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Flyfish57
11-24-2009, 07:36 AM
Howdy all,
What a great resource this forum is. Unfortunately for me, I just found it as I was just completing my first two scratch built ukulele. I built a few ukulele kits from stu mac, but wasnít happy with the way their quality was going. Anyway, I found an old bandsaw for 50.00 at a garage sale, borrowed a drill press and forked over some serious money to LMI for a bending iron and away I went. Overall Iím happy with the way things came out. Some things are not so straight. What a huge learning curve going form a kit to scratchÖ Here are a few pics of them in process. I dropped the tenor(about 5 feet) while putting the final clear coats on and dented the binding and cracked the top and back. Iím happy to have seen my glue joints hold up though. Thatís my putting a positive spin on it! Here a few photos taken with my cell phone while working on themóIíll post more if anyone is interested in seeing the completed ukulele.
~Stephen

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
11-24-2009, 07:47 AM
Very nice Stephen! Nice inlay as well. Building from scratch is the best way to learn all the processes.

Steve vanPelt
11-24-2009, 08:45 AM
:agree:Great job! I'm a noobie, too, so I know what you're going through. Next one will be straighter, I promise. Nice inlay as well. The one I tried to inlay now has two veneers on the peg head. Can't wait to see the next ones.Oh, and nice to see you spell your name correctly, too.

Steve (Stephen)

Pete Howlett
11-24-2009, 10:28 AM
Of course we are interested! What a silly question. You are amongst friends and admirers here so let's see how it goes...:D

Flyfish57
11-24-2009, 06:15 PM
Thanks Chuck and Steve. I think I'm going to try a compass rose next, but it might be very hard with all the stright lines--I seem to have trouble keeping things symmetrical.
Pete, I did see your youtube clips and they were a great help--I tried to copy your mold system with fairly good results :) Thanks! I'll post some picks over the next couple days.

Here's my Top Ten things "Iíve learned from all this" List...
1)No matter how much you read, nothing can explain the feeling of hand planning mahogany

2)Gremlins come in the middle of the night to move freshly glued bridges ever so slightly

3)Just because you watch Pete Howlett do something in five minutes during an youtube clip, it will take me two days and several tries

4) Koa probably isnít the best wood to start bending by hand

5) Koa has some incredibly small and sharp slivers

6) Honing a putty knife and removing a bridge (see number two) will result in a trip to the ER for five or so stitches

7) Itís cheaper to drive halfway across the country to StuMac than what they charge for shipping and handling

8) Cutting fret slots, routing headstocks, and gluing bridges are nothing compared to the nervousness of bringing your ukulele up to tune for the first time-just waiting to hear snap!

9) Building these things is almost as fun as playing them-Almost!

10) Iím addicted

Flyfish57
11-28-2009, 11:52 AM
Here some photos of the completed soprano--The tenor in the photo is the one I dropped and cracked. I'm pulling the neck off, fix the crack, and reclear.

Flyfish57
11-28-2009, 12:02 PM
The reason the butt grain doesn't match is because I bent the sides starting in the front and cut off what was left in the back :( The inlay was supposed to be about a 1/8th or so higher as well...Just some minor oops since it plays and sound great! :)

ukeCANjam
11-28-2009, 12:12 PM
WOW! That's gorgeous! :eek:

ukantor
11-28-2009, 01:32 PM
DaisyBee is a real sweetie. Very nice work.

John Colter.

Steve vanPelt
11-28-2009, 02:11 PM
Those look great! Love your top 10 list, too.

funaddict
11-28-2009, 07:49 PM
Very Nice! What kind of finish did you use?

Alan

Vic D
11-28-2009, 10:41 PM
Great looking ukes. Love the inlay, that bee is awesome. Great finish too, I hope mine turn out that nice.

Matt Clara
11-29-2009, 03:35 AM
Very Nice! What kind of finish did you use?

Alan

That's gotta be chaucer in your sig file. I spent a whole semester reading (almost) nothing but Chaucer.

dave g
11-29-2009, 05:10 AM
Beautiful work!

