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mineymole
11-25-2018, 04:22 AM
I finished my first ukulele, a Stewmac kit. I made dozens of mistakes along the way but... this baby actually plays. On to the next one....

Pictures if you’re interested:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/tquQeqzLY1HCRUfe7

ukantor
11-25-2018, 04:35 AM
That's a very commendable first build. You must be well pleased. Kits are a great way to get started.

John Colter.

Jerryc41
11-25-2018, 05:34 AM
"Dozens of mistakes." Really? You'd never know it to look at these pictures. It's beautiful. What kind of finish did you use?

Looking at the S-M site, I don't see a kit with the binding and that triangle on the front.
https://www.stewmac.com/Materials_and_Supplies/Instrument_Kits/Ukulele_Kits/StewMac_Ukulele_Kits.html

HogTime
11-25-2018, 05:44 AM
Great job! Congrats!

EDW
11-25-2018, 05:52 AM
Lovely! I'd love to hear more about that process and perhaps a sound clip.

dofthesea
11-25-2018, 07:53 AM
Nice job on the first one.

Paul Bouchard
11-25-2018, 08:41 AM
Looks really great.

Nickie
11-25-2018, 04:21 PM
Wow, nice job!
Where are the mistakes?
It does remind me of a vintage Martin.
I bet it sounds great.

Lapyang
11-26-2018, 12:49 AM
Congratulations. It looks great!

mineymole
11-26-2018, 07:28 AM
"Dozens of mistakes." Really? You'd never know it to look at these pictures. It's beautiful. What kind of finish did you use?

Looking at the S-M site, I don't see a kit with the binding and that triangle on the front.
https://www.stewmac.com/Materials_and_Supplies/Instrument_Kits/Ukulele_Kits/StewMac_Ukulele_Kits.html

Hi Jerry,
The kit is the Mahogany solid front and Mahogany laminated back & sides. The purfling, binding and triangle were added by me.
For the finish, I applied a Minwax Mahogany stain first, lightly sanded and then another coat. Then I used Minwax shellac, olive oil and ever clear.
The biggest pain was the laminate back. Cutting the binding channels really chewed up the laminate and the mahogany on the laminate is very very thin.
I did several thin coats of the shellac, sanding lightly between every five coats with 2000 grit paper.

The binding is tortoise shell celluloid and the white is just white plastic.

I tried all of the Dremel based Stewmac tools which were pretty awful... and at the end I ordered the Gremil from LMI which with my chisels worked much better.

mineymole
11-26-2018, 07:31 AM
Wow, nice job!
Where are the mistakes?
It does remind me of a vintage Martin.
I bet it sounds great.


Oh the mistakes are everywhere.

I had to redrill the dowel holes because the first try did not line up well. Even in the end when I thought everything was perfect with the neck, after gluing is still wasn't quite right.
The laminate got very chewed up by the Stewmac dremil tool. The binding channel was uneven. But all in all, I was so pleasantly surprised when I put the strings on and there were no big issues. The tone is quite nice. I think I need to work on a few frets a bit more because I am getting a bit of a "slapping sound" on the first 3 or 4 frets, but other than that it sounds great. Much better than I had anticipated.

mineymole
11-26-2018, 07:32 AM
Lovely! I'd love to hear more about that process and perhaps a sound clip.


I wish I knew how to do a sound clip.

jcalkin
11-26-2018, 08:14 AM
Great job! Mistakes will keep happening, but they get fewer as you go. You have a fine uke family, too. Windows 10 includes a voice recorder. It might do for a sound clip, too.