Custom Tenor Ukuleles # 11 143 through 15 147


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

These five tenor ukes were built for my -- wanna guess how many? -- five grandchildren. These are simple, no-frills instruments, but still feature quality materials and hot hide glue construction. Plain though they may be, they sound great and are easy to play, two qualities that make budding musicians want to play more.

Construction Photos

The mahogany plates are joined with hot hide glue, sanded to thickness, and the rosettes are recessed. The plates are cut to shape. Head and tail blocks are fabricated and glued to the bent sides. Kerfled lining is glued to the ribs.

The top bracing is glued to the top, then shaped. The balance of the kerfed lining is glued in place and recessed to receive the bracing. The back braces are glued in.

The top and back plates are glued to the ribs. A threaded insert is installed in the neck heel, and the necks are roughly shaped and fitted to the bodies. The maple headstock overlays are glued in place.

Slots are cut in the maple fretboards, position markers and frets are installed, and the fretboards are glued to the necks. The necks are shaped with a variety of tools.

Maple bridges are fashioned and glued to the tops. The mahogany parts are darkened with an application of dilute dichromate, and the instruments are given a quick and easy coat of polyurethane. the instruments are set up with nuts, tuners, saddles, and strings, just in time for a Christmas surprise.

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