Thursday, 15 December 2011

Electric Uke

The body is made from Ash, the stripy grain hides the joins between the pieces.  The frets are pressed directly into the neck Hawaiian style.  This will have steel strings and a magnetic pickup, not quite a ukulele any more, but may sound interesting.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Dodge Brothers Ukulele, Nearly Finished!

Here it is.  This is probably my best so far in terms of fit and finish, sounds great too.  Just needs a few more coats of Tru-Oil and it will be finished... This one is going to The Dodge Brothers, check them out at their website.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Monday, 19 September 2011

In The Local Paper.

There is a feature in the current Salisbury Journal about my ukulele Building exploits.  The lovely Anne Morris and Tom Gregory came and spent some time in the workshop.  I talked them through my process of building ukuleles and showed them around the workshop.

The article is also available online:

Making The Neck

Having cut the fret slots I began to rough out the shape of the neck....

Using a rasp to rough profile the neck....

Planing the headstock flat....

The neck is now ready for fretting....

Monday, 12 September 2011

Cigar Box Soprano, Bracing The Top

Soundhole cut, top ready for bracing...

Douglas Fir braces glued in place, Cherry bridge plate.

Cigar Box Soprano, Continued

I've selected a lovely piece of American Cherry for the neck.  The plans show the scale of the neck.  This will be a 14" scale, slightly larger than my normal sopranos.

I've changed my mind on the top, abandoning the Cedar for a piece of English Cherry.  It will be rather more hard-wearing and will be a better match for the Cherry neck!

Cigar Box Soprano, Continued

I've removed the top of the box, tidied up the joints and glued the lid shut...

Top of Western Red Cedar being planed to thickness.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Next Project...

This battered old Henri Wintermans box will soon be a lovely soprano cigar box ukulele.

I'm going to try an English cherry top this time...

Monday, 11 July 2011

Cigar Box Soprano

Another cigar box uke under way, soprano scale this time.  American Cherry neck, island style with no separate fretboard.

Cigar Box Sopranino, Nearly Finished...

This is serial no. 4 and my second cigar box uke.  Western red cedar top, laburnum fretboard, sapele neck and ash bridge.  Sopranino scale.  Sounds fantastic in D tuning.

Monday, 13 June 2011


The second pineapple strung and set up, resting on No.1.

These are currently for sale, looking for £350 each plus postage.


Finally - I've sorted out my label design and printed it onto some lovely acid-free parchment, looks lovely.  Serial numbers (if I can call them that) are handwritten onto the label.  The font is Eccentric Standard, designed in 1881, it has a great arts & crafts vibe.

2nd Pineapple Finished!

Finished!  Just need to put the tuners back on and string him up.  Expect a video soon...

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Another day in the shed..

Laburnum fretboard planed to thickness, beautiful grain.

Removing wood from the neck block to receive the top.

Sides joined at the ends using a scrap of spanish cedar from the cigar box project.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Cigar Box Sopranino Completed

Cigar box sopranino finally finished, note the cool multi-coloured  strings.  This one already has a home, will get a video up soon...

Sneek peek of Pineapple No. 1

Heres a couple of photos of Pineapple No. 1 all oiled up.

Slotting the nut

I find that wiping a little lemon oil or wax on either side of the nut file helps to stop it binding in the groove as you cut.


I draw up my plans in illustrator and try to fit components onto an A4 page!

Planing the headstock

Using little victor to plane the back of the headstock flat.  The rasp, sandpaper  and spokeshave were used to start the neck carve.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Cigar Box Sopranino, oil finish

Pores filled on the neck, oil finish started.  Really brings the fir top to life.

Roughing out a neck

Carefully cutting the headstock angle with my ryoba.

Planing the headstock face flat.

Stacking the heel.

English Cherry Pineapple, No. 2 Started

Sides planed to thickness and bent on the iron.  This Cherry bends nicely.  Much faster than my first attempt at bending!

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Cigar Box Sopranino

Mini cigar box uke prior to finishing, tuned ebgd an octave higher than baritone.  Made from an old solid cedar Henri Wintermans cigar box.  Bookmatched Douglas fir top (off-cut), sapele neck (off-cut), and English laburnum fingerboard/bridge.

English Cherry Pineapple, Strings On.

First ukulele off the block, before being oiled.  All English cherry, pineapple shape soprano.  Really pleased with this one!