The story of how Phoenix Ukuleles came to life started in march of 2017. I had the idea of making a ukulele out of carbon fiber and began wondering how I could accomplish it. I had already created my own company in 2016 making carbon fiber rings for guys who wanted unique wedding bands and I had experience working with carbon.
Later that month I set out on my goal and began the design process and created a design based off of high end composite instruments that already exist. I took my very own personal ukulele and began making a mold out of fiberglass with it. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned and I ended up not having a workable mold nor ukulele anymore. It was horrific to see my instrument destroyed by my own hands. Anyone who works with fiberglass knows how messy the mold-making process can be, especially if you're a newbie.
I tried again. I bought another ukulele online, tore it up, covered it in chemicals, and completely trashed it. I tried once again and purchased another ukulele online. And again, failure. Numerous attempts later, I started to get the hang of it, and to keep the cost and labor difficulty down I decided to make the neck out of wood and the body out of carbon fiber an other composite materials.
Later that year, I created a mold and design that I was decently happy with. It was difficult to raise funds for the carbon fiber fabric, epoxy resins, and vacuum bagging supplies. All of the profits from my ring business were funding this project and no return was seen. My process was still unrefined and i hadn't even been able to listen to one of my ukuleles yet.
In the latter part of 2017, I finished my first ever ukulele, and surprise! It sounded amazing. Obviously, some tweaking needed to be done, but I was very pleased with the result. I gifted that ukulele to my very supportive girlfriend and began work on my next prototypes to hone the sound to my liking. I played with the ukuleles action, bridge placement, internal bracing, string type, etc... I now have it exactly where I want it to be and I need YOUR help getting into full production mode.
More About the Phoenix Ukulele
The Phoenix carbon fiber ukulele is a hybrid, meaning that the entire body of the instrument is made of carbon fiber. The soundboard is also made entirely of carbon fiber allowing for a much richer resonation than a wooden soundboard. The neck, fretboard, and bridge of the instrument are wooden. The neck is mahogany while the fretboard and bridge are rosewood.
Carbon Fiber is tough. How tough? Tough enough for a rocket! It is lighter than most materials yet, stronger than steel and better yet, it's basically weather proof. The Phoenix Carbon Fiber Ukulele is one of the most durable and weather resistant instruments on the planet.
Carbon Fiber also resonates differently than wood. Different specie of wood produce distinct tones and have their own voices. The same is true for carbon fiber. It produces a more exact tone and allows the sound to travel into the air and not be absorbed by the instrument itself.
What we Expect from this Kickstarter
We want to launch into full production, but lack necessary funding for several key materials and tools. We need help from our backers so that we can purchase aluminum cnc machined molds, reusable silicone vacuum bagging material, carbon fiber fabric, resin systems, and more!
Risks and challenges
There are several challenges that we will face once our campaign is completed. We need to transition from making prototype ukuleles into making production quality instruments. We are ready for that fact and we have years of experience working with carbon fiber and other composite materials to rely on.
Time may be another issue, and in order to combat this we have given ourselves the deadline of August to have all of our rewards taken care of and shipped to our backers. We expect to have completed this process before that time, but just in case any problems arise during the transition to production we will be ready and prepared to face them.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (25 days)