it's not a bad uke for the price and a lot of the work is already done..like the fretboard and body are made..just glue-finish-add strings-and play!Stewart-MacDonald sells a better kit in the normal price range of about $150.They do have the instructions on line at their website if anyone is interested in what it would take to build one.They sell soprano and tenor kits.I'd opt for the tenor..the sound is a lot better on tenors than sopranos in my opinion and the value better.The market has been flooded with sopranos and a fairly decent playing one can be found for probably $50(up to $1000s of course).Tenors aren't as common,sought after more,and rarely go for cheap.
I've already taken all the measurements off the Gibson Tenor I have which has a larger body,longer neck,and longer scale for deeper tones closer to a guitar.It will have the upper and lower bouts(rounded portions) with the waist like a normal guitar shape.Image
The only form I need to make for that is a "1/2 body shape form" for checking the bending of the side curves before placing it in a form that holds it to the right shape for drying.Tonight I need to cut about 4-5 pieces of 3/4" plywood the shape of half the guitar and glue them together,sand them smooth around the outer curves..and I have the rest of the forms made already.
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cadyak
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Re: Building a ukulele..My first..

Post by cadyak » Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:03 pm

:D :D :D :D SWEET! you are mui talented RG

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zelph
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Re: Building a ukulele..My first..

Post by zelph » Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:02 pm

Makes me want to:

Image

You did great!!! sounds like Tiny Tim :mrgreen:

I'm going to have to come up with a new name for you :lol:

I agree, you are a multi-talented young man ;)
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realityguy
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Re: Building a ukulele..My first..

Post by realityguy » Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:49 pm

I agree, you are a multi-talented young man ;)

You must not know me very well..just another old fart with too much time on his hands and not enough real actual work... :roll:
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Ridgerunner
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Re: Building a ukulele..My first..

Post by Ridgerunner » Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:21 am

Now we want to hear you sing along........or maybe not! lol Nice job overall on the ukes and learning to play a bit! ;)
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zelph
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Re: Building a ukulele..My first..

Post by zelph » Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:32 am

I've already taken all the measurements off the Gibson Tenor I have which has a larger body,longer neck,and longer scale for deeper tones
So that's what makes the difference in sound :idea:
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realityguy
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Re: Building a ukulele..My first..

Post by realityguy » Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:50 am

It's the body size..I found that huge Yamaha Classical guitar and put new strings on the thing.The dang thing is too huge to play..???..and the low strings sound more like a standing bass! :shock: I'll sell it out cheap(maybe $50-60?);can't see me using it.. but it was too cheap and too nice condition to pass up! :roll:
However..I am eyeballing those older,dirty ivory/brass looking tuning knobs for a classic uke look.. :roll: :lol: I can change them out for newer whiter ones I think...
As far as "Tiny Tim".."Tiptoe Through The Tulips" is a very challenging song to play..lots of chords!Someday I'll try to get it down.Right now I've been working on projects to clear my shop and not practicing the uke as much.I'm hoping for a good weekend to sell a bunch of furniture so I can quit stepping over coffee tables trying to get around the shop to the different tools.. :roll: I think I can fit one more of those in the van. :lol: Now it's right in the path to the bandsaw and drill presses.. :evil: I am getting a lot of "vertical gain" stepping over furniture though.. :roll:
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ConnieD
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Re: Building a ukulele..My first..

Post by ConnieD » Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:30 pm

I have seen "older,dirty ivory/brass looking tuning knobs" offered for sale for banjos.

Maybe that would work.

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