Wave Electric Ukulele

Difficulty: Advanced+

Cost: $$$

I’ve built a bunch of electric ukulele, but all of them have been modeled after full size electric guitars.  For this project I set out to design my own electric ukulele.  I think it turned out great.

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My other electric ukuleles have been modeled after guitars from Fender and Gibson.  Can you name all of these models??

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Here are some sketches that I drew as I designed this instrument.  You can see how how the designed changed and progressed.

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I probably shouldn’t admit this, but part of the headstock design was influenced by the fact that I had quite a few left hand tuners in my possession.  I purchased sets of 3-on-a-side tuners to use for my Fender style builds, but only needed the right hand ones.

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After all of the parts were fitted, I leveled the body with some putty.  It is important to have the body as smooth as possible before the prime, and color coats.

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The body was primed, given a nitrocellulose color coat and then a nitrocellulose clear coat.

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I wanted to try having the volume knob on the side of the body instead of the top.  Doing this also allowed for a bigger cavity to house a push/pull switch to split the hot rail humbucker.  To keep the back and top as minimalist as possible, I drilled long holes from the pickup cavity to the combination strap peg/jack.

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I’ve named this the “Wave Ukulele” because the body made me think about waves crashing against the shore.  Once I gave this a name, I tied other design element to this theme.  The body is Sea Foam Green, and the fret markers, side markers and even the cap on the volume knob are abalone.

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This build was my first foray into the world of fanned frets.  The bottom string has a scale length of 17 inches and the top is 18 inches.   It’s a little different to play, but it’s very easy to get used to.

See it in action!

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12 thoughts on “Wave Electric Ukulele

      1. Doug Thorsvik

        Can you get the string spacing close enough to match a normal electric guitar? They look pretty easy to install.

      2. danielhulbert Post author

        If you use this style of single string bridge for a 6 string electric, the string spacing will be about 1/3 wider than a normal guitar. So the string spacing would be around 2-5/6″ instead of 2-1/8″. I know that there are single string bridges for guitar spacing, but they are all fairly expensive (at least the ones I’ve found online). I was tempted to make my own with some saddles and some angled aluminum.

  1. Pingback: 2014 Utah Uke Fest | Circuits and Strings

  2. darrien martin

    Do you have the double necked gibson for sale?? it’s one of my favorite guitars and would love to have a ukulele like that

    Reply
  3. thephilosophicalcyclist

    Maaaaaaaaaaate!!!!!!!!!! This is actually the greatest! I have dreamed of fully electric ukuleles since I started playing, but everyone said “It can’t be done”. But now you have proven them wrong in the epicest way possible!!!!!! You are the coolest!!!!!

    Reply

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