New instrument WIP - this time, a ukulele - Now completed...

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And finally, here is Sebastians' ukulele. There is very little difference between the two instruments. This one has a Brazilian tulipwood fingerboard versus ebony, a pink ivory bridge versus padouk, a neck made from afromosia versus maple and a nitrocellulose lacquer versus french polish.
The lacquer was applied using rattle cans, with a sealer coat followed by a couple of colour coats, and finally several clear coats. This was then left for a month before flattening off and polished with sequential liquid compounds and buffed by hand. There are several areas I can improve upon for future builds - despite being maple, I think a pore-filling stage would have been beneficial, as would further coats of clear and a more careful approach to flattening the clear coats. If you look carefully, you can see a few areas where the yellow colour isnt as deep, and I think I may have slightly sanded through. However, as all coats are nitrocellulose, I left as is and polished anyway.
Unfortunately, and despite using a bolt on neck-body join (and also a dry-run), the neck slipped laterally at glue-up which has left a sliver of unfinished body adjacent to one side of the heel. Shouldnt effect playability. Does effect aesthetics.

So, here we are at the front :

The back :

Neck_body close-up :

Further close-up showing a gap where I accidentally rounded-over the body whilst sanding the joint area :

Close-up of the bridge (I am rather pleased with the shape, but I hadn't left enough 'depth' at the rear to leave enough space to tie the strings off as well as I might have done).

Close up of the nut area, showing the headstock-veneer slippage issue...:

Close up of headstock area showing where I rasped away too much material. Possibly a problem had it been a full size guitar, but I hope the reduced string tension of nylon on a small body wont cause any future problems here.

Fingerboard end and soundboard :

And lastly, a view from the end of the uke :

When strung up and tuned, this one sounds almost identical to the maple-necked one. The necks feel similar too, in profile.
There's not much else to add, but I may post up a video when I can play a chord or two (and learn how to post to YouTube!), so I shall leave it there.
As usual, any comments/criticisms/queries gratefully received.

Thanks for looking,
Adam all I have to do is start on my full-size acoustics, and the twin-neck uke I have planned in my head somewhere.....


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beautiful work, well done sir.

bit too good to give to kids, perhaps hand them over for a couple of snaps for the album, then hide them away until they are say.... 30/35 they should properly appreciate them by then.

Lovely pictures and workmanship, finish and appearance of instruments look super as well. I know how accurate the work needs tobe and to get the tuning to work.

=D> =D> =D>
=D> beautiful well done, not sure if I would be able to hand over to a 22 month old after all that work!
Thank you for the kind words :) I think that if I can overcome the errors on my next build, I'll be over the moon . However, they were made with the twin purposes of practice and an instrument for each of my boys, and the look on their faces when handed over was indeed priceless. Like Christmas morning all over. And if they get scratched/damaged/broken then it shows they have been played with, and isn't that the point? It would also give me repair practice! They can save care and attention for the full size guitars still to be built.

Hi Kalimna,,,,
Magnificent,,,,thanks for the story,,,,quite agree about the scratches, etc, on a much played and loved instrument,,,looking forward to following a guitar build,,, wished I lived closer so that I could hear the results of your labour,,
hi, really impressed, I have been trying to find plans for a balakiala, not sure about the spelling, every site seems to have its own spelling.Anyway, so far unsuccessful, the one I would like to try is the triangular shaped one with the curved back.Any info re plans would be appreciated. regards bw

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