‘LEGO ukulele’ by ross crawford
all images courtesy of ross crawford (flickr: roscohead)
ross crawford has built a ukulele out of LEGO bricks and the sound quality of the instrument isn’t bad either!
because of the popular building block’s block-like forms, it was difficult to emulate the rounded shape of the hawaiian guitar-like instrument.
other than the challenges of designing the overall shape, crawford also had to tackle issues of strength, tuning and intonation.
he used a pre-stressed technic rod running up the middle of the instruments neck that allowed the head to securely attached to the body for strength,
LEGO worm gears (wound in the wrong way) were applied as means of tuning, and for intonation, he mapped out logarithmic scale on paper,
picking the distances of the strings to match as close as possible. in the end he came-up with an ‘alto ukulele’ that tunes to C-F-A-D
(normal ukuleles tune to G-C-E-A).
take a listen to crawford playing ‘puff the magic dragon’ on his LEGO ukulele here.
detail of the LEGO worm gears used as a means of tuning the instrument