Electric Ukulele (Free Plans)

Difficulty: Advanced

Cost: $$

I’ve made quite a few solid body electric ukuleles.  One of the most common questions about them is:  Can you make plans for them??

My answer (until today) was:  Well,  they are complicated enough that it is hard to distill the process into a step-by-step plan.

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Some of my electric ukuleles.  Which one is your favorite?

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After a lot of planning and thinking,   I can finally release the plans to this electric ukulele.  I tried to make the design as simple as possible.  This ukulele can be made without a router, and it doesn’t have an angled headstock.  The slot in the headstock provides the needed downward string angle.  I opted to not have an onboard volume control.   The volume is controlled on the the amplifier.

These plans, just like my other ones, can be modified to suit individual tastes.  Some fun alterations to try would be having a different body shape, or adding volume control.

DOWNLOAD PLANS

After you build your own, share your creation with me.

Learn more about the build process:

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72 thoughts on “Electric Ukulele (Free Plans)

  1. dave the slave

    what is this about a grounding wire to the bridge? what is the purpose of it? and do i need it if i am going to build with a wooden bridge and piezo pickup? also any ideas of a capable band saw to buy that wont cost me too much this will be my first build and money is real tight. thanks for making these plans, the hard work you put into them is really appreciated!

    Reply
    1. danielhulbert Post author

      You don’t need to ground the bridge for a piezo pickup. You can probably pickup a band saw for around $100, although I actully just use a scroll saw. I use a harbor freight one that is around $70.

      Reply
  2. dave the slave

    but from my research my limited knowledge at the moment is telling me that a scroll saw will work for this project but will be very limiting. is this true? and could you provide specific places where you found these prices? what tuning gears did you use to build in this video?

    Reply
  3. dave the slave

    you said you got one for $70 that you have used for all your instruments. can i know what it is? and have you used it on hard woods? thanks.

    Reply
  4. dave the slave

    also am i able to use a piezo pick up with the kind of bridge that you used (sorry i dont know how to call that kind of bridge)?

    Reply
  5. dave the slave

    will a .020 blade do it if not do you know of a place where i can get a blade with .023 inches that wont cost me more than $10 (i find it kind of crazy that stew macs is charging $30 for a saw)

    Reply
  6. dave the slave

    the second to last tool in the tools list is Trim”router”and”flush”trim”bit”. what is this and what is it used for?

    Reply
  7. dave the slave

    i asked you by your travel ukulele build how far apart are the strings by the nut and by the saddle. how far apart are they in this build? and how do you deecide how far apart you want them?

    Reply
  8. dave the slave

    i asked you by your travel ukulele build how far apart are the strings by the nut and by the saddle. how far apart are they in this build? and how do you decide how far apart you want to make them?

    Reply
  9. dave the slave

    where do you get your premade nuts and bridges from? also i have been sseeing a lot on ukulele underground about fret dressing and its starting to scare me and make me think that i will need a lot of tools and money to get this thing playable. is this true?

    Reply
  10. dave the slave

    you write in the parts and supplies list “Tru Oil and wax finish (or other finish)”. do you really need both a tru-oil and a wax finish? if yes wood “renassaince wax” work for this?

    Reply
  11. Andy

    Dan – for the uke you show here, what kind of wood did you use? It looks way soft. Do you have any trouble with it getting dented easily?

    Reply
  12. dave the slave

    in the instructions there isnt much detail on how you used the tru oil and gun wax to finish the body. how did you do it?

    Reply
  13. dave the slave

    anything i need to know about if i plan to use a plain glooed on block of wood for the bridge with a piezo under saddle pick up? (on one of the threads on ukulele underground you did mention something about bridge/ saddle compensation which i didnt fully understand.)

    Reply
  14. dave the slave

    i am trying to print the a4 version of the body part of the print outs and i keep on ending up with the body being 128 mm across. any idea why that might be?

    Reply
  15. dave the slave

    also 42mm seems a bit thin for the width of the neck part as it is when it meets the body. are you sure that that is the right width?

    Reply
  16. dave the slave

    i also just noticed that no where in the tools list do you list that you need a hammer for the fretting. is there any that you can suggest? i need something cheap.

    Reply
  17. dave the slave

    i just noticed that no where in the tools list do you list that you need a hammer for the fretting. is there any that you can suggest or the requirements needed for a hammer to work as a fretting hammer that way i can find one myself? i need something cheap.

    Reply
  18. dave the slave

    this is considerably smaller than my tenor acoustic ukulele that i have. i assume that just like electric guitars its standard practice when making a solid body version to make it a lot smaller. if i am correct, is there a standard ratio when shrinking down to make a solid body? should i just make the body part the size of a soprano?because i plan on using your instructions but make a solid body version of my acoustic tenor instead of making it rectangular.

    Reply
  19. dave the slave

    how is it that the strings of the back tuning machines (of the 2 middle strings) aren’t touching the rods from the front tuning machines(the 2 outer strings)?

    Reply
  20. dave the slave

    i will change one word to try and make it more clear (the question might just be really stupid though, i will have think about it more). how is it that the strings of the back tuning machines (of the 2 middle strings) aren’t touching the rods of the front tuning machines(the 2 outer strings)?

    Reply
    1. danielhulbert Post author

      The strings connected to the back tuners come off the nut with angle that keep them away from the front tuners. If the headstock was angled, then they might touch, but it wouldn’t be a problem.

      Reply
  21. dave the slave

    is there a certain distance that i should keep the rods of the tuning machines from each other?

    Reply
    1. danielhulbert Post author

      I used medium/medium fretwire.

      BTW, I saw you comment on YouTube. I got my parts from C. B. Gitty, and Rockler. C. B. Gitty just got the right bridges. With some luck, i might make a post about it in the next week or so.

      Reply
  22. Drew

    How do you make sure that the taper of the neck is straight. Im concerned about cutting it out and not being able to stay on the line exactly

    Reply
  23. Ari

    I know im a little late to the party, But what are some modifications i would have to make this into an sg uke

    Reply
    1. danielhulbert Post author

      Mainly just modifying the headstock and body. For the body, find a picture of an SG online and shrink it down to a size you want. Use that as a cutting template.

      Reply
  24. Jim

    Just about to start my build using two bits of 19mm mahogany and some lovely red beech for the fretboard. I’m tempted to go for better sustain by making the body top & neck from a single piece – is there a good reason to stick with the bolt-on neck?

    Reply
      1. Jim

        Yep, now I’ve tested my band-saw skills I’m glad I stuck with the bolt-on plan. Before I glue I’m thinking about shifting the fretboard one fret towards the body – so it’s the 15th @ the neck/body join – to give more room for my hand at the nut. I’ll move the bridge back accordingly & I’ll help high fret access with a little cutaway. Do you foresee any other issues with that? Most importantly I can’t help noticing your 12th fret isn’t halfway between nut & bridge: is that deliberate?

      1. richcarl32

        Do you see any reason that a set of titanium strings for a ukulele wouldn’t work on this instrument? I do not quite understand how a set of guitar strings would work on it?

  25. Pingback: Don’t Let Me Down – The Chainsmokers – ft. Daya – Ukulele and Omnichord Cover | Circuits and Strings

  26. richcarl32

    Where do you get your supplies for this build? I am having issue finding a single coil pickup that isn’t enclosed. I can find other 4 pole pickups but all pre-wired with tone, volume and jack. Would you ever consider making a parts list for us beginners from cbgitty.com?

    Reply

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