Solid Spanish Cedar box with a maple neck and "Fluke" style headstock

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Comment by Jerry Jordan on December 30, 2016 at 1:46am

sweet.,.,

Comment by ChickenboneJohn on February 5, 2010 at 12:43pm
My archtop uke is a tenor (17" scale approx). I made the bridge on this one
Comment by smojo on February 5, 2010 at 8:40am
What scale lenght is the archtop? I take it it's longer than 13. Good deal too. I've got the strings and pegs on the way. Did you make the bridge or buy?
Comment by ChickenboneJohn on February 4, 2010 at 10:16pm
A Gran Corona box should make a good uke. If you use a regular uke (13") scale I find the strings a bit loose and the overall tone pretty weedy. I've just swapped a CBG for an archtop tenor uke and I really like the string tension and the extra space on the fretboard (that was a pretty good swap, considering the ukes go for about £175.00 new, and it's mint!)
Comment by smojo on February 4, 2010 at 10:02pm
Thanks again John, some very useful tips there. Hadn't thought about the tension thing but makes sense. I wanted to make myself one anyway so that will be a prototype. I've noticed that the loudest cbgs come from boxes with thin lids and big boxes, but mostly from the lid thcikness. Loudest so far was a Gran Corona box, very light with a solid but thin top.
Comment by ChickenboneJohn on February 4, 2010 at 8:26pm
Cigar box ukes are difficult to get to work well, as there is so little tension on the strings to "drive" the top. You really want a box like this one, thin solid wood, not plywood, otherwise acoustically it will be whisper quiet. In any case, they need a pickup in them to make them into a useable instrument. I put 2 VERY light ladder braces inside, and just screw the neck on with a couple of screws, with a little reinforcement in the back of the box. The nylon strings exert very little tension, and in fact it's best to increase the tension to get a better sound, so I prefer building these to a longer concert (15")or tenor(17") scale as opposed to the standard soprano (13")scale. Coincidentally I just got an order for a couple of ukes this week. The bridge is glued to the top in traditional manner, but I also put a couple of screws in thru the top from the reverse side to assist clamping and as extra insurance.

I reckon you need to build a uke with Colin Chapman's (of Lotus racing cars) approach - as light as possible without it actually failing catastrophically. Unfortunately, they do say that Lotus stands for "Loads Of Trouble, Usually Serious"..so be warned!
Comment by smojo on February 4, 2010 at 9:47am
Thanks John. Got an order for a uke so need to suss everything out again. Scale length, neck type etc. What have you done inside, any bracing and what happens to the neck once inside the box. How's the bridge attached?thinking I might just use a the usual through neck design
Comment by ChickenboneJohn on February 4, 2010 at 3:42am
Yes, it's a trad uke bridge, undercut at the back and the strings are just knotted at the back of the slot to stop them pulling through.
Comment by smojo on February 4, 2010 at 3:35am
Lovely job John. How are the strings actually anchored. Are they just knotted and slipped under the slots?
Comment by Doug Thorsvik on June 9, 2009 at 4:45pm
There's a lot to like here: slots for strings in the bridge, slotted sound holes; open headstock; clean attractive wood. Sweet uke!!!

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