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View Full Version : New Uke Day: "Birth of a Uke pt. II"



gyosh
10-30-2011, 06:16 PM
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Day 4 of the Ukulele build taught be Rick Turner of Renaissance/Compass Rose fame started with cleaning up the area around the bridge and then trimming down the shims where the sides and neck block meet. Today was also the day we shaped the nut and saddle as well as attach the tuning pegs, dialed in the frets and then did final set up before stringing them up and playing our new ukes!!

gyosh
10-30-2011, 06:35 PM
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Today was all about refinement. After the peg tuners were attached, there was much measuring and sanding to be had. First the nut had to be taken down to fit the neck of the uke and then we had to rough out the string slots, next came the saddle which was a challenge to get just right. Next came the set-up which for me included adding a D-Tar Timberline undersaddle pick up and then finally we needed to do some fret work and then came time to string 'em and tune 'em up. The last picture is of my completed uke all plugged in and ready to go.

The workshop, held at The Crucibal in Oakland is a fantastic experience and I highly recommend it to anyone with the slightest interest in learning how to build a ukulele. If you're in the market for a mid-range uke you should consider this class as an alternative. My uke sounds great! It projects well, has a ton of sustain and to my ears, the red cedar top has a bright sound to it. The intonation at the 12th fret gets +3 sharp on the "g" string, but the other strings are spot on. My next big step is to choose a method of finishing the uke. I'm leaning towards tung oil, but I'm going to do a little more research before I commit.

gyosh
10-30-2011, 06:39 PM
This is fellow UUer "DougF" trying out his sweet little pineapple tenor.

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mds725
10-30-2011, 07:11 PM
hey Gary,

I'm glad to hear your uke build went so well. Congratulations of having an ukulele you built yourself, and on learning some valuable skills like setup and playing with the nut, bridge and saddle. The ukulele looks great! I sure hope Rick does this again here in the Bay Area.


This is fellow UUer "DougF" trying out his sweet little pineapple tenor.29511

FWIW, I got this message when I clicked on the link: "Invalid Attachment specified. If you followed a valid link, please notify the administrator."

gyosh
10-30-2011, 07:53 PM
FWIW, I got this message when I clicked on the link: "Invalid Attachment specified. If you followed a valid link, please notify the administrator."

Hey Mark, I edited the link and uploaded again. I think it's working now. Also, I'm pretty sure there's another build class for the Winter session this February. Rick was saying he's going to separate the two classes (mando and uke) and offer more sizes/styles of each. If he does a long neck concert, I may have to take the class again. I played the new uke next to my Kala and I really prefer the sound of the kit build much more. It's much louder, and has much more sustain. The notes have a clear ring to them too. Currently it's strung re-entrent, but that's going to change as soon as Smiley and Janet are back from vacation. I'll probably switch my Kala back to re-entrent and keep the "Yoshi-lele" low g. Got to try bending some wood today too. Rick brought in a hot-pipe bender for us to give it a shot. It was interesting. I really like the idea of learning how to bend. Since the class was taught by such a well respected luthier I refrained from reading anything about uke/guitar building because I didn't want to go in with any misinformation, but now I can start in on the stack of books I ordered. Take the class, it'll give you an even greater appreciation for the ukes you ordered.

Rick Turner
10-31-2011, 09:13 AM
Thanks for posting this!

Yes, I'm splitting into Ukes Only and Mandos Only classes. It's really the fourth day where things diverge too much for me to be able to do a great job teaching. Except for details like bracing pattern and bridge, the basic construction is similar with these designs, but final setup day is fairly radically different.

There will be a Winter class at the Crucible in Oakland, and I may do a March class here at my shop in Santa Cruz, too. I will open it up with a 14 fret concert scale with a body that is between the soprano and tenor sizes.

For anyone interested, the Crucible website is www.thecrucible.org A fantastic place...

Dougf
10-31-2011, 10:52 AM
I totally agree with Gary, take this class if you have the slightest bit of interest in building your own uke. I would go even further and say take this class, period! You'll have a lot fun, meet other uke and/or woodworking enthusiasts, and come out with a great, one-of-a-kind instrument, with the satisfaction that you built it yourself. I'm also thinking of taking the class again.

Here's a shot of a fellow classmate who, I think by general consensus, won the prize for coolest headstock design.

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Gary, I'm interested in what you decide to do for your finish, keep us posted.

mds725
10-31-2011, 11:12 AM
Thanks for posting this!

Yes, I'm splitting into Ukes Only and Mandos Only classes. It's really the fourth day where things diverge too much for me to be able to do a great job teaching. Except for details like bracing pattern and bridge, the basic construction is similar with these designs, but final setup day is fairly radically different.

There will be a Winter class at the Crucible in Oakland, and I may do a March class here at my shop in Santa Cruz, too. I will open it up with a 14 fret concert scale with a body that is between the soprano and tenor sizes.

For anyone interested, the Crucible website is www.thecrucible.org A fantastic place...

Thanks, Rick! I was planning to take your october class but I broke and sprained the middle finger on my right (dominant) hand at the very end of August and I wasn't sure I'd be ready in time for your class. (As it turns out, I'm just now regaining full use of that finger.) I'd love to take your winter ukulele building class at the Crucible. When I checked out the Crucible's website yesterday, the posted dates for the mandolin building class were feb. 25-March 4, but there were no dates specified yet for the ukulele class (it just says "coming in Spring 2012"). Do you have a rough idea of when you'll be teaching your ukulele building class? Thanks!

joeybug
10-31-2011, 12:50 PM
Congrats on the new Uke! And one you've built yourself too :D Looks great, would love to hear how they sound!

UkeforJC
11-29-2011, 08:03 AM
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Day 4 of the Ukulele build taught be Rick Turner of Renaissance/Compass Rose fame started with cleaning up the area around the bridge and then trimming down the shims where the sides and neck block meet. Today was also the day we shaped the nut and saddle as well as attach the tuning pegs, dialed in the frets and then did final set up before stringing them up and playing our new ukes!!

I have a question about the method you used to clamp the bridge while gluing. Hopefully, Mr. Turner will also give me some suggestion.

I have tried to glue the bridge in the similar way you did. But whenever I did that, the top seems to sink down a little bit especially around the bridge area.
Is it because the clamping pressure too strong? or the top I prepared is just not stiff enough?

I am also wondering that if i just clamped it lightly until i see some glue squeze out, will that still provide enough clamping pressure?

Thanks a lot for your suggestion.

gyosh
11-29-2011, 08:39 AM
Hey UkeforJC,

I'm not even close to being knowledgeable about this, but I recall Rick saying to clamp with just enough pressure to squeeze out a little glue and to hold the bridge in place. Aside from protecting the surrounding area, the masking tape also acted like a little "well" that held the bridge in place. If I wanted to, I could have moved the bridge with the clamp in place. That's how light the pressure was.