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View Full Version : Solid cardboard ukulele! :D



ukeCANjam
11-27-2009, 11:02 AM
One Thanksgiving night, a certain person was bored. All he had was cardboard, a knife, and hot glue gun. Suddenly he had an epiphany! He would make a cardboard ukulele!

Specs:
Total time : 4 hours
Size : Tenor, 19 frets
Wood : Solid Cardboard
Inlays : Sharpied on

I don't have any extra strings or tuners so I don't know if it actually works! :(

Timbuck
11-27-2009, 11:07 AM
Dosn't he...have a girlfriend ????:confused:

Ronnie Aloha
11-27-2009, 11:12 AM
I love the grain on that cardboard. Is it solid or laminate?

ukeCANjam
11-27-2009, 11:18 AM
I love the grain on that cardboard. Is it solid or laminate?

haha, thanks. It's a laminate, but hopefully I'll come out with a solid soon! :p

puremarkska
11-27-2009, 12:01 PM
This looks like so much fun! This has the potential to launch into an entirely new genre of ukulele hobbyists.

seeso
11-27-2009, 12:14 PM
Haha! That's awesome!!

ukeCANjam
11-27-2009, 12:18 PM
This looks like so much fun! This has the potential to launch into an entirely new genre of ukulele hobbyists.

Yeah, it was fun to make :) HAHA, that would be awesome! Cardboard ukes all around.


Haha! That's awesome!!

Thank you! :rolleyes:

thejumpingflea
11-27-2009, 01:44 PM
One Thanksgiving night, a certain person was bored. All he had was cardboard, a knife, and hot glue gun. Suddenly he had an epiphany! He would make a cardboard ukulele!

Specs:
Total time : 4 hours
Size : Tenor, 19 frets
Wood : Solid Cardboard
Inlays : Sharpied on

I don't have any extra strings or tuners so I don't know if it actually works! :(

That is TOO cool. I want to see a double neck. ;)

phanzo
11-27-2009, 01:46 PM
That is TOO cool. I want to see a double neck. ;)

one-upper :D

ukeCANjam
11-27-2009, 02:34 PM
That is TOO cool. I want to see a double neck. ;)

haha, thanks jumpingflea! I love your videos and your moore bettah :drool:
probably will make more if I get more cardboard :rolleyes:


one-upper :D

THANKS!

Lori
11-27-2009, 03:00 PM
I don't have any extra strings or tuners so I don't know if it actually works! :(
Don't use strings! Rubber bands would be the way to go, I think. You might have to reinforce the neck though.

–Lori

ukeCANjam
11-27-2009, 03:03 PM
Don't use strings! Rubber bands would be the way to go, I think. You might have to reinforce the neck though.

–Lori

How come not strings? And wouldn't it be hard to turn rubber bands? :uhoh:

I already stuffed the neck with tissue, and reinforced it with some duct tape, so its pretty strongs. :p

Lori
11-27-2009, 03:40 PM
How come not strings? And wouldn't it be hard to turn rubber bands? :uhoh:

I already stuffed the neck with tissue, and reinforced it with some duct tape, so its pretty strongs. :p
Are you looking for slightly playable, or amazing wall hanger? The tissue might help on strength, and duct tape is always a good idea, but a good broomstick might give you enough backbone to handle a tuned string. Rubber bands can make a musical sound without too much tension on the structure. Getting the right gauge rubber bands will be a challenge though. The good side is that they come in colors!

If it's just for looks, and air uke playing, well, you can use anything you like for that.

Just my:2cents:–Lori

ukeCANjam
11-27-2009, 04:24 PM
Are you looking for slightly playable, or amazing wall hanger? The tissue might help on strength, and duct tape is always a good idea, but a good broomstick might give you enough backbone to handle a tuned string. Rubber bands can make a musical sound without too much tension on the structure. Getting the right gauge rubber bands will be a challenge though. The good side is that they come in colors!

If it's just for looks, and air uke playing, well, you can use anything you like for that.

