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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 1:25 pm 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:10 pm
Posts: 137
First name: Chris
Last Name: Reed
City: Stowmarket
State: Suffolk
Zip/Postal Code: IP14 2EX
Country: UK
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
This "build" has a story:

My friend Tony fell downstairs over a year ago (he claims to have been sober), and whilst preserving his Argapa resonator uke he busted his leg badly. He was in a cast, then had complex metalwork to stretch his leg bone over 2 inches (!) because of how the break mended. A month back his cast came off, and I thought he needed something to celebrate.

In his social media signature line he takes the [mickey] out of "serious" players who carefully list their precious ukuleles. One of the ukes he lists is: "Cigarette Box nano-Piccolo (Capstan Full Strength)". So I had to make him one.

I found a tin on eBay:

Image

20s or 30s, I'm guessing so something old. And the seller was fairly nearby, so local too.

It presents an interesting building challenge (something new, I've never done anything like this before). The metal is so thin you can bend it between finger and thumb. When first strung up, the action rose from 3mm to about 12mm before I rapidly de-tuned, so I've had to invent a radical new bracing pattern:

Image

Not sure I recommend it to more conventional builders, but it does allow strings to be put on and raised to tension. In addition to the screws, I had to find a way to reinforce the attachment to the top, which is highly flexible. So you might just be able to see where I've drilled tiny holes either side of the bracing, passed through a wound guitar string, and twisted the ends together. This removed the worst of the buzzing!

Neck attachment is also visible here - a nice big wood screw into the heel.

Tailpiece is simply a scrap of mahogany with a rebate on the bottom side to take the knots on the end of each string and slots to lead the string up to the top.

Image

And today it was finished - the lid still opens, so the remaining buzzing was the edge of the lid vibrating against the side. I cured this with a couple of layers of insulation tape over the rim of the side.

Image

Image

Image

Image

And it actually plays. Not very loudly, because the tin is pretty small (about 6 inches long). Scale length is 11 inches, which makes this a sopranino. I've put concert strings on it and it's tuned in D (a D F# B).

Video tomorrow, once the strings have settled down.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 1:38 pm 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:10 pm
Posts: 137
First name: Chris
Last Name: Reed
City: Stowmarket
State: Suffolk
Zip/Postal Code: IP14 2EX
Country: UK
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
And budget, of course. I've *just* scraped in under the limit (numbers are translated into US dollars as I buy in British pounds):

Cigarette tin - $7
Sapele neck blank - $1 (this is cut from a slab I bought a couple of years back)
Fret wire - $3
Tuners - $1.25 (I bought a bag of around 50 from a shop which had removed them when upgrading ukes - they work out around $0.25 each, but I added a 5mm crinkle washer to each one so they actually hold tune)
CA glue - $0.50 (I've easily used two tubes of the cheap stuff here, removing and re-gluing the bracing several times. It doesn't really do much glueing because the top was so flexible the bracing needed to be held on mechanically, but it does fill any gaps between top and bracing and so stops buzzing)
Scraps, screws, shellac to finish the neck - $1

This brings me in at $13.75.

Strings are about $8, so just over $20 all in.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 4:23 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:36 am
Posts: 5138
Location: Southeast US
City: Lenoir City
State: TN
Zip/Postal Code: 37772
Country: US
Focus: Build
Very cool and fun!!

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

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Steve Smith
"Music is what feelings sound like"


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:54 pm 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:10 pm
Posts: 137
First name: Chris
Last Name: Reed
City: Stowmarket
State: Suffolk
Zip/Postal Code: IP14 2EX
Country: UK
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Here it is in action:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnkXz3t17tM

[YouTube embedding isn't working, even when I follow the board software rules!]


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:53 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:50 pm
Posts: 1235
Location: Seattle WA
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
Sounds great Chris! Are there any sound hole/openings?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:12 pm 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:10 pm
Posts: 137
First name: Chris
Last Name: Reed
City: Stowmarket
State: Suffolk
Zip/Postal Code: IP14 2EX
Country: UK
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
pat macaluso wrote:
Sounds great Chris! Are there any sound hole/openings?


You must be kidding! It's just the safe side of folding up, so i daren't weaken it by cutting holes. Mind you, the lid is far from airtight, it's got a bit bent over the years.

And of course, soundholes don't affect the volume, but just shape the sound. I reckon the sound is what it is (and louder and less brash than i expected) so I'm calling it done.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:12 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:36 am
Posts: 5138
Location: Southeast US
City: Lenoir City
State: TN
Zip/Postal Code: 37772
Country: US
Focus: Build
Entertaining video and the little uke sounds pretty darn good, much better than I expected. [:Y:]

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Steve Smith
"Music is what feelings sound like"


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:40 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:27 pm
Posts: 1907
Location: South Carolina
First name: John
Last Name: Cox
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Very cool. I love it.


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PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 9:20 am 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:10 pm
Posts: 42
First name: Chuck
Last Name: Surette
Country: Canada
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Very nice! I really like that slotted tailpiece.

Thanks for sharing.

Chuck


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PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 1:00 pm 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:10 pm
Posts: 137
First name: Chris
Last Name: Reed
City: Stowmarket
State: Suffolk
Zip/Postal Code: IP14 2EX
Country: UK
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Thanks all. Handed it over last weekend and its new owner is delighted with it. Plus he's walking with a stick, so can stand up to play it. Well worth the time spent!


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:12 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:12 pm
Posts: 2329
First name: Bryan
Last Name: Bear
City: St. Louis
State: Mo
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Bumping the finished entries up to the top. . .

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Bryan Bear PMoMC

Take care of your feet, and your feet will take care of you.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:01 pm 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:10 pm
Posts: 137
First name: Chris
Last Name: Reed
City: Stowmarket
State: Suffolk
Zip/Postal Code: IP14 2EX
Country: UK
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Thank you Brian, but I don't think I should be a contender. More engineering than building!

However, here‚Äč is Tony with his uke (crutches not in picture).

https://youtu.be/F7qPF_rWIIk


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:08 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 10:44 am
Posts: 3143
Love that little diddy :)


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