Life in the Village and beyond, based around the interests of my life.

Life in the Village and beyond, based around the interests of my life. Sunset at Telegraph Point.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Building a Ukulele - Part 6 - The Parts Come Together

Things have slowed down on the ukulele building front, while I have to attend to other matters, but I have found time to keep chipping away at it in little bits.

The neck needed some shaping around the heel, and after many attempts with different tools, I found an old fashioned sloyd type knife to be the best choice.  I think I got this one with an AWR subscription years ago.  It is a beauty.
This part of the heel is awkward for handtools, and the knife handles it easily.  I will be using it even more now that I have realised how versatile it is.

Here is the shaped neck at the heel.  Not your conventional tapered point, but will suit me for this - my first ukulele.  It resembles the heels on cutaway ukuleles, and will provide more surface area for the glue -up of the neck to body.

Here are the parts prior to glue up of the end blocks and curved sides.  End blocks are cedar, and I have pre-cut the slot in the heel block to take the tenon on the end of the neck.
The near finished back is also shown in this photo.

Here is the body glued up in the mould with end blocks in place.  This shows the body as it is seen from the back.

Making the Soundboard

The soundboard is made from western red cedar, that has been ripped from planks from my brother in law's renovated kitchen.  I was really lucky to score some old growth, tight grained timber that had been quarter-sawn.  Look how tight those growth rings are on the timber below.  Perfect.

Before I assemble the soundboard, it is important to lay it out, and mark the position of the sound hole.  The sound hole patch has to be glued on to the back before the sound hole is cut, but it is a good idea to drill a small marker hole in the soundboard before gluing, so it can be found again for the cut.  This is because the drawn circle will be covered by the sound hole patch, which is there to re-inforce the area around the sound hole.

Good old Millers Falls Buck Rogers 308 to the rescue.

After the re-inforcing patch is dry, it is time to cut the sound hole.  I use the rosette cutter that I made previously, and I cut from both sides.  Here I am cutting the front. The rosette cutter does a nice job.  I am very happy with it.

OK, going to take a break for a few days now while glued things dry.  Next task will be to brace and finish the soundboard, before adding the linings to the body.  The linings will provide the surface area for the front and back to attach to the sides.

Not long to go .............
Can't wait.

Love life and live .......................


  1. I could have used something like the rosette cutter during the week to cut holes out of 2 cake boards. Instead I stuck them on the lathe and turned them out. Coming along fine Tom. To damn cold down here to diddly squat.

  2. Been in Brisbane for the last four days and the weather up there is wonderful. Just got home to cold and rain. Oh well, at least the veggies got watered while we were away.