I made a tennis racquet ukulele before, but this time I wanted to do a few thing differently. I wanted to have a wooden top and back, and I wanted to widen the neck enough to use a normal sized fretboard.
Here is the racquet before the strings were removed.
I planed down the body and the handle.
To make the neck wide enough for the fretboard, I glued cherry wood pieces to the side.
Gluing on the basswood top and fretboard. It has a tenor (17″) scale length.
After gluing on the bridge, I applied a few coats of Tru-Oil.
Check out the beautiful lamination of this racquet.
With the tuners installed, this uke is ready for strings.
I used a string retainer since this ukulele doesn’t have an angled headstock.
Here is the ukulele compared with Tennis Racquet Banjo ukulele that I made a few years ago.
Check out the demo video of the tennis racquet ukulele.
Win my Tennis Racquet ukulele by playing the “Lafayette Lilt”.
Contest info and rules:
1. Make a video covering “Lafayette Lilt”.
2. Upload the video the video to YouTube. (Make sure to have “Lafayette Lilt” in the title, but add whatever flair you want to the song)
3. Email CircuitsAndStrings@gmail.com to share your video with me. (Only one entry per person)
4. Video submissions until December 31, 2015 at midnight.
5. Finalists will be posted to this blog on January 2nd.
6. Voting until January 15th.
7. First place wins the Tennis Racquet Ukulele. Second and Third win Guitar Wall Hangers.
Tennis Racquet Ukulele
Lafayette Lilt Tips and Hints
Tablature – Lafayette Lilt
Sheet Music – Lafayette Lilt – Main Riff
If you follow this website, you know that my Travel Ukulele plans are popular. This ukulele is a variation of that design.
I took my travel ukulele design and cut off the back portion. I also omitted the pickup and jack. Requiring an amp definitely make a ukulele less portable. Not having the pickup also meant that I could start out with a piece of wood only .75″ instead of the normal 1″. This uke has a concert scale length (15″) but the overall length is just 17.5″.
Because I took out the pickup, I decided to add a thin piece of wood to the back to help out with the resonance.
I stamped my last name into the back.
The main wood is maple and the back piece is basswood.
Even after applying a few coats of Tru-Oil and adding strings, this ukulele weighs just 11 ounces.
This uke even has a working compass inlayed into the neck.
This ukulele would be great to throw in a backpack, keep in a car, or stow in some luggage.
If you want to use a strap, there are strap pegs at the back and where the headstock would normally be.
This ukulele is heading on an epic trek. Check out Her Odyssey to follow along with the journey.
Video demo time!
A few years ago I made a travel ukulele with features similar to this one, but this one has a Stratocaster style body. This has a tenor scale length (17″) and an overall length of just 20 inches.
The body is maple, and the fretboard is walnut. Before painting, I made sure that all of the hardware fits.
The body is taped off and it’s ready for spraying.
Painting the body blue.
En garde! After the blue paint came the matte clear coat.
I put a low g on it. I put a section of plastic pipe at the back to cut down on the friction off the strings turning back towards the tuners.
The tuners are mounted to two additional pieces on wood on the back. The output jack is a Stratocaster jack plate mounted upside down.
I love how this turned out. It’s pretty and it sounds great plugged into an amp.
Check out the demo video!