View Full Version : Scavenging old parts to use on cigar box ukulele..

12-21-2010, 03:04 AM
I am not a ukulele builder..I have a miserable time trying to use power tools..I have a Dremel with a saw attachment, but I cannot get the saw attachment to work...i am a wreck...But I have ambition...AND I have stuff....the wooden skeleton from an antique banjolele..sans tuning pegs...I have some tuning pegs that I'd ordered, but can't find...I have the neck and bridge from a concert-sized Oscar-Schmidt that managed to get accidentally crushed...I would so like to make a cigar box uke for someone for x-mas...looking for suggestions..I, being a pack rat, have numerous nice cigar boxes...I also was looking into the notion of making a cookie tin banjolele..I have this disaster of a homemade solid body electric uke..that never ever worked...it was ordered for me as a gift...but it does have a bridge and a headstock..(the tuners are positioned so that they bump into each other when I try to tune the thing...but oh well...
ANYWHOO...urm....bleh...anyone like to offer me some guidance on my wingnutty scheme...

12-21-2010, 08:45 AM
I suppose the toughest part of building a CBU is getting the neck on. I have found Pete Howlett's method (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGbDjMDWqJg) to be the best way to attach one. You want to make your neck flat where it is round (where it mated to the body of the old Uke), I use a sanding block for that. Than make a block for the inside of the box (ought to fit against the top and bottom). I glue that in, drill it out and then set the whole ting on a flat bench and clamp. Making sure the neck is centered, I then use a right angle drill to drill a hole into the neck.
I have three done, and one wall hangar (but that was number three- rushing). one is a steel string so it works out pretty well and the bolt is strong.

12-21-2010, 02:44 PM
I used that exact method with the CBU that I built for my wife. Worked out very well. Just make sure to measure and cut accurately. Also, use a straight sided cigar box, because having to rasp out a rounded edge on the neck to make it fit the rounded sides of the box sucks, especially with a hard maple neck.

12-22-2010, 12:44 AM
The majority of cigar box instruments have a neck-thru design. I've built every concievable variation of neck attachment on ukes and the neck-thru wokrs fine.
The last one was a resonator .... no room for the neck-thru , so I built it set neck ........ I will probably do this more for ukes. It worked well, played well and sounded fine.
Lust take a bit more time because of extra glue work.
Oh yeah, I also use the typical "stick neck" on my builds.