Soprano Ukulele # 9 128

Completed December 2013

(click any of the thumbnails for a higher-resolution photo)


This little koa soprano uke is diminutive in size but not in class or sound. Ebony and white-line accents highlight the neck and peghead, and abalone and ebony emphasize the eccentric rosette and purfling. Its acoustic sound is more than you might think from such a little instrument, and a K&K pickup system augments that.

To hear a Skipper ukulele being played, visit our Audio Video page.

Construction Photos


The back and top are glued together with hot hide glue. The sides are bent, and placed in an external form. Head and tail blocks are glued in place. The eccentric rosette is cut on a fly cutter using offset centers.


Ebony is fitted intot he recess, and a groove is cut for the abalone and maple purfling rings. Abalone inlay is cut and fitted into the rosette. The top bracing is shaped and glued onto the top.


Kerfed lining is glued around the perimeter. The back bracing is glued in, and the bracing is tap tuned by shaping. Hot hide glue is applied to the gluing surfaces and allowed to dry.


The top and sides are clamped together, and the glue is reactivated with a blast of steam. The pickup system is installed, and the back is glued in place in a process similar to the front's. The purfling and binding channels are cut, and the strips are glued in place.


Abalone purfling is fitted around the perimeter of the top. The fretboard is shaped, a white line is inlaid around the edge, and the frets are installed. The "Skipper" logo is inlaid into the headstock, and the neck bolting hardware is installed along with a carbon-fiber neck reinforcing bar.


The headstock overlay and fretboard are glued to the neck, the final shaping and sanding are done, and it's off to the finishing room. After the finish is fully cured, the instrument is set up.

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