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Thread: Building my first uke!

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Hawaii Island
    Posts
    187

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    If Chuck gave him the wood, I'm sure he knew what he was doing. I'm certain that it is not some gonzo, gorgeous, unworkable curly koa set. Koa comes in all flavors and there may be no reason not to use it unless it has some charismatic sentimental appeal because it came from Chuck, which could be understood. From what I know of Chuck, he's a practical guy and expected the wood to be used. I give away sets to visitors at times too, if I think they actually have the inspiration to try building. There is nothing particularly special about a lot of koa. Some of it is not much different than plain mahogany. That said, a kit is a really great way to start your building experience. Painless if you screw it up! Good luck.-Bob

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Little River, California
    Posts
    2,338

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    Quote Originally Posted by lauburu View Post
    It takes a tree many, many years to create beautiful pieces of wood. You can ruin it in a matter of seconds.
    I once ruined a beautiful rosewood (East Indian of course) fretboard by snapping it into small pieces in a fit of anger after I goofed profiling it. What a waste of good wood. Made me cranky for days. And then there are the mahogany necks and that lovely piece of sinker redwood that ended up being kindling for my fireplace. Not a good feeling. Wasting wood is just a sin.

  3. #13

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    Building a $25 ebay kit can teach you a lot. You still have to fit the neck angle right, glue the bridge down at the right spot, make clean/strong glue joints, level frets, set the action height, and apply a nice finish.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    6

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    Good luck with your project. I would advise on a kit and a lot of patience as it can take quite a lot of time.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Posts
    119

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    It is encouraging to me to hear about other builders' failures. This is not something we talk about a lot.

    Though I'm approaching 6 ukuleles completed, and another not far after that, I'm sitting on some choicer pieces of wood I'm saving for when I have more confidence in my ability. Also I tend to be frugal, so it's more painful to lose pieces that have some monetary value. The time spent and lost is painful enough.

    I think the bending might be your biggest risk here. At least practice some bending on wood you don't mind throwing away.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    19

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    Thanks everyone for the thoughtful responses! Yeah, I was hesitant to use the koa for my first uke. I asked Chuck way back and he said "just make it!" But I think I will start with a kit. Then probably practice some side bending. Are there any kits out there with top and sides not pre cut? And necks with actual joints? I used to see them but I can't find them online anymore!
    Mya Moe Tenor
    Luna High Tide Tenor
    Breedlove Pursuit Concert

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Posts
    119

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ukujes View Post
    Thanks everyone for the thoughtful responses! Yeah, I was hesitant to use the koa for my first uke. I asked Chuck way back and he said "just make it!" But I think I will start with a kit. Then probably practice some side bending. Are there any kits out there with top and sides not pre cut? And necks with actual joints? I used to see them but I can't find them online anymore!
    There is another post where we have been talking about a buy/sell/trade post or sticky or a new category in the forum for luthier wood and supplies. I could certainly supply you with some raw materials, and I'm sure plenty others here could too. Let me know.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Stockton on Tees..North East UK.
    Posts
    5,204

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    this is what its all about

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    http://ukulele-innovation.tripod.com ebay i/d squarepeg_3000 Email timmsken@hotmail.com

    If you can believe that moving images and sound, can fly through empty space across the universe and be seen and heard on a box in your living room ?.. then you can believe in anything.

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