27 Jan Bookulele
“Bookulele” is finally in the dictionary …well not exactly.
Maybe it’s more accurate to say the dictionary is in the bookulele. Regardless, my daughter is finished with her project to build a ukulele out of a book.
Using an old dictionary she bought at the thrift store, she removed the textblock (which I intend to use in a book sculpture) and built a poplar wooden sound box that matched the dimensions of the books innards. She chose poplar because the grain of the wood looks remarkably like the pages of a book.
Then she began assembling the instrument using glue and screws. The really important measurement in this project was the location of the saddle as that determines whether the ukulele will be in tune. As luck would have it we have a world-class ukulele luthier here in town.
The owner of Tejon Street Music, one of my favorite shops, builds incredibly beautiful high quality ukes in his woodshop in the back of the store under the brand Palm Tree Ukuleles. So we headed down there for a consult and got some really good advice.
After all the pieces were assembled, my daughter decided to cut sound holes on either side of the strings instead of right underneath the strings as you traditionally see. This was a design choice to preserve the nice title area on the dictionary cover.
The result? …the bookulele looks great, is in tune and has some volume to it. It’s not at loud or rich sounding as a koa wood uke (maybe we should’ve use a koa wood dictionary), but it works just fine and is very playable. Now to decide what song she should learn to demonstrate.