Build a Soprano Ukulele In a Weekend

(or a few weeknights)

Classes are currently suspended due to health problems

Feb 19, 2006: Participants in the first Ukulele Weekend Class smile and strum for the camera:
From Left: Dwight Dunn, Tommy Cheng, Rena Paopao, Laura Shaw, Geoff Rezek. 

The first Build-a-uke workshop resulted in some happy strumming after a two-day effort. Each participant  built an instrument complete during the two days - we all strummed a a few chords at the end, though it was close! Two of the participants still had the elastic clamps around their instruments in this group photo. We worked from a kit produced by the Stewart MacDonald company, a major maker/vendor of luthier's supplies. The kit produces an excellent mahogany instrument, and I'm able to provide koa or acacia components for top, back and sides as an upgrade. Anyone from a complete beginner on up can do this with the guidance provided during the class.

Photos from the class are available by clicking here

Instructor Steve Miklos is an experienced luthier (stringed instrument builder). Click here for his pages of informational photo essays on building instruments - guitar, harp, and dulcimer- and here for his commercial Mountain Dulcimer pages at Carrot Creek Music.

A photo blog of Steve's first test-build of one of these kits is available here

For more dates, watch this space or email me  by clicking here   

Or see below for hosting a class at your uke club or other group.

The class meets on a Saturday and Sunday all day, or a series of evenings depending on the amount of time available each evening.

Each participant builds a complete soprano ukulele from the Stewart MacDonald kit. The kit contains all mahogany components with a rosewood fretboard. Sides are pre-bent, the neck is pre-carved, and all components require only minor trimming before assembly.

The ukuleles built from these kits are made in the same way as the finest ukes available; no shortcuts, except for the work already done to make the components. You will learn the techniques, materials, and structure of a first-class ukulele; furthermore, this kit is an excellent introduction to lutherie for all kinds of fretted stringed instruments. Techniques learned here apply to guitar, dulcimer, bouzouki, and any "flat topped" stringed instrument, and many of the techniques also to violins and other arch-topped instruments, too.

The ukes are of superior quality, made of all solid wood parts. Your uke will sound great, and, depending on your conscientious effort, will look great, too.

The ukes are completed in class up to the stage of finish sanding and applying finish coats. Advice and information on finishing is given, including specific products to use. Follow up advice and help is available from Steve by phone, email, or by visiting the Woodworkers Club.

You need no tools and no specific skills before taking this class. Absolute beginners are welcome. Every technique involved is explained, demonstrated, and assisted. Classes are limited to six participants for personal attention. Participation is limited to high school age and above. While it's easy enough for a beginner, it's challenging enough for anyone, and it really fills the two days allotted. Not that we don't take breaks and play our old ukes while the glue is drying!

Questions? Email Steve  by clicking here

Hosting a Class

Steve can travel and bring the class to your uke club, senior center, school shop class, or birthday party. Many different flexible arrangements can be made. Write to Steve  by clicking here