How To Build a Ukulele in 10 Lessons

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The StewMac Kits are designed for the first-time instrument builders. Have some fun in your shop building each of these three versions: Soprano (small), Concert (medium) and Tenor (large) sizes. 

Each kit includes:

  • Solid mahogany top
  • Laminated mahogany back
  • Laminated mahogany sides
  • Fully shaped mahogany neck with two dowel pins for neck joint
  • Walnut fretboard, slotted and inlaid with position markers
  • Tuners with mounting hardware
  • Shaped string nut
  • Carved, drilled walnut bridge
  • Shaped saddle
  • Plastic dowel for making side dots
  • Fretwire
  • Rubber binding bands
  • Spruce braces, quartersawn and carved for top and back
  • Two spruce soundhole braces
  • Bridge plate
  • Full-sized bracing plan
  • Instruction book
  • Strings

 Check out all three in detail and purchase at your participating Woodcraft stores or online at Woodcraft.com.  

Legendary repairman, builder and author, Dan Erlewine takes us through a ten lesson step-by-step process with video instruction.  

LESSON 1: Getting Started

Introduce the kit unboxing.
Discuss the building process.
Cover finishing options.
LESSON 2:  Bracing the Top & Back

Laying out the bracing pattern.
Gluing up the braces.

Lesson 3: ASSEMBLING THE BODY

Building a mold to hold your ukulele during construction. Gluing the sides, neck & tail block. Installing the linings.

Lesson 4: PREPARING THE NECK

Preparing the neck. Installing the side dots. Installing & gluing in the frets. Gluing on the fingerboard

Lesson 5: LEVELING THE FRETS

Final shaping the neck. Leveling the frets. Rounding the fret tops. Fine tuning the fret ends.

Lesson 6: SANDING THE BODY & NECK

Final fitting / setting the neck. Positioning the bridge. Final sanding the body and neck before finishing.


Lesson 7: STAINING THE BODY & NECK

Mixing custom stains. Preparing end grain for staining. Why you should stain the neck and body separately.

Lesson 8: ATTACHING THE NECK

Getting the fit of the neck just right. Gluing on the neck (while keeping it straight). Gluing and clamping the fingerboard extension.

Lesson 9: APPLYING THE FINISH

Final prepping the wood for finishing. Scuff sanding. Finishing with a rag and brush. Applying the final coat.

Lesson 10: ASSEMBLY & SETUP

Gluing on the bridge. Installing the tuners. Fitting the nut & Saddle. Fine tuning the action and playability. Oiling the fingerboard and bridge.

You’re all done and ready to play! Post your finished Uke's on our social media pages, and perhaps a little video on the tunes you might play! We'd love to see and hear your results!

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