The Hurricane Model

There’s an old woodworking saying that states a good craftsman can fix her mistakes. I’m sure every trade has a version of this. When I make a mistake, I find it smart to resist the temptation to smash the ‘ruined’ item against my brick shop wall because, inevitably, a solution will come to me. This ukulele is a good example of this.

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I don’t have the best memory in the world, but I believe this is the first ukulele that I built after I left teaching school. The date inside the body reads 9/11 so I imagine I started it that summer. I remember being very enthusiastic about building full time and feeling that it was good to brush off the cobwebs and get back my chops.

Hurricane uke 075My inspiration was the national hurricane symbol. I had doodled it during a boring staff meeting and it had nagged at me ever since. Now was the time. I used some really dramatic cherry (it probably fell down during a storm, appropriately enough) that I had cut up a few years earlier for the body and I added a different batch of cherry for the resonator cover.

Hurricane uke 053Everything went together nicely. Or so I thought. The odd thing about resonators is that the neck meets the body at a different angle than it does on a regular ukulele. After I had done all this lovely work I realized that I had used the wrong angle on the neck. The uke would not work.

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It was definitely a blow to the ego. I quietly put it in the corner and ignored it. Not a great way to start my business.

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I knew I could probably pull the neck and adjust the angle but I just didn’t have the energy to do it. I guess I knew I would deal with it at a later date. That date turned out to be a few weeks ago.

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It came to me while I was lying in bed. I was beginning to realize that I could probably adjust the biscuit and the reso cover height, which would fix the problem without having to pull the neck.

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Low and behold, it worked! It has been very gratifying to finally complete this ukulele. I will post sound samples soon.

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Almost forgot to mention – it’s for sale! It can be yours in all its resonator gloriousness for $950.

Published in: on December 19, 2012 at 12:22 am  Leave a Comment  

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