After a few coats of polyurethane and lots of sanding (have I mentioned I hate sanding?), the ukulele is ready to be assembled. The kit maker put the neck pieces together before the kit was sent, but the fretboard, bridge and tuning keys need to be added.
Tuning keys first. It's a pretty simple process. You put the tuner post through the hole and then screw teeny tiny little screws through the plate into the wood of the head. They are small - really small screws. There are two for each tuner.
All done and I didn't lose any screws. I probably should have used a smaller screw driver, but I didn't have one.
Next the bridge. The kit maker (Wolfelele.com) predrilled the front of the sound box to make it easier both to figure out where and to get the screws in.
I still worried about breaking the thin wood that is the front, but I didn't.
And the final piece to be added was the fretboard. Again, the neck was predrilled so placement and screwing were easy.
The front of the sound box was not predrilled for the screw that went into it, presumably because if you attach the neck to the front even a little off center, the hole would be wrong. This really worried me because I was sure that I would break the wood. I didn't.
Last thing before playing was to string it. This was the first time I had ever put strings on an instrument but both daughters have done it many times on many instruments.
It wasn't hard. I did manage to wind the ends around the pegs backwards even though my younger daughter told me to "be sure they tighten this way". Didn't matter and it is fixed now.
The finished ukulele.
I think it is lovely.
Next to a standard banjo for size comparison. Baritone ukuleles are much bigger than the tiny sopranos. A soprano is about 20" from top to bottom and this is almost 30".
Here she is with all the other stringed instruments I own.
Well, I guess the piano is sort of a stringed instrument, but it opted out of the photo.
(This is not all the stringed instruments in the house as #2 daughter still lives here and she has several.)
Now I just have to learn to play them all!
P.S. Some of you may remember way back in October and November of 2010 when Girl Far From Home built her dulcimer. (If you are interested, look here. There is a video of her playing it here.) She hadn't been playing it because she thought it was fretted incorrectly. Well, since she was there while I was making my Ukulele, I took her and her dulcimer to a friend who works on guitars and he fixed it for her (just lowered the head). So now we can both play our home made instruments together!