These pictures show the solid mahogany sides of the ukulele already bent into shape. The issue at hand was if I wanted to build a side mold to hold the body in position for construction. That will come after the first instrument is completed. The kerfing used for this ukulele is traditional, it is a flat piece of bass wood, unlike guitar kerfing which is serrated and much wider. I decided to go this route because, traditionally, a ukulele has no binding and doesn’t need wider kerfing.

The tooling centerline is used to determine symmetry, I also have edge blocks that hold the body shape (both inside and outside). The clamps and blocks anchor the sides in position for gluing the kerfing, and once cured, maintain a consistent shape. The center turn buckle holds the end blocks at 90 degrees (and will be utilized for gluing the top on the sides at a later date).

Finally, some good old clothes pins clamp the kerfing in position while the glue dries.

Next we’ll look at the top bracing.