Michael from Germany’s Travel Ukulele Design

Michael from Ludwigsburg, Germany emailed some awesome files this week.  We added upon the work that Craig from Seattle did.

He tweaked a few things according to his own taste.

He told me:

  1. I wasn’t very keen on the nut (0-fret) made of a bass fret, so I came up with the idea of modeling it from a piece of walnut.
  2. The turnaround will be made of a lathe-turned piece of walnut with a glued in 7mm dia. aluminium core with inner M4 thread (lathe + thread tap).
  3. The turnaround will be held in place by countersunk M4 x 25 screws (internal hex socket, cap-head).
  4. The position markers and strings will be black.
  5. The bridge is a thin aluminium pipe held in place by clamps similar to those you used in your early Travel Uke design.
  6. I skipped the electrical wiring and internal wire channels.
  7. I initially wanted to use black string pegs instead of simple holes but after a while I realized it would ruin the simplicity of the design.
Here are some great digital renders of the travel ukulele.





There are lots of thing that can be done to the original design.

Great job Michael!  I can’t wait to see the final product.

Download file here: Travel Ukulele File


2 thoughts on “Michael from Germany’s Travel Ukulele Design

  1. Michael from Germany

    Hi there! It’s been a while since I finished the uke but I somehow couldn’t find the time to take pics and send them over to you. I’ll try to do it this weekend.

    Actually the uke isn’t 100% finished as I’m struggling with one major issue:
    * I managed to get rid of the clamps by screwing in tiny threaded rods into the aluminium pipe and positioning them in small holes I added to the body (the pipe is held in place by pressure from strings). I then filled the pipe with epoxy and glued the piezo in. HOWEVER this solution turned out to be very silent… My second attempt was leaving the pipe hollow and putting the piezo behind it, so that strings going from the bridge to the turnaround are touching it. Again this turned out to be too silent. Need to find a third solution!

    And a couple minor issues:
    * The wooden turnaround, no matter how beautiful it may look, was not a good idea after all – the material’s roughness prevents strings from sliding smoothly while tuning, making the tuning a pain in the anus… I guess I’ll have to use aluminium or teflon.
    * I get a buzzing sound when I touch the jack or socket with my hand – I’m suspecting a ground loop in the wiring. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
    * Need to file down the frets a bit more

    Otherwise the uke is performing great and has already been with me in Canada and twice in Japan.

    I’m currently slowly collecting all the necessary hardare for my next build – replica of a pretty famous custom LP. I’ll keep you updated. I’m really glad I found your website and got inspired to build ukes! THANK YOU!


    1. danielhulbert Post author

      Hi Michael,

      Sorry for the late reply. I’ve had the same problem with making wooden turnarounds. The strings dig in too much. Maybe ebony or some kind of very dense wood would work.

      You are on the right track with the buzzing. There must be a ground problem. With electric guitars, buzzing when you touch the metal means the wires are reversed.

      I’m happy to hear that you taken the uke on some of your travels.

      Good luck on the LP project.


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