Old Guitar Converted to Baritone Ukulele




About: I'm back!

My dad's friend recently bought a house to renovate and re-sell, right down the road from ours. We got to go and look through the items that the last family left, and something really stood out for me; a beat up toy guitar. Although it had a couple stickers and numerous dents on it, I decided to take it home and see what I could do with it. After a few minutes, I decided to make it into a baritone ukulele, to add to my collection. The entire project took about 3 hours, most of which was spent scraping off stickers. I used the instructable by tewharau for inspiration. 

Step 1: The Guitar Itself

The guitar used is an old First Act guitar, specifically the "First Act Discovery." It has many dings and dents in it. A cheap guitar overall. It also had two large stickers on the front, but for free, what the heck.  

Step 2: Take the Strings Off

Unstring the entire guitar, and set the strings aside for later. You may also get new strings, and just throw these ones out.

Step 3: Remove the Parts

Take a screwdriver, and unscrew the buttons that hold on a guitar strap. Also, take out the white part of the bridge. Make sure you dont lose the part from the bridge, as it is essential.

Step 4: Remove the Stickers

This took me forever to do. One of the stickers came off easily, but the seconed took more than 2 hours of on and off working. This is an optional step, of course, because your guitar may not have any stickers on it. If it does, just remember, patience.

Step 5: Wipe It Down

Take a wet washcloth or something similar and wipe off the entire thing. Remove all of the dust and grime that has built up. Then, dry it off.

Step 6: Re-string It

Put only the 1-4 strings from a guitar onto the uke. These are the E-B-G-D strings(1st-2nd-3rd-4th.) Put them on the middle four slots in the already made nut and bridge. Then tune the strings.                                            

Step 7: New Nut?

I had to make a new nut, because the slots for the strings were too big on the one it came with and they rattled horribly. I made this out of part of a sharpie lid.

Step 8: Play It!

You now have yourself a homemade baritone ukulele. Have fun!



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    5 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    I did the same thing a few years ago with an almost identical First Act guitar, except I spread the 4 strings out, equally spaced, over the whole nut (I have big fingers) by cutting 2 new grooves in the nut for the centre strings with a triangular file. I also cut grooves in the plastic on the bridge for the centre strings. Oh, and because of the shorter string length compared to a real guitar, I used the B, G, D, and A strings from a nylon guitar set. This gives them the tension they were designed for when tuned up to EBGD. It's my favourite instrument to just mess around on. I'm really happy with it.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank's I just finished turning my kid's old one in to a ukulele....We have the same old guitar...I used a broken DS pen for the nut....Thank's I was about to throw the guitar away till I saw this... Keep Picking!!!!!!

    3 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    sure. Mhy pleasure. Are all of the nuts like this on the first act discoverys?