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View Full Version : Completed Stewmac Tenor Build



CulpRJ
06-03-2010, 06:19 AM
Here are some shots of my first ever ukulele build. It's a Stewmac tenor kit which I modified in a couple ways. Most notable changes are the cutaway and the slotted headstock.
http://nigeldeon.com/uke/GEDC0692.JPGhttp://nigeldeon.com/uke/GEDC0693.JPGhttp://nigeldeon.com/uke/GEDC0696.JPGhttp://nigeldeon.com/uke/GEDC0699.JPG

You can watch the whole build process on my YouTube channel. Here's a link to episode 1 of 14.
Uke Build Ep.1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcTirc1vrrQ)

Flyfish57
06-03-2010, 06:56 AM
Wow, you sure went to town on that kit!! great job! How does it sound with the sound port? I wasn't a big fan of them until I played a Moore Bettah with one last month. Now it's on my list of things to try...

CulpRJ
06-03-2010, 07:29 AM
How does it sound with the sound port?
I like it. It's a really loud uke anyway, but that side hole makes it so much easier to hear myself in a group.

UkeDan77
06-03-2010, 07:42 AM
Awesome job!! How long did it take you? I LOVE the tuning pegs/gears...what a cool look!

CulpRJ
06-03-2010, 08:12 AM
Awesome job!! How long did it take you? I LOVE the tuning pegs/gears...what a cool look!

Thanks. Started around March 3, finished May 24, 2010, working sporadically. Re the tuning pegs, someone mentioned them here at UU and provided a link to ebay. I bought a set ($24 shipped), modified them to fit, routed the headstock and installed. I like how the koa buttons nearly match the mahogany headstock (from the rear).

ksquine
06-03-2010, 08:47 AM
That looks really nice. I'll have to check out your youtube page.
How about a link for those tuning machines? They look very slim

fahrner
06-03-2010, 09:04 AM
Congratulations on your completion, your intestinal fortitude for making the modifications you wanted and tenacity to see it through. Looks and sounds pretty good.

CulpRJ
06-03-2010, 09:05 AM
How about a link for those tuning machines?

Ebay username is taisamlu. Here are the tuners I bought:
chrome ukulele tuners with koa buttons (http://cgi.ebay.com/chrome-ukulele-tuner-Hawaiian-Koa-buttons-427NK-/360267561430?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item53e19eb9d6)

didgeridoo2
06-03-2010, 09:39 AM
Great job. I just went through the video process and it was very entertaining. Congrats.

Keef
06-03-2010, 09:45 AM
way to go your finished !!!!!!!!
finishing is one of my weak areas
looks great :)

Ken W
06-03-2010, 11:58 AM
Nicely done...and thanks for taking the time to post the video log. It is very interesting.

Pukulele Pete
06-03-2010, 01:22 PM
Pretty cool . Makes me want to do a soprano this winter. Great job on the video .

zdiver7
06-04-2010, 09:19 AM
Awesome job on the slotted headstock and tuners!

Vic D
06-04-2010, 03:52 PM
Beautiful work. Could you tell us about the strings and the saddle compensation together? What I'm looking at is new to me and I'm dying to know.

CulpRJ
06-04-2010, 04:08 PM
Could you tell us about the strings and the saddle compensation together?
Not sure what there is to say. Strings are d'Addario baritones. I checked the intonation for all four strings and the second string was a little sharp. A little file work moved the contact point a little to the rear and voila, perfect intonation. The other three strings were right on.

Vic D
06-04-2010, 04:12 PM
Thank you so much. Watching the video now. Wondering if you've tried tenor strings on it. One of my favorite songs... Sympathy.
BTW, it sounds fantastic, you're very talented. I especially like your piece titled Midnight Swim.

Steve vanPelt
06-04-2010, 05:48 PM
That's a mighty fine first 'uke. The cutaway looks great and the slotted headstock rocks! I've been trying to work out a slotted headstock; all I got was a few more grey hairs and another neck I can't use. Great job! Can't wait to see what you build next.

Steve

zdiver7
06-04-2010, 11:16 PM
Watched your build videos and they were excellent! A very neat series to follow the progression of the project!

Question, for the slotted headstock, did you just "connect the dots" in a sense...? Basically, did you just route the same diameter from the top hole to the bottom? Or did you need to widen the slot(diameter of the original holes)?

Also, the tuners you used...would they have fit into the pre-drilled stew-mac peghead? Or are the tuner pegs spaced differently? Thanks for any info! :)

SweetWaterBlue
06-05-2010, 02:03 AM
You did a fantastic job on that thing RJ.

CulpRJ
06-05-2010, 02:42 AM
Wondering if you've tried tenor strings on it.

No I haven't. But I am curious as to how it would sound. Maybe my next string change.


Question, for the slotted headstock, did you just route the same diameter from the top hole to the bottom? Or did you need to widen the slot?

Also, the tuners you used...would they have fit into the pre-drilled stew-mac peghead?

I made the slots slightly wider than the holes. If you've seen the video, you saw how I made a template, then cut the slots with my dremel. I used a flush-cut bit called a "drywall bit," but it works fine with wood too. The tuners do not fit the original holes unfortunately.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
06-05-2010, 07:56 AM
The uke looks good. I've got to mention a couple of tips on the MiSi installation that will make it perform better. I install a lot of them and I've also had to fix other people's installation.
While the entire 20" shielded wire is somewhat active, it's only the last 4" of the UST, the flattened area, that is really hot. The exception is the final 3/8" of the leading edge of the UST; there is no copper element at the very tip. (I sacrificed one and took it apart to see what was going on.) There is a common complaint that the "A" string isn't as active as the rest of the strings, this is why. This is especially true in a narrow width slot.
The solution is to feed the leading edge of the UST back into the bridge through a second hole in the saddle slot.
And since the entire cable is somewhat active, it's a good idea to coil up the excess to make sure it is not touching any part of the ukulele body.

UncleElvis
06-05-2010, 09:05 AM
*writes that down in his "Book of stuff you have to know if you want to go mental and make your own ukulele"*

Thanks, Mr. Moore!

CulpRJ
06-05-2010, 12:40 PM
Yeah thanks Chuck. What a great tip, I've got to try that.

fromthee2me
06-07-2010, 06:27 AM
Thank you for the Thread Mr Culp, and thank you for the photographs Mr.Moore.