The last days of December 2019 I was given scrap parts from an ukulele that had ben ran over by a bus.
On the 29'th of February, I sent a picture of a rolled-up fork to my friends. I was going to build a postapocalyptic Ukulele.
Once I got the materials home and found the appropriate frying pan (I visited several second-hand shops and stood singing into every single pot and pan they had..) I took a few months Thinking. There was much to think about. The blow with Covid-19 took a lot of energy -I live off selling my things at markets. There are no markets.
So I've been working with my home page in a fervor, trying to make ends meet, caring for myself and my family and simply staying afloat. Now I am a bit more in a balance and I also had found all the materials needed (or decided to stp waiting and just improvise) - it was time.
Putting the instrument together was a complicated balance between sound and aesthetics. I wanted something I could actually use, looking cool but sounding OK as well.
I've seen several home made instruments at larps but they were all electric with pickups and amplifiers. That way you can make sounds with basically anything. My challenge was to make something functional and acoustic. Just me and the instrument.
I am quite happy with the sound. It will improve over time. The (titanium) strings are new and have not stretched themselves completely yet. The biggest trouble was wanting tarnish and fun bits without ruining the sound. It has dampened the resonance a bit, but not as much as I thought. I can take it all apart and actually use it as a frying pan if I wanted or had to. I probably won't (not wanting to ruin the tarnish) but I could if I wanted to. Which means I can also add bits later.
It is completely made with modded parts (I did not carve the neck nor forge the frying pan, even if I technically do have the skills for it. ) and hand tools (hand drills, hammers, screw drivers etc) was used to make it. No electrical ones. The tarnish and tints are hand painted with brushes and cloths as well.
All in all; a very successful first ever ukulele project, and not my last. It is rare for me to be pleased with something - but with this I am.She's got a lovely weight to her and is a gem in my kit!
Sound sample can be found here; open to everyone: