8.9.21

Guitar Making – Archtop Electric Tenor Ukulele Kit

Predominantly designed as an electric instrument the Archtop Tenor Ukulele also has a very pleasing acoustic presence.

Beautifully portable with a robust sound.

This ambitious design and production test run has been enabled by sophisticated four axis cnc robot technology. An ingenious leg up as it were, but of course every level of traditional handcraft is implemented in the completion of my instruments. Everything started with  paper on a drawing board like all of my traditional Specimens. Utilization of digital CNC technology has produced outstanding quality parts that would have taken weeks to hand carve. The result is an extraordinary instrument of diminutive proportion. I can confidently say that this new design is the perfect platform for set neck stringed instrument geometry.

The pickup is custom wound by Lindy Fralin, from custom parts I made here at Specimen.

The pickup cover is produced in house from my special molding process.

The precision cnc cut parts make assembly a breeze

The Archtop Electric Tenor Uke kit will feature:

  • 17” scale length
  • Rosewood or ebony fretboard
  • Precision cnc cut neck blank with mortise and tenon, fit and pitched
  • Three piece body, cnc cut from ribbon cut African mahogany
  • Available in basswood or ribbon cut/quarter sawn African mahogany
  • Registration pins align the body parts -so glue up is a breeze
  • Nickel/chrome plated metal tailpiece
  • Custom wound four pole piece Specimen/Fralin pickup
  • Binding is your option, keep it plain or skip it all together, but it is an opportunity to go wild with a little marquetry and purfling work.
  • Variable headstock options
  • Variable binding options
  • Easy construction
  • Complete instructions

First a 12×15 billet of wood is registered on the CNC router

The process begins as the router slowly carves away all the excess material.

In the end, only the arched back piece is left.

The process is repeated for the arched top, with the addition of F holes.

After 2 billets, we have our front and back pieces

The final billet creates the sides of the uke

Fully sandwiched together, they are a thing of beauty

The necks are registered on the same CNC table with a special jig to allow for the angle to be cut in efficiently

First the headstock shape is cut along with the truss rod channel and some outlines of the final fretboard shape

The back of the neck is then shaped with the heel

Once all the shaping has been done inside the stock, the neck can be cut from the stock by hand, and put onto the uke

The pickups for the uke are custom made by lindy Fralin from parts manufactured in house by specimen.

Here we see the pickup bobbins being produced from raw stock.

The pieces are removed and sent to Lindy, who then creates the pickups and sends them back for use in the kit

A pickup cover prototype was designed in CAD and produced to create the mold

A few fancier versions were created to keep things fun