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View Full Version : how do i make my own custom uke?



mykulangot92
10-30-2008, 02:43 PM
how do i make my own custom uke?
or get ,y own custom uke like jake ?
can somebody give me specific steps?

deach
10-30-2008, 02:45 PM
Do you mean order or actually make?

Kanaka916
10-30-2008, 05:39 PM
You can get a Jake signature model from Kamaka . . . looks like the Kamaka site is down or something, tho.

wearymicrobe
10-30-2008, 07:01 PM
how do i make my own custom uke?
or get ,y own custom uke like jake ?
can somebody give me specific steps?


Simple call a builder and give them a general idea of what you want, then take there input and pay them, wait 6-48 months. Honestly going price for a true custom is 1500-Sky. I have waited ~ 12 months at the max. Something along the lines of Jakes could be replicated without pickup for ~2500-3K.

ichadwick
10-31-2008, 02:24 AM
The proper way is, of course, to study for years, even decades as an apprentice luthier, to get the skills and knowledge required. Buy all the tools for your own workshop and purchase all necessary supplies such as glues and wood finishes. Go to various lumber suppliers to hand-pick the woods you will want to use, book-matched preferred. Examine dozens of different styles of ukulele for their construction quality and methods, materials and sounds. Do some acoustic testing and experimentation on them as well to appreciate and understand how they contribute to the resulting sound. Then using everything you have learned and discovered, design something that is unique and meets your criteria. And finally build it.

It would be a little faster to simply buy one, however.

Kaneohe til the end
10-31-2008, 02:34 PM
It would be a little faster to simply buy one, however.

just a smidge

HumbleSounds
10-31-2008, 04:06 PM
You can also purchase a Ukulele construction manual from Hana Lima'ia here:
http://www.hanalimastore.com/servlet/Detail?no=62

They also have a store where you can get the supply's and tools you might need.

wearymicrobe
10-31-2008, 04:15 PM
The proper way is, of course, to study for years, even decades as an apprentice luthier, to get the skills and knowledge required. Buy all the tools for your own workshop and purchase all necessary supplies such as glues and wood finishes. Go to various lumber suppliers to hand-pick the woods you will want to use, book-matched preferred. Examine dozens of different styles of ukulele for their construction quality and methods, materials and sounds. Do some acoustic testing and experimentation on them as well to appreciate and understand how they contribute to the resulting sound. Then using everything you have learned and discovered, design something that is unique and meets your criteria. And finally build it.

It would be a little faster to simply buy one, however.

Having gone down this road its cheaper to just pay someone, really. I have like 10K new (bought them all used for like 20% and rebuilt) worth of woodworking tools and all I have is a lot of sawdust and a few kind of cool electric ukuleles. nothing like what one of the major builders could turn out.

Nipper
11-01-2008, 03:01 AM
There are building courses you can go on and end up with a uke you have built yourself. It may not come up to the standard of a high end custom, but it will be something to be proud of... I know Pete Howlett is going to have a limited number of places for people to build a uke with him in his workshop.

I have been to Pete's shop and it is quite something... especially the wood store. Pete is also a lovely guy... his attention to detail is incredible, check out his you tube vids they are fascinating.

ichadwick
11-01-2008, 07:23 AM
...I have like 10K new (bought them all used for like 20% and rebuilt) worth of woodworking tools and all I have is a lot of sawdust and a few kind of cool electric ukuleles.
Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt. Got a basement full of tools for motorcycle repair, fence and deck work, plumbing, electricity, computer repair, woodworking... I had to replace a dishwasher last month and it took longer to find a freaking pipe wrench in the collection than it took to put the thing in! At least you have the electric ukes to show - well, okay, I have a few fences and decks to my name. But try playing them!

Howlin Hobbit
11-01-2008, 11:17 AM
...okay, I have a few fences and decks to my name. But try playing them!

Mallets. Like for xylophones and such.

Yep.

wearymicrobe
11-02-2008, 03:45 AM
Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt. Got a basement full of tools for motorcycle repair, fence and deck work, plumbing, electricity, computer repair, woodworking... I had to replace a dishwasher last month and it took longer to find a freaking pipe wrench in the collection than it took to put the thing in! At least you have the electric ukes to show - well, okay, I have a few fences and decks to my name. But try playing them!

I know, I used to be a mechanic and have built ~8-9 kit cars and restored a bunch more standards so it really does add up.

worst of all i just bought a Bridgeport J head so I have to clean the garage up to get it to fit.

ichadwick
11-02-2008, 10:39 AM
I know, I used to be a mechanic and have built ~8-9 kit cars and restored a bunch more standards so it really does add up.
Ah, that may be the problem. I merely took motorcycles apart. The concept of putting them back together seems to have avoided me.