Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Tools for uke kit build?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    140

    Question Tools for uke kit build?

    Hi everyone, I have a question about required and recommended tools for building a ukulele from a kit. Specifically, I am going to be building the tenor kit from stewmac in the near future and want to start gathering the required tools.

    What do you recommend I have to get the job done(and keep costs low)?

    Off the top of my head, I am planning on getting:
    -tons of clamps!
    -router
    -sanding blocks
    -xacto knife
    -random orbit sander
    -fret hammer
    -fret cutters

    What else can you think of that I will need? I know I could go crazy and get all kinds of cool tools and gadgets that will make this build easier, but I am also trying to keep costs down for now. After this one, if I think I will build more ukes I may go out and buy some more equipment, but for now, just building a kit, what am I missing to build this uke???

    THANKS for any recommendations you guys can give me! I am currently reading a lot of articles and watching videos on the internet but it is always nice to actually communicate with people who actually do this rather than reading articles ya know?
    -Memento Mori-

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    Posts
    345

    Default

    A good square, some straight edge rulers, maybe a chisel or two. I think a laminate trimmer might be more useful than a router if all your doing is building ukuleles, and probably cheaper.
    Regal Sunburst Soprano ~1940's
    Pono Ohai Tenor
    Sonny Daze Concert CBU "Uke-shillelagh"
    Mele Koa Soprano
    Homemade Walnut and Spruce Tenor


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    470

    Default

    The instructions that come with the kit have a good, basic list of tools and materials. You can download them here. In addition, I found that a belt/disk sander is helpful not just for the kit but for almost any woodshop project. I agree that a router is overkill, and even a laminate trimmer is not really necessary for trimming the top and sides. Files and sandpaper work just fine for that operation.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Big Island, Hawaii
    Posts
    4,204

    Default

    I don't think you need a ton of clamps, just a few of the right ones. String, rubber bands, tape will all suffice for a first build. A precision straight edge is a must. You don't need the expensive StewMac kind (but they're worth it) but definitely stay away from the cheap flexible rulers you'll find at office and home improvement stores. I think a precision straight edge is crucial. Sanding blocks of both hard and soft densities, one for sanding wood, the other for sanding finishes. Fret cutters are wire cutters, the cheap ones will do fine. A couple of well chosen wood and metal files are nice to have. I'm a huge fan of Norton 3X sandpaper for wood, Mirka wet papers for finishing.
    I drill press is almost indispensable. Not only will it drill holes accurately, it can also be fitted with a buffing wheel for polishing jobs as well as act as a fret press.
    I couldn't build anything without a Dremel tool. I have a dozen but the one I use the most is the battery powered stylus model. Handy! Sharp pencils. Tape, blue and tan masking. A good bench light. Digital calipers. The list is endless.
    Have fun.
    Chuck Moore
    Moore Bettah Ukuleles
    http://www.moorebettahukes.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    32

    Default

    Look for an open shop program through community a education program at your local high school. The cost is usually very low and you have access to all of their great tools plus a seasoned woodworker that monitors the class and is there to give you advice and help.

    Konala

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    140

    Default

    Thanks for all the advice everyone! I think I am going to just pass on the router then, and probably the laminate cutter for now as well and see how well it goes with files/sandpaper like mzuch recommended. Thanks to mzuch for the link to the instruction manual as well, I am reading over it right now to help decide what tools to go out and buy for this project as well. I can always add to my tool collection as the project progresses if needed as well!!

    Thanks again
    -Memento Mori-

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    140

    Default

    [QUOTE=Moore Bettah Ukuleles;343875... drill press is almost indispensable. Not only will it drill holes accurately, it can also be fitted with a buffing wheel for polishing jobs as well as act as a fret press.[/QUOTE]

    Actually, I think I will get a drill press as well after this revalation... a good multi-tool and accurate drill holes makes me happy Plus, found some on craigslist around $40 bucks! Harbor Feight brands but hey, good start right?
    -Memento Mori-

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Smyrna, Georgia
    Posts
    2,114

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by zdiver7 View Post
    Actually, I think I will get a drill press as well after this revalation... a good multi-tool and accurate drill holes makes me happy Plus, found some on craigslist around $40 bucks! Harbor Feight brands but hey, good start right?
    I've got a Harbor Freight brand drill press that I bought two years ago on sale for about that much. It works great. I mostly have used it in the past for metal working, and for that, I wish it had a few lower speeds for metal cutting, but for a casual woodworker, its a perfectly fine tool. Everyone in my metal working forum says get the floor model, but I think the bench model is fine for ukulele work. I use mine mostly for bicycle construction. I also have bought their belt sander and lots of their clamps, since you need lots of those when you weld. They are not high quality, but they are incredibly cheap. I have thought of making several of their tools, but I can never buy the steel for the price of their tool. Many Harbor Freight products should be thought of more as kits that you finish, than final products. I don't know how they make any money with those prices. Unfortunately, a commercial builder would smoke most of their motors in no time.
    Last edited by SweetWaterBlue; 03-22-2010 at 02:13 AM.
    Walk softly with your soprano and carry a big spruce tenor stick.

    My SoundCloud Channel

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Top 50 Ukulele Sites