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View Full Version : Slide Ukulele's - Anyone Build their own?



PedalFreak
07-06-2011, 06:21 AM
I've been wanting a square neck slide ukulele for a little while now. But Beltona raised the price on the James Hill model from $950 to $1200, the Mya-Moe is around $1500. I know it will not be an everyday ukulele, but I think it'd be a cool thing to have in my arsenal :) .

Anyone build one of these at a cheaper price?

Or has anyone built their own? Where did you source the parts from?

I've got an idea for a NEW type of slide ukulele ;) I may start planning on building it. I think it'd be a great uke. I'll post info if I start it :)

OldePhart
07-06-2011, 07:24 AM
Well, sort of...

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?44452-New-Mainland-Resonator-Ukulele!&highlight=mainland+resonator

hmgberg
07-06-2011, 07:38 AM
pm sent!!!!

marymac
07-06-2011, 08:53 AM
I've been working on this problem for some time.

Ok there are two kinds of slide guitars: a regular guitar that you play with a slide on your finger (see Oldephart's video above), and a lap style guitar that you play with a steel bar. I'm assuming that you're interested in playing lap-style since you mention the Mya-Moe.

First I tried playing lap-style with an Eleuke solid body. I raised the action really high to prevent the steel from hitting the fretboard but I found that the nylon strings were just too soft to use even a lightweight steel or glass slide on them. Just didn't sound good. I then bought an actual lap-steel guitar (a couple actually) and now I have a better idea about how this works.

I think that the best solution for lap playing a uke would be to use a steel string electric uke like a Risa or Monkey Wrench; raise the action really high and then try it out. If anyone has a steel string electric they want to volunteer to try this on - let me know! You could use any steel string uke but I haven't seen many (any?) acoustic steel string ukes. Basically you need steel strings to support the weight of the slide.

The other option is to just raise the action on any uke and play it with a finger slide. This is much cheaper and easier to try. Oldephart got all fancy with his setup, putting the resonator in there and all, but you could play with a finger slide on any uke with a higher action (not too high though). Here's a great video from this week by OLARN using his Koaloha Tenor as a slide uke: http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?49649-Instrumental-H.M.-Blues-(Slide-Ukulele)

Let me know if you figure something else out. In the meantime - I LOVE my lap-steel guitars.

PedalFreak
07-06-2011, 09:17 AM
I have a Weissenborn now, and have had several lap steels. Know all about the types of slide playing :) I really like the idea of a lap slide uke. Would just like a cheaper version somewhere :D

marymac
07-06-2011, 09:19 AM
I know what you mean. I think at some point I'll try a steel string electric or just save up for a Mya Moe. My problem is patience - they've got a 1 year+ wait list right now...

fumanshu
07-06-2011, 09:46 AM
I do have a squareneck uke and I asked Mike Peireira build it for me. I love and would neveu sell it! If you never see or hear it, you can see it in this clip I did...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoP8AHzqeM8

marymac
07-06-2011, 09:54 AM
I do have a squareneck uke and I asked Mike Peireira build it for me. I love and would neveu sell it! If you never see or hear it, you can see it in this clip I did...


http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_uri=%2F&gl=CA#/watch?v=KoP8AHzqeM8

Fumanshu - I wasn't able to view the video from the link you posted. Can you check the URL? Thanks!

Nuprin
07-06-2011, 01:05 PM
Fumanshu - I wasn't able to view the video from the link you posted. Can you check the URL? Thanks!

Try this...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoP8AHzqeM8&feature=channel_video_title

marymac
07-06-2011, 01:45 PM
Try this...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoP8AHzqeM8&feature=channel_video_title

Got it! Thanks Nuprin

fumanshu
07-06-2011, 02:10 PM
Fumanshu - I wasn't able to view the video from the link you posted. Can you check the URL? Thanks!

For whatever reason, the link wasn't good!!! I did it on my Ipad...ahahahah...that's why!!!!!

Thanks Nup! You got it right!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoP8AHzqeM8

frankiej
07-06-2011, 04:35 PM
I'm in the process of building a lap steel ukulele from a cigar box. I've already got the neck glued up an secured my box of choice. It's kinda been delayed for a few days, but I'll post pics/vids of it when completed. I'm debating whether to make a tin can resonator or just have a traditional bridge/soundhole.

