PDA

View Full Version : What do you think to the uke so far?



UkAlele
07-20-2015, 05:39 AM
Hi UU,

I've just finished uploading the latest ItsyBitsyUke video. I would be so grateful for feedback and ideas on shaping my ItsyBitsyUke project which intends to get me building ukes and learning to play.

The first ItsyBitsyUke is travelling off across the pond to a new owner, so who else wants to own an ItsyBitsyUke?

I have attached the YouTube link and am grateful for your time if you viewed the video. Size comparison picture is added.

Next step, ItsyBitsyUke build #3.

Regards

Uk-Al-lele

https://youtu.be/QtLFjkZcnaQ

81659

Tudorp
07-20-2015, 08:23 AM
Good luck on the builds... Making mini ukes is pretty fun. The "Aphid" I used to build before my stroke was very theraputic. Some day, I would like to make them again. My "Aphid" was also 6.5" scale, but smaller than what you are doing, however yours is more playable. The Aphid is playable, but dificult. Here is an old thread of mine if you would like to take a look.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?52309-Yay-Aphid-is-a-real-ukulele-)

the.ronin
07-20-2015, 09:15 AM
LOL awesome little ukes!!! I hope you continue to refine them. Maybe more defined upper and lower bout? Might be a construction limitation though. Either way this is great work man.

UkAlele
07-20-2015, 11:50 AM
Great encouraging comments. I shall continue to refine the build process and shall take note of your feedback. A more shapely body sounds good and I'm also going to get the wood down to about 1.7mm, making it easier to shape. I want them to be playable by the novice or experienced uke player.

I'm about to make a batch of four ItsyBitsyUkes and am keen to ensure that each one is based on the same scale length but is built to the customer's request from the available body width sizes. So for example the last commission was for a wide body ItsyBitsyUke. Can't wait to get building...

Regards

Uk-Al-lele

Itsybitsyuke@Gmail.com

the.ronin
07-20-2015, 01:07 PM
I cant wait to see what you come up with. I wouldn't shy away from narrowing the fretboard either. It is supposed to be a mini uke afterall. Also if you want to space on the headstock, consider just violin friction tuners.

UkAlele
07-20-2015, 07:29 PM
I will give the violin friction tuners a go and let you know how they perform. Do you think the fretboard could be slimmer. How slim? At present it's 34mm at the base and 29mm at the nut end.

UkAlele
07-20-2015, 11:43 PM
Hi Tudorp,

Did the aphid have any bracing or tone bars included in the build? I would love to know how it was built.

Regards

Uk-Al-lele

Tudorp
07-21-2015, 02:12 AM
Yes, there were bracing in the body. I built them just as one would build a normal sized uke, just smaller. I still have the very first one I made, and it has an ebony fretboard, bridge, and tuners. The tuners are friction type like violins use, and are also made from ebony. Nut and saddle are both bone. I have several threads on it on the forum, some with some good pictures during the builds. I also made a pineapple version. Do a search on "Aphid" and "ladybug" and you should be able to find the threads on those with pictures. The standard body I called "Aphid" and the pineapple I called "Ladybug"

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=28375&d=1317070393

Here is an old post on one of the builds.
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?49451-D%FCk-Aphid-Build-Thread&highlight=aphid

UkAlele
07-21-2015, 08:24 AM
Hi,

You could only fall in love with such cute ukeleles. The names are brilliant and totally befitting for the instruments.

Are there any aphid and ladybug ukes around for purchasing?

Regards

Uk-Al-lele

Itsybitsyuke@Gmail.com

Tudorp
07-22-2015, 12:59 AM
I took ill a few years ago and had to stop making them. I want to crank back up soon and make some more though. Hopefully soon. I sold all but the very first one I made. I kept that one for my kids. I have one that I have the body and neck done, but never finished it that is made from maple. All the others I did were all Mahogany, but I don't have any available for sale currently.

the.ronin
07-22-2015, 07:43 AM
Both of you guys do really cool work. I'm sure you already know about Koaloha's first uke which was a tiny one like yours. I hope both of you continue / go back to making these awesome little things.

