PDA

View Full Version : My first ever ukelele



Jazzz
08-13-2010, 11:33 AM
Hi,

As I said in my introduction post, here are some pictures of the soprano ukelele I've build in July. It was build as a gift for the birth of my nephew.

It is tuned in Low-G tuning, and after some experiments, I've used the following strings:
G - classical guitar high tension D-string (wound 0.030 D'Addario)
C - classical guitar normal tension G-string (0.0403 D'Addario)
E - ukelele string (0.032 D'Addario)
A - ukelele string (0.024 D'Addario)

This combination gave the best intonation results (especially for the C-string, which gave most trouble when using a 0.034 ukelele string).

Please comment on my buiding and also please give your thoughts on my string choice.

Best regards,
Jazzz

Gmoney
08-13-2010, 12:36 PM
Hi,
As I said in my introduction post, here are some pictures of the soprano ukelele I've build in July. It was build as a gift for the birth of my nephew.


It's really quite beautiful! What kind of wood is it? I really like the choice of the red around the soundhole & binding - very striking.

Jazzz
08-13-2010, 01:26 PM
Hi Gmoney,

Thanks for your kind words! Are you a builder yourself?

The woods used:

top: swiss spruce - I bought this last year during holidays in the Swiss Alps, as bigger planks (4 cm thick, 20 cm wide, 80 cm length) in a sawmill/stairs factory! Nice, fine grained wood, I've already build a violin from it too!

Sides/back/head-veneer: flamed European maple

Neck: laminated from planks of hard maple (American maple). The planks (about 1 cm thick) where unused floor parts. Rosewood strip in the middle.

Fingerboard/bridge: rosewood

Tuning pegs: ebony (I prefered rosewood here to continue the rosewood theme, but could not find 1/4 violin pegs in rosewood in this short timespan)
Tuning pegs work well, precise tuning is possible, but a little practice is needed.

Bindings:
red - stained veneer, unknown wood
white - maple
brown - walnut

Since this is an instrument for a child, I decided to give the top a little extra strength by using two fan braces (about 3 to 4 mm high). To compensate, I made reinforcement under the bridge a little less wide (total about 10 cm). The top is about 1.7 mm thick.

The instrument has quite a loud, but well balanced voice.

Jazzz
08-13-2010, 01:33 PM
And...

It's finished with Shellac!

Matt Clara
08-13-2010, 01:45 PM
It's a beauty, and I like the classic shape, not to mention the little touches, like the bit of inlay on the bridge.

Jazzz
08-13-2010, 01:52 PM
Hi Matt,

Thanks for your nice reply! The inlay on the bridge was a last minute decision. I found an entirely brown bridge a little dull and had some binding left overs. It look some time (and patience!) to make the little mitres for the bridge inlay, but I like the end result too :) It was worth the work.

Gmoney
08-13-2010, 02:24 PM
Thanks for your kind words! Are you a builder yourself?


No, just recognize good work. I've a friend who is a luthier & my brother has long been in home & kitchen design. The wood choices really work well.

mm stan
08-13-2010, 04:11 PM
Aloha Jazzz,
Nice job!! It's an awesome ukulele both in style and features....
the d'addario's must make it sing!!!!! thanks for sharing!!
MM Stan...

Dominator
08-13-2010, 06:13 PM
Looks fantastic!

Big_Fred
08-13-2010, 06:18 PM
Excellent work. I hope to make one some day.

ukestah
08-13-2010, 07:17 PM
Wow that is one pretty 'uke! Definitely top shelf for a first one!

Jazzz
08-13-2010, 09:28 PM
Hi mm stan, gmoney, dominator, big-fred & ukestah, matt clara

Thanks for the nice comments!

@ mmstan, dominator, ukestah & matt clara: are you making ukelele's?

For those of you who have not yet build a ukelele, I can surely recommend! The nice thing about it, compared to building bigger instruments like guitars, is that it does not take a lot of material, it's small and easy to handle in the building stage and that the building process is less time consuming. And of course it is very nice to play a self made instrument.

Lexxy
08-13-2010, 10:20 PM
Hi mm stan, gmoney, dominator, big-fred & ukestah, matt clara

Thanks for the nice comments!

@ mmstan, dominator, ukestah & matt clara: are you making ukelele's?

For those of you who have not yet build a ukelele, I can surely recommend! The nice thing about it, compared to building bigger instruments like guitars, is that it does not take a lot of material, it's small and easy to handle in the building stage and that the building process is less time consuming. And of course it is very nice to play a self made instrument.

But you need the equipments to do it!
Btw, can you PM me the things needed to make a uke? (yes the materials as well ><)

Matt Clara
08-14-2010, 01:25 AM
Hi mm stan, gmoney, dominator, big-fred & ukestah, matt clara

Thanks for the nice comments!

@ mmstan, dominator, ukestah & matt clara: are you making ukelele's?

For those of you who have not yet build a ukelele, I can surely recommend! The nice thing about it, compared to building bigger instruments like guitars, is that it does not take a lot of material, it's small and easy to handle in the building stage and that the building process is less time consuming. And of course it is very nice to play a self made instrument.

I am making ukuleles. They are a little rough around the edges yet, but I get better with each one.

Sven
08-14-2010, 04:56 AM
Btw, can you PM me the things needed to make a uke? (yes the materials as well ><)
No need to wait for a pm, I can give you the details right here:

1. Tools
2. Wood
3. The will to do it.

(The last includes reading, searching forums and Youtube, and some googling.)