Just my:2cents:–Lori

I actually want it to be playable ::rolleyes:, that would be really cool.

yeah, I am thinking about adding support to the neck. Any ideas for tuners?

Thanks for all your info :D

Lori
11-27-2009, 04:35 PM
I actually want it to be playable ::rolleyes:, that would be really cool.

yeah, I am thinking about adding support to the neck. Any ideas for tuners?

Thanks for all your info :D

I guess it depends on what you have. If you had some old geared tuners, you could hot glue those on. Short of geared tuners, I think it will be hard to make friction tuners that will stay put. So, I would go super low tech, and maybe glue in dowels, with holes drilled like real tuners. But instead of turning the pegs to tune, you shorten the rubber band string by knotting it or clamping it. This is truly a great experiment, and no telling what will really work until you try it out. I am sure you will get better ideas as you go along. Keep taking photos of your progress. Even the failures will be interesting.

–Lori

ukeCANjam
11-27-2009, 04:53 PM
I guess it depends on what you have. If you had some old geared tuners, you could hot glue those on. Short of geared tuners, I think it will be hard to make friction tuners that will stay put. So, I would go super low tech, and maybe glue in dowels, with holes drilled like real tuners. But instead of turning the pegs to tune, you shorten the rubber band string by knotting it or clamping it. This is truly a great experiment, and no telling what will really work until you try it out. I am sure you will get better ideas as you go along. Keep taking photos of your progress. Even the failures will be interesting.

–Lori

I only have one ukulele at the moment, so no extra parts :(
I sorta made this ukulele to have something else to play with and satisfy my UAS :)

For sure, I'm gunna try different things to get it right, and take pics.

Here are some videos that are interesting to this topic :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-81mTWw-qRw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aCFfqMyI-M

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
11-27-2009, 05:49 PM
Eye bolts are commonly used on the cardboard ukes I've seen.

ukeCANjam
11-27-2009, 08:32 PM
Eye bolts are commonly used on the cardboard ukes I've seen.

Ah, that looks very promising Chuck. Do you know where I can purchase them locally? I'm 15 so I can't buy anything online yet.

How would this work as a tuner?

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
11-28-2009, 07:30 AM
Local hardware store. Anybody knows what they are, just ask them. Also get two nuts and washers for each one. You'll understand what to do when you see them.

MusicIsLife
11-28-2009, 07:51 AM
HAHA! very nice :). can't wait to hear what this uke is going to sound like. x)

ukeCANjam
11-28-2009, 08:33 AM
Local hardware store. Anybody knows what they are, just ask them. Also get two nuts and washers for each one. You'll understand what to do when you see them.

Thanks, I would have never thought of that myself. :)

This is what you mean? (http://www.bolts-nuts-washers.com/images/galvanised_eyebolt_with_nut_and_washers.jpg)


HAHA! very nice :). can't wait to hear what this uke is going to sound like. x)

Well, I am going to remake this one, it is just a prototype right now. I hope that it'll play well too! I'll have it done soon and post a video up!:nana:

Matt Clara
11-28-2009, 09:27 AM
Thanks, I would have never thought of that myself. :)

This is what you mean?
http://www.bolts-nuts-washers.com/images/galvanised_eyebolt_with_nut_and_washers.jpg



Yes, except get two of the nuts, one for either side of your headstock, and two washers, which will go in between the nut and headstock, also on either side.
http://www.avdw32.dsl.pipex.com/images/repair-washer-8mm.jpg
Those will help spread the pressure out to the surrounding area so the nuts doesn't just pull/push through the cardboard around the eye bolt.

ukantor
11-28-2009, 09:34 AM
You crafty blighters! This is shaping up into something really interesting.

John Colter.

puremarkska
11-28-2009, 10:18 AM
I woke up this morning thinking about this. I need to make a cardboard ukulele of my own. Started on the neck and headstock already (though I don't think I'll be going for playable on this one; mostly just for art aspect). The inspiration definitely came from this thread, but was also partially due to the fact that I came across these: http://www.davidbrownings.com/page8.htm

I hope to post pics soon.

