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View Full Version : Just another tenor uke?



greenscoe
07-11-2016, 11:56 PM
As a hobby maker I like the challenge of making something different. I decided to make a uke from a tennis racquet (with acknowledge to Daniel Hulbert for the idea).

The racquet was used as an external mould to make a complete soundbox. Because the uke has no purfling/binding, maple linings were used rather than thicker kerfings. The box was made shallow (40mm) to enhance the racquet look. The 2 soundholes rather than a large circular one seemed the obvious choice. Since there are no soundboard cross braces, 5 fan braces have been used.

The laminated shaft was widened with ash to make the neck and built-up head. This was kept simple to resemble the racquet handle. I resisted the temptation to add a heel, again to avoid hiding the lines of the racquet.

The completed soundbox was glued into the racquet rim. The soundbox’s darker top and back accentuate the lines of the ash racquet rim. The maple sides also complement the light coloured ash rim.

Continued in the next post........

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greenscoe
07-12-2016, 12:00 AM
The uke is finished in Tru Oil and retains signs of it previous playing life. This deceptively simple looking build took about 40 hours to complete. The uke feels very solid with its protective racquet rim and sits happily on my lap. Fortuitously, strumming at the 12-14th frets avoids damage to the soundboard.

Itís as loud as my other tenor ukes with a full even sound, but with less sustain. It has the character Iíve come to expect from an instrument without a large single soundhole.

I was game for the challenge, set my objectives and produced an instrument to match my expectations. I hope you think Iíve served up an ace.

(Sorry, I couldnít resist!)

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orangeena
07-12-2016, 12:11 AM
That looks great. Keep the pictures coming, I fancy having a go at this and I have my old racquet in the loft (I see you posted more whilst I was typing!)

Stagehand
07-12-2016, 12:12 AM
Wow!! Very nice.

mrStones
07-12-2016, 12:12 AM
Stroke of genius! It is really interesting and original.
And the result is really a beauty.
Do you plan to make an audio sample ?
Congratulations!

orangeena
07-12-2016, 12:15 AM
Just a thought. Do you think a design with two identical racquets glued together to give a deeper sound box might work too? Obviously the neck would need to be trimmed

Jim Hanks
07-12-2016, 01:13 AM
Cool! The sound hole design is especially inspired. :cool: What are the top and back woods?

greenscoe
07-12-2016, 01:31 AM
Orangeena: There are lots of possibilities, I have ideas aplenty for using a racquet. My intention here was to transmute seemlessly from one thing to the next so keeping the box shallow was an important design element. It could be deeper with a single racket.

Jim Hanks: Both top and back are recycled, though quartersawn and bookmatched. The top is Sapele (1.8-2 mm), the back (2.5 mm) is an unknown wood found when I cleared out my father's workshop. Its heavy, hard and redder then sapele and tends to clog sandpaper: anyone any ideas?

Phuufme
07-12-2016, 05:01 AM
Love it, looks great.

ksquine
07-12-2016, 07:01 AM
Neat....I bet you could SERVE up some nice tunes on that. yuk yuk yuk
It must make quite a RACKET when played. yuk yuk yuk
Everyone must LOVE it.
Can't find any FAULT in that construction.....ok I'll stop now. It is a pretty cool uke

kohanmike
07-12-2016, 08:33 AM
As someone who mods all my bass ukes, I think that one is inspired and so well executed. Do you think that unknown back wood is the cause of the limited sustain? It looks like you could make the two sound holes a little bigger, maybe that would help.

resoman
07-12-2016, 09:11 AM
Perhaps bubinga on the back wood?? The stuff sure does a clogging number on a drum sander.

greenscoe
07-12-2016, 09:48 AM
Perhaps bubinga on the back wood?? The stuff sure does a clogging number on a drum sander.

I've checked the data and images on Google and it looks as though it may be bubinga-its not a wood I have ever used! The wood I found was a turning block approx 12x5x5".

Thanks for the info.

little timber
07-12-2016, 12:09 PM
Orangeena: There are lots of possibilities, I have ideas aplenty for using a racquet. My intention here was to transmute seemlessly from one thing to the next so keeping the box shallow was an important design element. It could be deeper with a single racket.

Jim Hanks: Both top and back are recycled, though quartersawn and bookmatched. The top is Sapele (1.8-2 mm), the back (2.5 mm) is an unknown wood found when I cleared out my father's workshop. Its heavy, hard and redder then sapele and tends to clog sandpaper: anyone any ideas?

padauk maybe?

pointpergame
07-12-2016, 02:55 PM
Just an awesome execution! One of those pieces of art where ( if I didn't know already ), I'd do a double take and then it would hit. The surprise and the feeling that I had made a discovery would instantly dial up my intrigue....I find I like music that' about a 60:40 familiar-to-surprise ratio and this rings that gong.

I am about to launch into a couple resonators where the acoustics of the body aren't all that important and I'm feeling inspired to look around the house for objects to convert. The imagination takes wing. Thanks for your help with that.

DanielHulbert
07-13-2016, 05:00 AM
Awesome build. I love your design choices.