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View Full Version : how much time to spend on a first ukulele ?



jaunedeau
04-07-2009, 09:38 AM
Hi,

I'm going to start my first ukulele may. By then, I'll have ordered all the (bare) wood I need, have bought the tuners and the strings, the fret wire, the glue, some plywood for the mold, and should have made a temporary bending iron. I'll have bought and read the hama lima book. I'll have access to a workshop with most of the needed tools. I'm not really an experimented woodworker, but I already know how to use some of the tools and will have some help for the remaining one.

Can someone help me making an estimation of how time it would take to make two soprano ukulele from scratch in those conditions ? Since it is a first one, I'll make it simple. I may add a simple wooden binding (no rope nor abalone), and a rosette (also very simple), but nothing more. (I'll make two so I can select the best parts each time and make a good one, then make a beater with all the remaining parts)

My first estimation is about 5 afternoon in the workshop with all the tools (5*4 hours), and about the same time to glue everything together, sand, and finish. Let say about 50 hours.

Does is seems a good estimation ?

Thanks,
John.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
04-07-2009, 10:02 AM
I led a group of about 20 first time builders last year and we built tenors, same features as you're having. I figured about 40 hours on each.

Harold O.
04-08-2009, 06:19 AM
My first build (OK, only one thus far) was a Stew-Mac kit via Hana Lima. It came with pre-bent sides and dimensioned pieces with decent instructions. I have a full shop. Still took about four days. My jigs were not fancy by any stretch.

There are some procedures you can do simultaneously. Others will have to be done linearly due to glue-ups, etc.

Pete Howlett
04-08-2009, 08:24 AM
I do an extreme build in 15 hours - start to finish. It's doable if you have a guide but working on your own, I'd say 30 -40 hours first time out.

Harold O.
04-08-2009, 12:59 PM
I do an extreme build in 15 hours - start to finish.

I'm thinking you've had a bit of practice, eh? ;)

Dominator
04-08-2009, 02:14 PM
Well, you guys are all extremely efficient then. I have a full time job so I have to build on weekends and evenings when not having to work overtime. My last tenor was completed over an 11 week period and I'm guessing I have over 120 hours into it. Good thing I never plan to make the house payment by building ukuleles :shaka:

dave g
04-08-2009, 03:27 PM
I think I've got it down to about 8 - 10 hours per uke, on average, over a week or so, assuming that I'm making at least two side-by-side. Now, mind you that I don't do any inlay work, no bindings, not even rosettes. This does not include any watching glue/lacquer cure, navel-gazing, checking ukulele forums, chatting on the phone, or any of that stuff - just working.

Timbuck
04-08-2009, 10:36 PM
How long does it really take starting from scratch??..Design.. obtaining materials..Tool maintinance..selecting timber..ordering parts... remaking parts due to errors..Running out of consumables(Glue) and having to go out and buy more..Wanted on the Telephone...People turning up unexpected (causing work stoppage)...Apointments at Dentists, Haircuts, Car needs MOT, Wife Says Hoover not working ...You know that sort of thing :confused: is this what they call a "Rat Race":eek:

dave g
04-09-2009, 03:46 AM
How long does it really take starting from scratch??..Design.. obtaining materials..Tool maintinance..selecting timber..ordering parts... remaking parts due to errors..Running out of consumables(Glue) and having to go out and buy more..Wanted on the Telephone...People turning up unexpected (causing work stoppage)...Apointments at Dentists, Haircuts, Car needs MOT, Wife Says Hoover not working ...You know that sort of thing :confused: is this what they call a "Rat Race":eek:

A bit more time if you factor in all that stuff :)