PDA

View Full Version : 150 hours!



Stevelele
03-27-2013, 06:06 AM
I am in the process of ordering a Luis Feu De Mesquita ukulele, and Luis told me that he spends 150 hours on a single ukulele. Now of course he makes them in batches, so the timing is probably not completely accurate for one uke. But even if it's close--that's an extraordinarily high amount of time, at least to someone like me who isn't an expert.

I have heard estimates that range anywhere between 30-80 hours.

I think I've heard Chuck say 50, Eric Devine say a bit less. I spoke to Steve Grimes recently and he said 80.

Not saying that time = quality necessarily but just thought you might be interested just to appreciate all the time and labor that goes into these custom instruments

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
03-27-2013, 07:25 AM
Just for clarification, for me it's 50 hours for the basic uke. Any inlay or decoration can take an additional 10 to 100 hours. Of course that means making all the parts and doing everything by hand, no fancy tooling or CNC machines. Like someone else mentioned on another thread, I don't know any custom builders getting rich doing what we do.

DeVineGuitars
03-27-2013, 08:22 AM
I don't know any custom builders getting rich doing what we do.
True that.

maclay
03-27-2013, 08:27 AM
Like someone else mentioned on another thread, I don't know any custom builders getting rich doing what we do.

"we're gonna do it anyway, even if it doesn't pay"

hawaii 50
03-27-2013, 08:39 AM
Wow!

all the best luthiers on this thread so far..unreal..
yes Jake I got you in there with um..

Stevelele
03-27-2013, 08:45 AM
it's like the Superfriends...


Wow!

all the best luthiers on this thread so far..unreal..
yes Jake I got you in there with um..

hawaii 50
03-27-2013, 08:54 AM
Steve... have you ever made contact with Jake Maclay..you know he is on the East coast now right..by you W.Virginia I think..nice guy hard worker build nice ukes

Stevelele
03-27-2013, 09:03 AM
I did once--when he first started Hive....very nice instruments, though I've never seen one in person

Steve... have you ever made contact with Jake Maclay..you know he is on the East coast now right..by you W.Virginia I think..nice guy hard worker build nice ukes

Nicko
03-27-2013, 09:09 AM
Like someone else mentioned on another thread, I don't know any custom builders getting rich doing what we do.

Stuck in the working class like the rest of us.

hawaii 50
03-27-2013, 09:14 AM
I did once--when he first started Hive....very nice instruments, though I've never seen one in person

Yeah Steve..to be honest with you I never got to play one either..but he did a lot on my CR so I got a good idea..if you ever try one let me know..

DewGuitars
03-27-2013, 09:29 AM
Like someone else mentioned on another thread, I don't know any custom builders getting rich doing what we do.

Q: How does a luthier become a millionaire?

A: Start out as a multi-millionaire.


I confess, I use a cnc for some parts. I'm only able to do the luthery thing part-time, so I need to have all the help I can get to save time and wear & tear on my elbows and the like. Besides, I like being able to repeat a design more than once. It's a great tool for necks, fretboards, and bridges especially. Not to mention inlay on a headstock, or a smiley face on the back of a Smiley-Uke headstock. And if anyone says I'm cheating by using a CNC, I simply point out that I also built the CNC...

:)

hawaii 50
03-27-2013, 09:35 AM
Q: How does a luthier become a millionaire?

A: Start out as a multi-millionaire.


I confess, I use a cnc for some parts. I'm only able to do the luthery thing part-time, so I need to have all the help I can get to save time and wear & tear on my elbows and the like. Besides, I like being able to repeat a design more than once. It's a great tool for necks, fretboards, and bridges especially. Not to mention inlay on a headstock, or a smiley face on the back of a Smiley-Uke headstock. And if anyone says I'm cheating by using a CNC, I simply point out that I also built the CNC...

:)



Wow if you are the inventor of the CNC you are a millionaire..haha
nice!

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
03-27-2013, 09:39 AM
Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. Still, I envy those with paid health plans, pensions and paid vacations. My retirement plan is my wood pile.

DewGuitars
03-27-2013, 09:46 AM
Inventor? No! But I did design and build mine. Not quite the same thing...

I know a guy who has the equivalent of three Brazilian Rosewood logs in his basement. And two pallets of Madagascar RW bass fingerboards of very high quality and amazing figure. Not to mention all the other stuff he has. That's not a bad retirement package either.

hawaii 50
03-27-2013, 09:51 AM
Inventor? No! But I did design and build mine. Not quite the same thing...

I know a guy who has the equivalent of three Brazilian Rosewood logs in his basement. And two pallets of Madagascar RW bass fingerboards of very high quality and amazing figure. Not to mention all the other stuff he has. That's not a bad retirement package either.


Sorry Don..I must of read too much into it..
I have a hard time putting a bed frame together..

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
03-27-2013, 10:03 AM
Sorry Don..I must of read too much into it..
I have a hard time putting a bed frame together..

So how many luthiers does it take to change a light bulb?

23skidoo
03-27-2013, 10:15 AM
"we're gonna do it anyway, even if it doesn't pay"

Quoting one of Gillian Welch's best tunes just moved you and your beautiful instruments right up near the top of my list of 'builders-I-want-to-order-a-custom-instrument-from-someday'.....

