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My favorite thing to build out of. It's free, It's beautiful, It's ugly, fraught with nail holes, knots and cracks but in that sows ear there's a nice purse or a ukulele in this one.
I work at a major hospital shipping pallets are coming in and out all day. I started looking for just the right ones as soon as I saw an up coming pallet contest. I was looking for quarter sawn oak boards, 1/4 sawn oak is a figured wood popular in Arts and Crafts furniture. Growth rings of the tree are closer to perpendicular to the surface of the board. This creates a beautiful visual effect sometimes called fleck rays. I was able to find enough for a couple of projects so here's my pallet ukulele I hope you like.

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Step 1: Gathering the stuff

Picture of Gathering the stuff
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I found a pallet with enough 1/4 sawn oak to make the ukulele but I wanted to make the top out of spruce if I could find some so for now I just milled the neck, back and sides

Step 2: Roughing the neck

Picture of Roughing the neck
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after planning flat I glued 2pcs. of oak 1x3 15" long with a pc of E.I. rosewood in the middle this looks nice and gives the strength from the opposing woods.

Then I cut the rough shape out with the band saw . After that rasp, files and chisels at this point I'm just concerned with the basic shape mainly the heel and block

the black dots on the neck are old nail holes cool don't you think

Step 3: The neck block

Picture of The neck block
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I used a classical guitar style neck joint on this one It's the first time I have done one. I thought it worked out pretty well. The block and neck are one piece and the sides glue into a slot cut at the 12 fret. It's a easy way to get a good neck joint but the neck is in the way so I thought it would be too difficult to add binding to the body.

Very cool

BadPuns1 year ago
All the better for doing it without shelling out a Benjamin or two on tonewood. I can't even get cheap crap wood and don't have the tools to cut it myself...
How does the tone associated with quarter sawn oak compare with other more traditional tonewoods? I used it for the neck on my last guitar and was very happy with its rigidity and workability, but I am unable to really assess it's tonal contributions as the I find the front, back, and sides of an acoustic instrument to be far more tonally significant than that of the neck material.
rickysp8 (author)  Chicken Spit1 year ago
rickysp8 (author)  Chicken Spit1 year ago

This ukulele is the first I've built or played so I really couldn't say . It does sound nice maybe a little bright like maple back and sides on a guitar. Taylor guitars built a pallet guitar a while back I read it had a bright tone I think there's a video of it on youtube . Peace Ricky

sunshiine1 year ago

Wow what a great use for pallets! Thanks for sharing your hard work! Have a great day!


rickysp8 (author)  sunshiine1 year ago
Thanks a lot sunshine peace
jslarve1 year ago

Pretty ding-dang nifty. What a wonderful thing.

rickysp8 (author)  jslarve1 year ago
Thank ye ding dang it
idydstie1 year ago

Awesome! you should post a recording!

rickysp8 (author)  idydstie1 year ago
Thanks I'm working on a recording I got to learn to play it first
sodasonic1 year ago

i love it

rickysp8 (author)  sodasonic1 year ago

thanks Soda

Wow, this is really impressive.

Thank you Danger

This is a gorgeous uke! I too am a fan of Arts & Crafts work and am really impressed with this build. Superlative work, sir.

rickysp8 (author)  craftclarity1 year ago

thanks for kind words

annrrr1 year ago
Awww! I was planning to go and make a ukulele or two for the pallet contest and you made this beauty and beat me to it!! Mine are a different style and I will still do an instructable or two if I have time. But wow very beautiful and resourceful (love the domino!) and professionally done!
rickysp8 (author)  annrrr1 year ago

this contest is big enough for the both of us. I would love to see yours. Thanks for the kind words