DIY: Ukulele (fun, although not very metal)

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Thread: DIY: Ukulele (fun, although not very metal)

  1. #1

    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Seekaaahhhk, MA
    ME: Bugsy
    MA: Cane
    Rig: Bias

    iTrader: 2 (100%)

    DIY: Ukulele (fun, although not very metal)

    After seeing the acoustic guitar I built, a co-worker asked if I would build him a ukulele. Well…yeah…probably…maybe…I don’t know. So, as an experiment, I made one, not for him, but as a gift to the guy that gave me the cherry I used to build the acoustic. That way, if it turned out like crap, nobody would need to know. It didn’t turn out like crap, so, here is the story…

    Here’s what was left of the cherry after the acoustic build.

    There looks to be enough here. A few pieces may have to be glued up for the neck, but it looks possible.

    The top and back pieces were re-sawn, edge jointed, glued up and then planed to thickness.

    Cherry planes soooo nicely!

    The rosette channel perimeter is cut, then chiseled out.

    A piece of walnut is soaked in water, carefully bent on the hot iron pipe into the rosette shape and then clamped into a form to dry. The roll of tape was the perfect size!

    Rosette is glued in and planed/scraped flush. The sound hole is then cut out.

    The bridge plate and a couple of braces are glued in place.

    While the glue dries, the neck is cut to width…

    …and thickness.

    Back bracing is radiused and glued to the back…

    Top braces are shaped, the neck and heel blocks are glued on.

    The sides are planed to thickness, soaked in water, bent on the hot pipe and then clamped to the template to dry.

    Kerfing is glued to the side, notched for the braces then glued to the top.

    The back-side edge of the sides is shaped to match the back piece radius.

    …more kerfing.

    The back is glued on.

    More neck shaping as glue dries…

    I couldn’t find the right size container to soak the walnut for the binding, so, I made one out of aluminum foil.

    The fingerboard was too thin for side dots so that meant dots on the front, which I’ve never done before, nor did I have any dot material on hand. So, I cut a small piece of hard maple, chucked it into the drill press and used a file and sand paper to bring it down to ¼” diameter.

    Then cut off very thin slices and glued them in.

    Walnut is super brittle and was a pain to use for the binding…

    …but it turned out pretty nice.

    A bit of tiger maple for the end wedge.

    The fingerboard is glued to the neck using a bicycle inner tube as a clamp.

    A quick wipe with naptha before applying Tru-Oil.

    6 coats of Tru-Oil, sanded up to 1,000 grit, then it’s buffed.

    Bridge, tuners, nut, saddle and strings installed, shaped, etc…

    Nice bottom…

    Overall, I’m really happy with how this sounds and plays. The more I played it, the more fun it was! I was kind of surprised how long it took, but, it’s really not much different than building an acoustic guitar.

    I gave it to the guy this morning and he was very grateful and excited. He's also a woodworker and really appreciated all that went into the build. It's those reactions that make it worth the effort.

    The guy that asked if I could build one was kinda mad (or disappointed) it wasn't for him, but, hey, he didn't give me wood....hmmm...that just sounds so wrong.

  2. #2

    Join Date: Oct 2013
    Location: Cleveland, Ohio
    ME: Fernandes Ra'Nope
    MA: Fender CE Nope
    MB: Squier Jaguar VintageNope
    Rig: Blackstar Nope 100

    iTrader: 0

    Making your own instruments is metal.
    You miss 100% of the Nope you don't Nope.

    Don't give up Nope.

  3. #3

    Join Date: Sep 2012
    Location: wickford
    ME: RG 1550
    MA: ROFL
    MB: Dafuq?!
    Rig: Mesa Mark IV, Recto 2x12

    iTrader: 1 (100%)

    Holy heck that came out nice Rob. did it take long to build?

    my buddy got this for his ukulele (if you were worried about it not being metal enough )

    [VIDEO]]Best of Metallica for Ukulele: Ukulele/Vocal with Tab: Metallica, Steve Gorenberg: 9781603789615: Books[/VIDEO]

  4. #4

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Grays, England
    ME: LTD SC600 / UV7BK
    Rig: JMP-1>VHT 2/90/2>Zilla's

    iTrader: 7 (100%)

    Yet another beautiful build Rob
    I'm so metal I shit bats

    My band > WALK IN COMA

  5. #5

    Join Date: Apr 2013
    Location: elizabeth, Colorado
    ME: Robbins custom 7
    MA: ovation celebrity
    MB: Tobias
    Rig: peavey JSX/EVH 5153 4x12

    iTrader: 1 (100%)

    dude that is pretty freaking cool

  6. #6

    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Woods
    ME: Agile Pendulum
    MA: Ibanez EW20ASENT
    MB: Ibanez
    Rig: Line6 Pod Farm

    iTrader: 4 (100%)

    Got to check this out last night. Awesome instrument.

  7. #7

    Join Date: Dec 2008
    Location: Pennsyl-tucky
    ME: 87 Ibanez RG550
    MA: Wasburn D12 6
    Rig: ADA MP1 / Spider II

    iTrader: 0

    That is great - Nice Job Rob

  8. #8

    Join Date: Jan 2009
    Location: London, Ontario, Canada
    ME: WarmothTele/SE245
    MA: Seagull S12+
    MB: Fender Jazz Bass V
    Rig: Egnater Renegade 65

    iTrader: 2 (100%)

    Very cool

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