Kits for building your own ukulele

10 01 2014

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Following the recent publication of an article in Illinois Alumni magazine, I have received a number of wonderful notes from alumni, often sharing stories of their experiences with the uke. One common feature of all the letters is that everyone wants to know where to get a kit for building a uke. Yes, it is fun!

There are two kits I know of, each for very different build abilities.

img_1411The kits from Grizzly are simple and sound good. Basic sanding, gluing, and finishing skills are required: http://www.grizzly.com/products/Ukulele-Kit/H3125

Stewart MacDonald has much more involved (and expensive) kits. More fun for someone with advanced skills and more time (the reviews are very positive, but I have not built one of these as time in class wouldn’t allow it): http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Kits/Ukulele_Kits/Soprano_Ukulele_Kit.html

Both vendors make kits in various sizes (soprano, concert, and Stewart makes a tenor). I have always built soprano size with students, although I did make a concert Grizzly, which sounded very nice. Both vendors also allow you to download the manual, which should give you a sense of what is involved in building the kits.

I invite comments, as always, particularly tips and suggestions for other kits out there. Have you had experiences that might help others? Let the Homebrew Union know!

Happy building!

Matthew

PS—Don’t forget to check out this post on Polly Yukevich’s project, as her students’ instruments are truly works of art.

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