View Full Version : My latest teardrop soprano ukulele

Vespa Bob
06-28-2016, 06:56 PM
Presenting my latest endeavor in ukulele construction, my 16th overall and 4th in a line of Favilla style teardrop sopranos.
After my last project, I decided to tackle something more basic and spend more time on achieving the accuracy and perfection required of an instrument worthy of selling. I succeeded only in small part, having produced (finally) a symmetrical body shape, thanks for taking the time to build an inside and outside form. Also, a well executed neck and fret board resulted after avoiding past mistakes.
On the downside, however, a big boo-boo was the result of a slight shift of the soundboard when gluing it to the sides, causing the sound hole to be out of center.:( This, plus a not too perfect joint on the rosette marred an otherwise good looking instrument.
Cosmetics aside, the construction, sound and intonation are as good as I can achieve at this stage of my apprenticeship!
Thanks to all on this board who have helped me with advice and encouragement without which I would not have made much progress!
All mahogany top, back, sides and neck
Indian rosewood fret board and bridge
Ebony nut and saddle
Gotah friction tuners with modified buttons (smaller)
Worth clear strings


Vespa Bob
06-28-2016, 07:01 PM
A few more pics:

06-29-2016, 06:55 PM
That is a nice looking instrument. I don't really see the off-center top in the photos. I also had a top slip off center when gluing which I didn't notice until too late. That was my first ukulele build that turned into a total failure and ultimately matchsticks. An unpleasant memory. Also an expensive lesson.

Maiden Uke
06-30-2016, 03:04 AM
I agree with sequoia, this is a really pretty teardrop ukulele.

06-30-2016, 05:44 AM
Nice job! dont worry about it being a bit off centre I did one slightly out last week :o as long as it plays ok , its to make music not to be surveyed ;)...I've never made a teardrop uke..But I would like to have ago at a roundback instrument like a vintage mandolin or an Udd or something like that.

06-30-2016, 08:27 AM
I'm with the others, a good looking uke. Many times I've been unhappy with a build and given it away or sold it cheap, only to see it again later and wonder what I thought was wrong with it. Time didn't fix the instrument, but it eased my self-criticism and let me see it like others see it.

Vespa Bob
06-30-2016, 06:33 PM
Thanks for the positive comments, much appreciated. Actually the bridge is more out of center than the sound hole, due to the fact that I wanted the strings centered over the sound hole and the bridge, being further away needed to be moved further over. I know that it's not the end of the world, but it irritates me that after trying hard, I let this happen! In the first picture of the second set, you can see that the center join of the top doesn't line up with the rear side joint. Ah, well, the next one will be better. I'm still very pleased with the overall result.


06-30-2016, 06:58 PM
Well, just line that bridge and saddle up with the nut and let the devil take the hindmost. That is the thing that can't be off. You did good.

07-04-2016, 08:38 AM
Nice drawing lines, proportions.
Finish look clean.
With this deep body,
sound should be mellow.
Like it.
One after other, your ukes become well done in any parts.

07-04-2016, 09:42 AM
That is one handsome looking little devil!!!!!! Wish I could hear it.

Vespa Bob
07-04-2016, 12:38 PM
Thanks Gerard and Phil,I appreciate your comments. Until I can find someone in San Jose who can do it justice, I afraid I can't offer you a sound clip, Phil, I'm hardly past strumming the basic chords stage! I enjoy reading your blog, Gerard, in spite of Google's bad translation into English!


07-06-2016, 12:19 PM
Nice work Bob! I'm always surprised so few ever experiment with the teardrop shape as the sound is so good. Let me know if you ever want to put one of yours next to my Favilla and compare. -Ryan

Vespa Bob
07-06-2016, 01:42 PM
Ryan, so nice to hear from you! Ever since your original gave me the incentive to build mine, I've been wanting to do a comparison! I was sorry that you couldn't make it to Jay's jam last year, as I had one of mine there. We'll have to make an arrangement to meet up some time.