Custom Built Ukulele

This build is a tenor ukulele, the second largest of the traditional ukulele family. You can find a good description of ukulele sizes on the Live Ukulele website. I chose to go with tenor because I like the size and prefer the sound of a tenor.

I photographed the steps of the build of this ukulele. The articles below start with the most recent (finished product) and go backwards to the beginning of the build. Use the list of articles in the right sidebar if you want to start at the beginning or locate a specific build step.

I custom-build ukuleles for my clients who are looking for unique and high quality instruments. All of my instruments are built for maximum playability and acoustic sustain. Place an order (no obligation) if you are interested in a custom-built instrument.

8:18 pm8:18 pm

Uke Build: Bridge Gluing Position

(Prev: Bridge Tooling)

The tooling allowed me to set the bridge in position and put some masking tape under the bridge location. This way I could finish the top on the instrument without having to worry […]

Read More

8:17 pm8:17 pm

Uke Build: Bridge Tooling

(Prev: Heel Inlay)

I had to lay out the distance between the front edge of the nut and the centerline of the saddle to create tooling for the bridge location. I did this on paper using […]

Read More

8:15 pm8:15 pm

Uke Build: Heel Inlay

(Prev: Neck Bolt View)

Just to be different I used an abalone dot to enhance the heel of the neck. I felt the wood grain alone was a bit too conservative. Abalone’s grain is directional, but […]

Read More

8:14 pm8:14 pm

Uke Build: Neck Bolt View

(Prev: Heel Sanding)

Here’s a picture of the neck bolt’s nut tightened in position.

While not “traditional” this design allowed for a better “lock-up” of the neck to body joint. Blind tradition is not a good thing […]

Read More

8:13 pm8:13 pm

Uke Build: Heel Sanding

(Prev: Nut Nose)

This is the final sanded surface of the neck heel. It takes on the same 15 foot radius as the back. This being a more traditional instrument, a heel cap seemed out of […]

Read More

8:10 pm8:10 pm

Uke Build: Nut Nose

(Prev: Nut Install)

This is the point at which the “run out” occurs on the sanded surface of the headstock overlay. I elected to do this step as you see in the picture.

The other method is […]

Read More