View Full Version : The quick, the tiny, the fugly

07-02-2017, 07:06 AM
It's finally a reality, the thing you've all dreamed of - a portable ukulele. Gone are the days of unwieldy heavy sopranos and strange compromises such as the Argapa piccolos. Seriously though, I think the Risa stick uke is a great design but it's heavy and somewhat quiet unplugged. The moment I got mine I thought, it's nice but I could make a better one. It took me around four years but once I got started I finished it in little over one day's work.

What got me started was Daniel Hulbert's take on the travel uke, it was lovely but I wanted one with an actual soundboard. Goofed a few times with the tuning pegs because I was a bit out of practice but I'm very pleased with the result.

A video is coming shortly. A few posts with the label "travel uke" on ye olde blogge here:



If I were to make another one I would make the end above the zero fret a tad longer, I could use a bit of neck to cradle when doing first position chords (or as they're the only ones I play, position chords).

07-02-2017, 07:31 AM
That's a nice project that looks great!

Thanks for sharing. :)

Jim Hanks
07-02-2017, 09:07 AM
Very cool. Curious to hear how it sounds.

(and glad to see Booli back posting :shaka:)

07-03-2017, 03:09 AM
On my similar models the lack of headstock was the most annoying feature, or rather lack of a feature.
I do like your use of the wooden pegs.
I must admit that I gave up on the turnaround and favour a more conventional headstock or cbg style cut away like on my pocket knife made uke instructable.
I am also envious of your number 71 1/2.

07-03-2017, 10:27 AM
Ok, here it is. A demo video. It is great fun to play but does sound a bit shit. Have you seen those plastic strum thingies they sell for chord practice? Why does that spring to mind...


07-03-2017, 01:14 PM
Holding it that close to your body will dull the sound considerably because you body will absorb all the sound. You will get a bit more noise if you hold it away from your body.

Jim Hanks
07-03-2017, 02:24 PM
Fugly wonder! I love it! Trademark that name right now before somebody else steals it. :biglaugh:

07-03-2017, 05:37 PM
I think your description of the sound is spot on Sven. It does sound like an ukulele played over a phone line. A unique sound. Not unpleasant. Might even fit into a recording somehow. Sort of like "London Calling" on an ukulele.

07-03-2017, 09:36 PM
Fugly wonder! I love it! Trademark that name right now before somebody else steals it. :biglaugh:

Ah, I goofed that last syllable didn't I. Argapa Fugly Wanderer was the aim of that sentence.

07-05-2017, 07:20 AM
Super sweet ukulele. I don't think it's an ugly duckling. I think it's a beautiful (miniature) swan.