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Thread: first build - kit

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    West Hills, SoCal
    Posts
    1,184

    Default first build - kit

    UAS has found it's way to my house, so I decided to answer the call with two hands. Using this forum, Hana Lima I'a, and Waverly Ukes, I ventured forth and built this soprano kit.

    I ordered it through Hana Lima, but it's a Stew-Mac kit with pre-bent sides. I also have a Hana Lima kit with straight pieces for my next attempt.

    Many lessons were learned along the way, some expected, some not. Research cannot replace practice. The results are pleasing. The only real trouble is that the top has a slight inward bow to it along one of the short bouts.

    Sound results are forthcoming due to the new strings being installed just today. But the sustain is good. I chronicled the build at my website:
    http://www.westhillswood.com/ukulele-build.html

    Any suggestions on what to look out for during Build II are appreciated.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Harold O.

    www.HOPublishing.com
    www.WestHillsWood.com
    Just because shooting fish in a barrel is easy doesn't mean there are some fish that should remain unshot.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    California
    Posts
    750

    Default

    Your uke looks great! And your blog is very inspiring. I am definitely putting "make a uke" on my very long list of things I want to do.
    "I can't tell if it's an A# or a Bb..."
    "If you hit the wrong note, we'll all be flat"
    - Goonies

    http://www.youtube.com/user/khrome242

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    So California
    Posts
    278

    Default

    Looks fantastic. Looking forward to hearing how she sounds.
    I'm going to build something soon too

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    West Midlands GB
    Posts
    1,467

    Default

    That looks a really good job. I've made several Stew Mac kit ukes, and they all sound terrific. Onwards and upwards!

    Ukantor

  5. #5

    Default

    Looks great and awesome job journaling your build. Nice site too.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    NJ, USA
    Posts
    234

    Default

    Nice job on your first uke build, Harold. It must be very satisfying playing on an instrument you built.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    West Hills, SoCal
    Posts
    1,184

    Default

    Thanks for the kind words. Playing hasn't happened yet. The strings are still adjusting to getting stretched and they go out of tune very fast. Soon, though, soon.

    The goal on this kit was to build an instrument in order to learn how to do it as opposed to building the best sounding ukulele ever. Keeping that goal in mind let me move along faster than I maybe would have otherwise. I usually build and design on the fly - an inefficient use of time. It was fun to pay attention to technique instead of design this time

    Owing to a recent UU thread, I glued the sound hole purfling with medium super glue. It wicked into the surrounding wood a little, and would not entirely sand out. But when applying the finish, it blended right in. I use SG as a pen finish on occasion.

    Bending will become an issue on the next ukulele build.
    Harold O.

    www.HOPublishing.com
    www.WestHillsWood.com
    Just because shooting fish in a barrel is easy doesn't mean there are some fish that should remain unshot.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Big Island, Hawaii
    Posts
    5,151

    Default

    Very nice Harold! Bet it won't be your last. Building ukuleles is a bit like eating potato chips in that way.
    Bending sides on a hot pipe is pretty easy. It's only problematic when you've got lots of curl. Attaching the back is normally done with spool clamps, easily made with threaded rod and sections of dowels. I use a dedicated clamping jig for the job, others use rope or twine, even bed spring clamps.
    Chuck Moore
    Moore Bettah Ukuleles
    http://www.moorebettahukes.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,901

    Default

    very nice job on the write-up! the uke is lookin' good!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Palo Alto CA.. The SF BAY AREA
    Posts
    1,405

    Default nice job!!

    wow you made that!! i am BAD at stuff like that.. big ups to you on that one!! i might try a cigar box one someday..

    d

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