Electric ukulele

Ukulele discussions
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Rafal Zaryc
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun May 18, 2014 7:26 am
Location: Lithuania

Electric ukulele

Post by Rafal Zaryc »

Greetings, I am new here, and I would like to share my project, and hear professional opinions on it. Its my first instrument, i didn't have good tools or good wood. The body is made of fir wood, neck is oak with a stained linden fretboard. So the main point of this build was to make something that works, sounds well and looks pretty special. Here's an image of it.
[img]
http://www.mimf.com/phpbb/download/file ... ew&id=5696[/img]
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10305051_529875730469333_2132431493033028349_n.jpg

Jason Rodgers
Posts: 1554
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:05 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Electric ukulele

Post by Jason Rodgers »

I like it. With the turtle on the pickguard, it looks like something that you'd find in a South Pacific island tourist gift shop. Don't worry about woods. What you chose is perfectly acceptable for this sort of project. Next time, try the linden in the body, the fir in the neck, and oak in the fretboard and bridge (you can stain the oak dark with ferric acetate- steel wool in vinegar).

The next time around, you could probably make the whole neck assembly thinner. It looks like there a few fret placement issues. This online tool http://www.ekips.org/tools/guitar/fretfind2d/ can be used to print a fret template. Just print it out, lightly glue it to the fretboard, and cut through the fret lines.

Tell us more about the tools at your disposal.
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.

Rafal Zaryc
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun May 18, 2014 7:26 am
Location: Lithuania

Re: Electric ukulele

Post by Rafal Zaryc »

Well here in Lithuania we have an option to take a craftsmanship exam in the school. So I decided to make a guitar. I was on a very tight budget. I used tools I could find in the school crafting class. So basically I had a jigsaw, electric handheld sander , all kinds of hand tools were available too. Instrument making isn't popular here, at all. So there was no wood available to be bought for such a project. I found the pieces I used in my dads garage. The pickup is cheap one i bought on ebay for 5$.

About the neck... This is V2 , because the first one actually broke. It was thinner, but it looked weird. As it was a ukulele project, I decided to go Hawaiian theme. I burned out the turtle on the pickguard ( its made out of plywood). The frets got kind of screwed up by the end because i didn't do them before I formed the neck, so the are at a bit of an angle. Still the basic chords sound well. I used toothpicks for frets, might replace them in the future.

Steve Senseney
Posts: 673
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:45 pm

Re: Electric ukulele

Post by Steve Senseney »

Toothpicks!!

Inventive, and looks good for what you had to work with.

Jason Rodgers
Posts: 1554
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:05 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Electric ukulele

Post by Jason Rodgers »

Ok, wow, so I didn't realize the frets were toothpicks! I did a build-your-own instrument class with students in an after-school program and we made bucket banjos. The necks were simply 1x2 fir from the hardware store with toothpicks for frets. Using fishing line for the strings, there wasn't a lot of stress on the neck (my example model has been hanging on the wall in my office for about 8-9 years with no discernible deformation), but it wouldn't have taken much more in terms of a fretboard to make it hold up under steel strings. This project took two one-hour sessions with middle school students (materials were cut out ahead of time). Shaping the neck and gluing on a fretboard would be a major refinement, but it could totally be done with basic hardware store woods. Yes, with metal strings those toothpicks will wear down quickly. If you're willing to put a little more coin into it, fret wire isn't that expensive, or you could find a junker guitar to be a donor.

Anyways, good work with limited resources!
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.

Rafal Zaryc
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun May 18, 2014 7:26 am
Location: Lithuania

Re: Electric ukulele

Post by Rafal Zaryc »

The whole project took me about 3months to make. The body was hard to make, as I had to shape it all by hand with a file and a rasp. In school we do have a drilling station, so that made my life a lot easier when drilling out the cavity for the wiring. I might still add a pair of tone and volume knobs, but that's for later. Also I have made a little stand for it out of scrap plywood. I'm going to take a few more pictures today, as its in my school at the moment.

John L Young
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:49 am

Re: Electric ukulele

Post by John L Young »

Very cool. Are you going to post a movie clip to show us how it sounds?

Rafal Zaryc
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun May 18, 2014 7:26 am
Location: Lithuania

Re: Electric ukulele

Post by Rafal Zaryc »

I made short demo of the sound, its out of tune right now, because I was playing with different tunings. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80nHkuY ... e=youtu.be

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