black rose

black rose 1 black rose 2 black rose 3Boy, I tell ya, I am starting to really like these medium size tins for concert scale ukuleles. They work like a charm. I suppose I will have to start working the big 10 inch tins into baritone ukuleles instead. Don’t miss the wild colors of the polka-dot liner inside this silk neck-tie strap. You can just see the pattern peeking out of the right side of the top photo. The mottled patina in the steel of the cookie tin bottom gives black rose a world-wise personality, and the fleurs-de-lis on the tin and arm rest give her a mild, regal bearing. She’s a special gal!

  • tin: 185 x 65 mm, 7 1/4 x 2 1/2 in.
  • scale length: 380 mm, 15 in.
  • head to tail: 620 mm, 24 1/2 in.
  • G .010, C .015, E .011, A .008
  • maple neck
  • cocobolo fret board
  • stainless fork and rest
  • silk neck tie strap

Sorry folks, Black Rose was sold at the San Luis Obispo Maker Faire, May 10, 2014. We had a really swell volunteer for the day who picked up a uke for the first time at the Faire. She learned a few chords from me and many more plus a few songs from other uke players who happened by. By the time she had to go for the day she was ready to make this uke her own. If our volunteer is reading this… thank you so much for all the help and enthusiasm getting other people to try out an instrument and I hope your new instrument brings years of strumming.

Lapp Woman

Lapp Woman 1 Lapp Woman 2 Lapp Woman 3The lid of this tin depicts a scene from the Hans Christian Andersen story of the Lapp Woman and the Finn Woman, a part of The Snow Queen. Gerda, carrying a dried cod (it looks more like a sturgeon to me), is riding a reindeer on her way to see the Finn Woman. Oddly, the fish has a message written on it. Be that as it may, the resulting ukulele came out of the shop sounding really swell, and what’d ya know, no fish odor!

  • tin: 190 x 90 mm, 7 3/4 x 3 1/2 in.
  • scale length: 380 mm, 15 in.
  • head to tail: 620 mm, 24 1/2 in.
  • G .010, C .015, E .011, A .008
  • maple neck
  • paduak fret board
  • stainless fork and rest
  • silk neck tie strap

Sorry folks, Lapp Woman sold to a nice fella and his daughter in San Mateo in March 2014. She’s a pretty gal and she’s out in the world now. She’ll make more people smile out making music by someone’s hand than she ever would in my storage so I’m happy to send her on her way. Never fear, there will be more like her.

big green

 

big green 1 big green 2 big green 3Big Green was the first ukulele I built with a big tin. This one is 9.75 inches in diameter and it makes for a nice big voice. The scattered bird’s eyes of the fret board were a surprise. They popped out of an odd piece of stock and just asked to be a fret board. The result prompted me to seek out nice pieces of wood for fret boards. Up to this instrument I had made do with plain old maple.

  • tin: 9 3/4 x 3 1/2in.
  • scale length: 380 mm, 15 in.
  • head to tail: 660 mm, 26 in.
  • G .010, C .015, E .011, A .008
  • maple neck
  • maple fret board with a wee bit of bird’s eye
  • stainless fork and rest
  • patchwork strap

Sorry folks, Big Green sold to a SLO local July 22, 2014.

hope tambourine

tamborine1 tamborine2 tamborine3

Percussion and twang all in one instrument.

  • tin dimensions: 8 x 3 3/8 inches
  • scale length: 390 mm, 15 3/8 inches
  • head to tail: 630 mm, 24 3/4 inches
  • G .010, C .015, E .011, A .008
  • maple neck
  • padauk fret board
  • silk neck tie strap
  • open head tuning machines
  • five sets of tambourine bells

All for just $200. Sorry folks, this one has been promised to the San Luis Obispo Classical Academy for their 2014 annual fund raising auction on March 15th.

 

pomegranate

pom2pom1 pom3

Good ol’ pomegranate helped me work out so much about shaping cookie tins and nailed down lots of technique in January of 2011. She was not my first really successful ukulele but was next in line. This one proved I could do it a again.

  • tin dimensions: 7 3/4 x 2 1/4 inches
  • scale length: 390 mm, 15 3/4 inches
  • head to tail: 650 mm, 25 1/2 inches
  • G .010, C ,015, E .011, A .008
  • maple neck and fret board
  • stainless fork and bobbin
  • open head tuning machines
  • patchwork strap

Sorry folks, Pomegranate was snapped up at the San Luis Obispo Maker Faire May 10, 2014. It is now in the hands of a lucky budding uke musician.

goldie

goldie1 goldie2 goldie3

Old goldie was built in March of 2011. That makes her one of the early ones, but she plays a lovely steel twang on a concert uke scale.

