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Matt Clara
11-15-2009, 09:11 AM
Looks nice, but so far I can't get it to stay in tune. I'm assuming (hoping) the problem is a combination new aquila strings and blessed violin peg tuners. I think I may have outsmarted myself with my plan to save money on violin tuners. (Honestly, though, where else can a guy find tuners other than silver or gold?)

I've learned a lot, and will try to get this one tuned up and its action better set (plenty high, still).

My other CBU is slowly coming together. I've printed the b&w photos on the front and back panels, next comes the sides. That won't be until next weekend, as the liquid emulsion I'm using needs multiple coats and several days to dry. After that, it's assembly time.

dave g
11-15-2009, 09:19 AM
Looks nice, that's for sure :)

Sven
11-15-2009, 09:46 AM
Looks good! In my experience violin tuners get a lot better after a while (a couple of weeks at most). Then there's no longer any reason to jam in them as hard as you can to keep them from slipping. Really cheap, low weight, cool looks. Erm... that can be said about me as well.

Sven

ukantor
11-15-2009, 10:00 AM
Oh, I like that, Mattclara! Very nice work. If I may make a suggestion, I think your tuning problem might stem from the way you've left the back open-able.

The structural stiffness of the body (the box) is compromised, and it may be flexing under the tension of the strings. Try gently pushing and pulling on the neck, vertically, while a chord is playing. It should be solid as a rock. If it goes "Wah Wah", you've got flex.

I always remove the lining wood inside the box, then glue 'em up.

Ain't cigar box ukes GREAT!

Ukantor.

JT_Ukes
11-15-2009, 10:03 AM
Oh, I like that, Mattclara! Very nice work. If I may make a suggestion, I think your tuning problem might stem from the way you've left the back open-able.

The structural stiffness of the body (the box) is compromised, and it may be flexing under the tension of the strings. Try gently pushing and pulling on the neck, vertically, while a chord is playing. It should be solid as a rock. If it goes "Wah Wah", you've got flex.

I always remove the lining wood inside the box, then glue 'em up.

Ain't cigar box ukes GREAT!

Ukantor.

I agree... But you may get away with bracing the sides a bit more if you a set on keeping the box openable.

Let us know what ends up working for you.

:)

JT

erich@muttcrew.net
11-15-2009, 11:29 AM
Do you have a hunch, what's making her go out of tune? Are the tuners slipping, are the strings still settling in, is the body "giving" ???

Matt Clara
11-15-2009, 11:43 AM
Do you have a hunch, what's making her go out of tune? Are the tuners slipping, are the strings still settling in, is the body "giving" ???

I think it's just the strings, plus, the tuners are fiddly. Have to press them in and turn, little jumps take the string well past where they need to be, back and forth we go, by the time I've gotten all four in tune, the top string is out of tune again. Finally, I got them in tune, started playing, they went out of tune. The body creaks just a bit, but I think it's the top rubbing against the bottom. The neck and everything is attached just to the top/thickest part (formerly the bottom of the box), and I think that's pretty rigid, with the dovetail corners and all.

WhenDogsSing
11-15-2009, 11:46 AM
Looks great. I'm hoping you can get it to stay in tune. How's it sound?

Matt Clara
11-15-2009, 03:04 PM
Looks great. I'm hoping you can get it to stay in tune. How's it sound?

It's staying in tune better, and I'm happy to report it sounds exactly like my koalhoa concert...with a sock stuffed in it. Not much depth to it, but there's always the possibility the cedar top will open up some and make a noticeable difference in that regard. Also, some finish on the front might tighten it up some. The cedar definitely needs something to protect it, anyway. Same goes for the neck.

cornfedgroove
11-15-2009, 05:06 PM
looks nice...super blonde body with stark contrast of that nice fingerboard.

Matt Clara
11-15-2009, 07:07 PM
You were right, Ukanator, that front panel was flexing, but not anymore. Got it in the clamps right now.

ukantor
11-15-2009, 10:49 PM
That's what I found, Mattclara. It will make a big difference to the sound, as well as the tuning.

If it is down on volume, and sustain, it could be that the top (Back of the box; front of the uke) is a bit on the thick side. I try to aim for about 1/10" on a box the size of yours.

That is a very nice box you've used. I haven't seen that brand.

Ukantor.

Matt Clara
11-18-2009, 09:57 AM
I put together a quick "review" of my first cigar box ukulele, if anyone's interested. The camera was set a little high, so there's a whole lot of me in it, and not enough of the uke, but it's my second take already, so, good enough (same goes with the audio compression--too much artifacting for my tastes!).

CBU #0001 Review (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orA_u5Gamuc)

erich@muttcrew.net
11-18-2009, 10:22 AM
...there's always the possibility the cedar top will open up some and make a noticeable difference in that regard.

Cedar doesn't usually "open up" that much, not like spruce.

Just a hunch, but wouldn't gluing the back on help get that going to provide more projection?

P.S. Sorry, I hadn't seen your vid yet before suggesting gluing the back on.

BTW, I like the box - it really looks and sounds good. The cedar neck looks great too and matches the box really well.

WhenDogsSing
11-18-2009, 10:49 AM
Good job Matt...It's real nice looking and sounds great...:D

Matt Clara
11-18-2009, 02:14 PM
I showed my wife, she got a good laugh at all the times I knocked it against my stupid lamp. Especially the time where I said, any little bump puts a ding in it, and then promptly knocked it against the lamp (again!).

ukantor
11-18-2009, 02:35 PM
Just watched your vid. Matt. Looks like you've done a great job, and it sounds gooood! A well made CB uke is a fine thing, and non-ukulele folk seem to find them REALLY interesting. I think it's the idea that a humble, everyday box can be made into a proper instrument.

Way to go!

John Colter.