UkAlele
07-22-2015, 08:44 AM
Hi Ronin,

Thanks for the great comment, very motivating and encouraging. Regarding continuing to build... ABSOLUTELY... I can't stop reading about new techniques and trying them out on a new build.

I don't want any ItsyBitsyUke to look the same as the one before. I am aiming to create individual bespoke fully playable cute micro ukes.

I've just finished building today. Managed to get wood thickness down to below 2mm. Skills in bending wood are becoming more proficient. PayPal account set up for people who may want to order an ItsyBitsyUke.

So much has happened so quickly. I shall have ItsyBitsyUke #3 finished by Friday and shall post a video to my YouTube channel. I hope the luthiers of the world might share their knowledge and give advice on how to improve the product. That would be very useful useful.

I shall be selling the ItsyBitsyUkes through ebay as each one becomes available. ItsyBitsyUke#1 went to Canada and hopefully great developmental feedback will also be made available from the users. Any feedback only strengthens the product. The fact that it's always changing is what makes ItsyBitsyUke so bespoke and quirky.

One mad moment today in the shed... Well it involved doodling possible other shapes for ItsyBitsyUke and as I strummed away on my banjolele, that eureka moment arrived.

I'm going to build an ItsyBitsyBanjolele... Crazy, but I am convinced it's doable... I feed back progress as next model develops.

Have a great summer...

Regards

Uk-Al-lele

Itsybitsyuke@Gmail.com
https://youtu.be/QtLFjkZcnaQ

Tudorp
07-22-2015, 09:31 AM
I'm going to build an ItsyBitsyBanjolele... Crazy, but I am convinced it's doable... I feed back progress as next model develops.

Have a great summer...

Regards

Uk-Al-lele

Itsybitsyuke@Gmail.com
https://youtu.be/QtLFjkZcnaQ

Keep us posted how that turns out. I had planned to make a mini banjole myself before I had my health issue. Once that happened, it shut me down. But, I think it will be challenging, but dooable.

UkAlele
07-22-2015, 09:52 AM
Hi Tudorp,

Did you find out where to get a micro tambourine from?

I am thinking of using one with a 4.5 inch diameter.

Regards

Uk-Al-lele

UkAlele
07-22-2015, 09:54 AM
I am not aware of Koaloha's first uke. Would you be able to forward a link?

Regards

Uk-Al-lele

Tudorp
07-22-2015, 09:56 AM
Hi Tudorp,

Did you find out where to get a micro tambourine from?

I am thinking of using one with a 4.5 inch diameter.

Regards

Uk-Al-lele

No. I was planning to bend my own head wood, but never got to that point.

UkAlele
07-22-2015, 10:04 AM
How did you intend to create the drum skin on which the floating bridge would sit?

Cheers

Tudorp
07-22-2015, 10:15 AM
I was planning to buy headskin. You can get them and cut them to size. Depending on the size you buy, and the size of the mini head, you might get 2 or 3 mini skins from one.

http://elderly.com/accessories/cats/BPHC.htm

UkAlele
07-22-2015, 11:00 AM
Hi

I have sourced a supplier for calf head skin and that should arrive next week.

How would you get the tension into the skin and secure it?

Tudorp
07-22-2015, 11:10 AM
I hadn't worked that totally out by the time I had my medical issue. I was planning to make the 1st proto type one using simple gut cord, and tying it on like the old native american drums. It would work until I made some sort of tension ring and hardware.

UkAlele
07-22-2015, 12:13 PM
Does anybody rate oak as a good wood for building with?

