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Have you built a Ukulele?

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Forum topic by JAGWAH posted 08-03-2012 03:37 PM 718 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JAGWAH

929 posts in 1771 days


08-03-2012 03:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resource

Just a question to all you guys n gals that have built or attempted to build a ukulele.

What was your best source of information?
What did you learn not to do next time or when/if you ever attempt it again?
What were any jigs that you made?
Your wood of choice?
Your finish of choice?
Written answers are great but so is a picture, of jigs, in progress or finished, if you got one.

I have been reading a bunch and I have searched through this site and read what many of you have done.

I was just hoping to create a single collective, on everyones experience.

When I tackle mine I intend to document and share my efforts. But I am a ways from starting. I have a lot of research to do.

So far I have just recieved my first book on the subject, see above pic.

So anyone want to add any helpful info?

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~


13 replies so far

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

484 posts in 1448 days


#1 posted 08-03-2012 03:50 PM

I built a classic guitar many years ago from a book. It wasn’t too difficult. A uke is built just like a classic guitar, just smaller, a little simpler, and without some of the details. You shouldn’t have any real problems and the few you you may encounter can be answered here and on other websites. Have at it!

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

7095 posts in 1991 days


#2 posted 08-03-2012 04:05 PM

ive never tried a musical in instrument and would like to some day, getting all of the info out there in one place would be a great resource, and miss debbie has done really good at doing that with all sorts of projects, maybe send her a pm and see if you can get her help with this as well…just an idea bob….......so i take it your last job you got didnt work out, send me a pm if you care to, id like to know how your doing..grizz…a.k.a bob…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

4153 posts in 1016 days


#3 posted 08-03-2012 07:12 PM

O.K. JAGWAH,

looks like you’ll have to be the first one to “tiptoe through the tulips”

Write it up when you’re done so we can see

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

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JAGWAH

929 posts in 1771 days


#4 posted 08-03-2012 07:38 PM

Nope, SSNVET,
I have a hope that my endeavors can be aided by the fine men and women of LJ sharing their experience and sage wisdom.

When I do tackle this I intend to share my efforts as a thank you to those sharing theirs.

PM coming GRIZZ

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

1213 posts in 984 days


#5 posted 08-03-2012 10:13 PM

Musicians Friend probably has kits. I’m enamored of cigar box ukes, I think that might be fun first foray.

View JAGWAH's profile

JAGWAH

929 posts in 1771 days


#6 posted 08-07-2012 09:36 PM

Just thinking about the recent ebony issue and Gibson Company.
Making me ponder all the alternate woods I could use. I’m thinking the studs I removed years ago from a home built back in the 50’s. The studs are fir and the wood clearly is old growth.

Any other ideas of old wood.

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

7095 posts in 1991 days


#7 posted 08-07-2012 11:53 PM

hey there bob, ive got some really old poplar and its nearly black…if you want some i can send ya some, its not a whole lot but it could be used for inlay work…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

4153 posts in 1016 days


#8 posted 08-08-2012 01:02 AM

If I’m not mistaken, many accoustic guitar bodies have Sitka Spruce sound boards…

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View crank49's profile

crank49

3458 posts in 1658 days


#9 posted 08-08-2012 01:46 AM

Yes, I think spruce is one of the tone woods of choice.
I’d like to follow this project as well.
I had a guitar when I was in high school; a few years ago; like almost 50.
Been thinking about trying to build my own.
And, to that end, I was considering starting with a uke kit.
I also have a very old (over 100 years old) violin that needs repair.
Don’t want to mess with that till I have more experience.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View JAGWAH's profile

JAGWAH

929 posts in 1771 days


#10 posted 08-08-2012 03:15 AM

GRIZZ. thanks for the offer but I have a mess of similar poplar. I hadn’t thought about the dark streaks, good idea to consider.

As for the sitka spruce, it to is a wood that’s a bit over harvested. I’m looking for old recycled wood ideas.

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~

View aspiring_luthier's profile

aspiring_luthier

6 posts in 790 days


#11 posted 08-22-2012 11:29 PM

JAGWAH, i was surfing the web about uke building and saw this post. I’ve built 4 ukes from the Hana Lima ‘Ia book and I am in the process of completing 3 more. I actually took the course offered at Hana Lima a couple years ago and still refer to the book during the build process.

Regarding your question about old recycled wood, one of my current projects is old growth redwood, from a reclaimed 2×4 from the 1920’s. i live up in northern cal where there is abumdant suplly of misc size old growth timber.

here is a list of wood i’ve tried or will use in future projects.

old growth redwood, sinker redwood, burl redwood, birds eye maple, granidillo, mahongany, engelmann spruce, western cedar.

hope it helps with your ideas.

aloha

View JAGWAH's profile

JAGWAH

929 posts in 1771 days


#12 posted 08-23-2012 03:12 AM

aspring luthier, very interesting.

I have several 2×6’s of redwood from a gentleman who’s family said he’d had around for the last 10 years or more. I have milled them to make a by-pass door for a laundry room but now I’m thinking differently. They are very clear and tight grained. Thanks for the idea. I also have some padauk, chechen, red heart and moradillo in my overstock pile. I may have more possibilities than I thought. But the redwood in very interesting.

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

2118 posts in 1249 days


#13 posted 08-23-2012 03:19 AM

Jag

I have a friend in Hawaii building a minature ukulele with hime wanting to me to make the pins for the strings. The parts are only 3/4” long and at the out side thumb part at 1/4” and it tapers to 1/16” at the end.

I used the few small pieces of Ebony he sent me and another 5 pieces of Pen stock which is 3/4×3/4×5” and used all of that too due to the splintering so bad at the ends.
He just sent me several large pieces of Koa for making them now.
If you want I could sent you the damenatations of what he is haveing me making if you PM me with your email address.

Arlin

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

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