Here's how to solve #2: http://www.wsukes.com/fretbdbridge.html

Flyfish57
11-29-2009, 03:21 PM
Very Nice! What kind of finish did you use?

Alan

I used shellac as a sealer and just clear coated them.

Flyfish57
11-29-2009, 03:29 PM
Thanks guys!! The bee did come out better than I could have wished for! Now I'm doing a mahogany soprano with no binding or inlays--except a small snowflake :) Then I'll push myself a little farther on the one after.

Thanks Dave! I did use pins to keep it lined up--worked great and I didn't have to make another trip to the ER!

cornfedgroove
12-03-2009, 08:52 AM
what the heck! how in the world do you get such proficient looking ukes your first time out?

maybe I should read lol

PaulGeo
12-03-2009, 09:29 AM
Awesome job. Gives me hope that mine will be halfway decent :)

Flyfish57
12-03-2009, 11:22 AM
what the heck! how in the world do you get such proficient looking ukes your first time out?


I leave a bunch of wood on the workbench at night and in the morning I have freshly built ukulele! Must be elves :)

Really though, I just took my time. Also, there is a lot wrong with them that you can't see from the photos--necks a little off, pin holes in the clear, ect I can go on and on.

I'm hoping it's not beginners luck--I'm doing a few mahogany ones now so we'll see
~Stephen

Flyfish57
02-04-2010, 04:25 PM
Here's the dasiybee ukulele in action! To me it sounds fantastic playing it in person, but is a bit too tinny when she records with her laptop. I'm making her a mahogany tenor soon.

Anyway, I feel like a proud dad


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yc8Z0CopbpY

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
02-04-2010, 04:48 PM
That's just awesome. What a fun video! I'm going to have to look at it again and pay attention to the uke this time.
BTW, who is Daisybee?
BTW #2 What inlay materials did you use? A good yellow is hard to find.

Flyfish57
02-04-2010, 04:59 PM
The ukulele is Dasiybee--She's dasiybee and I'm StevieBee!! or so she says.

Masecraft let me poke around their bins when I was there...The yellew goes 3/4 the way through so it's good and deep looking. The inlay is black, yellow and white MOP. I tried to cut recon stone for the stem, but it kept breaking so I came up with it coming out of the snowflake--It wasn't the first design.

Bradford
02-04-2010, 05:24 PM
Good job, I look forward to seeing your efforts on the archtop. What woods are you planning to use on that?
Brad

Ahnko Honu
02-04-2010, 05:38 PM
Here's the dasiybee ukulele in action! To me it sounds fantastic playing it in person, but is a bit too tinny when she records with her laptop. I'm making her a mahogany tenor soon.

Anyway, I feel like a proud dad


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yc8Z0CopbpY

She's your Daughter? I just discovered and subscribed to her lastnight, a very talented gal. Does she fly fish too?
I've decided on a sopranino pineapple as my first build and your builds are an inspiration. Thanks!

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
02-04-2010, 05:51 PM
Whomever she may be she has talent.
The only way I have found to cut narrow intricate shapes from recon stone is to first glue it onto something stiff and then cut them both out as if it were a single thickness. I've used ebony, very thin, about .030". The disadvantage to doing this is that you have to rout the cavity in that area that much deeper. I'd rather use shell.

Flyfish57
02-04-2010, 06:04 PM
Haha No she's not my Daughter!! Good friends...I meant I was a proud dad of the ukulele!

Another great idea chuck! Thanks! My daughter(real one) wants a Grateful Dead dancing bear on hers so I'll try that then.

Brad, I'm doing the back and sides in flamed maple and a german spruce top so you can see the grain through the green flames!

Ken W
02-04-2010, 06:57 PM
Great looking and sounding ukes. Keep up the good work.

aviezero
02-04-2010, 09:29 PM
I hope my first scratch build turns out half as good as yours. Nice inlay.