Floyd Blue
11-28-2009, 10:21 AM
Yeah! Paper crafting is fun. If I were not playing music, I would do this instead.

ukeCANjam
11-28-2009, 10:24 AM
Yes, except get two of the nuts, one for either side of your headstock, and two washers, which will go in between the nut and headstock, also on either side.
http://www.avdw32.dsl.pipex.com/images/repair-washer-8mm.jpg
Those will help spread the pressure out to the surrounding area so the nuts doesn't just pull/push through the cardboard around the eye bolt.

Alright, thanks. This will help alot. :p


You crafty blighters! This is shaping up into something really interesting.

John Colter.

Thanks!


I woke up this morning thinking about this. I need to make a cardboard ukulele of my own. Started on the neck and headstock already (though I don't think I'll be going for playable on this one; mostly just for art aspect). The inspiration definitely came from this thread, but was also partially due to the fact that I came across these: http://www.davidbrownings.com/page8.htm

I hope to post pics soon.

Haha, glad to be an influence. But I am already remaking the one from the post, the second one will be neater and cleaner. The first one was just an experiment, and just for art aspect. I'm aiming for the second one to be playable! If you need pics for reference, just ask me. ;)

Harold O.
11-28-2009, 10:29 AM
Well, I am going to remake this one, it is just a prototype right now.

You've hit on a key point right there.:cool:

I suggest you not change the first one too much. Keep it as is and go about building a second one with the various "things you'd do different" incorporated into it. Getting enough strength to keep strings under any sort of tension will be tough to go backwards on. Going forward with an updated design will allow you to build the strength in.

The concept of prototypes is that they let you explore the larger picture without concern for small details. Once you have the big picture figured out, each build will provide ample opportunity to address shortcomings of the first attempts. (that was my theory on girlfriends too);)

This is more discussion than you probably wanted from a good day with a box and scissors, but since you're here — see where it takes you.

ukeCANjam
11-28-2009, 10:35 AM
You've hit on a key point right there.:cool:

I suggest you not change the first one too much. Keep it as is and go about building a second one with the various "things you'd do different" incorporated into it. Getting enough strength to keep strings under any sort of tension will be tough to go backwards on. Going forward with an updated design will allow you to build the strength in.

The concept of prototypes is that they let you explore the larger picture without concern for small details. Once you have the big picture figured out, each build will provide ample opportunity to address shortcomings of the first attempts. (that was my theory on girlfriends too);)

This is more discussion than you probably wanted from a good day with a box and scissors, but since you're here — see where it takes you.

Yeah, Harold, I'm currently in a Design Tech class at school, and the class is teaching me to build from prototypes. Incorporate your mistakes into solution, which will result in a better product. I appreciate all the support this thread is getting! :worship:

sukie
11-28-2009, 02:05 PM
This is a very interesting thread. I can't wait to see what you learn doing this. Keep us informed, please.

ukeCANjam
11-28-2009, 06:48 PM
This is a very interesting thread. I can't wait to see what you learn doing this. Keep us informed, please.

Ah, I'm almost done with the second build. It has 2 metal rods included in the neck to sustain the tension from the strings, and the gluework is cleaner. More solid and durable body too.

Pics coming soon!

Floyd Blue
11-28-2009, 08:34 PM
Last night I dreamed of a sopranino size cardboard uke... :drool:

RyanMFT
11-29-2009, 09:21 AM
I think it deserves a custom case....

Ryan

funaddict
11-29-2009, 11:27 AM
I think Ryan's right. Maybe a nice AAAAA curly koa case with ebony bindings and gold latches, flocked with angora wool on the inside, to protect the cardboard uke. Also a Mastodon ivory handle, inlaid with fossilized copralite (look it up if you don't know). Wait, that's redundant, since copralite is already fossilized. Or maybe go dumpster diving at the Gibson factory for some madagascar rosewood to decorate it with.