  • tin dimensions: 7 3/4 x 2 1/4 inches
  • scale length: 390 mm, 15 3/8 inches
  • head to tail: 615 mm, 24 1/4 inches
  • G .010, C .015, E .011, A .008
  • maple neck and fret board
  • sterling fork and arm rest
  • open head tuning machines

This one went as a gift to a friend of my sister. I’m sure Goldie will be twanging in his hands for many happy years to come.

 

electric blue

electric1 electric2 electric3

This ukulele, built in October of 2012, was an experiment in several ways. I toyed with staining the fret board (with bad effect) so it looks funny but I like it anyhow. It has a nice voice and has been my test rig for building pickup coils. No demo video with electric sound yet but stay tuned. Tinkering with coil pickups in these cookie tin instruments has been easy. The coil doesn’t need to interfere with the strings as the body is steel and a coil or set of coils can pick up sound anywhere on the inside of the tin. There is no need for shielding as the tin, grounded by the jack, is effectively a Faraday cage. Though I would be loth to sell this instrument due to its odd looks don’t hesitate to contact me if you are interested in plugging in a cookie tin. For more about electrified cookie tin instruments take a look at the electric link in the top menu.

  • tin: 7 1/2 x 2 5/8 inch
  • scale length: 390 mm, 15 3/8 inches
  • head to tail: 635 mm, 25 inches
  • G .010, C .015, E .011, A .008
  • maple neck and fret board
  • two hand wound coil pickups and 1/4 inch output jack

texas dulcimer

texas dulcimer1 texas dulcimer2 texas dulcimer3

The Collin Street Bakery puts fruit cake in some pretty swell cookie tins, but not all of them have a blue lid and historical scenes on the sides. This is a dulcimer or dulcitar with four strings and a diatonic scale. It can be tuned and played lots of ways but typically only two strings are pressed to the frets and the remaining two are drones.

  • tin dimensions: 7 1/8 x 2 3/4 inches
  • scale length: 500 mm, 19 5/8 inches
  • head to tail 675mm, 26 5/8 inches
  • G .008, C .013, G .008, G .008
  • maple neck
  • mahogany fret board
  • diatonic scale
  • acrylic neck tie strap
  • black friction tuning pegs

Sorry folks, this instrument is taken. It is on its way to a new home for lots of easy porch strumming on summer evenings.

 

big tex blue

big tex blue1 big tex blue2 big tex blue3Ah, she is a beauty. Completed in June 2013, big tex was built with one of my favorite sorts of tins. This is my third concert scale ukulele using a Collin Street Bakery tin with the double Texas Bluebonnet on the lid, but this is the first and only one using the big ten inch tin. It’s got a loud voice and a loud neck tie strap.

  • tin: 10 x 3 1/4 in.
  • scale: 380 mm, 15 in.
  • head to tail: 650 mm, 25 1/4 in.
  • G .010, C .015, E .011, A .008
  • maple neck
  • cocobolo fret board
  • silk neck tie strap

This instrument was snapped up by a resident the great state of Texas as a tin wedding anniversary gift (that’s the 10th anniversary in case you were wondering). Thanks again D. Your purchase made all this fooling around so much more worth it.

banjeaurine

banjo3 banjo2I built this banjeaurine on a lark and to satisfy my interest in learning to play clawhammer. The banjeaurine seemed like an obvious choice as it has a shorter scale length than a typical banjo, similar to a concert scale ukulele, and is tuned to C. This was my first go using a tin that was not round. I have avoided using octagonal, rectangular, or other odd shaped tins because the lids are usually lose on the sides and introduce all sorts of can rattle noise. In addition, those flat sides are not supported by the shape. In a round tin the curve of the sides make them stiff. In this case, as you can see in the first image above, the back side is supported by what was the top of the tin with a round hole. Sorry folks, this one is not for sale. I love playing it but it is quirky so for now it’s the only one. I could be convinced to build another if you are really interested.

  • tin: 6 7/8 x 4 3/4 inch
  • scale length: 380 mm, 15 inch
  • head to tail: 620 mm, 24 3/8 inch
  • c .008, G .010, C .015, E .011, G .010
  • maple neck
  • cocobolo fret board
  • silk neck tie strap