The ukulute , making of a string instrument #2steemCreated with Sketch.

in #music4 years ago

Continuing where I left off last time I will show a bit about how I made my ukulute, the mutant child of a lute and a ukulele.

This time I will show you the construction of the body and the neck.

As I have written in my last post I decided to make the body out of very cheap wood, taken from a fruit crate. It is fairly thin and very soft and thus it is probably not a good choice but I did it anyway. Much in the same way that you could build a paper mockup of a building before making the actual building, I made my ukulele as a test/mockup, before i go about trying my hand on a "real" instrument.
So first I had to decide how I wanted it to look. I would have liked a real lute shape with a perfectly rounded body, but the amount of material and particularly the length of the boards I had was not sufficient for such a shape, and since my self imposed limitations was to use the wood at hand I had to make a compromise. I chose to take the two long boards I had and use them for the top (closest to the sound board) then i took the shorter ones and made a shallow bowl out of those.
By placing the rim on a flat surface and scoring it with a pencil I could make sure it was properly flat where it should meet the soundboard. and similarly where the rim met the bowl on the back I could make a flat surface so that there would be no gaps.
I then needed blocks at either end, both for stability and for having something to glue the rim and back unto. I chose beech, because I had some very nice firewood, which was leftovers from board making at our local wood mill. This meant that the pieces of firewood was flat on two side and app. 4 cm deep. perfect for my needs. I roughly cut them out using paper and cardboard to make simple mock ups. Then transferring the measurements to the wood and cutting. It turned out to work quite well, and the body ended up very close to perfectly symmetrical. making instruments is in a sense easier than other woodworking since all - or almost all joints are glued, which, is a fairly forgiving way of doing it. in this case i could use masking tape to hold the parts together while the glue dried which is a very effective way.
then on to the Neck. I started out planning to make the neck out of beech as well, but decided against it. beech is a very dense and very heavy wood so the neck would become as heavy as the rest of the instrument.

I then , by chance , saw a commercial for a guitar with a birch neck. I liked the fact that it was a wood type that can be easily found in Scandinavia (as is beech and oak) and it is much lighter than beech. Unfortunately I didn't have any pure birch. I did have some birch plywood and since this was going to be a "trash" ukulele I decided that it would have to do. Since the plywood was only 9 mm thick I would have to layer it to make a neck. I did this using my cnc where I cut out some profiles of varying size and glued them together, That way I got less shaping and sanding , and a chance to use my cnc again.
I then shaped the rough neck using a belt sander and a hand held sander as well as some rasps and files and elbow grease.
I was pleased with the result . The next step would be the soundboard (which is the front plate where the strings are) as well as mounting the fret board and frets, and putting the neck on the body.

but that will be next time. Until then

Im EvilHippie, a compulsive creative and jack o' trades. If you want to know more about me, check out my introduction post here

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Im looking forward to hear the sound of this ground breaking instrument

yes, it will be grand :-)

and my reply was apparently a haiku!?

Im looking forward
To hear the sound of this ground
Breaking instrument

                 - skovclaude

I'm a bot. I detect haiku.

The mutant child of a lute! there are a lot of those. Nice post.

Well most western string instruments are based on the Lute, itself probably a child of the middleeastern Oud. So yes there are a lot of these around. mine is just the latest sibling in that huge family

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