Regards

Uk-Al-lele

Itsybitsyuke@gmail.com

https://youtu.be/QtLFjkZcnaQ

Tudorp
07-22-2015, 01:17 PM
Im not sure about oak. The only build woods I used was Mahogany for the body and neck, and rosewood for the saddle, fretboard, and headstock veneer. My first one that is in that picture I did the fretboard, saddle, and headstock veneer in Ebony which I think looks really nice. But found that Ebony is hard to work with on such a small scale. I do have one that I never finished that I was making using Maple for the body and neck.

the.ronin
07-22-2015, 01:51 PM
throw caution to the wind man ... koa. :D

UkAlele
07-22-2015, 08:11 PM
Is Koa easy to work with? Whilst planing down mahogany with very fine plane setting, wood tearouts occur.

Regards

UK-AL-LELE

Itsybitsyuke@gmail.com
https://youtu.be/QtLFjkZcnaQ

UkAlele
07-22-2015, 09:19 PM
Does anyone have experience of using a low G on a microuke?

Tudorp
07-23-2015, 01:02 AM
Koa is more difficult to work with . I tried to make one of my minis from Koa, and I kept breaking the sides trying to bend them so I gave up on it for the time being and went back to Mahogany. I would have stayed with koa longer, but I just like Mahogany ukes better, so I figured why bother. But, yes, Koa is not as forgiving as Mahogany.

UkAlele
07-23-2015, 03:47 AM
Good advice

fretie
07-23-2015, 06:40 AM
Just finishing my tenor uke build this week. The koa back and sides are quite obviously stiffer and less forgiving than the spruce soundboard.

I'm looking forward to playing your Itsy Bitsy soon, Allan. I plan to post a YouTube vid review as well as putting the uke in the hands of a variety of local players to get their feedback. Proud to be part of the R & D team!

UkAlele
07-23-2015, 07:45 AM
Hi Fretie,

I'm quite sure Itsybitsyuke is flying somewhere in the world towards your location. I have since that build thinned down the neck to 36mm at the base and 30mm at the nut. It makes such a difference.

I am just about a few days off from finishing an ItsyBitsyUke wide body with thinner neck. My neighbour fell in love with the ItsyBitsyUke as soon as she saw it. I reackon it was started on Monday this week and will be finished on Saturday. What a task driver!

I'll post a video as usual explaining the specs and changes.

Regarding future developments well it will start tomorrow with building a jig that will make the ItsyBitsyUke body tres tres petit. But not too much that it won't be playable.

It is my intention that once another spare ItsyBitsyUke Small Body is made I will send one to you for trying out.

I want to try building two at a time. The build process is very distracting from my other job but adds the work life enjoyment balance back into my life. Before I joined UU all I did was work or commute to work or other things to do with work. Not a healthy lifestyle...!

But now it's so more enriched and talking to other people from other countries is priceless as an experience.

Other projects just being finished well there's the Violele but before that holidays are calling. I've attached pic of Violele sitting next to the ItsyBitsyUke Small Body.

Build projects being undertaken in the ItsyBitsyUke Beach Hut include:

ItsyBitsyUke Small Body (Completed)
ItsyBitsyUke Wide Body (Completed)
ItsyBitsyUke Violele (On the build bench)
ItsyBitsyUke Banjolele (On the build bench)

Busy... Busy... Busy...

Keep writing

Regards

Allan

Itsybitsyuke@Gmail
https://youtu.be/QtLFjkZcnaQ

81750
81751
81752

UkAlele
07-23-2015, 09:48 AM
Does anyone know if there is a science behind where to locate bracing and tone bars inside a microuke?

Regards

Uk-Al-lele

Itsybitsyuke@gmail.com
https://youtu.be/QtLFjkZcnaQ

Tudorp
07-23-2015, 11:32 AM
There is for full sized string instruments. What that science is, I have no Idea. Im not a Luth, just someone that enjoys building. But, to be honest, in these mini ukes, there isn't enough sound board, and volume or sound chamber to really make that much difference. I tried to get real sound out of my minis, and they all had a very bright, "tink" tone, but that is because of the size of the sound chamber and/or sound board. In such a small scale, odds are it would be nearly impossible to get perfect intonation as well. They are a novelty, and fun as hell, but as far as getting to those high sound standards, it might be a battle left alone.
Just my 2 cents.. ;)

UkAlele
07-23-2015, 12:22 PM
Hi Tudorp,

Some very useful information. I am curious on the extent to which sound can be enhanced and manipulated in a small uke

Thanks for information.

