View Full Version : Is this symmetrical?

10-07-2011, 03:13 AM
Hey all. I ordered a Grizzly ukulele kit last week for a spruce top project. I received it last night, and the body of the uke does not look symmetrical to me. I didn't take a picture of the uke itself since the grain direction is kind of diagonal and acts as more of an optical illusion, so I put it on a piece of paper and drew an outline of it. The top of it where the neck joint is definitely isn't symmetrical, but the neck was carved to match, but what do you all think of the rest of it? Is this acceptable? I called Grizzly last night, and it's going to be a pain to ship it back, wait for them to evaluate it, and if it checks out as being a bad product, they will only then send me a new one and reimburse my shipping, but if it isn't faulty, than I eat the shipping back to them AND pay for them to ship it once again. Anyhow, attached is the outline of the uke. Please let me know what you all think.

Click to enlarge the image

Also, if it isn't symmetrical, is this acceptable? Could I kind of "fix" this issue, at least when I tear the existing top off and glue the new spruce top on?

Thanks guys,

10-07-2011, 03:31 AM
It isn't symmetrical, but it may not be an issue - some of the old ukes I've seen weren't symmetrical either.

You might want to ask in the Luthier's Lounge, and see what they have to say.


10-07-2011, 03:32 AM
Does not look like it to me.

Hippie Dribble
10-07-2011, 04:04 AM
I had a peanut shaped uke built a little while back that wasn't totally symmetrical either. I think with yours, the right hand side is narrower and the shoulder on that side is at a slightly different angle. With mine, the uke sounded awesome and didn't seem to make a difference at all. I'd do what Kurt said, and take this to the Luthier's Lounge. All the best with the project!

10-07-2011, 04:16 AM
Thanks for your replies. I don't normally ask anything on the Luthier Lounge since I am nowhere near a luthier, and they seem to bash these little ukes. I'll ask anyhow on there anyhow though. I'll probably rephrase the question though for more of the "fixing" thing.


10-08-2011, 12:44 PM
I have maybe three ukes that aren't symetrical and as long as the neck fits right and the bridge goes in the right place, I'd think it shouldn't present any problem. A lot of custom designed novelty ukes aren't symetrical. Vintage ukes also often are off from side to side. Check out the Louis Gaspar uke bottom left on this page (http://home.comcast.net/~ukecat/ukeset.html). I have a funky little Gaspar uke that sounds great, and though mine is only a little off, I have seen others besides this link that are also very lopsided. This site (http://shinoteabowl.wordpress.com/category/louis-a-gaspar-ukulele/) has a tear down and analysis of a Gaspar uke that might be helpful to you.

I am only making observations here, the luthier forum would likely put your mind at ease if you post, but you are the only one who can decide if asymetry is going to bother you.

10-08-2011, 02:34 PM
Don't worry, my ears at at different heights, but my mom says no one will notice if I stop telling people...I mean, nothing.

10-08-2011, 04:20 PM
I am not a luthier but I am a cabinetmaker. It definately is not symetrical but to see how far off it is, mark the centers on the top and bottom, flip it over and trace the image again. This will show the difference.

As far as sending it back, you have to realize what you have bought. I have no experience with these kits from Grizzly, but I do have experience with their tools. When I first started my business back in 1991, I purchased a number of tools from Grizzly because of their low cost. I have replaced everyone of them long ago. In short, you get what you pay for. I found that their tools, which were imported from poor quality contol factories in Taiwan and other countries, were substandard and would not hold up to light residential use, let alone commercial use. I cannot say if the tools that they import now are of better quality, but I still today would not buy a Grizzly tool for my business.

That being said. I don't know if there are other options for ukulele kits. I believe that Pete Howlett sells ukulele kits but you should PM him to make sure. He is a memeber here and a magnificent luthier.

10-10-2011, 12:33 PM
The easiest way to determine if something on paper (like your tracing) is symmetrical is to fold it - if you can't find a fold line where the two images match up exactly then it's not symmetrical. (Hold it in front of a strong light - like a window - to see the tracing on both halves.)


10-10-2011, 05:59 PM
My pineapple Sunday is not symmetrical. Kind of bummed me out at first, but it was an anniversary gift from my wife. It plays wonderfully, and that's what is most important... It's unique, and mine.


Pete Howlett
10-10-2011, 10:48 PM
Symmetry is overated - ask any collector of the Larson bros instruments