View Full Version : Cigar box ukulele feedback

07-12-2009, 09:27 AM
This is my first uke I ever made. Tenor Uke...action and intonation is good, but I'm still working on the tailpiece rig. Disclaimer...I dont practice for my vids and I am not much of an uke player, in fact I dont know any ukulele music or songs. I just play what I know. I dont have a for profit website or really care if people buy them...this is just to get feedback from folks. Just making em for kicks until i get another job lol.

That being said, I still had a goal in mind. My goal is really just functional simplicity with good quality of sound, playability, and a homegrown aesthetic. Its not MEANT to be a PROFESSIONAL instrument, I just want it to be better quality of ukes of $150 and less for now. Its always nice to have a few beaters that sound good and look cool.

This goes through the intonation process but plays after that

This one is same tenor plugged in

This is the new baritone

feedback please...and thank you.

07-12-2009, 09:37 AM
I really liked thr Tenor, pluged in, nice job.

07-12-2009, 09:47 AM
I think they look great. The sound is good, too. Awesome job.

07-12-2009, 09:54 AM
I think they sound awesome. Even though you say there not of professional quality the routed headstock looks nice and if you maybe smoothed out the heel/where the neck meets the cigar box. I prefer the sound of the baritone (though im a tenor guy) but they both sound and look really good. Are you going to be selling any and if so would they be in the $150 range like u mentioned?

07-12-2009, 10:22 AM
Nice work! You asked for feedback....

I think the neck looks a bit thick/heavy, but hard to tell without actually playing it. I'd prefer a different tailstock design....I'm not crazy about all the exposed string behind the saddle. Is the bridge attached, or floating?

Other than those minor things, they look/sound great!

07-12-2009, 11:05 AM
the neck is chunky...and I've debated back and forth and received my fair share of criticism on it, but only from people who have only seen it and not played it.

The neck debate:
1) Negative: I could only rasp it or sand it down...I dont have a router or many tools at all, and I dont have a space to work or store any more tools:) So I dont know how effective or good the quality of rounding and smoothing will be.
2) Positive: I LIKE THE NECK haha. Granted, its unorthodox...but I told one fellow who called my neck "unplayable" that it is a different style neck with its own dynamic and challenges, but certainly NOT "unplayable" as you can do everything on it...bar chords, 7 fret stretches etc. Besides "different" is good, because it keeps us from owning too many ukes that all look and play the
3) Plus I got a rockin capo that works awesome with the chunky, unplayable neck.
which gives it even more style haha.

The bridge on the tenor is completely floated. On the baritone, only the saddle is floated, the base is fixed which I think I like better...always gives you a good starting point when restringing if the base is always there.

The exposed strings and tailpiece is the fuss of mine. On one hand, its not different than a mandolin or banjo so the exposure isnt a huge fuss for me although I agree, it would be a more pleasing aesthetic if they werent there. It really becomes a question of anchoring the string and keeping it simple. I will try something next build. If it works out, it will be greatly preferable to this design, and less problematic.

I appreciate the honesty.

07-12-2009, 11:19 AM
With cigar box ukes there are no rules (outside of the basics that make 'em sound good). If you like the result, and are happy making music with it, rock on!

My own cigar box ukes are quite a bit different, a bit too close to conventional ukes perhaps. I appreciate what you are doing. Push those boundaries. Do yor thang!

John Colter.

Jim X-S
07-12-2009, 11:20 AM
Great job! Love the idea and implementation of the hand worked neck!!!

There is a gal on this forum who is a recent immigrant from Canada. Her husband is reticent about her buying a Ukulele. I told her she should get herself a piece of wood and use a kitchen knife and start carving herself the neck for a cigar box ukulele.

Once again .... GREAT JOB!!!!!!!!!

Have a Great Day,

07-12-2009, 11:21 AM
As I said on youtube, the baritone is insane. Only bari I've ever loved.

07-12-2009, 07:14 PM
thanks guys...I'll keep plugging away and see what turns up. I also make cigar box 3 and 4 string guitars and dulcimers. I'm branching out trying different areas of interest, I love the cigar box dulcimer in guitar format (havent made a lap one yet), but the uke i think is my favorite.

07-13-2009, 11:49 AM
I like both. The neck looks clunky, but hey, the work. They sound great and that's mostly what matters.

What kind of boxes are you using?

07-13-2009, 04:08 PM
I use whatever comes my way that looks the right size and would resonate. Both those boxes are completely different. The tenor is a 601 box and the baritone is a padron. The 601 is a nice box, but I never see them. I really dig the padron box...but they kinda hard to get too. Padron buys the boxes back from shops that deal directly with them.....so if a shop happens to have empty boxes for sale, its because they do not deal direct. FYI

I'm gonna try and just stick with the padrons...like them

07-13-2009, 04:14 PM
oh, once again I would like to address the chunky neck issue. You should scroll up and read my internal debate with the neck design.

regardless, I was feeling around to learn "While my Guitar Gently Weeps" for the strumming contest and I can do those strumming stretches just fine...with a little practice, and its only because of my skill level rather than the design of the neck. It was really pretty simple though. Despite natural notions...the neck isnt uncomfortable at all.

07-17-2009, 01:22 PM
Which size did you use for the baritone. I have a padron 5000 box and a padron 3000 box. I'm working on a concert size neck for the padron 3000. I have an old Hilo Baritone that fell of my porch and cracked. The neck is still good...