04/03/2014

Laser powered 8bit Ukulele!

Well.... not quite powered by laser, but certainly made with a laser

When I started a new role last summer, I was encouraged by my new boss to get to know the equipment I would be operating for the students come the new term. So when it came to the laser cutter, I had to think long and hard about what exercise I could do, that I could use to familiarise myself with this alien hardware.

With some appropriate (for a change) web surfing I came across someone that made an 8bit styled Violin, and thought to myself "That is freaking awesome!" So I got to work designing myself an 8bit Ukulele :D

I must stress that I have no prior knowledge of the inner wizardry of musical instruments, I just went with what I thought looked cool, and if it happened to make sounds that where not too painful, then I'd chalk it up as a win.

After a fair amount of initial head scratching, I ended up using a combination of 4mm & 6mm Ply, partly to keep is strong whilst light and partly because it looks cool ;) To keep it simple I didn't use any fancy joins (my first time using this tech remember) which meant the building process required many G clamps to hold pieces in place whilst the glue set.

Within the design I wanted to keep things as simple as possible, which meant coming up with a solution for the frets, which I got around by simply tilting each fret a few degrees (as Ukes are not high tension instruments, I thought this would be enough) the effect is really nice... at least, I think it is :)
The end result!
I am very proud of how it turned out... aesthetically at least :D Sound wise is another story. Sadly, the tension pegs I used are not sufficient enough to keep the strings in tune for more than a few minutes, but for a first time effort, I'm very pleased!

video


Here's Phil giving it a whirl, as you can tell, it's far from perfect, but still darn awesome :D

2 comments:

Indigo Roth said...

Hugely impressed with your construction skills, matey. Woodwork is a very manly skill!

Indigo Roth said...
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