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View Full Version : Help - where I can get a coffee can uke?



mythidiot
06-06-2010, 08:54 AM
I just got back from the new york ukulele festival and I'm kicking myself. I met a woman who had the coolest uke. It was made of a coffee can. It was very well constructed and sounded awesome. The way she described it was, "it sounds like an old record," and I played it for a minute and it really did sound like a vinyl recording of a uke. In the past few weeks my UAS for this uke has grown and grown, but I was stupid enough to not get any info of who made it, the lady's name, or any useful details...

Does anyone have any leads on this? There was a little inlay of a steaming coffee cup on the fretboard.

Any help would be rad. I really don't have the skills to make one of these myself (though all these guys who build their own are really impressive)... I'd just like to know where to get it and how much to save up for.

Thanks in advance for any help.

mythidiot
06-09-2010, 09:12 AM
No one has any ideas? bummer

whetu
06-09-2010, 06:05 PM
Was it solely a coffee can, or was it a coffee can inserted into an otherwise standard uke? If you can find someone who likes to tinker with odd DIY jobs, they can easily make one for you relatively cheaply... Otherwise one might pop up on ebay.

Self promotion, but check out this thread:
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?31006-It-was-a-Makala-Dolphin...-now-it-s-a-tin-can-reso!

I get the "sounds like an old record" comments as well (or "sounds like you're listening to an AM radio station"), but if you play it a bit more aggressively it starts to sound a bit more rockish :)

You have other options too - cookie tin or cigar box ukuleles are quite popular. Grab a neck and fingerboard kit from mainland (http://shop.mainlandukuleles.com/), a few other parts from stewmac (fret wire, banjo/mandolin tailpiece, suitable saddle) and away you go :)

janeray1940
06-09-2010, 07:18 PM
Was it something like this (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220583505626)? I've seen them come up on eBay from time to time. That one was built by Aaron Keim, who you can probably contact via his YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/ackeim).

Pondoro
06-10-2010, 12:28 AM
I know that5 you say you are not handy but I think the whole spirit of coffee can ukes is the DIY part of it. Give it a try!

mythidiot
06-11-2010, 01:16 PM
Was it solely a coffee can, or was it a coffee can inserted into an otherwise standard uke?The entire body was a coffee can and then there was a neck attached to the top of the can.

Self promotion, but check out this thread:
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/fo...a-tin-can-reso (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?31006-It-was-a-Makala-Dolphin...-now-it-s-a-tin-can-reso)!
That is freakin' rad! Thanks for the link. I'll have to look at that a little more closely this weekend.

You have other options too - cookie tin or cigar box ukuleles are quite popular. Grab a neck and fingerboard kit from mainland (http://shop.mainlandukuleles.com/), a few other parts from stewmac (fret wire, banjo/mandolin tailpiece, suitable saddle) and away you go :)Oh good, I was wondering where to get a kit because I'm also toying around with a banjolele out of a tambourine DIY that I came across. (http://www.dailyhack.net/2009/04/homemade-banjo-ukulele-banjolele-hack.html) I'm also probably going to cheat and buy an EleUke cigar box if they ever get around to getting them here in the states.

Was it something like this (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220583505626)? I've seen them come up on eBay from time to time. That one was built by Aaron Keim, who you can probably contact via his YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/ackeim).It was similar to that, but the can was parallel (or in line with) to the neck instead of perpendicular like that one. It also had all four strings... but that one is also cool... I'm heading down a slippery and expensive slope in the this thread... all this cool stuff...

I know that5 you say you are not handy but I think the whole spirit of coffee can ukes is the DIY part of it. Give it a try! I really should... I've got about 50 "projects" on my to-do list right now, so maybe I'll add one more. I got half way into converting a 70 year old typewriter into a usb keyboard and got distracted and started learning the ukulele... I'd love to do it, but knowing myself, I'd buy all the parts, get into it and then get distracted by a passing squirrel or something and not finish for years.

Thanks for all the info everyone. I'm going to keep hunting :)

adam2180
06-11-2010, 05:43 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73pIly3tgiI

mythidiot
06-14-2010, 08:01 AM
Dude, that is freakin' rad! it sounds amazing. Well done bro.

whetu
06-14-2010, 03:21 PM
It was similar to that, but the can was parallel (or in line with) to the neck instead of perpendicular like that one. It also had all four strings...