Sign me up!:drool:

Alan

Vic D
11-29-2009, 12:23 PM
or maybe go dumpster diving at the gibson factory for some madagascar rosewood to decorate it with.

Sign me up!:drool:

Alan

rofl! Hahaha! :d

ukeCANjam
11-29-2009, 12:54 PM
I think Ryan's right. Maybe a nice AAAAA curly koa case with ebony bindings and gold latches, flocked with angora wool on the inside, to protect the cardboard uke. Also a Mastodon ivory handle, inlaid with fossilized copralite (look it up if you don't know). Wait, that's redundant, since copralite is already fossilized. Or maybe go dumpster diving at the Gibson factory for some madagascar rosewood to decorate it with.

Sign me up!:drool:

Alan

How bout just a simple cardboard case?

But if you insist, you can have my address to ship it to me.:cheers:

ukestang
11-29-2009, 01:46 PM
What a cool idea. You are on to something here. would make a neat contest, first,best playable cardboard uke. Made me dig out the box my Lanakai Lu21 came in. Fluke shape,add a neck, hmm. You should call yours The Cuke.

Lori
11-29-2009, 05:13 PM
Now I want to make one too. I will wait and learn from you first though. I hope to get a little more free time soon. Looks like fun! Maybe eventually try one out of foam core.

–Lori

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
11-29-2009, 05:17 PM
I think it deserves a custom case....Ryan

I'm thinking of a brown paper bag. Maybe a Trader Joe's or Banana Republic shopping bag.

ukeCANjam
11-29-2009, 05:30 PM
What a cool idea. You are on to something here. would make a neat contest, first,best playable cardboard uke. Made me dig out the box my Lanakai Lu21 came in. Fluke shape,add a neck, hmm. You should call yours The Cuke.

That would be an awesome contest! :D


Now I want to make one too. I will wait and learn from you first though. I hope to get a little more free time soon. Looks like fun! Maybe eventually try one out of foam core.

–Lori

It is very fun, if you need some pictures, just ask me. ;)


I'm thinking of a brown paper bag. Maybe a Trader Joe's or Banana Republic shopping bag.

I have plenty of those! :agree:

Some pictures on build two:

Steve vanPelt
11-29-2009, 07:20 PM
this build is getting really interesting. what are you gonna use for frets...toothpicks maybe? Congrats on your second build.

Steve

ukeCANjam
11-29-2009, 07:42 PM
this build is getting really interesting. what are you gonna use for frets...toothpicks maybe? Congrats on your second build.

Steve

Thank you! :)
I tired using toothpicks on the first build, but it didn't quite work out too well. When you try sliding your fingers up the neck, it is really rough. It just sticks out too much. Any ideas what I should use for frets?

Steve vanPelt
11-29-2009, 08:13 PM
Thank you! :)
I tired using toothpicks on the first build, but it didn't quite work out too well. When you try sliding your fingers up the neck, it is really rough. It just sticks out too much. Any ideas what I should use for frets?

Coat hanger? Long bead of dry glue? Spaghetti?:o

ukeCANjam
11-29-2009, 08:36 PM
:smileybounce: Spaghetti would be tasty!

Maybe like thin strips of wire. :shaka:

sukie
11-30-2009, 12:47 PM
Wow! You going to be taking orders anytime soon? Christmas is coming...

ukeCANjam
11-30-2009, 01:55 PM
Wow! You going to be taking orders anytime soon? Christmas is coming...

I'm not sure, still waiting for dad's approval to buy strings and bolts. :wallbash:
That's the only thing that's keeping me from seeing if this ukulele was really worth it!

