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This custom ukulele is being built for an electric ukulele player living in Key West, Florida. It is embellished like John D’Angelico’s New Yorker guitars made in the 1940s, complete with cursive pearl logo, stepped “Key Wester” engraved marker, and pearl position markers on the neck. The body will be black like a Les Paul Custom and feature a special new custom bridge and our superb magnetic ukulele pickup.

Here is a slideshow of images taken during the building of this little beauty. You can see the finished instrument here.

Well here we want to shrink things down a bit and enter the realm of soprano land. Everything is smaller in soprano land. Smaller but the tension is greater. Carbon fiber splines are used to reinforce the three piece maple necks.

Epoxy is the glue of choice here. This construction enables the structural fortitude required for steel strings on the jumping flea proportioned neck. “The Uke must feel like a Uke, not a big chunky something” the client said. A Uke is a microcosm of sorts. All of the typical appointments and geometry apply in the regular fashion, but the tolerances are so much tighter and deviations from the spec have such a greater impact on playability. Building a Uke is a perfect boot camp project. It culls the wheat from the chaff. Separates the men from the boys. Sweats the whinny off the shins. If you can build a Uke, you can build an empire. If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball. You can see images of the finished instrument here.