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I began this blog in order to share my experiences learning instrument building from my dad, but along with those stories I look forward to sharing my memories of growing up with two busy, musically inclined parents as well as my current experiences stepping out on my own as a female luthier promoting environmental sustainability in her instruments while working to alter gender stereotypes in a male dominated field. If you'd like to use quotes from this blog for interviews or in your own work, please contact me first! (email is henderson.elizabethj@gmail.com)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ukulele: Complete!

This is going to be mostly a picture post, as it is late and I want to put my full attention into writing about a memory. Wouldn't want to stiff you or anything. Below find pictures of my finished ukulele. The finishing process seems to have become easier and easier-with less mistakes that I have to keep fixing, not to say this project was free of them by any means. I have very much enjoyed making this uke, and hope to make more in the future, so if you want a ukulele be sure to let me know! I think they are more my speed, as they are small and compact, like me, and for some reason I feel more comfortable doing most of the work entirely on my own even though it is quite similar to a guitar, just on a smaller scale.

This morning a close family friend, Greg Cornett, stopped by for a visit. He walked into the shop just as I was winding the last nylon string around its tuner. He helped me tighten and tune the strings, which had to be retuned every few minutes as the nylon stretches an ridiculous amount initially. He sang, "All Dogs Have Fleas" to help me find the pitch, though I don't think Harper, who was standing nearby, appreciated the lyrics too much. After checking and rechecking the action and adjusting the slots in the nut to just the right height, the sounds emerging from the tiny instrument was astounding. Not to brag or anything, it was just a surprising amount of noise coming from such a small little thing. Anyway, here are pictures of the finished product, full of love and perhaps a little bit of blood as I cut the crap out of my finger when I was marking small holes inorder to drill into the peghead. My pink polka-dotted knife betrayed me and shut onto my finger while I was putting pressure onto the point of the blade. My fault really, but all is well and nearly healed! Hopefully just a scar will be left to remind me about the dangers of wielding sharp things. Someday perhaps I will tell you about the time my knife skills sent me to the emergency room...

Greg and Harper trying her out
I was probably a little more excited than I should have been...

There she is in her cute little case.

Finished inlay.


  1. Beautiful uke Elizabeth!I had Rick Stone from Blowing Rock build one for my wife.

  2. Jayne, It is beautiful! Have you sold it or are you keeping it for yourself? bunnydannelly@gmail.com

  3. This one is sold, but I plan to make one for myself very soon. I have the wood picked out anyway...

  4. Jayne - I have a question about a guitar - can I send an e-mail to you ? Many thanks Mark

  5. Is that a little Martin detail in back of the nut? Classie Lassie !