But if it does work, I might consider making these for interested people! ;)

NukeDOC
11-30-2009, 02:59 PM
this is excellent!!!

reminds me of a time almost 20 years ago. we had a boarder renting out one of our rooms. he was a young architect. always drawing and always making models of concept homes. i used to hang out in his room watching in amazement all the things possible. one day i got a wild hair up my rear and started picking up scraps of thin balsa wood. he taught me the math behind making this smaller scale. so i took that knowledge, and applied it to a toy lamborghini countache. i dont remember the scale i made it in, but for a 13y/o with no experience it was quite impressive.

it may be more expensive than its worth, but i would love to see someone come up with a balsa wood ukulele model. the planks of balsa are available in different thickness and ive even seen them in 4x4 thickness that a neck could be carved out of.

please o please someone do it!!! i only wish i had the time and the loot or else i would do it myself!

ukestang
11-30-2009, 04:21 PM
Also wants me to try a Uke out of masonite, like Danelectro guitars.

ukeCANjam
11-30-2009, 09:19 PM
Here are some more pictures!

UPDATE: Found some copper wire I might cut for frets! :p

emilyb
12-01-2009, 05:57 AM
That thing is absurdly fun. You might also try chipboard instead of the box-cardboard -- it's solid rather than corrugated, so it's thinner, but stronger, and I'm sure you could layer a few pieces of it to get the thicknesses you wanted. I'm excited to see it set up and played!

ukeCANjam
02-05-2010, 02:50 PM
Sorry about bringing an old thread back again, but it's been a long time since I posted on here.

About the delay, I was having alot of time fixing it up and going through alot of trial and errors, but I finally am ALMOST done. Here's what I have.

- I added a piezo pickup onto it, which makes it LOUD.
- Found and used an old paint stirrer (free from home depot) for the fretboard
- Poorly carved and painted a headstock, and attached it to the neck. I used eye bolts for the tuners.
- Went to Sam Ash, and all they had was nasty GHS strings.
- Sharpied black pickguard, also holds the tension on the top.
- Braced the inside with chopsticks and PVC pips.
- Used fuzzy pipe cleaners for the binding, haha.

http://img709.imageshack.us/img709/7443/47124325.jpg

UkuleleHill
02-05-2010, 03:01 PM
so.... you going to post a video about it or what?

mrUKETOBER
02-06-2010, 09:47 AM
so.... you going to post a video about it or what?


:agree: agree: i think the pickup in it is just awesome ! how do you bend the sides for cardboard ?

ukeCANjam
02-06-2010, 11:21 AM
:agree: agree: i think the pickup in it is just awesome ! how do you bend the sides for cardboard ?

Haha, I'm still tweaking it a bit, the action is really high.

I'll make a video soon!

Its corrugated cardboard, so you just bend its a lil by a lil. Way easier than wood!

ukeCANjam
02-06-2010, 04:12 PM
Here's the video :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvEX9UygYAs (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvEX9UygYAs)

I'm still adjusting a little, the neck keeps bending towards the body, cause of the tension on the strings. Any tips to fix?

HaileISela
02-06-2010, 05:12 PM
amazing! those other videos that youtube related to yours were interesting, too...

so did anyone ever think of a papier-mache uke???

Steve vanPelt
02-06-2010, 05:27 PM
Now that's pretty cool. Great job!

stanpeter
11-03-2010, 12:32 PM
Have these been posted here before?

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMNYnhP9Anc

allthough these have a wood neck and not cardboard, I can imagine using a cardboard alternative. How about using a steel trussrod inside a cardboard wrap? Connect it to the body with some big washers and a couple of nuts?

lordlogan
11-03-2010, 03:37 PM
with how much ive been craving building a ukulele lately( Its honestly all thats been on my mind) cardboard seems cheaper then buying a grizzly kit and Cheap cigar box... My budgets about forty bucks.... sorry if this is rude.. UkecanJam how much was the ending total price?

falzer95
08-25-2011, 08:09 AM
sorry to bring this topic back from the dead but do you have any tips on connecting the bridge to the uke body? because i made one out of paper and i
can only put the G and A string, when i attempt to to the C and E string the whole thing started to bent.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
08-25-2011, 08:19 AM
sorry to bring this topic back from the dead

You're not alone ;)