Side project: The Spectrum

So, though I’ve stopped work on the uke a month project for work, I still found myself building one.

I’m calling this uke the (absorption) Spectrum.

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The aim of the Spectrum was supposed to be an easy design that could be built in about 3 hours.

The whole concept was for the uke to be like a solid body, but with a hollow body. Right, so a normal uke then? Sounds kind of obvious, but I lack a better description than that.

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Above you can see what I mean. I hollowed out the body with a router (but this took ages. Longer than my time frame.) The headstock was also part of the body, but I cut a little notch on the reverse before tilting the head back and gluing it.

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Once I was ‘happy’ I glued the back to the front, and it was basically done.

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I drilled out holes for the machine heads, glued on the bridge and fretboard, both of which are rosewood, and got it ready for a paint job.

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Went with black, as I had an idea in mind. This is why it’s called the Spectrum.

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Rainbow frets! I love it!

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Here it is stringed with some temporary strings. I have low g on all my ukes, but this one is going out to a friend, so I’ll swap them out to standard tuning.

I loved the design so much, I made a shirt as well!

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That’s how sad I am! Anyway, it was a god idea, but I can make it better. Please look forward to an improved Spectrum in the future.

Here is a video that I did as a sound test. It is loud! Well, compared to the other ukes I’ve made.

Now, let’s actually do some work, and of course, get June’s ukulele sorted.

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May 10: The ‘heartfelt’ & ‘heart-broken’ ukulele

May’s ukulele, or should I say ukuleles, has been finished.

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The twins are the two sides of May for me. They represent something I can’t avoid.

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May’s namesakes come from the dreadful month of May, where I see off students who have changed me, and have made me a better person. I’m sure it’s suppose to be the other way round, but I’m not exactly a brilliant adult.

The ‘heartfelt’ uke is the older sibling of the twins, and is based on curves and represents the feelings of gratitude to my students. The ‘heart-broken’ uke is the younger of the twins, and represents the taboo feeling a teacher has, the fact that they do not want their students to leave. I based this on trapeziums, and gave it a yellow splash to highlight the helpless directionless rage I’m feeling now.

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Here are some comparisons to different things. The first is a bugs-gear ukulele. The next is a bananna. The other is a ruler. Both the twins are 9 inches long, and they both have a 7 inch scale too. They’re not the world’s smallest, but they’re still pretty tiny. I’d like to thank ProfChris and other on ukuleleunderground, and to Daniel from circuitsandstrings, whose design I’ve been using since the very beginning.

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We’ve reached the half way mark now. From December to May, I’ve built 7 ukes now. The ‘bonsai’ uke is missing from the photo as it’s in my classroom now. The next design is still floating in my head, but at some point I will be building a tahitian ukulele. I’ve fallen in love with it. I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey so far, and I hope also that you continue this with me to the end.

May 9: Breaking down

I’m almost done. The twins are just waiting on a few finishing touches, and they’ll be ready for the world.

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The younger sibling is enjoying a coat of a few paints, while the older sibling is enjoying a stretch.

The twins really represent my emotions in May. I’m crossing between the two constantly, and I’m finding it hard to keep it together. I think I know why I’ve been building these ukes now, and it’s to keep my mind busy, and to stop thinking about what is going to happen. Man, I really hate May. But boy, do I love it too…

May 7: The twins tiny

Having sometime off today (good old bank holiday Monday to thank for that) I’ve gotten pretty far on, what I’m calling, the ‘twins.’

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Here they are next to the ‘wanderer’ uke. March’s uke, if fact all the ones I’ve made so far, are standard soprano scales (if not a tad bit shorter.)

The twins have a tiny 7 inch scale length, and it shows. Below are the two on top of the wanderer uke, and on top of a bugs gear plastic uke.

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The overall length is going to be under 9 inches for both of them, the zither pins will be sticking out quite badly (or at least in proportion to the uke.)

There’s a theme going on with each of the twins, one being based on curves (the older sibling) and the other on trapeziums. Each has to do with what I feel about in May, I couldn’t decided which was most important, because both emotions are. So that’s why there’s two.

Those of you who are observant will have noticed that the younger trapezium sibling has a jack. As far as I know, I haven’t seen an electric uke this small.

I can hardly believe how small they are. Just checked up the  length of the kala pocket uke, and it’s 16 inches!!! I’m not sure how small the Reed Tiny is, but I’m sure ProfChris told me he made it with a 6 3/4 inch scale length. Mine might not be the smallest, but it’s still pretty tiny.

Though I’m still hoping I’ve made the smallest electric-acoustic uke (so far) at least.