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Thread: A Ukulele into a mandolin

  1. #1

    Default A Ukulele into a mandolin

    Well i put this into build and repair, i can't find better place even if i wouldn't call this thread about building... well...

    After two years of a little experiment, time to share!

    My octava mandolin is too big for low-cost hand luggage airplane companies, and i found myself many times during travelling longing an instrument to play, one day i jumped into a store and bought a uku for 25 euros....

    since then, when there is no place for sweet octava, uku is coming... (it survived australian warm and humid west coast, south corea, dry south europe summers, russia...)

    But i wanted to keep the practice of the mando, so...
    With a bit of adjusting, i lowered the bridge, the fret 0, and put some metallic strings...
    strings are around:
    E .007
    A .011
    D .016
    G .024
    The good thing of metallic string is that it comes much closer to a mandolin sound (well no double string of course!)

    I didn't go straight away for GDAE, kept it a good tone and a half lower for a while... the neck started to bend, lowered down... i a few weeks, playing a lot on it, the cheap chinese made mahalo started to understand the new treatment, and now i can tune it nearly to normal, but most of the time F# (for safety reasons!). When playing with people a capo does the trick...
    It is after a year actually staying pretty on tune... but still a bit off when i play over 8th/10th fret.

    But i love this instrument, i can just have it in a bag in case... play it around when i have 5 minutes waiting!



    That makes a playable mandolin for 30 bucks!

  2. #2

    Default Re: A Ukulele into a mandolin

    I can view the video now, may I ask whether you use double course for all the four strings ? Or it's simply a 4 strings tuned as a mandolin.

  3. #3

    Default Re: A Ukulele into a mandolin

    simply 4 strings... i guess ukulele would just fold in two immediately if i try!

  4. #4

    Default Re: A Ukulele into a mandolin

    Nice video. The MandoUke has a unique sound. Good job end...

  5. #5

    Default Re: A Ukulele into a mandolin

    Eh, steel strings on a ukulele... really bad idea...

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  7. #6
    Gone Fishing Tiderider's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Ukulele into a mandolin

    I like it. I'm going to give it a try as well, but I'm going to pull the fret board and install a truss rod just to stiffen it up a bit.

  8. #7

    Default Re: A Ukulele into a mandolin

    It may not be the neck that needs reinforced.
    Bill Snyder

  9. #8
    Gone Fishing Tiderider's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Ukulele into a mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Snyder View Post
    It may not be the neck that needs reinforced.
    Good point, a decent tail piece could also be in order. Since money isn't an issue when starting with a $50 uke, it's easy enough to pull the back and brace the top a bit.
    It's never going to be a mandolin but still may be a cool project.

  10. #9
    Registered User JH Murray's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Ukulele into a mandolin

    Are there nylon strings which would also work or are only steel strings capable of giving EADG?

  11. #10

    Default Re: A Ukulele into a mandolin

    I have a soprano and a baritone uke tuned like a mandolin and mandola using nylon strings. Well one wound and three nylon on the baritone and I don't remember but the soprano may be all nylon.
    Aquilla makes a set for the soprano for sale at Elderly's HERE.
    Bill Snyder

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