Building a Ukulele From a Stewart MacDonald Kit

Chapter 3: Installing the linings

This is the lining, which builds up the edge of the rib to allow for more gluing surface to attach the soundboard and back. This is pre-bent solid lining, a kind of deluxe feature. Often the lining is made of a narrow piece of wood with a series of deep cuts in it, called kerfs. The term kerf refers to the part of a piece of wood that is eaten by a saw when cutting. See an example of kerfed lining in the first picture on this page.

Later note: The original instructions included with the kit had no steps for tapering the body, and those instructions were used for this photo log. The instructions currently shipping with these kits do have the body-tapering steps. At some point I'll re-shoot these steps with the tapering included. The updated instructions are available at


The lining in the kit is cut too long, so I fit it in and marked the ends, then cut them off.


Here's how it should fit. Note that there is a place that doesn't have lining over the headblock. This is not a problem, since most of the edge does have lining. The same occurs at the tailblock.


When gluing the lining in, clothespins usually supply enough pressure, but a pre-bent lining often misses the exact curvature of the sides in the mold. The clamp on the left helps to urge the lining into place.

And here's the effect of both linings clamped. I'll leave this for a while for the glue to dry and move on to something else.

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Copyright 2005 Stephen Miklos

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