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View Full Version : "Fixing" an asymmetrical uke body



dhoenisch
10-07-2011, 05:24 AM
Hey all, I just want to first say that I am NOT a luthier, just more of a tinkerer. I asked this question on Uke Talk, but they suggested I pop in here.

I know the Grizzly kit is kind of a joke, but what I'm doing on this project is I am going to pry off the top and replace it with solid spruce plus add a bloodwood fingerboard and bridge.

However, when I received the uke last night, I noticed that the body is not symmetrical. The neck joint area is the most obvious, but the shoulders don't look symmetrical either. I attached the outline of the uke since the grain isn't strait, and the slanted grain acts too much like an optical illusion.

Click to enlarge this image:
28675

Since returning this uke is going to be a pain, and if their people don't see it as an issue (they are tool guys so they probably won't see it), I will be responsible for paying to ship it there, and paying for them to ship it back once again.

So my question is, is this something I can "fix" to make it slightly more symmetrical once I go to glue the new top on? The neck joint won't be a huge deal since the neck is already carved out to match the contour, but I was wondering about the rest of it. Or, should I just stop whining and just do the build, and who cares if it's asymmetrical once it's all together?

Thanks for your advice,
Dan

erich@muttcrew.net
10-07-2011, 07:49 AM
Our first three builds were all slightly off in the symmetry department. So? They sound good to me. We got more and more symmetrical as we progressed.

The thing is, in order to fix it you'd probably have to take the back off, try to correct the curves in the sides and then the back might not fit any more, so you not only have to replace the top but also the back and so forth and so on.... Not worth it with a kit. Let 'er be, slap that spruce top on there, put a little finish on.... and play your heart out :music:

ksquine
10-07-2011, 08:44 AM
Anything can be fixed for a tinkerer....but it would be as much work as building one from scratch. You'd have to take off the top and back, probably remove the linings and then put the body into a mold with stretchers push it into shape. I think you could just push the rim back into shape without re-bending. Then re-do the linings and top/back. Probably add bindings to cover where the top and back came up short on the new rim shape. yada yada

Timbuck
10-07-2011, 09:11 AM
The remedy is simple...This is how I did it.
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc143/shiregreenbod/PICT0330.jpg

Coleton33Music
10-07-2011, 10:08 AM
The remedy is simple...This is how I did it.
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc143/shiregreenbod/PICT0330.jpg

That's a pretty cool looking ukulele!

Timbuck
10-07-2011, 11:04 AM
Yes! I got a lot of offers for it, and it sounded quite good..I even considered making a few..It went to a Pro Musician in the end..and he features it on stage..with a few one line jokes thrown in like "Half the money" "Half the fun" "Half the talent" "half the effort" etc: etc:....And he's left handed as well! so the flat side is on top for him, and he told me he was going to glue a little toy cottage and a tree on it.:)

Allen
10-07-2011, 11:06 AM
Don't worry about it. Get a top on it and play the thing. Next time start from scratch. It might still be asymmetrical, but at least you'll know what went wrong and how to fix it.

Coleton33Music
10-07-2011, 11:53 AM
Yes! I got a lot of offers for it, and it sounded quite good..I even considered making a few..It went to a Pro Musician in the end..and he features it on stage..with a few one line jokes thrown in like "Half the money" "Half the fun" "Half the talent" "half the effort" etc: etc:....And he's left handed as well! so the flat side is on top for him, and he told me he was going to glue a little toy cottage and a tree on it.:)

It looks like the Ukulele Underground logo too!

P.S.

How much you want for one of those?

Timbuck
10-07-2011, 11:56 AM
It looks like the Ukulele Underground logo too!
So it does!..I never noticed that before :D:D:D

Liam Ryan
10-07-2011, 02:12 PM
Hey all, I just want to first say that I am NOT a luthier, just more of a tinkerer. I asked this question on Uke Talk, but they suggested I pop in here.

I know the Grizzly kit is kind of a joke, but what I'm doing on this project is I am going to pry off the top and replace it with solid spruce plus add a bloodwood fingerboard and bridge.

However, when I received the uke last night, I noticed that the body is not symmetrical. The neck joint area is the most obvious, but the shoulders don't look symmetrical either. I attached the outline of the uke since the grain isn't strait, and the slanted grain acts too much like an optical illusion.

Click to enlarge this image:
28675

Since returning this uke is going to be a pain, and if their people don't see it as an issue (they are tool guys so they probably won't see it), I will be responsible for paying to ship it there, and paying for them to ship it back once again.

So my question is, is this something I can "fix" to make it slightly more symmetrical once I go to glue the new top on? The neck joint won't be a huge deal since the neck is already carved out to match the contour, but I was wondering about the rest of it. Or, should I just stop whining and just do the build, and who cares if it's asymmetrical once it's all together?

Thanks for your advice,
Dan


Did you expect more for your $22?

All this razzing up of $22 kits (and $22 finished ukes) seems kind of pointless to me.You can't polish a turd. You can roll it in glitter but hey, it's still just a dressed up turd.

From all accounts you can get real mahogany from the local hardware in the US. I can't even import it because of cites. Just build your own.

dhoenisch
10-07-2011, 04:13 PM
Thanks a lot guys. I will take your advice and just rip the laminated top off and add a spruce top and be happy.

Liam, I don't expect much from a $22 kit, though I did purchase one a couple of years ago and it was at least symmetrical. My reason for this kit is to get practice for actually building the real thing. I do eventually want to get the StewMac kit and give that one a try. Once I accomplish that kit, then I want to make or purchase a bender and try my hand at one using raw materials. Then one day, I want to build myself a dreadnought acoustic guitar. I'm just building up to it. I figure there's no point in investing a lot of money in materials until I have built up more confidence.

Thanks again all,
Dan

Liam Ryan
10-07-2011, 10:25 PM
I'm glad you've got a goal in mind, just don't be scared to ditch the perceived safety net of a crappy kit and just build from scratch. You'll learn a hell of a lot more, much faster.

And don't worry, the things that seem really hard, like bending sides, are the easy parts. The hard parts are the things you haven't even thought about yet. If there's a more challenging and rewarding hobby I haven't found it yet.

Don't sell yourself short with a crappy kit.