Ukulele #3: Back and neck install

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Blog entry by Fchilly posted 12-07-2018 09:58 AM 1143 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Binding and catchup Part 3 of Ukulele series no next part

I sanded the uke and laid out the bridge location and installed it. This was very easy with the fretboard already glued in place, and the back not installed yet.

After shaping the braces and prepping the neck joint i was able to move on to final installation of the remaining components.

Before glueing the neck or back, I set my router a tad shallow and cut clearance for the back’s binding just in the area my router wouldnt reach later rightnear the neck.

I glued the neck into place and let sit overnight. After the glue cured I cleaned up all squeeze out and sanded all interior surfaces that would soon be inaccesible.

Next step was to glue on the back. Prior to glueing I masked off all interior squeeze out areas and fed a pullstring attached to the masking tape for easy removal later through the sound hole. Then I applied glue, lined up the book match centerline with the centerline of the instrument and clamped her home.

The next day I cleared off the masking tape which captured all squeeze out and trim routed the remainder of the binding chamfer.

I was unsure of which species combination to use for the back binding until I found some Koa that turned out to be the perfect contrast imo. I used the same method as before to bend this binding into shape and then glued it in place paying close attention to the centerline.

The instrument has been mostly sanded and is nearly ready for a finish. I have not decided what kind of finish to use. I’m looking for something natural that can be recoated later without being major project. Leaning towards pure tung oil but still under consideration.

-- Fchilly

2 comments so far

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4677 days

#1 posted 12-07-2018 06:20 PM

Looks wonderful so far. The Koa is certainly striking. Very nice work too. If you are interested in making guitars this ukulele would be a good introduction to the craft.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Fchilly's profile


50 posts in 1824 days

#2 posted 12-11-2018 08:37 AM

Thank you Mike!

I’d like to try making more instruments. I learned so much during this process I think i’d enjoy trying something more challenging.

-- Fchilly

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