View Full Version : Modified Neck Flea Concert Ukulele, don't try this at home

05-01-2016, 06:48 AM
I recently purchased a Flea from the Marketplace. They have a good reputation and I like the idea of a 15.5'" scale and being made in right here in New England. Unfortunately, when I played it, all I could think was that I don't like the neck profile. I initially thought about offering it up for sale, but then my poor judgment got the best of me and I decided to change the neck profile and taper the neck.

The reshaping took about 1/2 hour followed by finish sanding and eight coats of French Polish and I now have the instrument that I wanted. I used real Shellac that I had mixed up a couple weeks ago. The neck tapers approximately .100" toward the head now and has a profile similar to a Martin Soprano. The French polish is smooth as glass and easy to slide along on. I realize that this probably ruins resale, but on the bright side, I no longer want to sell it.

Jim Hanks
05-01-2016, 08:13 AM
I now have the instrument that I wanted.
That's the important thing.

I realize that this probably ruins resale, but on the bright side, I no longer want to sell it.
Maybe. Maybe not. Now you can market it as "custom" and charge a premium. :p

05-01-2016, 08:58 AM
Sounds perfect! I'd love to see some photos of before and after!

I have a cigar box soprano uke that has a squarish neck. I would love to have that changed. Would make it play the instrument more!

05-01-2016, 10:06 AM
The two before pictures are from the Marketplace ad, (to the right). I always hate making the first cut, but then you are committed and the fun begins. I have carved banjo necks before, so this was not so bad. There is no going back. A belt sander, rasp and sandpaper did it in fairly short order. I didn't have to break out the spoke shave. The neck was unstained, so French Polish blended the whole thing together.

05-01-2016, 11:51 AM
I like it. I play my Flea as it came ... but now you got me thinking of doing this to mine. Or not :-)

05-01-2016, 03:21 PM
George you are my new hero. I had a Mainland Tenor Pineapple that I re-homed due to it's thick neck. If I had the guts, skill, coordination, talent, etc to reduce the width of the neck, I would still own it.

Maybe I'll ask you to do a future job... Maybe a new side career????