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Thread: This uke was made for chopping (in the kitchen)!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Cumbria, NW England
    Posts
    521

    Default This uke was made for chopping (in the kitchen)!

    Here’s another alternative shaped uke made by repurposing an acacia chopping board. I bought 2 of these maybe 3 years ago with the intention of creating ukes. The chopping boards were all made from at least 3 pieces: I sorted through the pile trying to find something close to quarter sawn wood (especially the centre section). Most of the wood to complete the box came from another small rectangular acacia board.

    My small bandsaw isn’t capable of resawing these so a sawcut was made each side with my small table saw and the job completed with a handsaw.

    The butt end and neck block end were made with fabricated sub-assemblies which were roughly shaped with the bandsaw and finished with rasp and sandpaper taking care to achieve symmetry and squareness.

    The short sides were an easy bend on the iron. No mould or solera was needed. The neck end assembly was glued to the completed soundboard. When dry, the sides and butt end were added. The linings had already been glued to the tapered sides.

    My radius disc was used to shape the partially completed box before fitting the curved back.

    The neck was laminated from utile and tulipwood (yellow popular in US) with built up heel and scarfed head with wings. No tenon/dowel or bolt was needed for the neck joint on account of the back overlapping the heel. The head was made oversize complete with hole to mimic the handle of the chopping board.

    The rosette and brown/black purfling/binding are ABS. There’s no binding on the back, recognising this is a chopping board.

    The slightly longer uke is a tight fit in a conventional tenor hardcase.

    The more observant will notice that the strumming area (12-14th frets) is beyond the end of the box, so the box will remain free from fingertip wear.

    The uke sounds similar to my conventional ukes. It's loud and has lots of sustain. It's perhaps not quite as warm as my best tenors since it lacks a wider lower bout.

    chop1.jpgchop2.jpgchop3.jpgchop4.jpgchop5.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Cumbria, NW England
    Posts
    521

    Default

    So here are a few more images. The second uke may be a little different, for example it only needs 2 fan braces. I used mahogany for the neck block: it would be better in a non red coloured wood. This one is finished in Tru oil over shellac, and has low G Seagur fishing line strings.

    If this was a regular model, the sub-assemblies could be made more quickly and easily using a jig/profile router cutter. I have just bought a Triton spindle sander which will make the second one easier to produce.

    chop7.jpgchop8.jpgchop9.jpgchop10.jpgchop11.jpg

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Cumbria, NW England
    Posts
    521

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    252

    Default

    Very creative! If I didn't have so many projects going already I'd start looking for acacia chopping boards. Well done.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    54

    Default

    Very nice. I love seeing creative repurposing projects like this. I've been thinking about trying something similar with some bamboo cutting boards that I keep seeing at the store. I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Hudson, MA
    Posts
    1,563

    Default

    Cool idea. Don't forget to use a food-safe finish

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    2

    Default

    greenscoe, it's a great wood working process you've done. Do you use router table for all these wood working and construction processes or not? It's not so easy to find the best router table when you need it for constructing an ukulele. My job is all about wood working and wood finishing, but when I've been doing my ukulele it's been not so easy to fit the table.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Cumbria, NW England
    Posts
    521

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by daniel1RR View Post
    greenscoe, it's a great wood working process you've done. Do you use router table for all these wood working and construction processes or not? It's not so easy to find the best router table when you need it for constructing an ukulele. My job is all about wood working and wood finishing, but when I've been doing my ukulele it's been not so easy to fit the table.
    I have a cheap router table which I previously used mainly for binding and purfling. I seldom use it now. I use a Makita cloned laminate trimmer for these tasks. If I were a pro I would probably buy a Makita: I know many pros on this forum speak highly of this.

    I have also used the router table with a bearing guided profile bit in making moulds. That's the reason I mentioned in an earlier post that this is the way to make my chopping board uke sub-assemblies.

    I have been on this forum for 6 years and know that many use laminate trimmers, but others will use router tables, often homemade and dedicated to one task.

    If you are considering buying a table, why not post a new thread asking whether forum members (pros and hobby makers) reckon a router table is worth having?

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