View Full Version : building a soprano

chuck in ny
03-13-2014, 07:49 AM
some guidance needed. i am a mahogany lover all the way but am a wood junkie as well. my day job is a carpenter/cabinetmaker.
among the pacific northwest stuff, is myrtle, claro walnut, or something else, or combinations thereof, the type of stuff for a mahogany man?
i am thinking of having covered bridge put this together. i would make it in my shop but am short of duct tape. a person has to understand their limitations.

03-13-2014, 09:52 AM
Just to give you something to think about...



chuck in ny
03-13-2014, 10:28 AM
it's a nice kit, even at that price unattractive compared to the purchase of my ohana sk 38 which is all the mahogany soprano i could ask for. the sk 38 makes the kit look expensive. it's a nice uke. what i would like to go for is 'much nicer'.

03-13-2014, 09:35 PM
I saw a built Stewmac kit and wasn't impressed, the mahogany had lots of open pores. I read the comments on the site and others had the same problem, the wood selection could stand some improvement. Although you could fill it, there are other kits out there, try a search. You can get a mahogany neck from Mainland and just build the body.

Another thing I can think of is make sure your wood is quartersawn, so the grain lays properly, improves tone and strength. Ko'olau has an explanation, but a lot of cabinet woods aren't quartersawn. I think if you can get some myrtle that would be great with a softwood top.

The Duct Tape idea is not a bad one, sort of a redneck uke. It would be easy to make a bowl type back with an armature and then lacquer it well. I heard of a guitar maker who was making bowl backs out of paper mache and it was said they sounded excellent. Paper is wood basically, and shaped just as you want could be interesting. Also there are photos around of a uke made from used matchsticks.


Ok, I just ran a search on "paper mache" to check the spelling, and there's a photo of a balloon with paper mache over it. That's how to get your shape. Blow up a balloon, apply paper mache, let it harden, and remove the balloon. Then make a uke out of it.