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View Full Version : My first Soprano Ukulele Build.



narrowuke
01-14-2011, 10:30 AM
:confused:First of all I'd like to thank Koa Soprano for showing us the soprano he built for his Nephew, its been so helpful this last couple of weeks I don't think I would have half as far on without it.:D
I got going on building my first Ukulele just over 2 weeks ago, and things have progressed quite well, so here's how its going.
I'll give you some of my thoughts with the pictures as I go along
and please chip in with some thoughts of your own, they'll be much appreciated.

I'm using all bits and pieces from my guitar wood stock so there may be things that should be done differently but its what I've got.
I'm using a Spruce top, walnut back & sides,maple bindings, cedar neck, ebony fret board, bridge and pegs.

The glued up sound board and the back&sides1928319284

narrowuke
01-14-2011, 10:57 AM
Cleaning up the sound board, cutting the sound hole and rosette and finished rosette.
The top of the rosette could have been better.192851928619287

tattwo
01-14-2011, 11:08 AM
Looking forward to seeing your progress. Looks great so far!

narrowuke
01-14-2011, 10:27 PM
I little idea really how to do the bracing on the soundboard just a few pictres here and there. We'll know when I get some strings on it if it works:)
I thicknessed the soundboard to 70thou as a start then took the edges down to about 60thou to finish.
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drumgerry
01-15-2011, 12:12 AM
Narrowuke - don't mean to offend but those braces look a good bit too tall (maybe it's the photo making them look bigger than they are). Have you seen Christophe Grellier's plans and the recommended dimensions for a soprano?

http://www.grellier.fr/plans.php?lang=en

Cheers

Gerry

narrowuke
01-15-2011, 09:43 PM
No problems Drumgerry they do look big in the photo, I'm hoping they're not too big. It is a softwood top so I think they probably need to be a bit bigger than a hardwood top. Maybe they should be the same? I learning at this so all help is appreciated.


I moved on to th neck. Made from Honduras cedar with maple peg incerts and rosewood veneer.
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drumgerry
01-16-2011, 04:16 AM
Not sure a close grained spruce top would necessarily need more substantial braces especially in a soprano size but I'll defer to those with greater experience if they want to chip in. Lovely build along btw - really like your tuning pegs.

Dominator
01-16-2011, 06:06 AM
Narrowuke - don't mean to offend but those braces look a good bit too tall (maybe it's the photo making them look bigger than they are). Have you seen Christophe Grellier's plans and the recommended dimensions for a soprano?

http://www.grellier.fr/plans.php?lang=en

Cheers

Gerry

Certainly no expert here but the way I understand it, tall braces add strength and allow the thickness of the brace to be less. So for the height of your braces you probably could have made them a bit thinner. You never really know until you string it up. I'm guessing your uke is going to sound just fine. You are doing nice clean work.

narrowuke
01-16-2011, 07:43 AM
Onto the sides. It was a challenge for me bending such tight curves but really took my time and got there just fine. As you a can see I had to modify my bending iron with an extra piece of scaffold tube.
Also picture of assembled sides with spruce blocks and kirfed linings
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ksquine
01-16-2011, 08:08 AM
Looking good so far....very clean build. I agree that the braces look too tall....but I think 0.060 - 0.070 sounds a bit thin for spruce so I dunno what I think :confused:
I like your rosette cutter What type of blade is that? It looks like it made a nice clean cut. How about some more pics of it?

narrowuke
01-16-2011, 09:57 AM
Looking good so far....very clean build. I agree that the braces look too tall....but I think 0.060 - 0.070 sounds a bit thin for spruce so I dunno what I think :confused:
I like your rosette cutter What type of blade is that? It looks like it made a nice clean cut. How about some more pics of it?

Thanks, I made it a few years ago now, the blade is a flat Swiss needle file ground and then polished.
It's very simple and works great.
I'll get some close up photos sorted for tomorrow evening.

narrowuke
01-17-2011, 08:02 AM
Here's the finished back, glued up body and fitting the neck joint.
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narrowuke
01-18-2011, 09:57 AM
Another update, slotting the fret board, the finished neck, routing the purfling and binding channels, clean up and finish ready for fretting and glueing together.

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ksquine
01-19-2011, 08:06 AM
wow...building at the speed of light.
It must be done by now....lets hear it

narrowuke
01-19-2011, 08:33 AM
Not so much building at light speed but I did have a week off work last week
so progress did move on a bit. Also I'm on mobile interweb so takes a while to sort the pictures.
Tonights instalment, freting the neck,finished and ready for polishing :D
and making the bridge.
Its now hanging in our living room for a few days for the polish to harden.
Should have some strings on by the end of the weekend.
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narrowuke
01-23-2011, 10:37 AM
Nearly forgot about this so I took a quick Photo this evening.
She's polished, bridge glued on and yesterday I put the strings on:D
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She sounds like a Ukulele which is a major breakthrough
and I'll see if I can get someone from our ukulele group to
play somethng while I record it. I'm not the greatest player;)
Here's to the next one:D

tattwo
01-23-2011, 11:01 AM
Nice work!

Mobben
01-25-2011, 05:30 AM
It looks really good. Which finish have you applied?

narrowuke
01-25-2011, 06:15 AM
It looks really good. Which finish have you applied?

Thanks for the comments.
I use 'Liberon' Special Pale French Polish.
It's what I used to use on my classical guitars. It stand up to a lot of use.
Also pretty much fool proof to apply and I can do it on our living room table, no spray booth for me.