Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.

uke_top

uke2

uke_side2

uke1

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

Deluxe Altoids Ukulele

Difficulty: Intermediate
Cost: $$

My Altoids Ukulele has been a favorite on this blog and on my YouTube Channel.  Someone at work gave me a large sized Alotids tin, so I decided to make a “Deluxe” Altoids Ukulele.

I used a normal sized rosewood ukulele bridge to go along with the rosewood fretboard.

Unlike my other Altoids ukulele, I put a slight taper on the neck to make it more like a normal neck.  The neck is made of oak.

I wired a basic piezo disk to the 1/4 inch mono jack.

See it in action!

Souvenir Ukulele Repair

As my wife and I were traveling home from the Philippines this last summer, I had a a few Filipino pisos in my pocket that I wanted to spend before we left. I found a cheap souvenir ukulele in one of the airport gift shops. I was unplayable, but I got it to see if I could make into into a playable instrument.

Here are the “before” and “after” pictures.

 BEFORE:

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The fretboard wasn’t even close to being right.  I’ve made a 7 fret ukulele, but not an 8 fret uke with the frets placed randomly.

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The tuners were made from scraps of wood.  Not great for holding a tune.

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The string action was very high.

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The bridge was a simple triangular wedge.

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It had a paper rosette.  That was the first thing to go.

 

AFTER:

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New fretboard (12 frets, 9.25 inch scale length).  New bridge, nut, and strings.  No new rosette.

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New friction tuners.

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I’m glad that I was able to resurrect this little uke.  It will never be a great instrument, but at least now it is playable.

See it in action!

Travel Stick Ukulele

Difficulty: Advanced

Cost: $$

It’s well documented that I like experimenting with travel ukuleles.  I modified a design from 2013 for this latest one.  The fretboard and neck/body are a single piece of maple.  The piezo pickup is connected directly to the combination output jack and strap peg.  The tuners are grover friction tuners.  It has a concert scale length (15 inches) and an overall length of under 20 inches.  This thing is perfect to keep in the car, or throw it in a backpack for camping or on campus.

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See it in action!