Was it a round or square-ish coffee can? With a square-ish one, you have options such as oil tins (think cooking oil) which are readily and cheaply/freely available. They've been referred to as tin-can ukuleles or shortened to "tinkeles"... damn, I might have to build one of those too! :D

ukeeku
06-14-2010, 05:06 PM
I met this guy last year at the Milwaukee Uke fest and he is coming back this year (Mufest.com (http://mufest.com))
http://www.theukerofoz.com/about6.html
They sound awsome. He had one that was made of 2 tunafish cans, had to see it.
Hope it helps

djsherline
06-14-2010, 07:54 PM
I'm the woman with the coffee can uke! A friend told me someone here was looking for me -- or rather my fabulous ukulele.

As I tell everyone who sees it, this ukulele is really a little ambassador. I meet everyone, because no one can resist this uke. If the looks don't get you the construction will: it's made by a master luthier from a vintage coffee can, has the fabulous cup of steaming hot joe inlay on the neck, can use a pickup, and no detail has been overlooked; including little eyelets where the strings go in the can so they don't get cut by the metal. If the looks don't get you -- although they will -- the sound will knock you out: it makes every song sound like a 78 record. It's almost always the ukulele I take places because a) I meet a lot of interesting people that way, and b) someone once knocked one of my Koalohas off a chair at a house party, and in the eternity it took to hit the floor I swore: never again. My coffee can isn't indestructible, but it's nowhere near as delicate as koa.

The guy who made it calls himself The Uker of Oz, and he works out of Milwaukee. If you visit his website you'll see that he uses the inlay from my uke as a frame for many of his pages. I don't see where or how I can post pictures of it here, so if anyone wants to see what we're sighing over just PM me and I'll be glad to show 'er off.

I am often asked how much my little musical jewel cost, and my answer is always the same: it's priceless. I was lucky to get it at the 2008 NY Uke Fest. The Uker/Wizard had been selling out of his traditional ukes, and while everyone who came to his table wanted his coffee can confection he wouldn't sell. I just happened to be the right person at the right time. The Wiz was sitting with his buddy Li'l Rev outside the concert hall, and just as my eye caught sight of that fantastic uke Li'l Rev turned to his buddy and said, "She's The One." I was made an offer, and without haggling I whipped out my checkbook. The amount is irrelevant. What is important to me is that Li'l Rev was oh-so-right -- we had never met before and he's never told me why I was the lucky one -- I was the right one to get it, and I get an incredible amount of pleasure from my one-of-a-kind treasure. I let everyone who wants to give it a spin because it's just too much fun not to share, but I always give props to the wizard who made it.

Thanks for being a member of the fan club. I get a lot of pleasure knowing that other people appreciate this quirky little ukulele.

And to the other question I get all the time: no, I'll never, ever sell. Really: never ever.

P-co
06-14-2010, 09:35 PM
I got to have a look at that, I must see a picture. PM'ing now.

misteruke
06-15-2010, 03:26 AM
I love the story of this uke, and how lovely this thread evolved so quickly. This is why Ukulele Underground rules! I am the owner of the tin-can instrument shown earlier from ebay. Mine was made by Aaron Keim of Boulder Acoustic Society, and is not really a uke. It has that old timey sound, and a pickup, but I tune it to an open D chord much like a dulcimer. Here is a link to Aaron's blog. I know he has made actual tin-can ukes too. He is very cool, and could probably make you one when he has the time. http://papabeansprout.blogspot.com/
djsherline, thanks for joining just to post here! I hope to meet this Uker of Oz one day, and you too. Rev is a friend, and he has a multitude of unique gifts. I am glad he helped you find your instrument...
peace,
Bill

mythidiot
06-17-2010, 07:19 PM
I'm the woman with the coffee can uke! A friend told me someone here was looking for me -- or rather my fabulous ukulele.

I am the owner of the tin-can instrument shown earlier from ebay.
well it's good to meet everyone! I love this forum. I'm going to be at Summer NAMM for the next few days, but I want to get into this thread again... It'll probably be a week or so... See you all then.

I'm so excited that the mystery has been solved!