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Ukulele Build

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Blog entry by James posted 07-26-2013 02:11 PM 867 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My buddy is leaving our unit and moving to Camp Pendleton in a few months. I asked him what HE wanted (because nobody ever asks you what your preference is) and he said he wanted a guitar. I told him I couldn’t do that. I joked and said “what about a ukulele?” He jumped at the chance. I mentioned that it might not play. Who knows what the spacing and measurements are. I know you can buy kits but anyone can glue up a kit. That’s not a challenge.
So I ordered plans, some 1/8” walnut and have PLENTY of exotic scraps for this type of thing already. The plans are here. I used Corel Draw to make a vector drawing of the projects main parts (body top, bottom, fret bar with laser precision spacing and peg board). I go to the laser machine today to test the electronic drawings on 1/8” ply. If they come out well, I might just use ply and veneer the top with something really fancy.
I’ll post pics this afternoon with the cuts from the machine and the plans.
I’m most nervous about bending the wood for the sides. I have 1/32” padauk and of course I have the 1/8” ply and walnut. I also have some 1/32” birch ply. I’ll test a lot of methods before I’m done for good.

-- James - Semper Fi



6 comments so far

View BertFlores58's profile

BertFlores58

1646 posts in 1579 days


#1 posted 07-26-2013 04:18 PM

Exciting to know that you will make ukelele. Take a minute to view how i restored the banduria as it is also nearly same thickness. Here is the link. Meantime, i will follw you.
Good luck!

-- Bert

View James's profile

James

100 posts in 444 days


#2 posted 07-26-2013 07:35 PM

I just went to the laser machine and it was in use. Womp waaa.
I want to make it known, you may follow the blog for no reason. I have NEVER done anything this compicated before and have no experience with a number of the methods I’m going to attempt to learn. That being said, I can do anything if I just keep trying and have sufficient supplies.

-- James - Semper Fi

View James's profile

James

100 posts in 444 days


#3 posted 07-26-2013 10:30 PM

I promised pictures. I just got back from the laser machine (Epilog 120) and cut some templates to give an idea of size and bends for the wood.
This is the process.

-- James - Semper Fi

View James's profile

James

100 posts in 444 days


#4 posted 07-26-2013 10:37 PM

Not to sound like a man full of excuses, but I used the laser machine for the simple reason of its accuracy. The fretboard and bridge are supposed to be in very precise placement. This takes the guess work out of trying to measure thousants with a ruler. The fretboard is accurate to 1/1000th and so is the bridge.
I know it’s cheating, but as far as I’m concerned, as long as I don’t buy a kit and I create it all myself according to paper plans, I’m good. And just so we all know, I created the vector drawings for the laser machine from scratch, curve by curve.

-- James - Semper Fi

View Jason W. Fudge's profile

Jason W. Fudge

35 posts in 440 days


#5 posted 01-06-2014 07:10 AM

Did you ever finish this?

View James's profile

James

100 posts in 444 days


#6 posted 01-13-2014 03:43 AM

Its being stalled by a peg board. The guy leaving (left) got orders that were short fuse so he left without telling me he was leaving early. So now, I get to take my time. It’ll be done really soon, I’d imagine.

-- James - Semper Fi

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