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MoreUke
10-05-2009, 08:43 PM
Just sitting here wondering about an acoustic ukulele made from plexiglass. Not like a giant chunk of plastic that has been drilled out to take the electrical components of an electric ukulele. But instead sheets of plexiglass that are cut and molded just like a conventional wood acoustic ukulele.

Obviously it wouldn't have that warm look of wood. Wonder what a well made one would sound like?

Aloha

koalohapaul
10-05-2009, 09:25 PM
Before ukulele, our family's business was custom acrylic fabrication. My father made one, while we still did plastic and ukulele. The only non plastic parts were the metal for the tuners and fret wire. It looked amazing, but sounded absolutely horrible.

joezane
10-06-2009, 01:34 AM
wouldn't that just be a tv pal or other the myriads of plastic ukes from the 50's?

Blrfl
10-06-2009, 01:48 AM
Acrylics are great for electrics but are lousy for acoustic instruments because they're so dense.

Dan Armstrong and Ampeg mass-produced a Plexiglas electric guitar and bass which are available as re-issues (http://www.ampeg.com/products/daplexi/index.html). I've played vintage versions of both, and neither is something you can use in any sort of acoustic way because they just don't make much sound on their own.

Fender also built a one-off Lucite Stratocaster (http://www.strat-central.com/external/LuciteStrat.asp.htm) as a marketing gimmick.

I think an all-plastic uke (like a better version of the TV Pal) could be done with attention paid to materials and build. And I'd probably buy one if it was priced like fleas and flukes. I'd love an instrument you could really take to the beach.

--Mark

6stringconvert
10-06-2009, 02:35 AM
how about carbon fibre?

I've heard good things about rainsong guitars...

6sc

cornfedgroove
10-06-2009, 04:35 AM
no no no...you make a slide playing uke with steel strings and lights mounted on the inside. You set it up so that whenever you slide on it, you complete the circuit and the lights flash on

UKISOCIETY
10-06-2009, 06:16 AM
Catfish Carl's web site (http://www.catfish1952.com/plastics.html)says this one's by Makana DeLovio:

http://www.catfish1952.com/plasticsfiles/makana_Delovio_Clear_Horizontal.jpg

http://www.catfish1952.com/plasticsfiles/pickup-2.jpg

hoosierhiver
10-06-2009, 06:21 AM
Catfish Carl's web site (http://www.catfish1952.com/plastics.html)says this one's by Makana DeLovio:

http://www.catfish1952.com/plasticsfiles/makana_Delovio_Clear_Horizontal.jpg

http://www.catfish1952.com/plasticsfiles/pickup-2.jpg

and was owned by the Invisible Man

MoreUke
10-06-2009, 08:07 AM
I had been wondering/hypothesizing about the tone thing. Especially in light of an article I read in the last week or two about how some lab was able to get tonewoods sounding like stradivarius after subjecting the wood to soaking in water with some type of fungus.

http://www.livescience.com/strangenews/etc/091001-fungi-infested-violin-beats-strad.html

I was wondering about thinning the top tremendously. From what I read most of the sound comes from the top. Of course then it would be an exercise in polishing the plexiglass back to it's original optical properties.

Maybe a red body with clear plexiglass top that has been thinned tremendously with fanned supports made from blue plexiglass. The neck and head being made from various colors of plexiglass laminated together.

Ukulele Jim
10-07-2009, 01:20 PM
Makana DeLovio no longer makes those.

callmemario
01-08-2014, 06:13 AM
Wooow!!...end of the story...and thread, right?! ;-)

That's too bad. I would have like to read more on his design and feedback from others.
__________________________________________________ _______________________


Makana DeLovio no longer makes those.

Twitch
01-08-2014, 06:55 AM
Check this out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ME0xkHaxjyo

jcalkin
01-08-2014, 03:04 PM
My impression of Plexiglas is that its too soft to make a good acoustic instrument. Other plastics seem much stiffer and responsive. A Plexiglas dulcimer I made long ago was quiet and unobtrusive. I sold a few cardboard kits at the same time, and they had a lot more on the ball---louder and more vibrant. Its amazing the lengths one will go to trying to make a living at lutherie.

callmemario
01-08-2014, 04:26 PM
Thank you for the reference. That was a really interesting video!! It actually sounded pretty good. He should put them under production instead of throwing them away down the river! ;-).
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ________________________


Check this out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ME0xkHaxjyo

callmemario
01-08-2014, 04:28 PM
Yes I do agree with you. Mind you his green pineapple sounded pretty darn good...at least when plucked. Don't know about strumming.


My impression of Plexiglas is that its too soft to make a good acoustic instrument. Other plastics seem much stiffer and responsive. A Plexiglas dulcimer I made long ago was quiet and unobtrusive. I sold a few cardboard kits at the same time, and they had a lot more on the ball---louder and more vibrant. Its amazing the lengths one will go to trying to make a living at lutherie.

newkulele
10-31-2016, 04:46 PM
This is a really old thread. But I picked up a Makana Mele uke (plexiglass) in 2011 on the Big Island. Here's an old video of our duo doing a song with it. Sorry about the stupid accent I inexplicably bung on.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPu4wCJltqQ

Would like to know if someone actually reads these old posts!
Mark.

Rrgramps
11-01-2016, 03:21 PM
Along similar lines is the Outdoor Ukulele lineup.

http://www.outdoorukulele.com/

EDIT. Just realized it is an old post.