Maple and Koa Ukulele

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Project by Fchilly posted 12-15-2018 09:19 PM 1103 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here she is, My first attempt at a stringed instrument. For a little more explanation please see my 3 blog entries associated with the construction process.

It sounds very good, resonates well, intonation is correct, and was finished in time for our trip to Kauai!

I chose to build a Tenor size Ukulele. Plans, fret wire, strings, saddle/bone nut, and tuning pegs were purchased online. Everything else was built in my garage with wood I sourced locally, no store bought wood except for some oak I had left over from another project.

This project seems difficult, I would suggest trying it before writing it off. This is a manageable project I think for anyone with patience. This took me a year. Total hands on time was about 15-25 hours (estimate only) finding time to work on this was my biggest challenge.

Wood Type:

Front: Maple
Sides: Maple
Neck: Maple
Back: Hawaiian Koa
Fret board: Hawaiian Koa
Bridge: Hawaiian Koa
Brace: Hawaiian Koa, Black Walnut & Oak
Binding Front: Hawaiian Koa
Binding Back: Hawaiian Koa (sap wood)

-- Fchilly

7 comments so far

View Jerry's profile


3388 posts in 2419 days

#1 posted 12-16-2018 12:41 AM

Well, it’s just absolutely stunning! I am really impressed with this. You know what would really round out your project post, though? Record a short video of somebody playing it with as good an audio recording device you can find around your house and post the video on YouTube. Then put a link to that video here in your project post so we can all hear how it sounds.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View Fchilly's profile


49 posts in 1252 days

#2 posted 12-16-2018 01:46 AM

Thanks Jerry! That’s a great idea, I’ll see if I can find someone who will play for a video

-- Fchilly

View BroncoBrian's profile


894 posts in 2730 days

#3 posted 12-16-2018 10:00 PM

Awesome! I was finishing up my project this afternoon and dreaming about heading to Kaui soon to sit with a ukulele and watch the surf for a week. Well done, brings me back to the islands.

-- A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

View ChuckV's profile (online now)


3307 posts in 4298 days

#4 posted 12-16-2018 11:54 PM

That is beautiful – what a wonderful project!

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View TWegs's profile


65 posts in 1387 days

#5 posted 12-17-2018 05:04 PM

This is incredibly beautiful. The maple really pops and I love the contrast with the oak and black walnut. But the koa really makes this an instrument for the islands. Love the back. I can’t believe this took less than 30 hours shop time. Really nice job on this. Thanks for sharing.

View Sasha's profile


1143 posts in 1984 days

#6 posted 12-17-2018 05:27 PM

15 -25 hours, this is from the realm of fiction …....

-- Ganchik Sasha. Life is not a draft, tomorrow you will not redo......

View Fchilly's profile


49 posts in 1252 days

#7 posted 12-17-2018 05:51 PM

Yeah the shop time is speculative. The best guess is 15-25 but i’ve been wrong before. The neck took the most time for a single step and that was complete in less than an hour. For uke number 2 i’ll take more accurate times

-- Fchilly

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