View Full Version : Wish me luck....

01-13-2012, 03:52 PM
Hi Everyone

Well this is my second post.... after 4 weeks of Ukulele playing, I have bought a starter Uke (nasty cheap thing - but got me going) then a decent nice Ohana SK-75. Then joined my local Uke Club.

Now.. I've gone and bought a Grizzly Kit - actually its not from Grizzly but is from a UK supplier. Its actually even less good than the kit Grizzly sell as its made from pine laminate rather than mahogany laminate, but its made by the same Japan company that Grizzly buy from.

Anyway it arrived this morning and I started building today. I don't expect to make a great instrument as I'm not very talented with my hands, but I shall do my best rather than just take an it'll do attitude.

Anyway when its finished I'll post a piccy - could be a while :D

01-13-2012, 04:16 PM
Good luck.

01-13-2012, 04:50 PM
Even a kit build would seem daunting to me and I've been playing for a few years.

Good luck with it! Look forward to seeing your build pics. :)

01-14-2012, 07:10 AM
Cheers Guys....

01-14-2012, 08:36 AM
Very brave of you! Remember, measure twice, cut once, lol. On a kit I guess that's just the frets.. Best of luck.

Pete Beardsley
01-14-2012, 12:01 PM
Step by step pictures or we don't believe you! :p
Best of luck Kirc. Sounds like you have a bad case of UAS already. Is it one of the Amazon kits?

01-14-2012, 12:17 PM
I made two of therse and the first on I put the bridge where the instructions said it should be and the intonation was off. The second one I moved it up like an 1/8 of in inch (longer stings) it sounds better. You can check it out at Stewart Mac for the a nice bridge placement calculator. http://www.stewmac.com/freeinfo/Reference/Calculators/i-fretcalc.html.

Hippie Dribble
01-14-2012, 07:15 PM
good luck brother kirc!!!!!!

01-15-2012, 07:04 AM
Thanks for the encouragement... oh and yes its from Amazon.

I'm not sure what it'll turn out like but its coming together slowly

01-15-2012, 07:14 AM
and yes I used the stewmac calculator... needed to take 1mm off the top of the fingerboard to move the first fret slightly closer to the nut... hopefully that'll improve the intonation from standard as my fingerboard seemed to be a little out

01-15-2012, 07:34 AM
Yes, measure twice and cut once. If it's too small, cut again.

01-24-2012, 04:50 AM
Well its been a little while.... and I'm finished here are the photos...

Some mods that I did to the kit were to veneer the headstock with some walnut (the original pine was dreadful) and I fitted a rosewood bridge and genuine bone.

I have some different tuners on order as I think gold suits this uke better given it colour and the brass frets.

Finishing wise its finished with danish oil - about 4 or 5 coats; then polished with bees wax



01-24-2012, 04:54 AM
Wow. It turned out great. Makes me want to try one. How does it sound?

01-24-2012, 05:16 AM
Sound wise its pretty good... has a nice ring to it. I've got GHS strings on it at the moment and they're still stretching but from what I can see the intonation is okay - not perfect but more than acceptable for a kit build and certainly better than my first cheap uke...

01-24-2012, 05:28 AM
I should add when I say it sounds pretty good - that should be taken in the context of this being an inexpensive kit... obviously it doesn't sound like my Ohana SK-75

01-24-2012, 05:53 AM
Congratulations on your first uke kit. It looks great! Nice job. Any advise for other kit-makers-to-be?


01-24-2012, 06:32 AM
Congratulations on your first uke kit. It looks great! Nice job. Any advise for other kit-makers-to-be?


Advise... from me? Lori I'm not sure I'm qualified to give advise :-) the only thing I can think to say is take your time... don't rush it...

01-24-2012, 09:56 AM
Good Luck! I've been playing about 18 months and I'd never build one, I just wouldn't know where to start - even with step by step instructions!

01-25-2012, 09:02 AM
Well having had so much fun with that build, I've decided to have a go at a wolfelele next....

01-25-2012, 12:38 PM
Nice Job!!! Very Pretty. Did you learn a lot from building it? (From a Luthier, Spiritual and Ninja warrior perspective?)

Pete Beardsley
01-25-2012, 01:05 PM
Certainly looks the business Kirc. Maybe try and put up a sound clip/video when you have had time to get to grips with it? How many hours would you estimate it took to finish it?
S'cuse my ignorance, but, Wolfelele?? Or is that a play on words, the first one being a "grizzly?"

01-25-2012, 09:23 PM
I'm not really sure how long I took to be honest but it was a lot of hours... say maybe 40 spread out... I seemed always to be either waiting for something to dry or set or be doing a little something on it, if you see what I mean. Also being as I don't work I had a lot of time to devote to it.

A wolfelele is a canadian kit - see http://www.wolfelele.com/default.html - mines arrived and I've glued it together which is very quick to do and I could play it if I wanted to, but instead I shall finish it off nicely first... however my first thoughts on this kit have been that I'll need a lot of filler to tidy it up up around all the joints first. This is probably just an issue with my kit or with my pedantic need for it to be as perfect as possible. I'm thinking of finishing it with oil and letting the filler show on this finished article to keep it honest.

The Grizzly kit is easy to throw together, but I think I learnt a lot in the process by doing the best job I could and measuring and adjusting the fret board etc, trying to finish it well, and also in modifying the area just below the nut (on mine that area is actually part of chopstick!). And also little things like sanding the saddle and cutting the nut. The Grizzly kit is well worth doing if you're interested in this sort of thing.

Pete Beardsley
01-26-2012, 04:25 AM
I know what you mean about waiting for stuff to dry or fiddling with tiny details. You can waste days with that kind of thing, I know I frequently do.
Often thought the triangular shaped ukes would be a fun and straightforward build. Might have to give it a try. Thanks for the update and let us know how you get on with the wolf!

01-26-2012, 07:39 AM
Hi ShiftySquirrel

I've made some progress with the wolfe - I decided to string it up to see what it was like and to be honest I think its very quiet and sounds terrible YMMV - for me I think there's too much birch plywood the whole thing seems too rigid to vibrate well and overall it appears more like a toy to me than a serious instrument. Still you live and learn I guess and I'd certainly recommend the Grizzly kit for a first build. If I make another Uke it'll be a scratch build for me. I've learnt a lot from these two builds. Cheers

01-26-2012, 08:11 AM
After seeing your finished Uke I really want to do one of these builds.

Maybe in the spring when it warms up a bit.