View Full Version : Problems with my second attempt at a Uke

09-10-2017, 01:19 AM
Hi guys!

Around three weeks ago I started to build my second ukulele. The first one I made was more of a decorative thing because I built it in the shape of my Ibanez Destroyer and the materials I used weren't suited at all.
This time I reallly tried to make a functioning instrument but it seems I have made just another wallhanger :wallbash:

The specs:
I made the sides, the soundboard and the backboard (?) from two layers of 0.9mm American Walnut veneer, which I laminated. The neck is made from beech, the fretboard is Ziricote, the nut ebony and the bridge is made from Bocote.
I am almost certain, that most of these wood-choices are wrong but I used what I had on hand and since I knew this wasn't going to be a masterpiece I didn't care too much about using the right wood all around and rather to make it look cool and just see what happens. So please don't be to rough on me for using what I used :rolleyes:

A few years ago my brother stepped on his ukulele and I did an autopsy to see how it was built. That memory was more or less my plan, aside from my Lanikai that I used as a guide for the proportions. For some reason I didn't want to look up any plans because I wanted to figure it out myself. I think I did an alright job with most of the construction but I made a very short-sided and stupid mistake:
I didn't use that v-shaped bracing beneath the bridge but instead I glued on a piece of plywood to help strengthen the soundboard. Now the bridge, including the soundboard is bending upwards, but that I could live with. The bigger problem is, that because of this bending, the piece of wood under the bridge must have come loose at the corners and is now rattling like a snare drum if you tap the soundboard. Funnily enough it doesn't affect all the strings but it's still completely ruining the sound. I tried to get it off with a piece of wire but it is still attatched really good except for where it isn't.

Maybe somebody has an idea for how to save my ukulele. I will have to build another one since I really enjoyed building this one but it would still bother me to lose all that work I put in.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance!


PS: I haven't mounted the frets yet because the shipping is taking forever, but I don't see how those would help me :)

PPS: I hope this isn't too long. I tried to get as much information in as possible102943102944102945102946

09-10-2017, 06:01 AM
You really need to get a good book on the construction. It would answer most of your questions. The best one I can think of is the 'Hana Lima Ia' book on construction. There are also huge amounts of info on YouTube.
Or, get a kit. I made my first uke from a Stewart McDondald kit and it turned out to be a pretty nice uke. My daughter still plays it. I don't know about somebody that could provide a kit there in Europe but I'll bet somebody makes one up. It seems like Peter Howlett may have provided kits at one time but I'm not sure.
Good luck and welcome to the journey

09-10-2017, 10:38 AM
good place to start on Youtube is the "Birth of a Mya Moe Ukulele" series of short videos, 100 in total covering every aspect of their build process. I learnt a great deal from them and you will too. Good luck. Mike