February 3: Progress is sacrificing your fingers

After another week of no progress, I was determined to do something this week! Here is a day’s work (and a lot of cuts on fingers)

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So here it is so far. Waiting on my bridge and strings to arrive, but it will in no doubt be finished for February.

Was originally going to be a solid body silent uke wit a piezo transducer to make it electric, but after seeing the plans from circuitandstrings’ electric uke, I wanted to give it a go: https://circuitsandstrings.wordpress.com/free-plans/

This was the first eleuke I’ve made from scratch. I’ve made the gakken electric guitar kit, but I’ve never dealt with ferrules and grounding bridges. Looked at the electric guitars at the music department, and spoke a lot with electronics to get my head around things. Even asked Daniel from circuitsandstrings a question or two. He’s an awesome guy! Hopefully, I’ll have it all finished and explained next week!

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February 2: The week nothing happened

Never to report this week. Was expecting things to come, but they didn’t arrive. This is all I have so far:

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Black fretboard, black machine heads, also have a black nut and saddle somewhere. But no wood for the body.

Was going to make a scroll head out of mdf to see what that is like, but didn’t have time. Marking a shed load of tests, and just generally being an idoit takes up a great deal of time.

Hopefully next week will seeing some decent progress.

February 1: design and buying materials

So to prepare for the February uke, I need to gather the materials and whatnot together now. I can only work on this Saturdays, so if I’m determined to finish this in Feb. I need to start now really.

Here’s the final design for the ‘white’ ukulele. It will be a soprano not a baritone or tenor as envisioned. The head stock may be a scroll head because this thing is going to be like a cello.

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Need to practice on some scraps to see if I can make a scroll head, but I reckon I can do it.

This one will be a solid body as well. It’s expensive to order hardwood in the dimensions needed but I found a solution. Chopping boards… that’s right, the elegant cello like ukulele will be made out of chopping boards. Beech wood in this case.

Hopefully I’ll have some work to show next week. Until then, keep on strumming!

Retrospective-ism: Ukes of the past

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So, before I told myself I needed to do this uke a month thing, I had made past attempts at some ukes.

It all began with this gakken otona no kagaku mini electric guitar kit. Gakken kits are awesome, they’re a magazine with a kit that builds whatever the mag is about. I bought a lot of their stuff, including their synthesizer kit.

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It was adertised as a 4 string guitar. If it looks like an uke. Tunes like an uke. You got to make it as an uke! Was supposed to be tuned to DGBE but went with good old low g uke tuning. Gave it a paint job as well, because I have a lot of orange & white stuff.

It was probably months until I made another uke. I heard that people were making ukes out of cardboard and wanted in on the fun

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Cutting out cardboard is a skill I’ve developed. I now hoard cardboard. The garage is filled with it. I love it. I use cardboard for a lot of things now.

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Because of the way cardboard works, the sides had to be made out of cross sections. Glues them all together. The neck was made in the opposite direction to support the tension from the strings.

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Glued eveything together and let it dry.

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Added the geared tuners and started work on the nut and saddle. The fretboard was cardboard!

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Gave it the old white and orange paint coat.

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Tested the tension. It worked. Nothing on but a g string. Decided not to go with low g this time. This is the only uke I have with the standard tuning.

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Used tooth picks for the frets. Not great but looks great?

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The last uke I made before the realisation I had uke addiction was the 3D printed uke!

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I designed it years ago as I couldn’t afford the Risa Solid it’s based off. Turned out, to print it at the time, would cost more than the Risa. Recently the technology had made leap and bounds and I could print it off for a decent price.

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I added a piezotransducer in, and the thing is one of my go to ukes to jam. Without an amp, it’s good for practice or just messing around.

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Here’s a video of the thing in action:

It was soon after that I made the ‘death’ uke using the travel uke plans from circuits and strings.  https://circuitsandstrings.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/acoustic-travel-ukulele-plans.pdf

Check him out!

January: The ‘hole’ ukulele

January’s uke was done pretty quick. Here is the ‘hole’ ukulele.

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So January’s ukelele’s namesake is ‘hole.’ As you can see, this ukulele is riddled with holes. The idea came from me imagining holes instead of fret markers and took off from there. The namesake is a pun as well on ‘whole.’ I guess this uke shares a lot with me, it’s so crammed with deafults and imperfections, it reminds me of myself a lot. A little too much in fact. I think everyone has a hole in their lives, and at the moment, I have a lot.

The build process is pretty much the same as the ‘death’ uke but without the use of a ruler. I recommend a ruler.

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Originally, I wanted some sort of fibonacci sequence with the holes. It was too hard.

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This was funny. The neck was not level. Hence, the weights on that pivot point. I would later find out that the neck wasn’t straight either…

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Sawed the neck off and glued it back on. This is pretty much Victor’s ‘creature.’

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Fret board glued on piror to neck. Why, because I wasn’t confident in gluing the neck straight.DSCF6761 DSCF6762

This was supposed to be grey, or a light grey. The wood stain was a bit too strong.

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A coat of white stain worked well. The colour scheme I’m using is from a webtoon. Wonder if anyone knows it? DSCF6769 DSCF6770

That’s that. I’ll probably update with a design for February. I have something in mind so we’ll see.

December: The ‘death’ ukulele

Seeing as I don’t use this for my writing (as it was intended) I’ll be documenting my ukulele stuff here.

I’ve decided to make an uke a month, and will be uploading relevant stuff. Namely photos and whatnot to better inspire you, the reader, to go build your own.

So without further ado, I present the ukulele for december.

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As you can see, on the back I did a little wood burn of the triforce from LoZ. Besides from that though, I decided to give a namesake to all the ukes I’m building. My brother ended up naming this one, when we received bad news, and like a cold hearted robot I brushed it aside and finished off this uke.

The ‘death’ ukulele has cattle bone as its nut, bridge, and inlays of the saddle. If you’re ever sanded cattle bone, you probably know what face I’m making now. It stinks.

Anyway, here’s the build process. It starts off with wood. The dimensions don’t particularly matter, I based all measures after I bought the wood.

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I basically wanted a box. Having spend some time with boxes, I assumed I knew what one would look like. There needed to be a space for the neck of the uke to slide in though.

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I glued in some supports so the ‘box’ could be better supported. I ended up without G-clamps wide enough, so I had to hold this together myself.

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Prior to gluing, I checked the dimensions of everything. The front panel was done, with the sound hold drilled and dremel-ed.

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I drew in the art I wanted to wood burn. I used a shady soldering iron from the Electronics dept. Please use the proper equipment… It’s strange because I came to Bilborough for an Electronics Job. Since then, Ive ended up in Physics, then Maths, and now with BTEC Physics. I think I’ll try D&T next year (jokes aside, it has been weird.)

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Again, I checked everything before gluing. A word to the wise, gorilla glue will stick to your fingers for days. For three days if you continuously scrub your fingers until they bleed.

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Gluing the neck to the body.

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Decided to sign them all.

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More gluing.

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This is the fretboard and back panel being glued.

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I also lost skin to the power sander. This was it essentially done. I added the nut and saddle afterwards.

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This was completed Christmas day. Everything was so messed up, I actually decided to spend Xmas day alone to finish this off. I think the theme of death rung a bit too close to home, so I’ll be keeping this uke. I am intending to sell or give away the other months, so look forward to them.