I had a great time at this year’s Utah Uke Fest. I taught a workshop where we made fretboard keychains. I then played two songs at the main evening concert.
Fretboard Keychain Workshop:
I love travel style ukuleles of all sorts. Finding ways to make instruments ultra portable is fascinating to me.
I’ve built a many different kinds of travel ukuleles. I even made a ukulele with a retractable neck.
If a neck folds for storage, the strings need to be managed. The new folding ukulele made by Astro Ukulele has a moving bridge that prevents the string from getting too floppy when it is folded for travel. When unfolded, it is a soprano ukulele. It even has two “wings” that pop out to make it easier to hold.
The Astro Ukulele comes in two different models, A and E. The A is acoustic, and the E is electric.
The Kickstarter campaign for the Astro Ukulele just launched. Check out the ukulele models and other perks of the project.
JUNE 2018 UPDATE:
Unfortunately this project failed to reach its goal on Kickstarter. Hopefully they will find another way to produce this design.
Here are some helps and hints to make your own Backpacker Guitar. This project takes some knowledge and skill, so I wouldn’t recommend it as a first instrument building project.
Parts and supplies:
The rectangular body section is 9.75 by 3.5 inches. After the 9.75 inches, it curves in towards the neck.
Making the turnaround is very important. I modified the turnaround so that each of the strings turn independently on its own roller. That is not shown in the video. The string spacing (from string 1 to string 6) at the bridge and turnaround is 52 mm. The string spacing at the zero fret is 36 mm.
I recommend that you print out the fret template, and combine it with the dimensions of the body. The tines of the of the body are around .5 inch wide.
Download and print the fretboard below:
People from all over the world have utilized my free plans to make a travel ukulele (or it’s backpacker brother).
Here’s a ukulele made by Mark in Oregon.
The plans are for a concert version of the travel ukulele.
I’ve also made tenor and sopranino versions of that design.
Here are the downloadable and printable templates for the fret placement. They can be used in conjunction with the templates and hints.
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:
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
Luis Hernández from Spain emailed today and gave me Altoids Ukulele plans that he translated into Spanish. It was an awesome surprize.
Thanks Luis! I’m sure your translation will help many people.
My YouTube channel hit 500,000 views today! To celebrate, I’m giving away my Woodi ukulele.
Go to the video on YouTube and leave a comment to guess.