Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Tenor Cigar Box Ukulele

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by printer2, Jul 22, 2017.

  1. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    Canada
    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.

    [​IMG]

    Trimmed the edges of the top pieces to join them.

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    Some trimming and cut some walnut for the fretboard.

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

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    The neck needs a wedged shim between it and the body. Who would have though a cigar box would not be squat (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.
     

  2. richa

    richa Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Apr 23, 2016
    Washington
    Oh this is brilliant. Cbg sized things seem to like stiff tops from what I've done. Fits the size of the resonant chamber better I guess. Too floppy and they go plink. Like the idea of building a new top. I've got some boxes where this could be the ticket. Spruce neck is cool.

    Nylon strung?
     

  3. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    Canada
    I am just guessing on the top and the size of box and how stiff it should be. I will know how I did soon enough. I did make a CBG once, actually what started me on this long and winding road. I used the back of the box for the top. The lid of these boxes are too heavy as far as I am concerned. I actually used some spruce that was not quarter sawn for the top to give it some give. But then there is the bracing.

    The spruce neck is easy to carve and lighter which I feel something like this needs so it is not always trying to do a stage dive. As long as you be a little careful with it it doesn't get too dented up. I am thinking of stringing it up with the top four strings of a classical set. I want my playing it to complement my learning how to play guitar rather than looking at it as a different instrument.
     
    Zepfan and richa like this.

  4. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    Canada
    Oops, messed up on the tuner placement. Will adjust it later. What really sucks is all four tuners are for one side so the right hand ones tune backwards. Of well will get used to it. Otherwise it actually sounds alright and plays well. Need to do one with a real body and six strings.

    [​IMG]
     

  5. oldrebel

    oldrebel Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Oct 23, 2011
    Lynchburg Tennessee
    Looks great!! Take care of your hands, you will need them for building others.
     

  6. richa

    richa Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Apr 23, 2016
    Washington
    Nice looking build.

    I've got all righty tuners on one of my builds because I put it together from leftovers. I'm having trouble seeing what's wrong with the tuner placement.

    Did you do anything special to get the nylon strings to grip the tuning posts? I've tried this before and had no luck with posts meant for steel.
     

  7. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    Canada
    I have used steel tuners with no problem, maybe use an extra wrap on them. These are meant for a uku but they use the same diameter post as a steel string tuner.

    I would love to get back to the other builds, got a dust collector in the mail on the weekend.
     
    richa likes this.

  8. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    Canada
    No time for the dust collector. Running round in circles it seems. Here is some oak that I cut from a log and 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. Basically the same size of the Yamaha guitalele. 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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]
     

  9. richa

    richa Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Apr 23, 2016
    Washington
    Oak sides. Sweet!
     

  10. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    Canada
    And back!!
     
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  11. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    Canada
    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 future builds. I braced the back, next I have to put the linings.

    [​IMG]
     
    richa likes this.

  12. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    Canada
    A little tardy getting this picture up.

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    This one fresh out of the camera.

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. richa

    richa Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Apr 23, 2016
    Washington

  14. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    Canada
    Thanks.

    I'll admit it, I got a little nervous when I gust 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.

    [​IMG]
     
    richa likes this.

  15. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    Canada
    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.

    [​IMG]
     

  16. Zepfan

    Zepfan Friend of Leo's

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS

  17. oldrebel

    oldrebel Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Oct 23, 2011
    Lynchburg Tennessee
    Looking good. The "no binding" is going to be great on it. Seems to be nice and tight.
     

  18. richa

    richa Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Apr 23, 2016
    Washington
    That's pretty sweet. There seems to be something counterintuitive about bracing small bodies. You would almost think the bracing needs to be as light as possible. But it doesn't really work out that way. I suppose it's because the instrument naturally wants to sit in a higher register and the added bracing supports that. This is looking good!
     

  19. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    Canada
    Braces for a top is only a fraction of the weight of the combined top. I went thin on them, probably would have been ok with the three but the extras won't hurt. The top is still a little thick, it is a terrified spruce top and it picks up a bench rash easily. Before I do the finish I'll sand it thinner. In the mean time I have been working on the neck. Still some shaping to do.

    [​IMG]
     
    Mat UK likes this.

  20. Mat UK

    Mat UK Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Feb 17, 2009
    London, UK
    I too would be terrified if I developed rashes from benchtops!
     
    richa likes this.

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