Uke Build: Center Seam Bracing

(Prev: Headstock Overlay)

Here are some shots of the back’s center seam bracing being glued in position. These are cut at a 45 degree bias just for fun – the grain just has to be skew of the back’s grain for these braces to do their job. The picture of my finger pointing to the brace […]

Uke Build: Back Braces Install

(Prev: Sanding Back Radius)

Here you see the back braces shaped, sanded, glued and clamped in position. The radius is transferred directly to the solid mahogany back via this process.

Interestingly, I was reading about Taylor Guitars newest 600 series guitar at the time I was preparing the back of this ukulele. Taylor actually braces the backs […]

Uke Build: Back Brace Sanding

(Prev: Radius Dish Screws)

Now you’re looking at the double-back taped sandpaper in position on the top of the sanding surface of the radius dish. In this case I used 80 grit for rough sanding. I tore the sandpaper into pieces, allowing me to tape them on top of the dish without a wrinkle … this is […]

Uke Build: Bracing Extensions

(Prev: Completed Kerfing)

Recall the “flat top” design and issues of integrity? The small brace running between the front and center braces allows me to build a flat top instrument (with no top radius). This, and the corresponding brace on the opposite side, will keep the top from “sinking” and maintain integrity! The clamping pressure is […]

Uke Build: Back Bracing

(Prev: Top Cleating)

My greatest burst of learning all things mechanical came from 4 years at Boeing. I had the wonderful opportunity to work in the Boeing Model Shop with some of the best model makers in the world and used some very unique machinery in the process. One of the first lessons taught was layout […]

Uke Build: Top Cleating

(Prev: Gluing Top)

Notice the small “cleats” anchoring the front brace to the kerfing? This is an idea I wanted to implement to take note of sound transference. It seemed to work just fine – and I didn’t need to cut into the kerfing to “lock in” the top braces to the sides, which is a […]

Uke Build: Top Bracing, Tooling

(Prev: Kerfing Install, Tooling)

The top of this ukulele is solid mahogany and the braces are Sitka spruce. I hand carve each brace and work the top to a consistent thickness to bring the best out of each element of the instrument. The bracing design is traditional in this case, except for the 45 degree chamfer […]