F I N K B U I L T

Scale model cockpit FPV

fpv
cool scale cockpit video

Funny Zoo Snap

man enjoys elephant My wife noticed this in the family archives.

RC Nitro motorcycle racing

rc motorcycle Motorcycle racing in Lilliput.

Manned RC Multicopter

manned multicopter
Here’s an RC multicopter big enough to ride on!

Make: Talk 004

make: Talk 004
I had a fun time talking to Mark Frauenfelder in episode 4 of his new podcast, Make: Talk!

One Man Basement Band

one man band
I feel like I could be getting more mileage out of my right foot.

Liberty

liberty vintage motorcycles An Etsy portrait. Thanks, Danny.

Tequila Sleeve

tequila the champs
Champs sleeve

Wolf-Stelzer Book Lamp

Book Lamp
My friend Tess just made the cover of ReadyMade with her cool lamp design.

Tree Stump Bug

null
Can this be for real? The design is so awesomely Thunderbirds. Via

The Nothing Box

nothing box

Thunderbirds

Thunderbirds are go
Are Go!

Command Center

command center
Sweet assemblage spaceship’s bridge.

Four Drano’s

drano
Watch the sink slowly, all but disappear from the design .

Toothpaste Aerosol

toothpaste aerosol
Aerosol toothpaste




Project ukulele comes to a close

Finkbuilt soprano ukulele model A number 001 has rolled of the line.

Finish

I began the last phase of the uke project by masking the fretboard and brushing on a coat of satin polyurethane. I quickly realized that I had forgotten to locate and mask off the the bridge saddle position prior to applying the finish. As soon as the initial coat of finish had dried, I scraped it away from the spot where the saddle would be glued to the body. Four more coats of gloss polyurethane completed the finish.

Bridge and Nut

Next, I glued and clamped the bridge saddle into position and let that dry overnight. Using the grizzly bridge as a pattern, I made a new bridge out cocobolo to replace the one that came with the kit, which was made from some splintery, semi-hard mystery wood.

I glued the nut into place at the top of the fingerboard, and installed the bridge into the saddle. Next came the economy friction tuners, which dropped right in without any complaints. A single screw holds the knob to the peg and serves as an adjuster for the tuner friction.

Setting the action

With all of the parts in place, I strung up the uke and checked the action, which was sky high, so I used a fine saw to deepen the slots in the nut so that the strings just barely hovered over the first fret. I finished bringing the action down to Earth by sanding the bridge until the strings were about 1/8th of an inch above the 12th fret.

Label

Just to make everything look official, I whipped up a little manufacturer’s label to go inside the body, so that when you peer into the sound hole, you get the feeling that the instrument was made by somebody Legit.

So there you have it. The uke was a fun project and I got to try my hand at a new branch of tinkering and hopefully I’ve created an heirloom trinket. Now I just need to figure out how to play it. I think I’ll start with David Bowie’s Queen Bitch.

12 Responses to “Project ukulele comes to a close”


  1. Ken Barrett Says:

    A very nice finished instrument! You may be the next Israel Kamakawiwo’ole!

  2. Tom Fitzgerald Says:

    What an excellent project. You’ve inspired me to give it a try. Of course, I’ll have to come up with my own pearl inlay design.
    Thanks for the idea!

  3. Robyn Says:

    Beautiful! Now you must build a marimba… tuning it is a real challenge…

  4. Howlin' Hobbit Says:

    As far as learning how to play it I’m right here in downtown Seattle and will happily give you a lesson in exchange for a chance to strum the little beauty myself.

    Great job!

    HH

    Steve says:

    Howlin’ –

    Nice! I’ll take you up on the lesson if you’re serious. I’ll mail you and we can hook up! I’m also going to make myself a couple of pics from your plans tonight.

    thanks.

    steve

  5. Sophie Says:

    Here via the MAKE blog – This is just about the coolest thing ever. I’m tremendously impressed. I hope it gives you hours and hours of entertainment!

  6. Jason Says:

    Great job. It turned out very nice looking, rock on!

  7. joey Says:

    Looks beautiful :)

    Here is a link I thought you might appreciate. It goes to this amazing kid playing “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. There’s just an abundance of great ukulele videos here.

    Joey,

    Yeah – That Jake is unbleievable. I am particularly transfixed by Alison singing Satellite.

    steve

  8. Birdy Says:

    Steve,
    Try
    It’s a web comic and the author is a uke fanatic. He has some cord charts and uke tab as well (i.e. Jhonney Cash, Iggy Pop, etc.)
    See the links tab, Uke Club “like fight club except ukuleles”
    Also has a bunch of uke links.
    -Birdy

  9. Timbo Says:

    I got a lot of good info from you site and just ordered the uke kit myself, but i am a total newbie to any of this kind of thing.
    Not to overwhelm you, but how did you determine the placement of the bridge? Also, what are the basic tools i should have before i start the project?
    Congrats on the uke! Thanks.

    Steve says:

    Timbo, the instructions will give you measurements to use when locating the bridge relative to the first and last freets. You can build the kit with just sandpaper, glue, drill, and some clamps if you dont plan on doing any custom work.
  10. Ed Says:

    I’m working on a grizzly now, but the only thing fancy I’m going to do is have a palm tree and hula dancer painted on it. Yours looks awesome.

    Check out this site for Uke chords. You’ll notice a drop-down to the right of the screen that lets you change the chord diagrams to ukulele from guitar.

    http://www.chordie.com/

  11. garpike Says:

    Wow! Looks great. I just ordered my Grizzly on ebay. I plan to inlay a skull on the headstock. Not sure why.

    Check out a fretless bass I built with a cnc mill. It was a bit more challenging than I expected.

    joey, thanks for that great ukulele link!

  12. garpike Says:

    http://www.haughtdog.com/diy/guitar_projects/03_cnc_bass.html

    Whoops. Wrong code.