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View Full Version : Lesson learned: when working on tiny instruments, best to use small tools!



flyingace
11-16-2013, 03:33 PM
I've been doing tech work on guitars for years, installed a few pickups in full-size acoustic guitars, even installed a pickup/preamp in my Kala Tenor a few years back... everything always went pretty well.

Tonight I started my project to install the same kind of preamp/pickup on my new Kala Cedar Acacia Slothead that has the same style bridge as my other Kala.

Tonight, my jig (made custom for acoustic guitar bridge work) slipped in the clamps and I had to "fix" my mistake.
http://patrickburnett.com/clients/uke/kalapickup1.jpg

You know what they say, (paraphrasing liberally) "the measure of a good craftsman isn't what he knows how to build, but if he knows how to cover up his mistakes" (anyone know the real quote?)

So I was able to cover mine by using a small piece of rosewood that I worked into a sliver to replace the portion that I took our of the bridge (after the router jumped, I used it to even out the opening of the bridge to match and needed .062" filler). Well it worked. It's drying now.
http://patrickburnett.com/clients/uke/kalapickup2.jpg

After it dried for a few hours, I sanded it to match a little better. not my best by far... but by the time strings are on, saddle is in and it's oiled up...well, I can live with it!
http://patrickburnett.com/clients/uke/kalapickup3.jpg

flyingace
11-16-2013, 03:33 PM
You can see the two holes cut on each side with a "ramp" for the flexible pickup to enter and exit.
http://patrickburnett.com/clients/uke/kalapickup4.jpg

Tomorrow I'll cut the side of the uke open to install the preamp box.
http://patrickburnett.com/clients/uke/kalapickup5.jpg

flyingace
11-17-2013, 02:31 PM
All finished tonight! I'll make a sound recording this week after the strings settle in.
http://www.patrickburnett.com/clients/uke/kalapickup6.jpg
http://www.patrickburnett.com/clients/uke/kalapickup7.jpg
http://www.patrickburnett.com/clients/uke/kalapickup8.jpg
http://www.patrickburnett.com/clients/uke/kalapickup9.jpg

I still will finish the saddle work (intonating, action, etc.) after the strings settle in as well. But as of right now, it sounds and plays just great and this Cedar Acacia really really responds to Low G stringing! Very classical guitar, very soulful. I love it!

singsong
11-18-2013, 02:02 PM
There is a fellow in eBay who sells bridge jigs for guitars and will custom make a ukulele size jig. I don't mind installing pickups but draw the line at widening or increasing the depth of a bridge slot. That work I leave to my husband.