KentSantaBarbara
03-27-2013, 10:43 AM
Wow guys, it is really good info to hear your estimates for ukulele builds. And I want to Thank you for applying those skills. I've built an airplane, helped with a Bonneville Salt flats race car, and several high end custom bicycles. I know there are a lot of unaccounted for hours sourcing materials, tooling, and paperwork. And all of that time and effort is lost in the sands of time and comes with no pay. Thank you for the quality at a price that is more than reasonable based on the time you put in to a project. One day I hope to own one of your ukuleles. I'm saving.

David Newton
03-27-2013, 11:04 AM
Most guys hope to retire and do the thing they really want to do.
So I retired early; building and repair is how I'm funding it.

maclay
03-27-2013, 11:09 AM
Wow!

all the best luthiers on this thread so far..unreal..
yes Jake I got you in there with um..

Thanks Len, I do my best. Chuck and Eric build awesome ukes.

hawaii 50
03-27-2013, 11:15 AM
So how many luthiers does it take to change a light bulb?


How many Chuck?

maclay
03-27-2013, 11:17 AM
Quoting one of Gillian Welch's best tunes just moved you and your beautiful instruments right up near the top of my list of 'builders-I-want-to-order-a-custom-instrument-from-someday'.....

Haha....I used to listen to that album in the shop, and those lyrics always stuck out.

Nicko
03-27-2013, 11:47 AM
Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. Still, I envy those with paid health plans, pensions and paid vacations. My retirement plan is my wood pile.

Some of us get all those great benefits (and they ARE great and I'm happy to have 'em) because our jobs are so bloody dull and absurd. No one would do this soul numbing $#!T without the bennies. It's still not worth it, but when I have the resulting stroke someday, my medical will be covered. I think I even get the hospice covered! Lucky huh?

Playing my uke in the evenings helps.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
03-27-2013, 11:56 AM
How many Chuck?

Thanks for asking.

Five. One to change the bulb and four to build the jig.

Dan Uke
03-27-2013, 12:00 PM
I am in the process of ordering a Luis Feu De Mesquita ukulele, and Luis told me that he spends 150 hours on a single ukulele. Now of course he makes them in batches, so the timing is probably not completely accurate for one uke. But even if it's close--that's an extraordinarily high amount of time, at least to someone like me who isn't an expert.

I have heard estimates that range anywhere between 30-80 hours.

I think I've heard Chuck say 50, Eric Devine say a bit less. I spoke to Steve Grimes recently and he said 80.

Not saying that time = quality necessarily but just thought you might be interested just to appreciate all the time and labor that goes into these custom instruments

He definitely isn't in it for the money just like most luthiers.

I talked to him about raising prices but then he says the instrument won't be played by people who really love the uke. So I asked him about using prefab stuff or using lasers and CNC but then that he wouldn't have the same pride of making everything by hand.

For a custom built uke, instead of putting a number, he wants you to pick a name for the uke. Steve, what name did you pick for your uke?

Stevelele
03-27-2013, 12:15 PM
King Albi, named after my rabbit


He definitely isn't in it for the money just like most luthiers.

I talked to him about raising prices but then he says the instrument won't be played by more people. So I asked him about using prefab stuff or using lasers and CNC but then that he wouldn't have the same pride of making everything by hand.

For a custom built uke, instead of putting a number, he wants you to pick a name for the uke. Steve, what name did you pick for your uke?

DewGuitars
03-27-2013, 12:37 PM
Sorry Don..I must of read too much into it..
I have a hard time putting a bed frame together..

LOL....believe it or not, building a CNC is easier than you might think. I only used three tools...a drill press, a chop saw, and a router for one small operation. You could do it! And it's accurate to within a couple thousandths...

:)

DewGuitars
03-27-2013, 12:39 PM
Most guys hope to retire and do the thing they really want to do.
So I retired early; building and repair is how I'm funding it.

<Envy...>

Just sayin'!

Dan Uke
03-28-2013, 06:27 AM
King Albi, named after my rabbit

Mine is Placido for the opera singer cuz he sings with passion. I wanted a Spanish name since Luis is Spanish.

Rick Turner
03-28-2013, 07:51 AM
I wish I could afford to run a business and pay myself $11.00 an hour...

hawaii 50
03-28-2013, 08:09 AM
There it is with Rick,my favorite builders on the same link..where else can you rub shoulders with the best at their craft then the UU..

my 2 cents only..many,many great builders on this site..

if I had won the lotto or if I had the money, I would invest in all of you..

Dan Uke
03-28-2013, 10:42 AM
I wish I could afford to run a business and pay myself $11.00 an hour...

That's why they don't take time off to tour and have their luthiers do the work.

They make guitars to pay the bills and make ukes for the love.

rem50
03-28-2013, 02:32 PM
Love the plan. mine is to keep taking pictures ( I am a photographer).If you are doing something oyu love why quit?


Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. Still, I envy those with paid health plans, pensions and paid vacations. My retirement plan is my wood pile.