Wave Electric Ukulele

I’ve built a bunch of electric ukulele, but all of them have been modeled after full size electric guitars.  For this project I set out to design my own electric ukulele.  I think it turned out great.

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My other electric ukuleles have been modeled after guitars from Fender and Gibson.  Can you name all of these models??

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Here are some sketches that I drew as I designed this instrument.  You can see how how the designed changed and progressed.

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I probably shouldn’t admit this, but part of the headstock design was influenced by the fact that I had quite a few left hand tuners in my possession.  I purchased sets of 3-on-a-side tuners to use for my Fender style builds, but only needed the right hand ones.

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After all of the parts were fitted, I leveled the body with some putty.  It is important to have the body as smooth as possible before the prime, and color coats.

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The body was primed, given a nitrocellulose color coat and then a nitrocellulose clear coat.

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I wanted to try having the volume knob on the side of the body instead of the top.  Doing this also allowed for a bigger cavity to house a push/pull switch to split the hot rail humbucker.  To keep the back and top as minimalist as possible, I drilled long holes from the pickup cavity to the combination strap peg/jack.

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I’ve named this the “Wave Ukulele” because the body made me think about waves crashing against the shore.  Once I gave this a name, I tied other design element to this theme.  The body is Sea Foam Green, and the fret markers, side markers and even the cap on the volume knob are abalone.

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This build was my first foray into the world of fanned frets.  The bottom string has a scale length of 17 inches and the top is 18 inches.   It’s a little different to play, but it’s very easy to get used to.  Make your own fanned fretboard with this tutorial. 

See it in action!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ak2wapy1hdc&w=480&h=360]

Sharkfin Uke Build – On Fire!

WARNING! I THINK I MIGHT BE LOSING MY MIND!

I got left on my own this weekend; The wife and kids went away and left me all alone! As much as I love them dearly, I’ll admit that I’ve really enjoyed a little bit of me-time! Ha ha. I haven’t left the house once! No, I tell a lie, I went to the shop on Saturday… when I ran out of beer! 😀

Actually, I think I might be suffering from a little bit of Cabin Fever… I can’t seem to keep my mind on anything at the moment…

Let’s hope that this little guy made it back to his family…

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Skateboard Ukulele

I’ve made instruments out of all sorts of stuff.  When I saw an old skateboard deck at a garage sale, I had to have it.  I thought it would make the perfect body for an electric ukulele.

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Because both ends curve back, I didn’t have to do anything to angle the headstock.  Using a scroll saw, I cut out the space for the neck, headstock, pickup, and Stratocaster-style jack plate. I kept the wood above and below the neck to give the instrument more stability and to the keep overall shape of the skateboard.  A fretboard with a 17 inch scale was epoxied to the neck.

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Most of the grip tape was left on the board.  I stripped the grip tape from the bak of the neck.  I was going to add about 1/4 inch of wood to the back of the neck, but that would have made it too thick.  Instead, I just carved the neck a little bit and stained it black.  A board with rounded over edges was attached to the back to cover the wiring and components.

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I made a pickup ring for the single coil pickup with some black pickguard material.  The pickup is connected to a volume potentiometer.

Out of all the electric ukuleles that I’ve made,  this was the fastest to make.  Not having to rout out the body, carve and shape the neck, and apply a glossy finish really cut down on the build time.

See it in action!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7tysKFG3d0?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

Sharkfin Uke Build – Beach Closed

I’d been hoping that I could get my Sharkfin Ukulele finished before Christmas, but it ain’t gonna happen! Construction has officially stopped. I’ve tidied up my tools and packed them away. I’ve also tried to vac up all the sawdust… hope Mrs Uke doesn’t look too closely at the carpet… :-s

Everybody out of the water!!!

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misterg’s spice rack uke build : Part 10 – Photo gallery

I have to say that the way this came out is beyond my wildest hopes. I’m REALLY pleased with it.

It is surprisingly resonant, and seems to play nicely in tune. I haven’t found any dead or ‘off’ notes yet. It sounds just like an acoustic ukulele when it’s plugged into a clean amp, but of course you can crank the gain up and play the top 3 strings like a guitar – that high pitched 4th string catches me out though.

I will see if I can record some sound clips :)

Thanks and congratulations to anyone who has made it this far through my ramblings.

Andy

Photofest:

(Note to self: Must clean the paint off the end of that binding…)

Even my glue and sawdust filler came out OK. I think I got off lightly for my inattention!

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Sharkfin Uke Build – Building Bridges

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s update, I’ve been inspired to do a little more on my Sharkfin ukulele build. In case you’re wondering about my bad back… it’s feeling a bit better… it’ll probably be fine by the time I have to return to work tomorrow :-(

 

Brown-trouser Time!

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Sharkfin Uke Build – Fitting the Frets (Take 2)

Time for another update on my Sharkfin Ukulele build. In my last post I was quite literally fretting over frets. I was tired and had foolishly rushed ahead with gay abandon. My head told me to take things slowly and make sure that I was getting things right. My heart told me to bang ’em in and thunder on. Unfortunately, my heart won out and things didn’t go according to plan. I’m sure there is a lesson to be learnt here somewhere.

When you know it’s wrong, but you do it anyway…
Photo courtesy of aintitcool

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