A Ukulele For A Gent (1 Viewer)

Micron

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Thanks, y'all.
Been busy in my little shop of horrors working on my second guitar. First is still waiting for application of final finish, which has been waiting for warmer weather. The pandemic isn't helping either. Tomorrow I will have to break down and go out for stuff for this. At least they have a neat method of providing. I order on line, specify the store, pay on line and then go there and call when I arrive. They drop it in your trunk and off you go.

AB, maybe not so lucky... he hasn't seen the bill yet!
 

The_Doc_Man

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A keyboard challenge, I would take. But these days my music is strictly "no strings attached."
 

Micron

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Well, all is done. Not much in the way of pics for the final part but this might help a bit:
20200408_120949.jpg

First, find how high above the fret board the first fret is. Since I can't rely on holding the caliper perfectly vertical, I measure to the top of the rule as it lies over a set of frets, then subtract the thickness of the rule (0.065"). That tells me how much I need to drop the strings at the first fret. I also measure at the 12th fret - the target is 3mm from that fret to the bottom of the strings. As I remove material from the saddle (the part that the strings ride on at the bridge, which is the wooden part anchoring the strings at the lower bout) this dimension will lower too. I also need to remove material from the nut (the part at the head end) and/or file the individual string slots deeper to arrive at a clearance of about 0.010" from the bottom of the strings to the fret. This is a balancing act. If I take off enough material at the saddle to get my 3mm then drop the nut level, the 3mm will be lost, and vice versa. Because the saddle and nut were for a guitar, they are rather tall for this project, so there was a ton of sanding. Check out the pile of bone dust (pretty much the same amount at each end of the emery strip).
20200408_195052.jpg


Having an issue uploading the last 2 pics, so will try doing so in a separate post.
 
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Micron

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I think the setup turned out OK:
0.010" at the 1st fret
DSC_0978.JPG


and 3mm at the 12th fret
DSC_0977.JPG


The uke would probably sound a lot better than what I'm hearing if the player was any good!
That wraps up the build. I will see if there is a way to upload any audio, but I think it can only be done if there is a url to link to.
 

moke123

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A little something for NG's friends to read as their ears bleed.

I'm pretty sure this scraped everything. Format gets a little lost in translation but its readable.
 

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Micron

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That's pretty impressive. I scanned the whole thing. Too bad I noticed something that I might be inclined to fix in one of my last 2 posts. :confused:
 

isladogs

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Almost as impressive as your woodworking skills and the end product is the fact that the thread stayed on topic throughout. Many thanks to Micron and indeed to all who responded
 

NauticalGent

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Well now that is purt near impressive. Now I need to get to practicing! Really hate to see this thread end. Your diligence is almost as impressive as your skills.

I thank you...
 

Micron

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I'd be happy to help you make a video, @Micron
I appreciate the gesture, but I'm already about one third of the way through my 'next' project ( a Pao Ferro tonewood set) and my first one (not a uke but a guitar) is awaiting spray finish and final assembly and set up. When the weather warms up I plan to get back to that and finish my first guitar project. I also have one more set of tone wood (Indian Rosewood because Brazillian Rosewood is a protected species now) but have no concrete idea as to when I'd start that. Then again, guitars are not really in the same league as a ukulele so a 'how to' video series on a guitar would likely not be of interest to many here. That sort of thing has been done a thousand times on YouTube, no doubt . To do what I did here with more common tools would require one to buy a kit where more of the work has already been done, and there are good videos on that already. I suggest that anyone interested in their own uke project visit Stewart MacDonald website (aka StewMac) and check out their uke kits. They also have a very good video series on building from their kit, and the vids are available even if you haven't bought one. I don't anticipate building another uke if that's what the interest is about here. Not saying I would not if commissioned, just that I have no such plans at this time.

One thing about the uke kit...my son and his daughter built one with my help for her Christmas present. I think it was a valuable learning experience for her; not just from a craft point of view but also about patience, effort and reward. She was downright peeved at her mother because she said she'd "look into it" when asked about a uke for Christmas. Girl told us "I know what that means....NO!" So I got the idea of a kit for a Christmas present. Instead of just opening a box with a uke in it, she had to put in some work, learn a few things about wood working and maybe a thing or two about effort vs reward. She could also share her experience with her friends on whatever platform it is that her generation is into these days. I'll bet the real meaning of the exercise doesn't hit home for years to come, but my hope is that one day it will, and it will be like someone turning on a light.
 

strive4peace

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anytime you want and any instrument you want, Micron -- whatever moves you. Music is wonderful. Sure there are videos out there already, but the more, the merrier ... never enough! It doesn't have to look amazing because most couldn't do that -- it would be great to see more people making more music 😚 🎶

I used to go to a music festival every year and camp with my children. It always warmed my heart to see people making instruments out of whatever they had -- boxes, spoons, gourds, buckets, pipes ... along with real ones too ;)

What a lovely, thoughtful gift for your granddaughter ❤ and your son 💕
 

The_Doc_Man

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Beautiful job, Micron. I've been lurking just to see the stages of production. Most impressive.

Not that it matters because I didn't make the instrument, but what I play has the name "Baby 2" (2, because Baby 1 got drowned by Hurricane Katrina). Baby 1 got ITS name in honor of Dave "Baby" Cortez, the jazz and pops organist.


The one I own needs a little work here and there but still sounds great. You can look up "Technics F5" to find a few videos that would show you what one sounds like. I don't have any videos posted because I don't have the means to make them. No camera and no way to do proper pickup for the audio.
 

Micron

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I posted a vid to YouTube to let you know how it sounds when played by a rank amateur. Don't worry, I don't sing in it!
If you're familiar with the character Wilson from Tool Time, I'm just as incognito too. This will show that my talents don't apply to making videos, and maybe not to ukulele playing either.;)

In case the audio isn't clear, the song is Can't Help Falling in Love (again, my apologies to Elvis fans everywhere). Hope you notice the vid title!
 

NauticalGent

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Simply perfect!

My wife did not know about this so when I sent her the link, she had a few questions. She also noticed the title "Lydia"...

About that. My mother is 3rd generation Hawaiian, what is referred to as "local haole". She is not polynesian, rather of Portuguese and English descent. She was born there (as was I) and met my father while he was stationed there with the US Marines. A lot of time has passed and she lives in South Carolina now with my stepfather

She lost her battle with cancer this Easter.

With the COVID19 situation the best we could do is have her cremated and hopefully give her a proper send off in September when I am scheduled to return from Italy.
So when my wife asked me if I would learn to play Somewher Over The Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, there was only one answer. I had no idea how life was going to play out when Micron and I started planning this adventure but it seems to all fit.

Good stuff....
 

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