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vanflynn
08-20-2014, 07:04 AM
First off, I want this post as far from the Luthier section as possible.

I bought a Hana Lima kit to get a feel for what goes into making a uke. I am more of the 2x4 and lag bolts type of woodworker but I thought it would be fun. At the worse I would get a clock or birdhouse out of it.

So this
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Ended up being this.
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Yes the sound hole is VERY big. Note: when using a dremel to cut a hole Ė measure the radius to the OUTSIDE of the bit. Since this is possible a onetime thing I didnít want to spend too much on specialty tools so had to do some improvising. I learned you can do a quite mediocre job with a dremel and belt sander.

I made the form using MDF. Big mistake but was free. That stuff is hard to cut.
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The bender was a heat gun and some piping and worked quite well, you just need to be patient and donít rush anything. It can be hot work so one needs some ale at the ready to keep hydrated.
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(continued)

vanflynn
08-20-2014, 07:08 AM
The top was glued on with some spool clamps I had borrowed and an old bike tire cut into one long strand.
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I replaced the jaws of my vise with pieces of an old cutting board and used that as a fret press. It worked surprisingly well. Obviously it’s not a radiused fretboard.
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To position the neck I drilled small holes in the 3rd and 12th fret markers big enough for a brad to be placed
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I wanted it is as reversible as possible so I did a bolt on neck instead of the Spanish Neck that Hana Lima uses. I also went with Hot Hide Glue for the fretboard/neck, neck/body, back and bridge. The glue pot was low end. A Goodwill water pot and a dimmer switch put in an extension cord.
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The neck is bolted on with a screw/bolt from the local hardware store. And yes the hole did interfere with the top bracing but the top is about .09 to .08 thick so it should be OK.
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(continued)

vanflynn
08-20-2014, 07:10 AM
The fretboard is about twice as thick as it needs be so the neck is very thick. Will also double as a weapon
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Add the back, adjust the nut and saddle and it’s done. Surprisingly playable but not much bottom end (probably due to the thick top and bracing). I still need to finish it with Tru Oil. It was lots of fun and took some time in shop and on-line (thanks to the luthiers on the forum for answering some questions). Glad I gave it a go but won’t quit my day job.

I typically don’t name my ukes but this one is known as “The Log”.

This will be my new beater, in more ways than one!

sukie
08-20-2014, 08:48 AM
Looks really pretty. Nice job.

ericchico
08-20-2014, 09:09 AM
I like it, came here to look at a birdhouse and ended up admiring a sweet little Uke. You say the fretboard is to thick, how thick is it?

tbeltrans
08-20-2014, 10:24 AM
I like it, came here to look at a birdhouse and ended up admiring a sweet little Uke. You say the fretboard is to thick, how thick is it?

Why, it is so thick the Twins use it as a back up bat for all their home games. :)

Nice work, Vannflynn! By the way, I live in the Twin Cities and it is anything but "brrrrrr" today.

Tony

sukie
08-20-2014, 10:47 AM
Why, it is so thick the Twins use it as a back up bat for all their home games. :)

Nice work, Vannflynn! By the way, I live in the Twin Cities and it is anything but "brrrrrr" today.

Tony

As is usual for me.....I go off topic....a lot.....but.....
Do I know you? I know I have met Vanflynn.ou? I don't think I know you? Are you Tony that does all the bluegrass groups?

Steve in Kent
08-20-2014, 11:38 AM
That's look great, hope it sounds as good as it looks.

Makes me want to have a go.....

Camsuke
08-20-2014, 12:39 PM
What a great story Vanflynn! I'm sure this little uke will always be a favorite!

Nickie
08-20-2014, 12:57 PM
Well, it sounds like you had a lot of fun, and you did something most of us aren't willing to tackle....I like it!

vanflynn
08-20-2014, 03:14 PM
You say the fretboard is to thick, how thick is it?

It's 1/4" thick. Most everything in the kit is twice as thick as it needs to be but the kit/plans are all about learning so thicker is more forgiving to us hacks.

Hey Tony, totally agree about the brrrr! I started the forms and templates last fall but had to put it on hold since I was doing this in a three season porch (and this year winter ended in May!)

Sukie, we met at Aldrine's workshop in the Twin Cities. You were a bit busy that day! (Thanks for getting him here. It was a blast)

When I finished the rosette and showed it to my wife she asked if that was where the clock face was going.

To all else thanks for the kind words. Hana Lima does a great job instructing and there is plenty of great stuff here on UU and the internet. Give it a try if you want!

Cheers

tbeltrans
08-20-2014, 03:20 PM
As is usual for me.....I go off topic....a lot.....but.....
Do I know you? I know I have met Vanflynn.ou? I don't think I know you? Are you Tony that does all the bluegrass groups?

Sukie:

No, I don't think we have met. I am not involved with bluegrass, though I once was some years ago (too many to count with only 10 fingers and 10 toes...). I am sure we will meet one of these days though.

Tony

Ukejenny
08-20-2014, 03:40 PM
I think the Log looks quite nice. Good job!

itsme
08-20-2014, 03:52 PM
I like the shape you chose, and with the larger soundhole and rosette, it's really quite unique and attractive. I'm sure if you wanted to pursue it, you'd be able to make improvements soundwise on the next one. :)

vanflynn
08-20-2014, 05:57 PM
Oh, one last confession. I got the fretboard pre-grooved and bought a StewMac tie bridge. Both were critical items above my skill level. Glad I did.

ericchico
08-21-2014, 09:32 AM
It's 1/4" thick. Most everything in the kit is twice as thick as it needs to be but the kit/plans are all about learning so thicker is more forgiving to us hacks.


To all else thanks for the kind words. Hana Lima does a great job instructing and there is plenty of great stuff here on UU and the internet. Give it a try if you want!

Cheers

I see, 1/4 inch does not seem that thick until you put it on the neck. I have done a couple using the Hana Lima Ia book and I agree Its been fun. After my first 2 I found this site and its making #3 much easier. You should do more, its great overcoming the challenges of the previous build and finding new ones.