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Ambient Doughnut
11-20-2011, 01:37 AM
This is a little project I just finished.

The object was to have a uke for late night practice without annoying the neighbours, kids, GF etc...

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So, basically this is a cheap kit bought off the internet fixed to a chunk of oak worktop. I used the neck, fretboard and tuners out of the kit but couldn't bring myself to use the bridge or strings which were both horrible shiny black plastic.
The result is surprisingly good! Amazingly I managed to get the bridge position spot on and the intonation is perfect. It's loud enough to hear ok in a quiet room but doesn't travel at all and it's acually pretty nice to play.

Yes, I could have bought an electric uke but I'm not especially interested in plugging in and this only cost me about 30 - plus time I suppose but I enjoyed that. :)

Pete Beardsley
11-20-2011, 02:10 AM
Excellent work! Which kit did you use for the parts?
I am doing similar at the moment but it will be an electric uke and made from beech worktop! I seem to spending slightly more than you, but I have had to buy a couple of tools that I didn't have.
I have to say that its the most fun I've had in ages.

hmgberg
11-20-2011, 02:12 AM
Shhhhh! I'm sleeping.

Ambient Doughnut
11-20-2011, 02:21 AM
I used this:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/noted-Build-Your-Own-Ukulele/dp/B004T17Z54/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1321794968&sr=8-1

Cheap stuff but the neck and fretboard are surprisingly decent. The tunesr look like cheap junk and I didn't have high hopes for them but with the screws done up tight they hold tuning pretty well. The strings and bridge are junk though. Luckily I had a bridge off a Makala from a previous project which was far superior.

The only tools I used were jigsaw and belt sander. It would probably be faily easy to convert to electric with a bit of routing.

sorry hmgberg[/whisper] ;)

roxhum
11-20-2011, 02:43 AM
There is something sad about seeing a uke without a sound hole. It looks nice, very neat and nicely done.

stanpeter
11-20-2011, 02:54 AM
that hole can be easily fixed I think. Looks very tidy, nothing keeps you from putting amplification in later...

ukulefty
11-20-2011, 02:56 AM
Looks pretty cool. Maybe it needs some sort of decorative rosette where the soundhole should be to break up the emptiness of the solid wood construction? For an outlay of 30 that's one bargain ukulele!

Ambient Doughnut
11-20-2011, 03:02 AM
I did think about using a hole saw to create a 'soundhole' but it there was a some risk of messing it all up and ultimately it would serve no purpose (Well, it would make it slightly lighter). The blankness of it is sort of growing on me now anyway!

A sound demo of a uke specifically designed to be quiet may be a little perverse. Nonetheless...


http://youtu.be/ZM13j7CYvgQ

Doc_J
11-20-2011, 03:16 AM
Very nice. Sounds great. But is it a bit on the heavy side?

Ambient Doughnut
11-20-2011, 03:17 AM
A little yeah!

Pete Beardsley
11-20-2011, 03:55 AM
Thanks for that link AD. Nice little kit and when I add up what I have spent on bridge,saddle, nut, tuners and a bit of rosewood for the fretboard plus the fretwire it works out a lot cheaper, even when dumping the saddle etc.
Sounds pretty good, a lot louder than I expected and it certainly has a good tone. The perfect late night practice axe.
I made my body from two pieces glued together (the back is actually, don't shoot me, MDF!) and I routed out the inside to try to reduce weight as much as I could, though it is still pretty heavy. It also left room for a passive piezo pickup so I thought I may as well drop one in now and save the hassle of converting it later, which I know I would end up doing. Can't wait to finish it now.

Ambient Doughnut
11-20-2011, 10:15 AM
Well, my way is cheaper but yours sounds more satisfying! I'll try something more ambitious myself next time. MDF? Well, I don't believe it is one of the preferred tonewoods ;) but it should be fine for an electric. Plus it is super easy to work.

Blrfl
11-20-2011, 10:28 AM
I did think about using a hole saw to create a 'soundhole' but it there was a some risk of messing it all up and ultimately it would serve no purpose (Well, it would make it slightly lighter).

It's nothing a bottle of instant hole (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7aKgR7hcpE) wouldn't cure.

If you ever feel like experimenting with plastics, Armstrong made a plexiglass guitar (http://www.ampeg.com/products/daplexi/ada6/index.html) and bass (http://www.ampeg.com/products/daplexi/ada4/index.html) in the 1960s (and have reissued them). I've played both, and unamplified they're quieter than a wooden instrument.

Nice bit of work, by the way.

--Mark

Pete Beardsley
11-20-2011, 10:39 AM
A chappie by the name of Clifford in Kent had a go at an acrylic uke a while ago. Made a pretty good job of it too.

http://www.ukulelecosmos.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=24230

Ambient Doughnut
11-20-2011, 11:16 AM
Great, now I have add 'Plexiglass' and 'Acrylic' to my uke shopping list! :)

philpot
11-20-2011, 11:38 AM
That's pretty cool! I like that!! :D

lancemanion
11-20-2011, 04:53 PM
Nice little uke, but it reminds me of this:
"What good is a phonecall, Mr. Anderson, if you cannot...speak?"

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jinny
11-20-2011, 05:04 PM
Oooooo...

this might be a good thing to do with an all Koa wood UU Undies Award Plaque!



If only I had one... :(

Ambient Doughnut
11-20-2011, 10:59 PM
Hmm, maybe I'll call it 'Neo' ;)

It's working well, I can play into the small hours with out any complaints - perfect! Only problem is that when I put it down on the kitchen worktop it disappears...

Blrfl
11-21-2011, 11:08 AM
Nice little uke, but it reminds me of this:
"What good is a phonecall, Mr. Anderson, if you cannot...speak?"

LOL... I first thought of the girl with no mouth in the Twilight Zone movie but couldn't find a picture.

--Mark

GKK
11-27-2011, 05:30 AM
Just for looks, you could router a very shallow depth (0.5mm or so) round circle, where the sound hole would be to simulate the look of one.

You could even stain the simulated sound hole a darker color for an optical illusion.

Nice job!...

coolkayaker1
11-27-2011, 06:13 AM
"In the land of the blind, the man with one eye is king."
"In the land of the ukuleles, the uke with no sound hole is...well...just weird."

I have to say, I love it, though. Well made, and sounds fine, actually. Something tells me you're not going to have to humidify that one.

And between gigs, you can use it as a doorstop.

saltytri
11-27-2011, 06:46 AM
Just for looks, you could router a very shallow depth (0.5mm or so) round circle, where the sound hole would be to simulate the look of one.

You could even stain the simulated sound hole a darker color for an optical illusion.

Nice job!...

Or you could inlay a contrasting circle :) :

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?52041-New-Electric-Pineapple