Travel Ukulele

Difficulty:  Advanced

Cost:  $$

I wanted to make a ukulele with the longest possible scale that would still fit in my travel case.

Before staining the body, I made sure that everything fit properly.

The “Les Paul” style body was made with a single piece of cherry wood. The scale length is 19 inches, and its overall length is 21.5 inches. Even though the scale length is 19 inches, I tune it like a reentrant tenor/concert/soprano. I prefer that tuning and it works better with most of the ukulele sheet music that I have.

The fretboard and bridge are made of rosewood. The volume knob is made of ebony. A piece of plastic pipe directs the strings back towards the tuners.

I used transparent red nitrocellulose lacquer followed by nitrocellulose clear coat to give it a finish similar to Gibson’s “Heritage Cherry” finish.

The under saddle piezo pickup is soldered to a 500K ohm potentiometer to control the volume. The output jack is attached to an upside down stratocaster style jack plate.

See it in action!

15 thoughts on “Travel Ukulele

  1. Pingback: Travel Ukulele | Circuits and Strings

  2. Ole

    Very inspiring project, thanks for sharing! Could you elaborate some more on what pickup you used and how you added the volume control? Also, how did you attach the strings at the head end of the uke? Thanks for your insights!

  3. dae the brave

    can you tell us exactly what electronics you used from what brand (pots, pickups, preamps, jacks and tuners) and what kind of plastic you used for the back? thanks

    1. danielhulbert Post author

      An inexpensive piezo rod is connected to a basic 500K ohm potentiometer then to a 1/4 inch mono jack. It looks like diagram #2.
      I don’t use a preamp on this. The tuners are basic sealed chrome tuners.
      The plastic “turn-around” at the tail is some 3/4 inch (outer dimension) plastic tubing from Lowes or Home Depot. The body started out as a 6″ by 24″ piece of cherry.

  4. dave the slave

    also do you have a diy instructable on this build if not. the list of supplies and parts including brand names you used to make would also be great

  5. Pingback: Travel Ukulele | Circuits and Strings

  6. Pingback: Headless Stratocaster Ukulele | Circuits and Strings

  7. Oscar Stern

    A travel guitalele would be interesting with a headphone jack. I just noticed you made an acoustic electric ukulele with a headphone jack & the jag stang ukulele could use one. Can you try experimenting by putting a headphone jack on the jag stang ukulele ? Because it needs upgrades. The jag stang guitalele organ has sensors underneath the frets which produce sound.


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