Regards

Uk-Al-lele
Itsybitsyuke@Gmail.com
https://youtu.be/QtLFjkZcnaQ

Tudorp
07-23-2015, 12:57 PM
Im no sound scientist, and there might be some out there schooled in it welcome to chime in and correct me. But, It all depends on vibrations, the materials the vibrations travel through, and amount of material, and volume. On the mini ukes, there isn't much material or surface of sound board to vibrate much. And the body is so small not having much volume inside for the sound to develop. The bridge is also so small that not much vibrations travel though. This is why I believe the sound is so "tingy" and small on a small instrument like mine and your minis. Also, the thickness of the sound board has a lot to do with how much it can vibrate (resonate). The thinner, the more resonance and can vibrate more freely. The more area, the fuller the vibrations/sounds will be. The denseness of the wood, the less dense, warmer sound, more dense, brighter sound. The mini ukes just dont have enough surface, and volume inside the body to get reliable tones. They are just fun. ;) Again, not a scientists, but that is how I understand it.

UkAlele
07-23-2015, 08:33 PM
Hi Tudorp,

I totally agree that they are for fun. The more they ping the better they sing... Have a good day.

Regards

Uk-Al-lele
Itsybitsyuke@Gmail.com
https://youtu.be/QtLFjkZcnaQ

UkAlele
07-24-2015, 08:34 AM
Hi UU readers,

I thought I'd share my day's uke building adventures. Well the saws were sawing, music was blaring and I just kept on motoring through task after task.

The current ItsyBitsyUke commission is uking along nicely and the future owner wanted something different for a sound hole.

Now I am aware that the deceased husband of the new owner loved nature especially different types of butterflies.

I pondered on this thought and then decided to shape the sound hole like a butterfly outline. I'm sure if it were a real shape for the butterfly it would crash land or fly in circles.

Anyway it was a satisfying moment of creativity. Just as the creativity round 1 stopped, the round 2 bell rang. So what should I do in creativity round 2? Hmmmm...

After careful consideration I just had to give in and yes... I started to make the...

ItsyBitsyUke Banjolele

It will be snazzy, jazzy and still fit in your pocket.

It might take a couple of months to sort out, but when it attends it's first Ukelele Gala Event (If there is such a thing), then this cuties going to be dressed to impress and intends to be melodious all night long.


I've attached pics from the day's doings and even checked up on ItsyBitsyUke #1, seems like it's been cleared for flying to Canada.

You know what I think? Well I reackon that the customs officers had opened the ItsyBitsyUke box and had indulged in a spot of discrete uke strumming!

Regards

Uk-Al-lele

Itsybitsyuke@Gmail.com
https://youtu.be/QtLFjkZcnaQ

81786
81787
81788

k0k0peli
07-24-2015, 10:28 AM
After careful consideration I just had to give in and yes... I started to make the...

ItsyBitsyUke Banjolele

It will be snazzy, jazzy and still fit in your pocket. I'll guess that a nano-banjo-uke (NBU -- with resonator back, of course) would be rather louder than a wood-bodied nano-uke too. More people to annoy! Hmmm, I've seen those little toy noisemakers like a two-sided drum on a handle with wire-attached balls that one shakes around for percussive effects. One of those with a 3- or 4-inch diameter head could serve as the body. Easy-peasy.

UkAlele
07-24-2015, 11:27 AM
Hi,

I'm going to make the drum and work out how to fit calf head skin with secure tightening device. Will keep you posted with the research and pics.

Regards

Uk-Al-lele

UkAlele
07-25-2015, 03:03 AM
Do resonators enhance the sound made by a uke and would one work on a microuke e.g. tin resonator?

Regards

Uk-Al-lele
Itsybitsyuke@Gmail.com