View Full Version : First Uke Build / Something a little different

06-10-2014, 09:58 PM
I finished my first uke. I machined the body from a solid block of aluminum. The neck is Honduran mahogany and the fret board is rosewood. What do you think?

06-10-2014, 10:24 PM
I really like the look of it! Have any more pics? I assume it's pretty quiet unplugged. Is it a piezo pickup? What type of preamp did you use?

06-11-2014, 12:51 AM
Love it. Amazing workmanship, classy looking. Wow, you are very talented. I would imagine this thing would easily accommodate metal strings and a magnetic pickup. Let's hear it.

06-11-2014, 01:00 AM
Very cool looking. I like the contrast of the knobs too. Nice work. I too am interested to hear it in action.

Jim Hanks
06-11-2014, 01:00 AM
Nice! Definitely need more pics and details!

06-11-2014, 01:34 AM
VERY NICE. I'm not much for electrified ukes, but this thing is really unique. You are obviously a machinist, now you are a luthier. Any chance we could see some more pics showing the whole uke? Great job.

06-11-2014, 02:25 AM
That is seriously cool. How does it sound?


06-11-2014, 06:11 PM
Vampire- Yes it is very quiet unplugged. I used a LR Baggs 5-0 under saddle pick-up with a built in preamp.

PhilUSA- I am going to make another one with a mag pick-up and metal strings.

I will try to get some more pics up later tonight and some audio from it over the weekend. Although I am an experienced machinist, I have only been playing the uke since last summer and I am still not very good. Maybe I can find someone with some more experience so you can hear how it really sounds.

I have been building 2 of these ukes at the same time and I am trying to finish up the 2nd one. It is almost the same except it has a 14" radius on the fretboard. When machining parts all of the work is in the setup and programming. Whenever I am making one of something, I will always run at least 1 extra, in case something happens to the 1st one. This time I have been luck and both sets of parts were good.

06-11-2014, 06:20 PM
That is really really cool. Could you share more photos with us?

06-11-2014, 06:21 PM
Cool! Can't wait to hear it.

06-11-2014, 09:18 PM
Another pic


06-12-2014, 05:06 AM
Very cool, nice work, I love it. You won't be able to use a string winder with those tuners though.

06-12-2014, 05:38 AM
How much $$$ to get one?

06-12-2014, 05:39 AM
Great lookin' uke! Looks futuristic...Robocop would love it!

06-12-2014, 07:49 PM
Dane- With the round knobs it is surprising how fast it is to wind on some new strings.

iscottwilder- I have been asked by a few people who would like to buy one, what the cost would be. The aluminum body, knobs, etc. are easy because I am already setup to do production machining (I manufacture tripod heads). The wood parts were very time consuming, although I enjoyed the process, it would not be very profitable. I would have to find somebody to make the wood neck and fretboard. So, I am unsure if I would be able to offer them for sale.

I will try to take some more pics tomorrow.

06-13-2014, 09:03 PM
another pic67853

06-13-2014, 09:06 PM
Ooh saving weight, nice.

That makes sense with the tuning knobs.

Jim Hanks
06-14-2014, 03:33 AM
I would have to find somebody to make the wood neck and fretboard. So, I am unsure if I would be able to offer them for sale..
How about Mainland? http://shop.mainlandukuleles.com/category.sc?categoryId=8

06-14-2014, 06:54 AM
Thanks Jim, I will contact Mainland.

As I mentioned earlier I was building 2 of these ukes at the same time. I just finished the second one (the same as the first except it has a 14"R fretboard and different tuners. 67872

chuck in ny
06-14-2014, 07:31 AM
nice piece of work. i assume the finish is powder coat rather than anodized?

06-14-2014, 07:50 AM
If you decide to make more, I'd toss my hat into the oooh, I want one pile. Heck, even the body and I could deal with the neck on my own.

Jim Hanks
06-14-2014, 09:21 AM
I just finished the second one (the same as the first except it has a 14"R fretboard and different tuners.
Nice. I like the round tuners - fits the "something different" theme better - not that these look bad - just sayin.

Jim Hanks
06-14-2014, 09:22 AM
Heck, even the body and I could deal with the neck on my own.
I smell a collaboration!

06-14-2014, 11:12 AM
Bravo…. something new and unique. You did a great job on this. I'd like to see more pictures of the whole ukulele and hear sound samples. Such cool look. Great detail. Love the rear connection point for the neck. For a guy who doesn't many necks/fretboard you work look great. Love the head stock and the round tuners. As a machinist….. the body speaks for itself………. Congratulations for work well done!

06-15-2014, 06:41 AM
Chuck in NY- The parts are anodized. Although powder coating is a super tough finish and would be great for something like a lawn mower. It does not work well for precision components because it is sprayed on and the thickness varies, there is too much build-up. Anodizing is very hard 50+ rockwell (although the rockwell scale is not the correct way to measure anodized parts). Anodizing has a calculable amount of build-up, so it is possible to maintain precision tolerances. It is also very abrasion resistant.

Here is a pic of the electronics cover.67928