I'm planning on steel strings. I'm thinking maybe, from 4th to 1st, .009, .018, .013 and .009. My experience with slide instruments (I've built a lap steel and owned several dobros) is that they require heavier strings than average, due to the slide thinning the tone somewhat. I'm hoping the neck will take the strain of steel strings. My neck blank is two pieces of mahogany sandwiched around a strip of walnut, with all the grain arranged so it's essentially quartersawn, so I think it should be okay. Like I said, full report upon completion!

marymac
07-06-2011, 06:59 PM
I'm in the process of building a lap steel ukulele from a cigar box. I've already got the neck glued up an secured my box of choice. It's kinda been delayed for a few days, but I'll post pics/vids of it when completed. I'm debating whether to make a tin can resonator or just have a traditional bridge/soundhole.

I'm planning on steel strings. I'm thinking maybe, from 4th to 1st, .009, .018, .013 and .009. My experience with slide instruments (I've built a lap steel and owned several dobros) is that they require heavier strings than average, due to the slide thinning the tone somewhat. I'm hoping the neck will take the strain of steel strings. My neck blank is two pieces of mahogany sandwiched around a strip of walnut, with all the grain arranged so it's essentially quartersawn, so I think it should be okay. Like I said, full report upon completion!

Nice Frankie! We'll be looking forward to your report. Sounds like you're neck is plenty strong but is a cigar box strong enough for the tension?

frankiej
07-06-2011, 11:53 PM
Nice Frankie! We'll be looking forward to your report. Sounds like you're neck is plenty strong but is a cigar box strong enough for the tension?

That I don't know. The box I'm using has sides around 1/4" that are finger jointed and a pretty thick top, so it probably would be good. I'm probably going to try and see, and if it self destructs, I'm only out 3-4 dollars. I'm loathe to brace a cigar box, as they already are lacking in the tone department due to their robust construction. I'm thinking the steel strings will make up for the lack of volume. As long as it doesn't blow up when it's near my face, all will be well!

fumanshu
07-07-2011, 12:30 AM
I'm in the process of building a lap steel ukulele from a cigar box. I've already got the neck glued up an secured my box of choice. It's kinda been delayed for a few days, but I'll post pics/vids of it when completed. I'm debating whether to make a tin can resonator or just have a traditional bridge/soundhole.

I'm planning on steel strings. I'm thinking maybe, from 4th to 1st, .009, .018, .013 and .009. My experience with slide instruments (I've built a lap steel and owned several dobros) is that they require heavier strings than average, due to the slide thinning the tone somewhat. I'm hoping the neck will take the strain of steel strings. My neck blank is two pieces of mahogany sandwiched around a strip of walnut, with all the grain arranged so it's essentially quartersawn, so I think it should be okay. Like I said, full report upon completion!

It's nice Frankie! Show us the pics and results when it will be completed.

As for the neck, it has to be quite strong if you don't want to bend and pull everything up. As you can see, in my clip, I have a full squareneck and I have quite a lot of tension strings on it. I'm actually use 0.13 as my first strings and use regular medium set of strings.

I'm playing in open E and I think I could have more tension on it becasue sometimes I feel my strings a little bit slack specially the 1st and 2nd.... But I'm playing with a Tribo-tone and it's quite heavy...

Anyway, let me know on how things progress....I'm always looking for another lap uke....even if I have 2 other slide ukes coming soon! hhahaha!!!

marymac
07-07-2011, 05:28 AM
That I don't know. The box I'm using has sides around 1/4" that are finger jointed and a pretty thick top, so it probably would be good. I'm probably going to try and see, and if it self destructs, I'm only out 3-4 dollars. I'm loathe to brace a cigar box, as they already are lacking in the tone department due to their robust construction. I'm thinking the steel strings will make up for the lack of volume. As long as it doesn't blow up when it's near my face, all will be well!

1/4 sides should be fine (I hope!) I was picturing something flimsier. Let me know how it goes - Mary

frankiej
09-02-2011, 07:22 AM
Well, I got it done for the most part. It still needs a little tweaking, just like some of these meth cookers here in old Bartholomew county lol. Turned out decent. I plan on putting a Radiddio Shack piezo/buzzer low rent pickup in it, but it's pretty loud with the steel strings. I think I addressed everything in the description and the video itself, but if you have any questions, ask away!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=praYvFl3U58

marymac
09-02-2011, 03:47 PM
Cool! That came out great Frankie. I love all the woods in the neck and headstock, and the way you used the cut-off brass screws for fret markers is inspired. Has a really oldtime blues sound when you play slide with those banjo strings! Great job and thanks for making the video about it - Mary

frankiej
09-02-2011, 05:26 PM
Cool! That came out great Frankie. I love all the woods in the neck and headstock, and the way you used the cut-off brass screws for fret markers is inspired. Has a really oldtime blues sound when you play slide with those banjo strings! Great job and thanks for making the video about it - Mary Thanks for the kind words! Really appreciated! I must confess that nearly all the ideas for it have been stolen from members here and jumbled around a bit.