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valde002
01-30-2017, 11:59 AM
I am weighing trying to get into making my own uke, to help me solve my UAS and also to customize playing for myself.

If I have an empty garage or basement and wanted to get into luthiering (is that even a word?), about how much would I spend on equipment?

mzuch
01-30-2017, 01:30 PM
Very hard question to answer. Best I can say is several thousand dollars. If you only plan to make one, you're better off working with an established builder to make one to your specifications. If you plan to make more, understand that it might take you several or many instruments to hone your skills until you can produce one that is better than you can buy elsewhere. UAS is a player's issue. The need to build is an entirely different story.

sequoia
01-30-2017, 05:51 PM
UAS is a player's issue. The need to build is an entirely different story.

Yes, then there is UBS (Ukulele Building Syndrome) which is similar to UAS (Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome), but much more chronic in some ways much more serious. I would also say UBS is much more fulfilling and healthy to the soul than simple uncomplicated UAS which is ultimately unfulfilling. The OP asked how much it is going to cost: The answer is how many tools do you already have on hand and what kind of set up do you have to do the work? It really doesn't take as much as you think. If you already have a small modest shop in the garage you are good to go. Elaborate tools are not necessary. Really. You can do amazing things with a plane, a power drill and lots of sand paper. The problem starts out when you realize that the tool you don't have would really do the job so, so much better so you get maybe caught up in TAS (Tool Acquistion Syndrome) which in many ways is much worse than simple uncomplicated UAS.

As a hobby goes I would say that ukulele building falls somewhere in the middle. Not cheap, but not like something like golf or God help us, stamp collecting or even worse, collecting antiques like medieval chastity belts. Now that can get expensive.

saltytri
01-30-2017, 05:56 PM
...even worse, collecting antiques like medieval chastity belts. Now that can get expensive.

You didn't add, "Don't ask me how I know this." So, how do you know this? ;)

Mezcalero
01-30-2017, 06:09 PM
You didn't add, "Don't ask me how I know this." So, how do you know this? ;)

I laughed so hard at this comment, I woke up one of the exchange students living with us ;)

saltytri
01-30-2017, 06:25 PM
My apologies to your guests! Perhaps this will be eased a bit by the knowledge that I've been working this evening on an amboyna burl rosette for some guy.

sequoia
01-30-2017, 06:35 PM
Do you have any idea what one these costs!!! Obviously not!

97434

Apologies to the original poster. This thread is has gone seriously off rail.

Allen
01-30-2017, 07:56 PM
I am weighing trying to get into making my own uke, to help me solve my UAS and also to customize playing for myself.

If I have an empty garage or basement and wanted to get into luthiering (is that even a word?), about how much would I spend on equipment?

From almost nothing to $50,000 should almost do it. And yes, that is what the equipment and tooling in my workshop would add up to. Bought over a number of years and upgrading as I could afford it.

But that doesn't include the timber......and I'm afraid to even think of what that would add up to. Certainly more than another $30,000

Depends on what you have on hand, and how you want to work.

cml
01-30-2017, 10:09 PM
I use very few tools, so it can be quite cheap. Us mere hobby builders dont have the same need for efficiency as professional builders and can make do with less than perfect tools.

Granted, I had a few tools, but the only tools I really HAD to buy were: A drill press, a nice hand plane and the safe-t-planer. Now, you could make do without the safe-t-planer.
My most used tool is likely my knife, followed by very small figure saw and my trusted hacksaw.

Starting from scratch, you could get by with less than 500$ in tools - easily!

But as already noted, you also need materials :)...and that can snowball quickly!

RPA_Ukuleles
01-31-2017, 04:44 AM
I think you'll find this is the biggest rabbit hole you've ever encountered :)

If you are building an Ukulele to:
See if you can do it
See if you enjoy it
Want to save money
Just want to experiment
Fancy being a builder
Just want a uke built the way you want it
Have lost your mind
Think you can make a great use your first time

Just buy a good kit and give it a try. Otherwise you are in for some real frustration and expense. After you build a kit, then determine if you want to build more ukes! For many, that kit build will get the urge right out of your system. I say this because if you have to ask the question about what you need and how much you'll have to spend, then you likely don't have enough understanding of woodworking to start a scratch build yet. A few very industrious types out there have been successful with their first uke and continued to build, but I'd wager they were the ones that knew what they had already and how they would use it to accomplish what needed to be done.

So even with a kit you'll have to have sufficient clamps, drills, forms, measuring tools, possibly fretting tools, finishing tools, and glueing skills just to make the kit. If you go from scratch you'll need much more in the way of dimensioning, bending, forming, and processing the materials.

I certainly encourage building, it's a joy. But don't kid yourself about what it takes to make a box of wood that makes music.

EDW
01-31-2017, 05:04 AM
Not cheap, but not like something like golf or God help us, stamp collecting or even worse, collecting antiques like medieval chastity belts. Now that can get expensive.

