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View Full Version : Building Solid body Electric ukes



SinisterDom
11-25-2008, 05:06 AM
So, for those here who are building solidbody ukes (Pete, for one I know). What type of neck is best? Bolt-on? Set? Or neck through design? What are the processes to making each of the different ones? Any tips?

Pete Howlett
11-25-2008, 07:00 AM
Can't see the point of the bolt on - this was designed specifically for mass production by unskilled labour and has all the blah de blah that goes with lifetime warranty etc. I use a simple mortice/pocket joint. I have a pile of acoustic ukes to build at the moment and have put the Firefly on hold til January. I have been documenting the build but want to release it as a single 10 minute movie with overdub voice and music - a little different from my regular vids. You will see the pocket joint being cut...

wearymicrobe
11-25-2008, 07:19 PM
If its four string you don't even need to pocket it. Just extend the fretboard a little bit and add a heel. Really I mean it the wood will give way long before the joint will and it will be easy to build and repair if needed later on.

Pete Howlett
11-26-2008, 02:00 AM
Unless I have a shoulder to work to I don't get the clean lines my work is reknowned for. When you see the build you will see how easy it is to achieve the complete build with 5 routing jigs, a decent rasp and some sandpaper. The expense in these projects is in the top woods, finish and electrics.

wearymicrobe
11-26-2008, 05:55 AM
Pete I have been using double sided sand paper held against the neck joint and the body to make a good contact it seems to work well.

I was just suggesting it for the first time builder. The pocket is a better solution but it requires a bit more tool specialization .

Oswegan
03-16-2009, 06:49 AM
If I were interested in building a solid body electric, could I start there?

Or is it best to learn acoustic building first?

Pete Howlett
03-16-2009, 07:01 AM
It depends what you want the experience to be doesn't it? Building an electric is quite satisfying because there is not a lot that can go wrong, you can purchase premade parts, your local joiners/cabinet shop would help you out and best of all, you can get by with a rasp,file, bock plane and sandpaper near enough!

Oswegan
03-16-2009, 08:05 AM
Is there a video (or book) that is good to look at first?

You would suggest a kit for a first try?

Pete Howlett
03-16-2009, 08:37 AM
I have a little vid here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ED-kEJWDqOg). Contact me if you want a kit...

Oswegan
03-16-2009, 09:35 AM
I have a little vid here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ED-kEJWDqOg). Contact me if you want a kit...

I've seen that vid - it's a good one - but not a detailed as hoped and no part two?

Do you have one showing the whole process or just the basic assembly?

PaulGeo
03-16-2009, 09:44 AM
Pete,
What electronics do you like for a solid body uke?

Pete Howlett
03-16-2009, 10:28 AM
I'm not into electronics. My ukes come with active or passive pickups, I think you should then 'model' your sound using a battery powered belt clip rpe-amp and have an effects board or some othere such sound architecture enhancing gizmo...

Pete Howlett
03-16-2009, 10:31 AM
yep - I never got around to Part 2. Anyway - wasn't that look over the luthier's shoulder enough? If you are struggling to work out the rest then you need to do lots more research. start with Melvin Hyscox book on building an electric guitar - it's the same principle for an electric ukulele only smaller. Besides, my process is all machine based - machines that you can build and don't cost a lot but still machines!

Oswegan
03-16-2009, 01:39 PM
yep - I never got around to Part 2. Anyway - wasn't that look over the luthier's shoulder enough? If you are struggling to work out the rest then you need to do lots more research. start with Melvin Hyscox book on building an electric guitar - it's the same principle for an electric ukulele only smaller. Besides, my process is all machine based - machines that you can build and don't cost a lot but still machines!


I saw an interesting vintage book today that had explainations and scematics for building luthier machines and tools like belt sanders etc.

Do you hollow out your bodies just to make way for eletrics or for other reasons? I am assuming you use an undersaddle pickup?