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emennace
12-31-2008, 07:37 PM
Im thinking about starting simple, and buying a kit with no necessary tools.

Is this worth it?

http://www.amazon.com/Grizzly-H3125-Ukulele-Kit/dp/B0000DD4ME/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1230791808&sr=8-1

Pete Howlett
01-01-2009, 12:51 AM
Absolutely. This kit will produce a very mediocre ukulele but for virtually no outlay will give you the opportunity to:

Learn the basic assembly process
Fret levelling and crowning
Neck shaping - try reshaping it from the clunky offering
Finishing
Luthier gynocology - bridge fitting and intonation
Set up - nut and saddle fitting
My suggestion would be to try a full-on cellulose finish from a spray can (http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Finishing_supplies/Finishes_and_solvents/1/ColorTone_Aerosol_Guitar_Lacquer.html). See Stewmac (http://stewmac.com/freeinfo/Finishing.html) for inofrmation how to do this. Yoy will need one can of Vinyl Sealer and one Can of Gloss. At LMII (http://www.lmii.com/CartTwo/Video.asp) Robert O'Brien has some interesting videos - one in particular on cheap pore filling. Appearance and whether or not it plays in tune are the two most important things any luthier is judged by.

For about $65 (inlcuding finish) go for it and start the never ending journey.

hoosierhiver
01-01-2009, 06:20 AM
You're a great resource Pete!

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
01-01-2009, 06:53 AM
Hate to disagree. It might be a good value but what are you going to learn? About 10% of what you need to learn. Please, this is not a kit. It's a broken ukulele! It's 90% built already. (And I can't believe the neck is simply a glued butt joint!) This is NOT the way to learn. And from what one of the reviews says "The directions are badly translated Chinese". I can't think of a worse way to start.
If you don't want to build one from scratch, then cut your teeth on a real kit, one from Hana Lima for instance.
(http://www.hanalima.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=HL&Category_Code=P) You'll learn something and you'll have a quality instrument that you've really built instead of one you simply glued a couple of parts together. You'll learn the necessary things you should know like side bending, brace shaping, neck shaping, fretting, etc. The Hana Lima ukulele building book is also a great resource, very understandable and with lots of good clear photos, although from what I can recall it only covers Spanish heel construction. I've heard the kit from StewMac is also worthwhile.
Sorry if my emotions are running strong here but building ukuleles is fun and it ain't that hard folks. If you've ever build a model airplane or a decent birdhouse as a kid, you have a better than fair chance of success. Building one well of course takes a good deal of practice and experience. There a ton of good info on the internet and as I've mentioned before Pete has a bunch of good YouTube videos. Don't be hesitant to ask for help here, most of us will be happy to walk you through if you stumble.

Pete Howlett
01-01-2009, 10:38 AM
Chuck

Absolute beginners with a nervous disposition start with a Grizzly, Wrassling with that Hana Lima/Stewmac kit is altogether a different skill. We can't all have those natural gifts you appear to have in abundance :worship: (and I am not being sarcastic folks - Chucks work is outrageously good not simply because of the skill but it all 'looks right'; something a lot of luthiers fail to chieve!)

Keep 'em coming Chuck - there had to be something we'd sooner or later disagree on :biglaugh:

emennace
01-01-2009, 12:01 PM
Chuck I know you disagree with Pete.

But theres something I forgot to mention.

I have no tools whatsoever for this job. Im just wondering if it will produce an ok sound if I, you know like get some Aquilas or something. Maybe even nicer pegs.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
01-02-2009, 03:35 AM
Emannace, I was confused with the title of this thread which is "Beginning Luthier". Kind of tough being even a beginner with "no tools whatsoever".
Good luck.

E-Lo Roberts
01-02-2009, 06:20 AM
Chuck

Absolute beginners with a nervous disposition start with a Grizzly, Wrassling with that Hana Lima/Stewmac kit is altogether a different skill. We can't all have those natural gifts you appear to have in abundance :worship: (and I am not being sarcastic folks - Chucks work is outrageously good not simply because of the skill but it all 'looks right'; something a lot of luthiers fail to chieve!)

Keep 'em coming Chuck - there had to be something we'd sooner or later disagree on :biglaugh:
I love it, "Battle Of The Masters".. Kudo's to both of you for keeping it professional. I am, of course, humbled by both of your work and skill levels!..e.lo........

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
01-02-2009, 07:12 AM
E-lo, you're a trouble maker:) Pete and I are actually brothers, separated at birth and by several ponds.

I've just noticed in my signature that I've mis-spelled my last name. This computer stuff is too hard for me. I'm going back to being a lurker now.

E-Lo Roberts
01-02-2009, 12:04 PM
E-lo, you're a trouble maker:) Pete and I are actually brothers, separated at birth and by several ponds.

I've just noticed in my signature that I've mis-spelled my last name. This computer stuff is too hard for me. I'm going back to being a lurker now.
Nothing but love, brah-dah, nothing but love!...hahaha....e.lo...