View Full Version : Best Resource for Basic Information?

11-29-2009, 03:19 PM
Whats the best book, or other source of information that could act as a guide to building a uke from scratch?

Also, whats the best place to buy the necessary materials in the US? I've played around with some hardwood for little scroll saw projects, but I never really knew where to go to buy them... I usually found some pieces on eBay and used those up. On a related note, are there places where I can buy molds for bodies?

I'm sure this question has been asked many times, but I'm not exactly sure how I'm supposed to search for this. A sticky with information on th basics, or a starting place would be more than helpful. :p


11-29-2009, 04:09 PM
Here are some threads which may be helpful:




For ordering tools online, check out Stew-Mac (http://www.stewmac.com/) and LMI (http://www.lmii.com/).

Steve vanPelt
11-29-2009, 07:07 PM
I just went through this a few months ago before my first build. For me, the Hana Lima book, http://www.hanalimastore.com/servlet/the-62/Hana-Lima-%27Ia-%27Ukulele/Detail, was the very best way to learn how to build a uke.
Also, 'Pete Howlett's Ukulele Building School' videos on YouTube is an awesome resource. This forum, particularly Luthiers Lounge, has vast amounts of info...read it, from the back forward. There are other books, videos and forums, but *for me* this is where I found the most, and most usable, information. Another great source is the 808 Builders thread at the top of Luthiers Lounge and the other Builder's thread, find the pages that show their "process" and see how actual luthiers set up their shop, tools, materials etc.
http://www.moorebettahukes.com/ , is an example of an excellent one.

Except for the Hana Lima book, all the rest is free, which brings the most important question....budget. As far as tools go it's important to get an idea of what tools you have access to, to get an idea of what blanks you need to fill in. You can easily build a wonderful 'ukulele for $100 to $200 or even less depending on materials and and how much of the work you are going to do yourself.

Check out threads by Cornfedgroove http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/search.php?searchid=1175712 for ideas on how to build by hand with limited tools, or by Timbuck http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/search.php?searchid=1175720 for ways to build by hand with extensive jigs and hand made specialty tools.

These few things will give you a great headstart into the joys of building your own 'ukulele. So maybe let us know what tools you have, what kind of 'uke you want to build and an idea of your budget and I'll bet you get a lot of help here.

As it's been said before, it ain't rocket science and remember, it's supposed to be fun. Good luck and I'm looking forward to hearing how it's going.