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I Created A Brand New Style of Ukulele (Read 7831 times)
Acabooe
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I Created A Brand New Style of Ukulele
Sep 29th, 2008 at 4:55pm
 
Dear Friends.

I have just completed creating and building a brand new type of Ukulele.
Let me tell a few things about it.
This Ukulele is modeled after the traditional Japanese Shamisen, so it is fitting that I call it the "Shamisen Style Ukulele".

It is Tenor scale legnth ( 17 3/32" )
It uses the modified Kasha/ Schnieder/ Chock bracing system.
The neck doesn't taper.

Here are the specifications.
Materials:
Honduran Mahogany= Neck, tail block
Spanish cedar= Tentalones ( kerf liners )
Curly Maple= Soundboard, backboard, bindings, bridge patch,
Spruce= Bracings
Curly Koa= Sides
Ebony= Fretboard, and bridge
Pine= Tuning pegs
White Corian= Nut and saddle

The finishing process consisted of 6 coats of Tru Oil over 3 days, lightly sanding with 500 grit paper, and then 3 more coats over 2 days.
Finally I sprayed it down and wiped it with car wax.
It is still a porus finish, but I believe that wood should look like wood.

It took me about 3 months to plan and build this prototype, and while i am very satisfied with how it turned out, there is much room for improvement.

Here are some pictures. I hope you like it, and I am awaiting your  critiques.

Aloha
Bob Bourque

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[IMG]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm170/Bourque_photo/DSC09288.jpg[/I
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unkabob
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Re:  I Created A Brand New Style of Ukulele
Reply #1 - Sep 29th, 2008 at 6:41pm
 
Bob:
I am impressed.
You have come a long way from your first uke. The carving on the head and banding look really good. The question that only you can answer is how does it sound and how easy is it to play (ballance)?
Do those tuners hold tune? It may be too early to tell yet.

The heel doesn't reach the back. What kind of neck attachment did you use?

A nice second effort but what can you do for an encore?

Bob  Smiley Smiley
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Acabooe
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Re:  I Created A Brand New Style of Ukulele
Reply #2 - Sep 29th, 2008 at 9:59pm
 
Hi Bob,
Thanks for the compliments, and the questions.
I want peple to ask me lots of questions, so that I will figure out how to make successive models better.
Now, for the answers......
Well, as to the sound, I don't know yet, because I still need to adjust the action at the nut.
The strings are sitting too high, so I am gonna fix that soon.
So I havent actually tried to play it yet.
As far as playability, I think that it will be a little bit different than most Ukuleles, because the neck width doesn't taper, so that might take some getting used to.
On the upside though, there are 18 or 19 frets that are accessible without the body getting in the way.
Actually, internally the heal does reach the back, but in my efforts to make it look as close to a real Shamisen as possible, I needed to bind, and so I just cut part of the heal of with a razor saw.
I used the Hana Lima spanish style neck to body connection. The heel slots were cut by hand, and I know that I will be doing that differently next time.
If you are interested, you can check out the side bender topic, and see my sides when they got bent.
Incidentally, I have one more class at Hana Lima, and then I will be putting up pics of that Ukulele too.
As far as making more shamisen, I have plans for more to come in the near future.
Mahalo Nui Loa
Bob Bourque
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dochughes
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Re:  I Created A Brand New Style of Ukulele
Reply #3 - Sep 30th, 2008 at 2:48am
 
REALLY nice, Bob!  Impressive in both creativity and workmanship.  I think the finish looks very good.  Did you try to polish the Tru Oil after your last coat?  The woods that you chose to use are both beautiful and complimentary to each other.

Great job, buddy!

Tim
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Acabooe
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Re:  I Created A Brand New Style of Ukulele
Reply #4 - Sep 30th, 2008 at 8:30am
 
After the 9th coat, i just sprayed vigorusly with triggerspray car wax, and rubbed until dry.
I like how the soundboard, backboard, and sides are all curly too.
thanks for the compliments.
Bob
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Donald Kai
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Re: I Created A Brand New Style of Ukulele
Reply #5 - Jun 2nd, 2011 at 1:36pm
 
Hi I'm new here and I just have to comment on the nu'uke.
Beautiful to look at. Lovely work! Reminds me of the cigar-box ukulele that has been evolved.
Very creative..
Anything new?
Best regards all
Don
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