Improving a cheap ukulele?

Ukulele discussions
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Micah Covington
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 9:49 am

Improving a cheap ukulele?

Post by Micah Covington »

I've never played, built, or worked on a ukulele. I've build guitars and basses, and I am a decent bass player. I do all my own set up work and have basic tools. I recently ordered two ukuleles for my young daughters. They are cheap and have mixed reviews. I was wondering what sort of things I can do to improve them when they arive?


This is what I ordered:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0064G ... UTF8&psc=1

I ordered one in black walnut and one in maple.

Reviews state the sides and top are really thick, so I was thinking of sanding them down some. The body is one large carved out piece with a back glued on. I was thinking I could unglue the back, sand the sides and top down, and reglue the back on. Any suggestions? Thanks alot.

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

Re: Improving a cheap ukulele?

Post by Steve Senseney »

With the skills you have, build another couple of instruments.

Use what ever woods you have available, and modify or adjust any details to personalize them for you, the builder, or for you kids.

Working on a lower quality instrument will be harder work than making a new instrument. After doing lots of work on your low quality purchased instrument, you will still have a fairly low quality instrument.

Bob Menzel
Posts: 75
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:40 pm
Location: LINY

Re: Improving a cheap ukulele?

Post by Bob Menzel »

I was thinking the same thing. My guess is that you chose those because they're more likely to survive bumps and bruises. How old are your girls?
Not Your Uncle

Micah Covington
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 9:49 am

Re: Improving a cheap ukulele?

Post by Micah Covington »

3 and 8

Ron Daves
Posts: 182
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:39 pm
Location: Southern California Desert

Re: Improving a cheap ukulele?

Post by Ron Daves »

You didn't spend a lot of money on these ukes and they are perfect learning tools. I'd let the girls use them and see if their interest increases, If it does, then it's time to consider something else. It looks like you hae the tools, and you can get plans from several outlets. And you can have the fun planning the instruments with your girls. What a hoot!

Just a word of advice: Keep those kids interested in music. A lifetime of playing music on whatever your instrument may be is a blessing. Those kids will thank you later.
Frustrated luthier wanna-be

Clay Schaeffer
Posts: 1525
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:04 pm

Re: Improving a cheap ukulele?

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

Rather than trying to improve the tone, work on the playability. That is where the greatest gains can be made for a reasonable effort. Change out those zither pins for a cheap set of machine tuners, adjust the action and have fun!

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