Good luck / Sven

farmerboy
08-14-2010, 10:31 AM
lovely uke. What's next?

Jazzz
08-14-2010, 11:18 AM
lovely uke. What's next?

Thanks! Next project: a 3/4 classical guitar for my son's first guitar lessons.

Jazzz
08-14-2010, 11:27 AM
@ Matt Clara - have you posted pics of your instruments on this forum?

@ Lexxy - What you need to build?
Not so easy to answer in a short post...If you want to build I advise you to read some good books on guitar making (Irving Sloane, Cumpiano&Natelson, John Bogdanovich). Guitar making and ukelele making are very much the same, only size differs. Ukelele necks are attached to the body in the same way as on the steel tring guitar. The books mentioned also include lists of materials and tools. Further, get a plan for a uke of your choice. I found some plans on the internet!
In short:
Woods-see my earlier post in this thread. All woods should be quartersawn. My uke is made from violin woods (spruce/maple) but most ukes are made from tropical woods (mahagony or koa). It should not be too hard to find small leftover pieces.
Tools-good bench, basic hand tools (planes, saws, chisels, knifes, files, rasps, clamps, scrapers, sanding blocks, measuring tools, ...), special tools (bending iron, drill press, thickness caliper, bridge clamps).
Remember, some special tools can be made yourself. I made my bending iron by attaching a copper pipe to a flat-iron for clothes.

Good luck,
Jazzz

Matt Clara
08-14-2010, 04:02 PM
@ Matt Clara - have you posted pics of your instruments on this forum?

Here's my Uke #3 (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?29044-Frankenfinger-Productions-Presents-Uke-Build-0003), and a CBU that looks sweet (http://www.mattclara.com/misc/ukuleleunderground/CBU03/), even if it's not my best player.

Jazzz
08-15-2010, 01:02 AM
Here's my Uke #3 (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?29044-Frankenfinger-Productions-Presents-Uke-Build-0003), and a CBU that looks sweet (http://www.mattclara.com/misc/ukuleleunderground/CBU03/), even if it's not my best player.

Hi Matt,

Very nice ukelele #3. I like the headstock, and also the overall appearance!

Lexxy
08-15-2010, 01:57 AM
@ Matt Clara - have you posted pics of your instruments on this forum?

@ Lexxy - What you need to build?
Not so easy to answer in a short post...If you want to build I advise you to read some good books on guitar making (Irving Sloane, Cumpiano&Natelson, John Bogdanovich). Guitar making and ukelele making are very much the same, only size differs. Ukelele necks are attached to the body in the same way as on the steel tring guitar. The books mentioned also include lists of materials and tools. Further, get a plan for a uke of your choice. I found some plans on the internet!
In short:
Woods-see my earlier post in this thread. All woods should be quartersawn. My uke is made from violin woods (spruce/maple) but most ukes are made from tropical woods (mahagony or koa). It should not be too hard to find small leftover pieces.
Tools-good bench, basic hand tools (planes, saws, chisels, knifes, files, rasps, clamps, scrapers, sanding blocks, measuring tools, ...), special tools (bending iron, drill press, thickness caliper, bridge clamps).
Remember, some special tools can be made yourself. I made my bending iron by attaching a copper pipe to a flat-iron for clothes.

Good luck,
Jazzz
I think I'll venture deeper into this when i actually have the funds to make a Ukulele Workshop :)


Here's my Uke #3 (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?29044-Frankenfinger-Productions-Presents-Uke-Build-0003), and a CBU that looks sweet (http://www.mattclara.com/misc/ukuleleunderground/CBU03/), even if it's not my best player.

That CBU looks nice! (the tree design looks awesome) And the uke#3 looks fabulous! Especially the Headstock :D

ksquine
08-16-2010, 07:43 AM
That's very tasty!

Jazzz
08-17-2010, 09:26 AM
Thanks, ksquine!

UkeforJC
09-13-2010, 07:48 PM
Hi,

As I said in my introduction post, here are some pictures of the soprano ukelele I've build in July. It was build as a gift for the birth of my nephew.

It is tuned in Low-G tuning, and after some experiments, I've used the following strings:
G - classical guitar high tension D-string (wound 0.030 D'Addario)
C - classical guitar normal tension G-string (0.0403 D'Addario)
E - ukelele string (0.032 D'Addario)
A - ukelele string (0.024 D'Addario)

This combination gave the best intonation results (especially for the C-string, which gave most trouble when using a 0.034 ukelele string).

Please comment on my buiding and also please give your thoughts on my string choice.

Best regards,
Jazzz

Dear Jazzz,
what kind of intonation trouble did you encounter before you made the decisions for the strings?

I also have some intonation issues with my build. Could you please give me some suggestions?
My issue was described in this thread:
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?35392-My-first-ukulele-building...a-lot-of-questions..


Thank you.

Doug W
09-14-2010, 12:57 PM
Jazzz,

Do you have a woodworking background? It is a pretty instrument and looks more professional than my first future ukulele which exists only in my head.

erich@muttcrew.net
09-15-2010, 08:01 AM
Wow Jazzz, that's really a very impressive first uke. Please keep us posted on the 3/4 guitar - I hope the mods won't object.

I'm wondering about the 1/4 size violin tuners. Where did you get them, and have you been able to find any in rosewood?

Keep rocking :music:
Erich