First post to the Uke group - made my first Cuke, my 6th instrument overall.  I saw someone suggested it was a good use for a smaller box, and I had a short piece of walnut which was perfect for the neck.  It came out pretty good, I went with a Soprano size.  As I have tried to do with each build, I want to try some new things and hopefully end up with something playable.

I figured I would write up the design, maybe it can help someone someday. Added bracing around the inside of the box using the liner that came with it except I used a thicker piece on the neck side.  Slotted the full inside height of the box and notched the neck to screw directly to the brace.  All detail is on the top of the box so it can open, only the latches keep it closed.  I wanted to try some top braces and made an X style using coffee stir sticks, the top is flat so I don't know if they were needed or not.  I selected the hole size base on a doorknob cutting bit I had.  First try with straight tuners, they work fine but they are too close to each other (oops!)  Also the first pass on the neck was too thick for the tuners.  My last few builds I added a hole to hang them up for display.  My first tapered neck and full fret job, it seems to intonate ok.  No fretboard, just the walnut, but the frets were nice and flat from just pressing them in.  Copper wire for side fret markers.  I like to use a floating bridge which helps adjustment, and just used a piece of scrap to retain the strings.  Chunk of Delrin plastic for the nut, "real" ukulele strings. Action is nice and low, sounds pretty nice but not as loud as a regular uke. 


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Nice job.

Nice looking uke.  I use some similar techniques on my uke builds.

 Absolutely gorgeous-and if it isn't as loud as you like then the easy access provided by the unglued box allows for a pickup installation whenever you want...

Advise needed - as I mentioned the tuners are to close and of course now two keys want to share the same space.  I figure my options are - 1) go to gear tuners, 2) shave down the keys until they clear each other, or 3) redrill new hole spacing.  Anyone do option 3 and have it not look like a kludge?  It turned out nice otherwise so I'd like it to look good.

And thanks for the comments! that Walnut stained or unstained? Also, do you have any leftover bits?

 If it were me, i'd just re-drill the holes where you want them-probably the top two-then fill in the other holes with Walnut dowels/pegs, cut and sand to match. If you can still see the marks then some fine grade Walnut sawdust, epoxy to fix and more sanding would work-and if it is stained just re-stain it.

  Worst case scenario, just shave a few mm off the head, and add a 1mm veneer on front and back the way commercial luthiers do, then re-drill through the veneer..contrasting veneer on the heads is considered somewhat stylist these day, so I hear.

  I don't practice what I preach mind you-if you check my own builds you'll see I slap down dissimilar woods on top of each other and slap a clear coat over the contrasting woods for a 'rustic' look...

I would have to re-drill both upper and lower, I can make it work by moving the left two towards the nut to make a staggered pattern.  I do have a little piece of the walnut left so I could try to drill a hole and see if I can patch it ok.  By the way that is the natural color with tung oil on it, so no staining issues to deal with. Found a site for making a peg where they chucked the blank in a drill press and used a scrap board with a small nail thru it for a tailstock and sort of lathed it sideways.

I also saw where some guitars paint this area especially on the bottom, so that would be an option as well if it looks real bad.


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