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Learing to make a uke (Read 4856 times)
Sea
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Learing to make a uke
Nov 28th, 2008 at 1:30pm
 
Hi everyone.

I've been playing the ukulele for a while now, and would like to start making them. But I can't quite find good resources on how to make them or what I need, tools etc. Any help would be great!

I hope I put this in the right place
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Don_Orgeman
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Re: Learing to make a uke
Reply #1 - Nov 28th, 2008 at 4:42pm
 
You are at the right place.

Go to the store tab and find the manual and order it (along wikth a set of tenor plans).  It is the best source on how to build a tenor uke.  You will also find a lot of tools and supplies in the store.

The other source is this page and all of the discussions on how to build side benders, thickness sanders and olther tools to make ukulele building easier and more fun.

Plan on spending a lot of time learning and enjoy the adventure.  Plan on investing a lot of your time and a fair amount of money.  Each tool you build will not be overly costly but they will add up over time.

There is nothing like playing an instrument you have built and hearing the sound ring out for the first time.  A friend gave me a great suggustion and I will pass it on to you:  Have someone video you as you string up and play your uke for the first time to capture the expression on your face.

Welcome to the club.  Most of us are amateur builders who love building and love to help others when we can.  So when it doubt, ask the question on this site and you will be amazed at all the help you will get.

Don
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rcelley
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Re: Learing to make a uke
Reply #2 - Dec 9th, 2008 at 7:01am
 
I'll echo Don's comments and also encourage you to start with a kit. The more care you take on jigs and fixtures the better. Mostly it is a process of patience, following a plan and doing one step at a time as well as you can. Think about your woodworking skills and experience and order stuff accordingly, for example I still pay a bit extra and have HLI cut fret slots  in my boards. for me that's just time saving. Read the directions and follow the sequence. Have fun doing it or there's no point. Welcome to our obsession, keep us posted, send links to pics of your progress and ask questions!
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Rich Celley
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sweetgum
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Re: Learing to make a uke
Reply #3 - Dec 22nd, 2008 at 2:47pm
 
sea,

buying the hana lima manual was the best $25 i've ever spent. the manual will give you an idea of the scope of the project. the words printed in the manual enjoy " it is commitment to the journey that will get you to the end destination" are worth the twenty five bucks in my hunble opinion.

i'm almost two months into this and still no music being made. while i am doing everything the "hard way". starting with a 110 year old black locust tree, i'm trying to do it all on my own.

so far the biggest hurdle has been side bending, get thickness right getting temp right and the feel of bending takes some extra pieces of wood.  pre bent or extras is what i recommend.  as it turns out you can bend sides with a scrap pipe and some charcoal, and extra pieces!  i've tried many process but am ending up using the blanket from hana lima. its cheap considering everything else involved.

my advice is to think about how many ukes you want to build, and then decide which processes you want to do yourself and which you want done by someone else.  if you don't want to tool up, and there are alot of tools "$$$" you will need, get premade parts.  it will save you big time.

anyways i'm having the time of my life, building these things. can only think of a few other things in life that are equally worth while. have fun playing building and dreaming!!!!

-jason
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