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New builder, but not a "new builder"


WolframMalukker
(@wolframmalukker)
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Hello, folks. New builder from the USA, about an hour's drive north of the Gibson factory. This is the first forum I've found that actually approves registrations in less than a week (so far...)

I am now teaching machine shop at a technical high school, and as part of the new teacher training I need to do some "cross-discipline" training into another classroom, so I, the metal shop teacher, will need to take wood shop class so that I can teach it if needed. I do have a good bit of experience in hand carving highly figured wood and fitting it to complex steel parts, and then applying a durable, clean finish. (deliberately vague as it's probably not legal in the UK.)

I intend to build a tenor size, solid body, electric ukelele, from raw materials. I have no problem making pickups, but I will buy pots/switches/caps/tuning machines, probably.

We'll see how it turns out. I'll have to wait until cross-training day to work on it but I do have a very expansive wood shop to work in as well as my own machine shop. We are well-equipped at the school, something that I am very fortunate to be able to say!


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Russ
 Russ
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Welcome @wolframmalukker. Looking forward to seeing how it all turns out. Good to have a metal work guy around. I'm sure you'll have a few good tips for us all. 

🙏🎶🙂🎸

🗝️ "Life's what you make it"🗝️


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Robin
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@wolframmalukker  Welcome to the group, it sounds like you have the ideal setup for making guitars, I'm on a knife edge waiting to see what you produce.


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Koendb
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@wolframmalukker Welcome to this wonderful community! I am curious about your ukelele build! I have all the parts laying around (and the plan ) to build one myself too..


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WolframMalukker
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Thanks guys.

I just dropped off the CAD model at the print shop, so that I can have full-size prints made. I just finished up teaching Blueprint Reading so my students have "A" size prints in hand now, it will be good to show them a proper "C" size print so I'll hang a copy of the template/plan drawings in the classroom too.

I wonder where I can find a proper truss rod for a 17" scale length? Will I need to make one?


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Boo
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@wolframmalukker First of all, welcome to our online community of guitar building. 

I’m looking forward to watching you build your electric ukulele, it’s something I’ve been thinking about building for quite a while. 

I feel like you’ve already inspired a few of us to join you in your electric ukulele build. A little friendly competition maybe? 😁👍 

Good luck and if we can help, just ask. 

Boo. 

Make guitars, not war 🌍✌️🎸


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WolframMalukker
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Dug through the wood bin at the school today. Got the OK before I started to "pull out anything you find in there that you might want, I've got enough shit to last a lifetime and these kids don't know the difference in pine and poplar."

Got a 18X18X2"(450mmx450mmx50mm) block of what I suspect is sapele, it's possibly sipo or khaya but looks like sapele to me. It'll do fine.

I need to work on scaling the Explorer drawing that I have, I got it scaled down such that the scale length is the proper 17", but that makes the nut too narrow so the neck has to get wider. I'm going to widen the body up a bit, to match.


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Boo
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Got a 18X18X2"(450mmx450mmx50mm) block of what I suspect is sapele, it's possibly sipo or khaya but looks like sapele to me. It'll do fine.

I need to work on scaling the Explorer drawing that I have, I got it scaled down such that the scale length is the proper 17", but that makes the nut too narrow so the neck has to get wider. I'm going to widen the body up a bit, to match.

@wolframmalukker Yeah that sounds good to me. Even if the Explorer shape doesn’t quite fit, you can always use an off cut to glue on where needed. 
Have you thought about what finish you will use? If it’s a natural wood finish, using oil maybe, choose the glued bits wisely (I’m sure I don’t need to tell you, your eye will guide you). If you are painting it, it doesn’t matter too much. 

Make guitars, not war 🌍✌️🎸


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WolframMalukker
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After scaling the drawing to produce a 17" scale, the body can be cut from a 15"x12" blank with a little room to maneuver. The piece I have is 18"x18", so I have room to adjust where I need to to get the body where it needs to be.

I dug back into the wood bin again today, and have a quartersawn maple board that might be silver maple, or might be rock maple. I didn't have the correct brale to put it across my hardness tester in the machine lab but I have it at the house, so I'll check the hardness tomorrow and see if it's usable for neck material. Conversion to Janka hardness will be approximate at best but it will be enough to tell the difference.

After talking to my local guitarist, he recommended Grover Mini-Rotomatic 205c tuners. I'm on board with this although I am totally trusting his judgement on the hardware. I know the 'C' is the coding for chrome, and I haven't decided on the metalwork color yet but I'm a big car guy so chrome goes with everything...


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WolframMalukker
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The quartersawn board turned out to be extremely soft and powdery. Pretty as that is, it's not useful so back in the student bin and I have hunted up a flatsawn hard maple board, 2+ inches thick, 5" wide, and 7feet long. What I don't use for a neck, I'll glue up into a second body blank. Once the templates are made, no point in just building one.

(that's just how CNC machinists roll, ya know)


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Boo
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Posted by: @wolframmalukker

I have hunted up a flatsawn hard maple board, 2+ inches thick, 5" wide, and 7feet long. What I don't use for a neck, I'll glue up into a second body blank. Once the templates are made, no point in just building one.

@wolframmalukker You could get two necks out of that, maybe more. When I find timber like that, I always end up doing a double build instead of just one, I just can’t help myself. 

Make guitars, not war 🌍✌️🎸


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Wayne_F
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@wolframmalukker Welcome to the forum! Sounds like you're very well-equipped. Have fun with your build!


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