View Full Version : First ukulele

Graham McDonald
09-29-2013, 06:14 PM
Here are a couple of pics of my first uke, a Tasmanian blackwood soprano. 13.5" scale, fretted according to the Rule of 18 rather than 17.817, body shape from the 1915 Industrial Arts Magazine article, Spanish heel neck and just a couple of transverse braces on the soundboard with a patch under the bridge. One very noticeable thing is the 'e' seven frets up the 1st string leaps out, around 660hz.

I have been interested in the Rule of 18 idea for a while, since hearing the early 19th century guitars made by Jim Buckland at a GAL convention a few years back. His argument is that it builds in a compensation factor, rather than having to add on a bit at the bridge end.

Next is a Huon pine body concert size



09-29-2013, 10:39 PM
Beautiful and I especially love the narrow waist on it Graham. I tried bending something similar at the weekend but have had the wood failing at the 'shoulder' bend. Strangely not at the waist itself!
How did you do your bends?

09-29-2013, 11:15 PM
Nice instrument Graham.


09-30-2013, 07:41 AM
Very tasty uke. I like the body shape alot

09-30-2013, 07:51 AM
Beautiful,work! Is the fretboard and bridge also Tasmanian Blackwood? I found that same Industrial Arts article a few months back and started building a form.
Excellent intreptation of a classic soprano!

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
09-30-2013, 09:42 AM
beautiful uke. Why all the excess string on both ends though?

09-30-2013, 09:53 AM
Hard to believe that after all these years of building such exquisite instruments Graham, that this is your first uke.

Graham McDonald
09-30-2013, 11:48 AM
Sides were bent with a simple mould made from 8x2.5" laminated timber beam material (1/8" pine veneers glued together) and a heat blanket. Everything other than the top and back bracing is blackwood and I wasn't sure what the protocol was for excess strings. I wasn't sure if the knots at the bridge end would slip, so I left a bit extra. I suppose the only reason I haven't built one before is that no-one has ever asked me to and I have usually been busy enough with a few bespoke orders each year and the other stuff I want to build for my own interest and amusement. I suspect that whatever ukes I do make will be fairly simple and unadorned and I will leave the fancy elegance to Allen and Chuck (totally in awe of your rosettes, Al!)

Is there a trick to geting photos actually showing up in the posts, rather than just the link.? This forum software seems like other I use, but the pics didn;t appear?



Moore Bettah Ukuleles
09-30-2013, 12:08 PM
Never mind me Graham. Excess string is just a personal peeve of mine. Reminds me of untied shoelaces on a well dressed man. If they make contact with the sound board however you could get some buzzing.

To post pics:
After clicking "Go Advanced", scroll down and click on "Manage Attachments". From that pop up window click on "Add Files" on top of window, then "Upload Files from your Computer", click on "Select Files" then "Upload Files".
You see why I rarely post pics!

Welcome the the Lounge. Hope to see more of you here. Lovely shape on the uke.

09-30-2013, 12:51 PM
Hello, Graham, wonderful to see you here. Love the uke, the woodiness of it makes me want to fondle it.