View Full Version : How many hours per day do you spend on ukulele construction?

Vespa Bob
08-10-2016, 07:10 PM
When I retired 12 years ago, I was amazed at how quickly the days went by. I often wondered how I managed to get things done during my working years. Once the ukulele building bug bit me, things got even worse, for all I wanted to do was build, build, build. Unfortunately, life keeps getting in the way and what with yard work, house work, honey-do's and other time consuming tasks interrupting my all important uke building time, I find that if I get an average of 4 to 5 hours of shop time a day on a monthly average, I'm doing well. Which prompted the question: how many hours per day do you luthiers, professional and amateur, spend a day actually building ukuleles?
Now back to my shop!:)


08-10-2016, 08:02 PM
I average about 4 hours a day. That could be cut in half if I would not keep losing something I just had in my hand anywhere from 15 sec to an hour before. Sometimes I don't find it until after I have replaced it or worked around using it. Just lost my only 5mm drill bit.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
08-10-2016, 08:23 PM
I spend about 12 hours a day in the shop with a short lunch break. Actual bench time is probably less than 70% of that time. The rest of the time is spent running the business. For the last few years I've taken most weekends off. The yard was staring to complain.

08-10-2016, 08:46 PM
2 maybe 3 hours sometimes 4 to 5. A non-professional. I do have another life. If I actually did this for a living, I would put in 8 to 10 minimum. Also I would stream-line the process. I spend a lot of wasted time and then I wander away... The difference between the amateur and the pro. I'm old and slow what can I say. Do I care? Not really.

08-10-2016, 09:36 PM
Maybe one hour on average? Possibly less. I have a 15 months old daughter, she takes most of my time :).

Michael Smith
08-10-2016, 11:10 PM
I try as hard as I can to put in atleast 8 per day. If I start at 10am I go to 6pm. Yard work, what is that? I have let nature do what it will with my yard for the most part. I work most weekends 5 or 6 hours per weekend day. Lately I have been spending more time playing with local groups. I consider that work as well and a business expense.

08-11-2016, 12:25 AM
I'm retired and am a hobby maker. I'm also not very musical which is a source of frustration, but I try to play uke everyday (once a week with friends).

When I'm making a uke, its anything from 4-8 hrs a day until its done, 50-70 hrs being typical. The first year, I'd make one, wait 2 or 3 weeks, then start the next one. The second year I slowed down and made only 7 or 8 instruments. This (3 rd) year, I'm just finishing my second instrument: I've been trying to make more progress on the playing front.

I went from a glass conservatory that could be too hot or cold to a dark and draughty garage: that has an affect on motivation to start. My kitchen is used for finishing and shows clear evidence of this activity. My spare bedroom is used to store wood (its warmer and dryer than the garage).

I read the forum everyday, continually search out info on YouTube/books and elsewhere, and find myself visiting instrument makers when abroad. I'm often searching for stuff on Ebay, and ideas for future instruments are never out of my thoughts.

So it's fair to say life has never been the same since I picked up my first uke.

chuck in ny
08-11-2016, 02:12 PM
if you have your own shop you can do as you please. if you give up television you can spend evening hours woodworking. it makes up for the inevitable daylight hours that you spend on unrelated tasks. i like evening work, helps you work off dinner and so forth.

Vespa Bob
08-11-2016, 03:44 PM
Thanks so much for taking the time with all your interesting and diverse replies! Chuck, I don't watch TV and I do spend time during most evenings in my shop, well actually it's my garage, but it suffices. Greenscoe, I share your frustration regarding uke playing. I am always torn between practicing on the uke and working on one and usually the latter wins. I also spend a lot of time on the computer soaking up everything I can on the subject of lutherie. I follow the websites and blogs of several members of this forum, which contain a wealth of knowledge, so, as you remarked, life has never been the same since I discovered ukuleles!
Sequoia, you have the right idea and I wish I could adopt your carefree attitude, but once I start a new project I am driven to keep at it until it's done, I can't wait to see it completed and hear it's sound. Spongeuke, I think most of us suffer from the problem of spending more time looking for things, whether dropped on the floor, or hidden somewhere on the bench.
Thanks again for participating on this thread everyone, much appreciated.