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27 March 2015

Pahulele Kickstarter Project

I don't have a great deal of time, so I'll try to keep this quick. I discovered a fantastic Kickstarter earlier in the week and only now do I realise that we're on the final countdown. If I'm going to tell you about it and encourage you to support the project... I'd better do it right now!

Before we go any further, I'll give you a link to the Kickstarter itself. It has a lot more detail. Go offer Reid Shigemura your support now. At the time of writing you have 9 days to do it! Tick tock...

Pahulele - Unique Backpacker Travel Ukulele - Made in Hawaii

Here's a basic shot of what all the fuss is about.

You know that I'm a big fan of travel ukuleles. I love the challenge they present in designing something that is small, but playable. There are many different takes on the problem and the Pahulele is no different, presenting us with something fresh.

I'm told that Pahulele translates as "jumping box". It's a reference to the cigar-box-like baltic birch plywood body. A neat idea. The real twist though comes in the removable neck. BTW, I love the "smokey" neck wood-grain in the picture above - Hawaiian luthiers have access to some lovely wood.

The neck comes off and can be stored inside the body for travel. It's an interesting idea. I remember seeing a folding ukulele design a long time ago, but I can't recall seeing a completely removable neck before. I'm not sure how easy it is to disassemble/reassemble a Pahulele, but I bet you could fit more than just the neck inside that box. I'm thinking maybe a tuner and if you've got one of the limited edition versions with a pickup fitted, maybe you could use it to hold some sort of practice amp?

Here's a shot of the back of a Pahulele. The strings run through the cut-off head down over a zero fret to the bridge and into the body where the tuners live. On the model pictured above you can make out the tuners fitted inside the body itself accessible through holes in the backplate. I do know that Reid has gone through several design iterations and judging by the video below I'm suspicious that the version he will ship with this kickstarter will have zither tuners rather than what you can see above.

See just between the tuner holes in the back plate that there is a screw which allows you to slide off the back to you can get inside. I like this feature a lot.

And while I'm on this picture, check out the work bench. I don't know what type of wood it is.... but what a beautiful grain! There are some great workshop shots in the kickstarter video. What I wouldn't give for a wander around!

Talking of walking around... All of the kickstarter pledges come with an invitation to the launch party where you can meet Reid and the team. How to get to Honolulu? Hmmm...

I'll finish with the video itself where you can check out Reid doing his magic in his workshop. Reid Shigemura is the owner and luthier of the Ho'okani Music Company.

Well done Reid with the ukulele and good luck on the project!

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