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  #1  
Old 07-22-2017, 10:02 AM
printer2 printer2 is offline
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Default Tenor Cigar Box Ukulele

I know I should not be building anything, I have some tendons that are causing me pain and I have my right hand in a brace that limits what I can do. This has been stopping me from completing the necks on my last few builds. So why do I think I can make a neck for a uke? It is so small, I would be finished in no time. Besides the neck will be spruce and it carves like butter.

In reality it took more filing and sanding than I expected, in all not too bad though. I decided to do a cigar box rather than make a regular body because of project creep. I wanted to keep it simple after a few additions it became a carved archtop then I scaled back to the least work possible using a cigar box. Well almost, that would have used the back as a sound board, which would not have been too bad as the back is plywood, the top and sides are a pressed pulp kind of thing. I decided to replace the lid of the box with some wood I had laying around. The neck is a piece of straight grained 2"x3" I cut and glued together. I am using a 'kit' that I got online consisting of tuners, a bridge and nut and saddle.



Trimmed the edges of the top pieces to join them.



Glued them together. Added neck and tail blocks along with linings for the top.



Debated on the brace pattern for the top. Decided to go X braced as compared to a fan brace, thought it would get more of the top vibrating.



Carved them some, no idea if it is enough or too much. Roughed out the neck.



Some trimming and cut some walnut for the fretboard.



Glued the sound board on, couple of coats of poly and glued on the bridge.



Somehow I made the fretboard a touch narrower than I wanted. I'll fix that in Mark II.



The neck needs a wedged shim between it and the body. Who would have though a cigar box would not be square (a gentle hint, me). Actually the neck came out fairly nice. Almost a shame to do what I intend to do to stick it on the box.
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Last edited by printer2; 07-22-2017 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 07-23-2017, 08:45 PM
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Nope, the wedge was not called for, action is decent. Mucked up the tuner placement. Got frustrated screwing in the screws with a bum hand. What is worse is that the tuners are all for one side, the right side tuners have to turn in reverse. I never checked that when I got them. Otherwise it actually sounds pretty much like a uke. It is easy to play, I can see the appeal.

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Old 07-24-2017, 08:30 AM
redir redir is offline
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That's really neat. Looks like a fun little Uke.
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Old 07-24-2017, 05:50 PM
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This is something I can leave at work and not worry about it. Mind you a six string would also be cool. Hmmm...
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Old 07-30-2017, 05:46 PM
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Well the six string is on its way. Here is some oak that I was going to use in the previous build but decided to go the cigar box route as it was easier and would take less time. Well I liked the size of the cigar box uke but thought a six sting version would fit me just fine. I built up a neck and slotted the fretboard, then I had a change of heart. I had a cigar box to use but I decided to bight the bullet and make a real box for it. Sized up the oak and figured I could just squeeze a 9" lower bout out of it. I liked the oak fretboard and stripped it off the other neck. The neck needed to be a different length and I already did a rough carve on it and it had to go. I had another 2"x4" glued up to use a neck and started drawing. The shape was going to be more rounded in the lower bout than I have done before.



A lot going on in this picture. I glued the back together and drew out the shape on it. I bent the sides, the other one is clamped to a piece of wood that I cut to one half of the guitar outline. I have the back on a radius dish to give a 25' arc to it. I do not want to bind this guitar so I sanded the edge of the rim to conform to the back radius. I have the front and back blocks being glued down here. I cut a 2"x2" to fit in between them to hold them parallel to each other. While the front and back blocks were clamped together as shown, I put a piece of sandpaper under the blocks and sanded the arc of the back into them. The fiberglass rods are used to apply pressure to the blocks as they are being glued. This is a little different than my normal building pattern, I would usually have the top on the dish and the sides glued to it. I am starting with the back because I have no room for error if I want to not have any binding. I am going right to the edge of the back pieces, if the sides bowed out a little if I first glued them to to a top I would be short with a narrow back. I could have clamped the sides so they only spread as far as I need but things get busy with a lot of clamps in the way when you are gluing things together. Basically just went with my first idea and ran with it.

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Old 07-31-2017, 09:47 PM
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This is going to be a little cutey. I miss-judged on the top angle and I am going to lose more of the live edge than I like, think it would have looked interesting with it. Not a big deal but something to keep in mind on a future build. I braced the back, next I have to put the linings.

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Old 08-04-2017, 03:58 PM
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A little tardy getting this picture up.



This one fresh out of the camera.

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Old 08-04-2017, 06:38 PM
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I'll admit it, I got a little nervous when I just looked up other ukulele bracing. The braces looked a little more robust than mine, on top of that I have two more strings. Looks more like a classical guitar pattern now, I think I will close her up before I second guess myself again.

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Old 08-04-2017, 08:17 PM
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Top glued on. Nice little box, hope the bridge does not muck up the response too much. Tapping the top and back gives a reasonable resonance given the size of box.

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Old 08-04-2017, 08:18 PM
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It can be very addictive .

Steve
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  #11  
Old 08-07-2017, 07:50 AM
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Still some shaping to do, not sure what I want, just going to take off material till it feels right.

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Old 08-07-2017, 04:13 PM
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Just a couple more in process shots. Darn it is hard to come up with a good looking head shape that someone else hasn't used yet.



Did a shallow neck shape (more or less) with a hint of a V just for fun. A little cleaning up and then time to slap on some finish.

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Old 08-07-2017, 07:54 PM
Budman1 Budman1 is offline
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I like it Fred...
I sure hope it plays like it looks
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  #14  
Old 08-12-2017, 06:43 PM
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Great stuff, thanks for all the pictures
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Old 08-12-2017, 07:10 PM
redir redir is offline
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That QS oak will look great under finish. I think maybe your light bracing would have been fine, but I'm a Uke noob too. The way I look at it is, it's a scaled down version of a Spanish guitar.
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