I thought you were going to add- in more ways than one!

As far as building, maybe you can start with a kit. I know there are a few out there such as

http://www.stewmac.com/Materials_and_Supplies/Instrument_Kits/Ukulele_Kits/Tenor_Ukulele_Kit.html

It would give you some experience, and you could see if you like it enough to go further.

Titchtheclown
01-31-2017, 07:55 AM
Start simple work up.
Look at the plans on Cigarboxnation.com instructables.com and https://circuitsandstrings.wordpress.com
The 2by4 thread http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?114726-2x4-challenge is full of great (cheap) ideas.

Sorry can't help with the chastity belt thing. I must be either too Catholic or not Catholic enough.

cml
01-31-2017, 08:00 AM
I would like to say that, at least for me personally, building from a kit wasn't even an option. Go for it!, what's the worst thing that could happen?

printer2
01-31-2017, 02:48 PM
...they were the ones that knew what they had already and how they would use it to accomplish what needed to be done.

So even with a kit you'll have to have sufficient clamps, drills, forms, measuring tools, possibly fretting tools, finishing tools, and glueing skills just to make the kit. If you go from scratch you'll need much more in the way of dimensioning, bending, forming, and processing the materials...

I see people ask if they could make a guitar. I say sure, but I advise them to make a uke first, then they can decide if they want to make a guitar or not. A uke is less of an outlay in funds for materials and tools. Now how you go about it or how successful you feel you are after the process can vary. I did make a cigar box guitar as my entry point in my current obsession. Looking back I could have bought a few nice good guitars for the money I sent in wood and tools and instead of the time I spent building I was practicing I could probably play pretty good. But I am the type of person that needs to know how to do things and try to improve myself till I am satisfied I did a good job of it.

I still am not satisfied but looking back knowing what I do now I can see building with fewer resources than I have put together. A person with a lot of experience could probably build a uke with a minimum of tools, knowing where he could get the most bang for his buck. But experience usually comes fro an outlay of time and money, it is usually easier to get the information from someone else. One of the most suggested books on building is Guitarmaking: Tradition & Technology by Wm. R. Cumpiano.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0811806405/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=cumpiano-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=0811806405&linkId=cc60d0683c82f45cd600650f0bdda157

I have not read it but have hear many talk of it. And for the price it seems a bargain. Seems like a good place to start.

cml
02-03-2017, 06:28 AM
Rather rude to ask for advice and then disappear like a wisp of smoke...

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
02-03-2017, 11:11 AM
some tool lists

http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Tool_Lists_for_Lutherie_Schools/

valde002
02-03-2017, 12:13 PM
some tool lists

http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Tool_Lists_for_Lutherie_Schools/

thanks, very helpful

valde002
02-03-2017, 12:22 PM
Rather rude to ask for advice and then disappear like a wisp of smoke...

Who...me? Nah. Still taking it all in. I would have to take a Luthier/ uke making course for $5,000. Then get the tools and stuff for my garage. Then the wood material, etc. So...

Do I want to just spend the time resource to become more of a stronger player? Or delve and spend the time into making? Need to think about it all, and see if the info matches what I am looking for. I appreciate the info from everyone, just had nothing useful to add. I guess I could contribute some 'alternative facts' which seems to be going around alot these days. :p

RPA_Ukuleles
02-03-2017, 12:31 PM
thanks, very helpful

How is this very helpful? These are almost exclusively fretting, setup, and repair tools. I don't see much in there for building a ukulele that you could then fret and set up.

Maybe look for some very basic woodworking projects or make a uke- like object to see how it grabs you.

valde002
02-03-2017, 12:53 PM
How is this very helpful? These are almost exclusively fretting, setup, and repair tools. I don't see much in there for building a ukulele that you could then fret and set up.

Maybe look for some very basic woodworking projects or make a uke- like object to see how it grabs you.

It just gives me an idea about what is out there and what I would need. Honestly I'll probably do the kit first, as that would at least help me to get the big picture before committing to the course.

Choirguy
02-03-2017, 01:04 PM
[QUOTE=RPA_Ukuleles;1936805]I think you'll find this is the biggest rabbit hole you've ever encountered.[QUOTE]

There are other rabbit holes that are bigger and deeper...Harley Davidson motorcycles (great bikes, but certified service is usually a minimum of $300), boats of any kind, and airplanes.

As I watch some of the old videos of ukulele building on YouTube, it is pretty clear that many hobbyists have better equipment than the companies did in the past!

I don't have even the general tools around to build ukuleles, but I wouldn't mind learning how to build them, or more importantly how to fix them (I think that might be a better overall long-term occupation). I know there are schools where they teach instrument repair (band instruments, etc.). I wonder if there are schools for luthier work? I haven't even looked.