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Solid Body Ukulele Part 1

Why build one? Why not?

My quest to build my own solid body ukulele was inspired by How to Build a Stratocaster Style Guitar "The Hard Way" and the many awesome DIY quilted maple guitars. I eventually want to build a quilted maple top Les Paul and figured why not start with something cheap and small, hence a ukulele.

My plan is to make an 18" tenor sized Les Paul solid body ukulele.  I actually started this project before building the Stewart MacDonald Tenor Ukulele Kit. I put the solid body project on hold to build the kit. I have come to a point where I can't do much on the kit since the finish needs to cure so why not pick up where I left off on the solid body.

For wood, I didn't feel like forking over $$$ for wood blanks. I like the look of guitars that have the stringer look so I thought why not just glue up 1x2's of mahogany and douglas fir. I know this is not the best method or even the best wood but these woods were readily available from the local hardware store. Also, they were really cheap. I did however, take pieces that looked quarter sawn.

After gluing the pieces together, I let the block sit for about a month. I wanted to make sure the glue was completely dried as I used a lot of glue in the process. I used a hand plane to level the top and bottom. Here is a picture of the body blank now. In the background is the blank for the neck which is oak sandwiched between mahogany.


I found a few Les Paul plans floating on internet. I just shrunk one that I liked down to size to where the neck pocket looked like it would fit a 18" scale length fret board at the 16th fret. So far, I have just printed and pasted the plan onto an MDF board. I think in the next few days I should have the outline cut out.


Well, thats all I have for now, nothing exciting yet. This is more of a journal of my quest to build my first solid body anything the hard way. If I get good at building this and if they sound good, I'll come up with instructions, but for now, this is just going to be a hodge podge of posts leading to the build up of the ukulele.

Thanks for looking.



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