Monthly Archives: December 2012

Acoustic Travel Ukulele (Free Plans)

Difficulty:  Advanced

Cost:  $$

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If you can’t leave home without a ukulele, try building a travel ukulele.  I built this instrument with cherry wood, but any type of wood could be used.

Download the free plans and start building.  Before building this ukulele, I would advise you to read through all of the steps to get the overall picture.  Also, make sure to be familiar with the tools you are using and PLEASE use caution.  Follow the plans to make an acoustic/electric ukulele with a concert (15 inch) scale, or tailor the plans to make you own masterpiece.

Download the free plans!

Acoustic Travel Ukulele Plans

Email CircuitsAndStrings@gmail.com if you have any questions or comments.

See it in action!

Bass Ukulele

Difficulty:  Advanced

Cost:  $$$

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Ukuleles come in all shapes and sizes.  Bass ukuleles are fun for both ukulele players and bass guitarist who want a more portable instrument.  Bass ukuleles are tuned like a normal bass guitar (E, A, D, G).

The bass ukulele that I built features a piezo saddle pickup with an active preamp that is powered by a 9 volt battery.  The maple neck has a 20 inch scale. It has Road Toad polyurethane strings and Ashbory bass tuners.  The body was finished with “Orang Orange” nitrocellulose laquer from Reranch.

Read all about the construction here:

http://ukeland.co.uk/article/category/building-electric-ukuleles/bass

See it in action!

1920s Banjo Ukulele Restoration

Difficulty:  Easy

Cost:  $$$

I purchased this banjo ukulele in an unplayable condition.  It was missing 2 tuners, 2 strings, and the bridge.  At some point it was given a white paint job.  From my research, it appears to be from the 1920s. (If anyone has any additional information, please add a comment.)  I removed all of the hardware before I stripped off the paint. It was then refinished with Tru-Oil.  The vellum head was in good enough condition to reuse.  The tuner holes were large enough to install banjo-style planetary tuners without any additional drilling.  I used Worth clear fluorocarbon strings and a Grover bridge.

I’m very pleased with how this instrument turned out.  It’s my oldest instrument by far, but it still plays great.

“Before” pictures:  

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“After” pictures:

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See it in action!