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.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Building a Ukulele - Part 9 - Body, Fretboard and Finish

Things are coming together nicely now.
The top is glued in place, and I have finished the trimming around the edges.

The body is assembled, the bridge attached and the fretboard taking shape and ready to glue to the neck.

Here is a trial fitting of the unformed fretboard before shaping.

Shaping is easily done with a block plane.  This is my Stanley number 18.

 Here it is after shaping, in a trial fitting.
I will finish the dot markers and fretwires before gluing this to the neck and body.

 In a moment of vanity, before the top was glued in place,  I decided to label my ukulele - and I have a notion of building more - so I gave myself a brand name - Riverside Ukuleles.
Seems appropriate for the Village of Telegraph Point, as we sit right beside the Wilson River.

After installing the mother of pearl dot markers and the side markers, the fretwires will be on and the fretboard ready to go.
I have found a very cheap and plentiful supply of side fret markers from the local markets - old knitting needles.  Just the right size and they can be cut to button length easily.

I am going to attempt a shellac finish on the soundboard and the body, and the old hands at the Hastings Woodworkers Guild tell me it will take many, many coats.

The western red cedar top is quite soft and needs hardening for protection, so I am hoping that the shellac finish will be appropriate.  Before this, I will tape the bridge and the end of the neck to protect them from over spatter, and fill the sound hole for the same reason.

Enough for the moment.
More next time .......

And happy woodworking to all ...........................


  1. Looking great Tom - nice work!. My only question is how do you plug it into an amp? :)

    1. Thanks Andrew.
      There is no pickup on this uke, but plenty of other ukuleles have them. Sounds strange I suppose, but there are lots of Ukulele performers who use an amplifier. Brittni Paiva is one of my favourites.
      See her here: