The ukulute , making of a string instrument #4steemCreated with Sketch.

in #music3 years ago

This is the fourth installment of my ukulute build. The previous chapters can be found
and here


You may wonder what took me so long. Well I have been watching paint dry. Or rather varnish. One thing that I was not prepared for when I started this project was how long it takes and how difficult it is, to make finish on wood. I am used to metals. you grind it and you polish it. It takes a long time but usually hours - not days.

With wood you first have to get a nice surface, using sandpaper and scrapers. Then you varnish or paint, and then you have to do it all over again with the sandpaper and scrapers because the wood reacts to the paint by "rising" i.e. all the little open structure rise up and make the surface rough again. Also i needed to fill all the little gaps that showed up when i painted it. these were filled with a mixture of sawdust and glue. Effective but ugly
ukulute (10).jpg
This had to be done at least 3 times before I even had an even cover of paint. I chose painting because the wood was not very pretty. If i had used pretty, nice quality wood (and hadnt have to fill holes) I could have just varnished it but that would not work here. The back was painted black and the front a light grey. mostly because that was the paint I had.
ukulute (11).jpg
The parts that was made from oak was left bare until I got to the varnishing.
I used a spray varnish which had to be applied with 1-2 hour intervals 3-4 times, so at least there was not that much waiting involved , but it still took an entire day. The fretboard was not varnished, because I was afraid the cheap varnish I used would not stand up to use on this part so it is just raw oak.
I got a bit impatient in the end and some of the details are not as I would have liked them to be. I painted some rings around the sound hole and at the rim of the soundboard and those became less than perfect, but I varnished it anyway and now I cant go back and change it without having to remove everything again. So, this is how it will be. It was always meant as an experiment and the next one will be better :-)
ukulute (12).jpg

ukulute (13).jpg

finally as promised I have uploaded a small soundfile (mp3) of me playing the new ukulele and my sons as well. lets see if you can guess which one is which. I play the same progression 4 times, and between each I switched the ukulele. so the first and the third time is on one of them and the second and fourth on the other. Lets hear your guesses as to which is which. Also what melody is it that I play? I wonder if someone can recognize it?
go check out the soundbite Here

This concludes my ukulute build. It is not really finished but i think it is almost done. I will probably do some minor stuff and make a nicer finish on the fretboard, but maybe I will throw my time at the next iteration instead.
I have been playing it at least every other day and most days more than half an hour, and i can feel the progression in my skills. I will be back with something completely different 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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Looks good!

The second and fourth sound better to me, but I don't know which is which.

And here's your next project:

i agree. the sound is more rounded. yes that could be a fun project. but acoustic instruments first electric shovels later

Maybe you could abuse some software you have access to and simulate resonance and Chladni patterns for the frequencies you need and design an optimal ukelutelele body shape. Or is that cheating?

Beautiful instrument!

Turned out nicely

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at last! the sound! the sound of russian angels in a Louisiana bar.... its legendary! 1&3

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