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NukeDOC
05-05-2008, 11:09 AM
ive been toying with this idea for a while now. well, ive decided that i want to get started on building my own electric ukulele. every specification on it will be my own. so i wont have these little details that get on my nerves.

now that i have built somewhat of an understanding of how things are put together along with how the electronics come together with everything, i think i have the confidence to get this project started.

construction:
1. neck through body. similar in design to the bugsgear. mahogany all around except for one strip of maple in the center to help give strength to the neck.
2. body will be proportional to the play scale of the instrument. it will be a tenor, with a tenor sized body.
3. body shape will be solid (heavy, i know) in a les paul inspired design.
4. thinking about just getting the fretboard ready made from ebay. there's this on ebay:
http://imagehost.vendio.com/bin/viewimage.x/00000000/brucewei623/UkuleleFretboard721_001.jpg?vvid=60033177&allow_mailing_list=1&allow_track_link=1&track=023a633f88-cf127&sp=0&vsid=1&vgp=1
5. fishman matrix active undersaddle pickup rewired through potentiometers of my choice.
6. of course, a slotted headstock.

still need to figure out and ask for peoples' help here:
1. where can i get wood that has the correct amount of moisture to build this instrument?
2. what kind of glue should i use to connect the different pieces of wood together? just regular wood glue?
3. what kind of varnish should i use to finish the uke and any links to tips on how to do this correctly?


so yeah, as soon as i find the worthy wood, this project will be underway. and im estimating the whole cost to be less than $500.

GX9901
05-05-2008, 11:33 AM
Sounds like a cool project. I'd beware of those ebay fretboards from Taiwan though. I've read about them drying out and warping from the luthier of Black Bear ukes.

Dominator
05-05-2008, 11:42 AM
Nuke, here are a couple of suggestions.

1) you could buy a blank from Warmouth (http://www.warmoth.com/guitar/bodies/bodyblanks.cfm). Moisture content will not be an issue if you go this route. Anytime you purchase even the best kiln or air dried woods you still want them to acclimate to your own shop conditions for 3 or 4 weeks prior to the build. This is primarily for thinner materials like sides, tops and back plates. Shouldn't be much of an issue for the thicker blank you will be using.

2) No sense to buy instrument maker's glue from LMI for a single instrument. Go to home depot or whatever big box store in your area (Lowe's) and get some regular Titebond (Not Tite Bond II or III).

3) You can spray it with spray cans of laquer or use Tru Oil from Wal Mart which is a hand applied finish. That's what I've used on most of my ukes and it's easy to apply and pretty durable.
Good luck with the project.

Regarding the fretboard: I would just buy a pre-slotted fretboard and wire from Hana Lima (http://www.hanalimastore.com/servlet/Detail?no=69)and install the frets yourself. You know you want to do that anyway:).

seeso
05-05-2008, 11:53 AM
This is awesome. You'll have to keep us up to date on this project, Nuke. Very cool. I'm jealous.

As for suitable wood, there are a few places that sell neck blanks and body blanks. I would assume that their woods have the right moisture ratios, but I really don't know.

Here's one:
http://www.gilmerwood.com/

I'm pretty sure you can just use wood glue to glue the wings to the core and the fretboard to the neck and what not. Of course, get the best wood glue you can get. I've heard Tite Bond is a good brand.

Are you going to put a top on it? There are many ways to finish a top. What look are you going for (please say sunburst)?

NukeDOC
05-05-2008, 12:16 PM
man, this is gonna be harder than i thought.

as far as finish, i thought about making it a silverburst just like my full size les paul. but the slotted headstock would throw things off. so for this one i want to keep it natural. but if i find the process easier than expected... im so making a mini me for my LP. hahaha

russ_buss
05-05-2008, 12:20 PM
dude, good luck with your project. that sounds like so much fun. can't wait to see the pics!

UKESTAR
05-05-2008, 01:23 PM
Uhh...go guinea pig go...haaha. You da' man Nuke! I am sure it will be cool when completed. If anything, you will learn what to do and what not to do for uke II.

If done by the jam, I can bring my roland cube battery amp so you can play it for us...

degracia
05-05-2008, 02:16 PM
Sounds like a beast Nuke. Can't wait to see the final product. Good luck!

TokyoUketarist
05-05-2008, 03:42 PM
That is awesome NukeDoc! I was thinking the same thing because of some of the tapping stuff I try to do doesn't really work on ready made electric ukes. I wanted to get a little more sustain. Maybe Dom knows about this but some guitars use a brass nut or bridge or sometimes graphite. I was wondering if this was possible? And maybe I'm crazy but would a scalloped fret board be just nuts?

Dominator
05-05-2008, 03:55 PM
Maybe Dom knows about this but some guitars use a brass nut or bridge or sometimes graphite. I was wondering if this was possible? And maybe I'm crazy but would a scalloped fret board be just nuts?

In theory a brass nut is supposed to increase sustain on steel string instruments. I had one on my last Les Paul and really didn't notice that much difference.

I've never played a scalloped finger board so I have no info of value to add in that respect.

deach
05-05-2008, 04:04 PM
...And maybe I'm crazy but would a scalloped fret board be just nuts?

I once asked about scalloped frets and they're great if you're doing a lot of bends.

Kekani
05-05-2008, 06:09 PM
Just out of curiosity, would an acoustic pickup work in a solid body? It was my understanding that UST's pickup vibrations from not only the the top (which would be the bottom of the saddle, but also the bottom (which would be the bottom of the saddle slot, in particular the vibrating mass of the soundboard).

NukeDOC
05-05-2008, 08:12 PM
the bugsgear ukes use a dean markley UST active pickup.

NukeDOC
05-05-2008, 08:12 PM
If done by the jam, I can bring my roland cube battery amp so you can play it for us...

hahaha i dont know if im even going to get started by then!

TokyoUketarist
05-06-2008, 03:02 AM
Scalloped fingerboard and brass nuts are what Yngwie uses. I've tried one and they play like butter but you do have to have a light touch because you don't really touch the fretboard just the frets. Acoustic piezo pickups work great on solid body guitars. Actually it would be cooler to have both then blend the 2 sounds!

UKESTAR
05-06-2008, 07:03 AM
hahaha i dont know if im even going to get started by then!

Hahah...just go down about six red bulls....you'll get it done in one day..hah.:eek: No worries...was just thinking that would be really cool to see and hear..

Esy
05-07-2008, 12:10 AM
I building my own Electric uke to ;]
now i Order 2 electric pickups. I making Uke replica od clasic explorer guitar.

Now i must bought some nice wood

Poi Dog
05-07-2008, 03:15 AM
Oooh... this is a very cool thread! Good luck with the building! I'll make sure to keep checkin' up on this thread to see the progress. :D