View Full Version : Another travel tenor electric uke

05-22-2016, 04:59 PM
Travel tenor. Just strung it up this morning. I ran into Vespa Bob at a uke jam a couple weeks ago and I mentioned that I was starting to build this, so he told me to post a few pictures.

Tenor scale. 21.5" Long. 4" wide. 1.4" thick. Similar in design to others, but I had several things I wanted to incorporate. Most to make it more playable like a regular acoustic uke:
- mini headstock. I wanted something beyond the nut that would simulate the beginning of the curvature of a headstock for playability.
- Width around sound hole. I wanted enough space below the soundhole area to be able to plant my pinkie finger for fingerpicking.
- Also wanted enough body beyond the bridge to be able to cradle the uke under my forearm when playing. I did not want to have to use a strap to play.
- Did not want tuners sticking out the sides or back as most similar ukes do.
- Enclose a small chamber with a thin back for better acoustics.
- Incorporate a fretboard that sits proud of the body, just like a traditional uke - instead of the frets pressed directly into the neck. That way the string geometry is the same (important when fingerpicking)

Body and neck is mahogany. Rosewood Fretboard purchased complete on Amazon. Rosewood bridge purchased on ebay (but modified). Bone nut and saddle. Grover friction tuners. Aquila strings. Passive under-saddle piezo pickup. Finished with satin wipe-on poly.


05-22-2016, 05:06 PM
A few pictures from the build

Jim Hanks
05-22-2016, 05:32 PM
Nice! So how does it sound? How does it rate with your other ukes for playability?

05-23-2016, 02:30 AM
Great design and build! I'd love to hear a sound clip or video.

05-23-2016, 03:45 AM
I don't have much to compare it to. I've never played a Risa stick or anything similar. All of my uke are full size concerts or tenors. Playability is good, but it does play 'smaller' than the tenor scale that it is. Almost feels like a concert scale, but I guess that the overall small size and low weight throws me off. Makes me glad that I did not build it at concert scale. It is VERY quiet unamplified. So I don't think that the back I put on it is accomplishing anything. For sound, well, it sounds like electric amplified nylon strings. Definitely does not have the sweet tone that comes from my acoustic ukuleles. But it is always fun to crank up the distortion and play like an electric guitar!

Vespa Bob
05-23-2016, 04:21 AM
Great work, Demick! Yes, I remember our discussion at the uke jam. I love the design, particularly the "hidden" tuners. You seem to know your way around a router, too! So, what's your next uke going to be?


Croaky Keith
05-23-2016, 04:32 AM
Nice build, especially like the headstock 'wing'. :)

(I still feel a little bit uncomfortable with my RISA solid/stick because of the lack of headstock.)

05-23-2016, 01:00 PM
Awesome build, Demick. Nice work.

Jim Hanks
05-23-2016, 01:25 PM
Awesome build, Demick. Nice work.

Says the master of this kind of thing! :shaka:

05-23-2016, 05:52 PM
Thanks for the kind words. No idea what my next project will be.
A short sound clip:


Croaky Keith
05-23-2016, 10:15 PM
Sounds good. :)