Frequently Asked Questions about Bytown Ukuleles (draft)
Who is Bytown Ukuleles?
Bytown Ukuleles is a creative collaboration between two Ottawa-based artisans, Joel Jacques and Mark Rogers, who use traditional luthier techniques to design and create unique, custom instruments from a variety of local, exotic and found woods.
How do I order a custom instrument from Bytown Ukuleles?
We love building custom instruments. Send us an email and we’ll setup a meeting with you, or we can have design discussions electronically.
You may feel a little intimidated about deciding to have a custom-built instrument designed for you without having any point of reference. We encourage you to have a look at our selection of Bytown Ukuleles that are 'Currently Available', as well as those that have been sold and are 'Out In the World'.
If you find an instrument in our selection of Bytown Ukuleles that interests you, we can use that as a starting point for our design discussions. We can recreate that same instrument for you or modify it to suit your own particular tastes.
If you have your own custom design ideas, we’d love to build a unique instrument for you to your specifications. Together we can create a beautiful instrument that will suit your tastes, personality and needs.
Once you're happy with the design, the quote, and the estimated completion date that we've given you, we'll require a 50% deposit. The balance will be payable upon receipt of the instrument.
Do you do repairs and setup work?
Yes. Email us with a description of the problem you are having, preferably with pictures. We'll give you a rough estimate of costs and discuss the best way of getting your instrument to us for an assessment. We can only confirm the estimate once we've examined the instrument in person. Even photos do not convey certain important issues such as the neck angle and curvature of the fingerboard. We will give you a firm quote before doing any work.
If you are in the Ottawa area, you can contact us to arrange to drop-off your instrument. Or you can come by with your instrument to the Bytown Ukulele Group (BUG) jam and we can chat before the jam.
Can you do some instrument hacking for me?
Absolutely. We'd love to turn your fiddle, mandolin, tenor banjo, cigar box or hand drum into a ukulele for you. Instrument hacking is taking an instrument of one type (new or old) or any other object, and turning it into a strange and whimsical instrument. We invite you to take a look at examples of our work under Bytown Ukuleles above.
Is Bytown Ukuleles and BUG (Bytown Ukulele Group) the same organization?
No. Bytown Ukuleles is a subsidiary of Bytown Instruments. Both Mark and Joel are very active in the Ottawa ukulele community and Mark along with his wife Susan run the Bytown Ukulele Group (BUG). BUG is where Mark and Joel first met and hatched our plans to build ukuleles together. However, BUG cannot be held responsible for our ukulele-building shenanigans.