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BluesPreacher
01-16-2017, 08:15 AM
I found this plan for building a cigar box uke on www.cigarboxnation.com:

http://www.cigarboxnation.com/forum/topics/build-this-simple-cigar-box-uke-for-under-20

It looks pretty easy, and not very costly.

Anyone ever build one of those?

One concern I have is with the zip tie frets. Would they move, or can they be cinched tight enough to stay put? And the locks--whatever they are called: The plan puts them on the left hand/thumb side (I'm right handed) of the neck. Would they be in the way? Or is that just something you get used to?

Kayak Jim
01-16-2017, 08:24 AM
For easy and cheap buy a $25 uke and take the neck off. The bridge/ saddle is a bonus. That's what I did, not to make a cigar box uke, but a pared down travel uke.

Rllink
01-16-2017, 08:30 AM
It doesn't look to me like it is all that technical, you could probably put the locks on which ever side you want to. I'm pretty sure that you could clinch them up pretty tight if you grabbed the tail with a pair of pliers and pulled hard enough. I'm kinda lovin' this making your own music makers.

cml
01-16-2017, 09:02 AM
I think I have a cigar box around here somewhere...and a steel cookie box...must resist :D!

BluesPreacher
01-16-2017, 09:17 AM
I think I have a cigar box around here somewhere...and a steel cookie box...must resist :D!

Aw heck--give in! DO IT!! It's fun!

I've finished two builds so far, a 3-string "guitar" and a one-string diddley bow, both using metal cookie tins. The uke I'm going to make will use a cookie tin as well. The build I'm currently on is a 3-string guitar (or a "git" as they say on the website's forum) using a small metal tub shaped like a washtub. Fun!

BluesPreacher
01-16-2017, 09:19 AM
For easy and cheap buy a $25 uke and take the neck off. The bridge/ saddle is a bonus. That's what I did, not to make a cigar box uke, but a pared down travel uke.

That's a thought. One thing would be to have a rod to go through the body (I'll be using a cookie tin) like a banjo. I wouldn't know how to attach the neck to the rod, except with wood glue, and I don't know it that would be string enough.

cml
01-16-2017, 09:25 AM
Open back on your cookie tin ukes? Or how do you build em?

BluesPreacher
01-16-2017, 10:23 AM
Open back on your cookie tin ukes? Or how do you build em?

Well, I haven't made a uke with the tins yet, but the builds I have done I've done with the cover off, putting the neck on the bottom side. I put the tops (or what becomes the bottom) back on to play them. The sound is a little louder and a little fuller that way.

The one-string diddley bow I built by taking a 3/4" dowel, drilling a 3/4" hole in the side, next to the bottom, of the tin and running the dowel through the tin. I shaved the dowel down a bit where it would have been flush with the bottom metal of the tin to leave the metal to vibrate freely instead of being dampened by the dowel. I screwed the dowel on to the other side of the tin and through the bottom--now top--on the other side.

A uke will be trickier, what with the tuning keys, frets and all. Should be fun though.

If you want to hear a sample of a uke built by the plan I posted, there's a vid of a woman named Shelley from a group called The Mourning Doves, playing a self-built uke. She sings really pretty too.

Titchtheclown
01-16-2017, 10:29 AM
Here are a couple of instructables I did
http://www.instructables.com/id/Ford-mini-glovebox-guitarukulele/
http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-ukulele-with-a-pocket-knife/

Generally I tend to use a one piece through body neck.
Lining up dowels and or bracing cookie tins adds a level of complexity. I have always been at least 5 or 10 mm out when adding dowels.

orangeena
01-16-2017, 11:06 PM
I would imagine the cable ties on the back of the neck would be a challenge to ignore if you were ever going to come up the neck a bit. But for 1st position chords it just might work.
To fit a thru-rod into the neck, I use what is called an Insert Nut. Seems to be strong enough for nylon strings.
Enjoy yourself.
Max

Rllink
01-17-2017, 02:16 AM
I would imagine the cable ties on the back of the neck would be a challenge to ignore if you were ever going to come up the neck a bit. But for 1st position chords it just might work.
To fit a thru-rod into the neck, I use what is called an Insert Nut. Seems to be strong enough for nylon strings.
Enjoy yourself.
MaxWhat is a thru-rod? I didn't see one in the plans. I think that simplicity is the name of the game in this case, both and building and in playing it. Doing a lot of fancy fretting up the neck is probably not an issue.

orangeena
01-17-2017, 05:48 AM
A rod or dowel that effectively extends the neck through the middle of the box and is fastened where the tailpiece would be. I found that if you don't follow this approach then as you wind up the strings, the tension on the neck twists the box wall and the result is a high action.

BluesPreacher
01-17-2017, 06:08 AM
I would imagine the cable ties on the back of the neck would be a challenge to ignore if you were ever going to come up the neck a bit. But for 1st position chords it just might work.
To fit a thru-rod into the neck, I use what is called an Insert Nut. Seems to be strong enough for nylon strings.
Enjoy yourself.
Max

Thanks Max. Yea, 1st position chords are mostly what I use anyway. Nuttin' too fancy-schmancy. But the ties/locks on the plan look like they're meant to be on the left-hand edge of the fingerboard, so maybe they'll be enough out of the way to make simple fingerings work.

I'll look up the Insert Nut. Thanks!

pahu
01-19-2017, 09:18 AM
A rod or dowel that effectively extends the neck through the middle of the box and is fastened where the tailpiece would be. I found that if you don't follow this approach then as you wind up the strings, the tension on the neck twists the box wall and the result is a high action.

I found that out on my first Cookie-tin Uke. This is what I did on the successive ones: A suitable length of 3/8" Threaded rod gives the stiffness.
The rod is threaded into the end of the 'store-bought' neck and a nut and flat washer keeps it from moving.
At the other end of the rod is a nut/washer on either side of the tin(or cigar box)
. A mando-style tail-piece can be drilled and captured between this 'sandwich'
Looking back, I probably could have used 5/16" rod to save some weight. but I used what I had in the bin.
97061
I gave these ukes away so I dont have any photos, but I hope you can interpret my crude drawing