How to build a ukulele from scratch

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Very cool build. You need to make those fret measurements über-precise with such a short scale, if intonation is a concern. The soundbyte is nice.

Have you tried different tone woods like koa, maple or ash?


The red dots are each one peg too far down? Dammit. You can’t point out a mistake and not say what it is! Sounds pretty cool.

It’s kinda tough so most people skip over it, but you left out Step 1: Invent the Universe


Pretty sure that was it. Fifth fret marker is on sixth.

I want to do a project like this, but make a double bass. I am unsure how important an appropriate neck radius is, but hopefully it won’t be a huge deal if I am finger picking.

Perhaps not a glaring mistake, but the bridge placement looks too short, meaning it will be sour as you go up the neck (though that could be an optical illusion from the angle of the photo.)

Also, putting the bridge too close to the edge of the body means a loss in volume and tone.

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Sure the fret marker dots are off by one, which is kinda weird, but I think the bigger mistake is still-too-small body. Copying the fret space form the larger uke determines where the bridge has to be (in order to be in tune) and with this size box/body the bridge lands way too close to the end of the box. If the bridge were even just a little closer to the center of the box top (like the uke’s bridge is) I’ll bet your uke would sound w-a-y better. I like the “fireball” graphic! What’s on the back? How are those tuning pegs to tune? Better than a traditional uke friction peg?

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To me, the glaring mistake is calling it “a ukulele” instead of “an ‘ukulele”. (That diacritical mark is called an ‘okina. It indicates a glottal stop, and its inclusion can entirely change the meaning of a word.)

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Strangely enough, I had an unrelated interaction just last weekend regarding whether “a” or “an” was appropriate before the glottal stop in “‘ukulele.” I mean, it’s technically a consonant, but I don’t know what the actual practice is.

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Second hand knowledge here but neck radius shouldn’t make much of a difference on sound (unless something else went wrong). If the neck is too thin to support string tension without warping, you’ll need a truss rod. At bass lengths, you’re probably going to need a truss rod. :sweat:

Well, really the proper usage would be “he ‘ukulele”, “he” being the indefinite article in Hawaiian. But in an English sentence, the English rules for words other than the word ‘ukulele would prevail, so it should be “an ‘ukulele”.

On the other hand, in Hawaiian Pidgin (the flavor of English spoken by many in Hawai‘i), the indefinite article is “one”. As in, “Brah, my Auntie going give me one ‘ukulele for my birfday!”

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