View Full Version : Uke kit

07-05-2011, 06:24 AM
Has anyone ever built a uke from a kit? I am thinking about trying it for fun. If you built one, how did it come out (pics?), sound? Was it worth the trouble? Thanks!

07-05-2011, 06:36 AM
I know somebody who is building a Soprano uke from Grizzely Ukes. Everything needed is included except for the glus, stain and clear coat finish. I think the kit was about $30 and he bought aquila stings to put on instaed of the strings that came with it. I think this was a good starting point to see if he liked doing it and if so he would then get something more in th elines of the Stew Mac kit. So far, it is looking real good and no major problems. After that the Stew Macs are next and run around $125.

Rick Turner
07-05-2011, 06:43 AM
I teach a course, "Build a Uke or Mando in Four Days", and we build from kits that I make, but I don't sell the kits separately. If you're in the SF Bay Area, check out my next class at the Crucible in Oakland the last two weekends in August. www.thecrucible.org

The uke is a "pineapple" soprano.

07-05-2011, 06:58 AM
I'm currently in the middle of building the stewmac soprano kit. It's going well, so far, though I'm apparently pretty terrible at hammering in frets. Need to practice that and probably redo it, otherwise it's been a nice kit and I haven't had to make too big an investment in tools that wouldn't be otherwise useful around the house, if I were to not enjoy building (but I am, so far).


07-05-2011, 08:54 AM
I have the grizzly kit, but am a bad procrastinator. I have the promise of a spruce top, so I'll probably have to steam the existing top off. I got a great deal on a bone nut and saddle and new bridge, and a new fretboard with decent fret wire. New tuners on the back burner. I'm going to do the "Tru-Oil" finish. If you get the cheapo Grizzly, for best price get it directly from Grizzly.

07-05-2011, 09:14 AM
This is great! Anybody else? PhilUSARet: I like the idea of your own top choice of spruce and the simpler upgrades.

07-05-2011, 09:51 AM
Mainland sells alot of parts including necks and fretboards.

07-05-2011, 10:22 AM
My first uke was built from a Grizzly kit. I just used all of the stuff that came in the box with the exception of the strings. I recently upgraded the tuning machines to cheapo geared guitar tuners, and gave it to my mom (she can't stand friction pegs). Like PhilUSAFret, I have also decided I wanted to do another one using a solid spruce top and a better fretboard (the one is comes with is laminated with the frets already installed). I currently have a shop full of instruments I need to repair/build, including a few ukes, but when I have some downtime, I'm going to give it a shot.


07-05-2011, 10:25 AM
I'm in the middle of building the Grizzly kit right now. With no woodworking experience, I thought this would be a nightmare, but it's actually going pretty well (nothing has caught fire or broken).

The key to this is just reading as much as you can about the building process, since there are a ton of threads about it.

As for being worth the trouble, the moment you start doing little upgrades... or wanting a specific finish... or losing your little upgrades due to FedEx... the money starts to add up. If you're just wanting a cheap uke to play around with, I'd almost pick up a Mahalo and just experiment on it. But if you want the experience of building one, or at least gluing the parts together, then I'd say it's certainly worth the trouble.

Let us know how it goes! :)

07-05-2011, 11:57 AM
Has anyone ever built a uke from a kit? I am thinking about trying it for fun. If you built one, how did it come out (pics?), sound? Was it worth the trouble? Thanks!

I did a Wolfelele tenor uke kit. Instructions were clear and it was easy to assemble. I took a bit more time to stain some of the parts, and to put a clear coat on it afterwards. I might try replacing the tuners as they're not great ones and I'm having trouble keeping the uke in tune.

The uke sounds ok to me, although it certainly won't be mistaken for my Boat Paddle tenor.


07-05-2011, 12:03 PM
That looks great and fun to make. As for my endeavors I will keep you all posted. I do have some "cheap" Ukes already, this would just be for the fun of making it. Possibly wall "art" for my office:)