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Project Ukulele

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Project Ukulele

PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:02 am
by zenguitar
Recently a friend asked me if I would help his daughter make a ukulele. And after some discussions and planning, we agreed that rather than charging him for doing the work, he would buy two sets of materials and I would make one for myself and help her with hers at the same time.

So, after a few weeks of planning and research, we are getting close to finalising designs and ordering the materials.

Now, while a uke isn't a guitar, they do have a lot in common. And it should be a lot quicker to build than a guitar.

So, if the interest is here, I'd be more than happy to post a build diary with pics. What do you all think?

Andy :beamup:

Re: Project Ukulele

PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:26 am
by Stan
If you're up for it zen.
I'd love to look in -.

All the best musicians have a Ukulele or two, i believe.

Re: Project Ukulele

PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:24 am
by Dave B
Definitely! The uke is a fun instrument that even a numpty like me can pick up. It would be fascinating to see one built from scratch.

Mandolin next ..? ;)

Re: Project Ukulele

PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:19 am
by zenguitar
cheers guys,

looks like I'm keeping a photo diary.

Construction wise, ukes are pretty much the same as acoustics. So it should be useful to anyone interested in building their own acoustic guitar. And it should be equally relevant to anyone interested in a flat top mandolin too.

Looks like we will be building two Tenor Ukuleles. I've spent the last couple of weeks working on plans. Ruth found a pic of one with a cutaway, so I've managed to scale that up into a drawing for her approval. I am going for a standard body. Once the drawings are agreed, I'll turn them into templates and moulds, and we'll be ordering the woods.

But to wet your appetites...

I've already come up with a theme and ideas for inlay for mine. So watch out for something on some unusual inlay techniques, this will be a first for me. And as I would have to modify other truss rods, I am considering making them from scratch.

Andy :beamup:

Re: Project Ukulele

PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 2:52 am
by Stan

i have read that George Harrison traveled with two ukuleles - the story goes - it was just incase he ran he ran into someone who could also play. Ukulele duets! i cant wait!
zen - you and Ruth should make dvds.

Re: Project Ukulele

PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:44 am
by zenguitar
Isn't making the d*mned thing enough without having to learn to play it too!!

Andy :beamup:

Re: Project Ukulele

PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:00 am
by zenguitar
OK..

drawings approved...

Moving onto the cutting list, templates, and moulds.

Woods are pretty much decided too.

Andy :beamup:

Re: Project Ukulele

PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:29 am
by grab
Stan wrote:i have read that George Harrison traveled with two ukuleles - the story goes - it was just incase he ran he ran into someone who could also play.

Or because when your plane goes down and you're stuck on a desert island, it's better to have two paddles for your raft. :D

Re: Project Ukulele

PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:18 pm
by RegressiveRock
grab wrote:
Stan wrote:i have read that George Harrison traveled with two ukuleles - the story goes - it was just incase he ran he ran into someone who could also play.

Or because when your plane goes down and you're stuck on a desert island, it's better to have two paddles for your raft. :D

Zen has converted me on Ukes: amongst other things they make a great starter intrument for kids. (If you can stop your three-year-old playing it with their feet, that is).

However, my mate left his banjo on the back seat of the car whilst he went shopping the other day. When he came out of the lift on his way back he could see that the glass of his rear window had been smashed.

He ran back to his car that to find that some bugger had put another fecking banjo on his back seat!!! :protest: :bouncy:

Re: Project Ukulele

PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 1:58 am
by zenguitar
OK... things have started moving.

I've bought all the materials for the jigs, and cut them down to size ready to cut out templates and moulds over the next couple of days. Both instruments will be made with Hawaiian Pheasantwood backs and sides with Red Cedar fronts. These have also been ordered from the USofA and should arrive in the next few days.

Tools are being serviced and sharpened. And I'm preparing a second order from the USA with the neck woods, hardware, internal body woods, bindings etc.

And I'll get some pics to post now things are getting interesting. With some details of everything done up to now.

Andy :beamup:

Re: Project Ukulele

PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 12:59 am
by zenguitar
latest update...

Bloody Paypal!! But excellent US Postal Service. Body woods are in the system and due soon.

Finished the jig for building joining the fronts and backs today, pics on the way, and almost finished the templates for both ukes.

Andy :beamup:

Re: Project Ukulele

PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 1:24 am
by zenguitar
Things are moving...

I've spent the last couple of weeks building jigs and moulds... Here they are.

[image][img]http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/ii92/zenguitar2000/Project%20Ukulele/Mouldsandtemplates.jpg"%20border="0"%20alt="Jigs%20&%20Moulds[/img][/image]

And a jig for jointing the fronts and backs...

[image][img]http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/ii92/zenguitar2000/Project%20Ukulele/Jointingboard.jpg"%20border="0"%20alt="Jointing%20Board[/img][/image]

We spent the afternoon preparing the backs for jointing. Using a shooting board to plane the edges on the two halves of each back ready for jointing. Like the wood? It's Hawaiian Pheasant Wood, and this piece is exceptionally pretty.

[image][img]http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/ii92/zenguitar2000/Project%20Ukulele/Shootingback.jpg"%20border="0"%20alt="Shooting%20Back[/img][/image]

And this evening we joined the first back in the jig. We'll start tomorrow by joining the other back and then go on to prepare the fronts for jointing.

[image][img]http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/ii92/zenguitar2000/Project%20Ukulele/backjointing.jpg"%20border="0"%20alt="Joining%20Back[/img][/image]

Andy :beamup:

Re: Project Ukulele

PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 1:42 am
by Stan
zenguitar wrote:Isn't making the d*mned thing enough without having to learn to play it too!!

Andy :beamup:

thanks zenguitar - looking great and excellent photos to -

Re: Project Ukulele

PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 1:53 am
by Dynamic Mike
Wow those cramps are pretty cool. Did you make them yourself?

Re: Project Ukulele

PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 9:00 am
by Jumpeyspyder
Wow, your jigs are better quality than my finished DIY jobs :blush:

Did you do anything to stop the backs from sticking to the jig ?
what type of glue did you use ?