Acoustic-Electric Ukulele

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Have you ever wanted to own an Acoustic-Electric Ukulele, but without spending hundreds of dollars on a pre-made one? If so, here's an easy guide on how to make your own. This only requires a small investment, a few hours of time, and some basic tools.

The only item I purchased was this product for $15 on Amazon. I already had a ukulele and amp.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017CKCM4M/ref=o...

Step 1: Remove the Strings From the Ukulele

Usually you can just unscrew the strings at the top and then untie the strings at the bottom, so you don't need any tools for this. You can reuse your strings later or get new ones if you'd like.

Step 2: Remove the Saddle From the Bridge

This will be where the pickup for the amp goes. It fits in under the saddle (the white piece). I removed it with a pocket knife fairly easily.

Step 3: Measure and Mark the Tone Controls

This just needs to be somewhat accurate, because you can aalways either cut a larger hole or glue extra space. I made the hole too small at first and made it larger when I was cutting it. I also tested the connections of the kit to make sure everything was correct.

Step 4: Cut the Hole for the Tone Controls

I used an X-ACTO Knife to cut the hole because the wood for the ukulele is usually very thin and easy to pierce.

Step 5: Drill the Hole for the Jack Input

This step sounds easier than it looks. First, you drill the hole (it can be anywhere you want, it just had to reach the tone controls). Screwing the top onto the jack took some effort, and I did it by holding the inside part down with a screwdriver while I screwed the top on.

Step 6: Drill the Hole for the Pickup

I used a small drill bit to drill the hole. The pickup fit right into the space where the saddle goes on my ukulele, but if it doesn't fit yours, you can sand down the edges.

Step 7: Check the Wiring Inside the Ukulele

I recommend checking that all of the wires are plugged into the tone controls. You can hold down the wires with tape or glue if you want, but I skipped this because it's not really necessary.

Step 8: Glue the Tone Controls and Jack

I used some hot glue to keep these pieces in place, which I highly recommend doing. Any glue should work but thicker glues will work better.

Step 9: Tie the Strings Back on

The next step is to tie the strings on. You can use whatever knots you like, just make sure the strings fit over the saddle.

Step 10: Insert Batteries and Plug in

The final step is to insert the batteries into the tone controls and to plug into an amp. Then you're all set!

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    7 Discussions

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    DareR

    Tip 8 months ago

    As with Oldestgeek, ether trim the channel in the saddle to account for depth of the piezo bar or trim the bridge (I would recommend lowering the channel in the saddle as you need the bridge to push cleanly down on the piezo) This lowers the action and prevents the upper register from becoming sharp from the high action at the bridge (the string deflection from a high action is not as noticeable in the low register closest to the nut but becomes sharper and you move to the 12th fret and higher)

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    patrickdick

    Tip 9 months ago on Step 5

    Check that the position of the output socket with the jack cable inserted is in a confortable location when the uke is played while sitting.

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    Creative Mom CZ

    9 months ago

    Nice idea, if I wasn't so afraid to cut into my uke, I'd definitelly try this.

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    prid1

    9 months ago

    Nice work, but i have to add some advice for anyone wanting to attempt this.

    1, Cover the part where you must cut the hole with masking tape. Its easier to draw on and makes for better cuts in the wood.

    2, use the strapholder location for the input jack, its stronger there. If you bump the guitar with the cable in it the wood will likely break.

    3, use washers, rings and screws/bolts etc. to tighten the controlpanel (you can reenforce it from the inside with some extra wood) and input jack. Dont use glue for these parts!

    Good luck!

    1 reply
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    ethanklocprid1

    Reply 9 months ago

    Definitely some helpful tips. I did find that the screws the control panel comes with are very hard to use unless you cut the hole exactly right, same with the input jack, so that's why I resorted to using glue. I made this a few months ago and so far it has held up great, but your ideas would probably help in the long run. Thanks for the tips!

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    oldestgeek

    Tip 9 months ago on Step 9

    Trim the saddle down equal to the height the pickup adds so the action of the strings will be lower. Great Job!

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    Swansong

    9 months ago

    Nice! I'd love to hear how it sounds :)