Category Archives: Easy

Plans in action: Altoids Ukulele

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 I received an email from a high school math teacher in Texas. Her class used my Altoids Ukulele plans for a final project in a geometry class.  Who knows?  Some of these students might be luthiers themselves someday. 

 

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They made some great looking ukes. Awesome work!

 

Build your own today. Download the plans here.

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Cookie Tin Ukulele

Difficulty:  Easy

Cost:  $

This is quick and easy project.  Most of the parts came from a Grizzly Ukulele kit.  I found a suitable tin that was sturdy enough and had an interesting design.  The neck was attached to the tin with screws and epoxy.  A small piece of moulding was slotted and shaped to serve as the floating bridge.

See it in action!

Altoids Ukulele

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Quite a few people have asked about plans for the Altoids ukulele.  They are now available!

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 Altoids Ukulele with a concert (15 inch) scale, or tailor the plans to make you own masterpiece.  Use a different tin or a wooden box for a different look.

Download the free plans!

Altoids Ukulele Plans

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

Check out my other Altoids Instruments.

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!

Satellite Dish Guitar

Difficulty:  Easy

Cost:  $$

 

The main parts for this instrument (besides the actual satellite dish) were taken from this electric guitar that was purchased at a garage sale.  The neck and tuners were used, along with one of the pickups and one of the potentiometers.

The paint was painted black before it was mounted to the dish. Some wooden blocks served to set the neck at the correct angle.

This guitar used a top-loading hardtail bridge purchased from eBay. The single-coil pickup is connected to a 500K ohm potentiometer. The wiring is just like this diagram.

Watch this video to see it in action!