How I got started

In part it was due to visiting Al McWhorter’s web site that I was inspired to try my hand at ‘ukulele building. Up until then I was more of an arm chair builder. I highly recommend paying his site a visit at: LUTHERIE: The art of stringed instrument building.

As I started looking around for information I discovered some great web sites that have a lot of specific information to share. Despite what I said earlier about my Library, not everything comes from published books. The Ukuleles by Kawika, Inc. web site (David Hurd) maintains a wealth of building tips and references. So if you’re serious about building an ‘ukulele, you must visit the Site Map or Shop Tips pages. Kawika also has a very nice page called Kawika’s Eclectic Link List with links to suppliers of various materials used for ‘ukulele construction.

I joined the GAL (Guild of American Luthiers, which is a non-profit educational membership organization, formed in 1972 to advance the craft of string instrument making and repair (lutherie), through a free exchange of information. I recommended the six volumes of The Big Red Book earlier.

I joined the MIMF (Musical Instrument Makers’ Forum as well. This is a great participant-contributed site that provides a wealth of information, resources and assistance for lutherie, whether you’re a beginner or an advanced builder. The MIMF has a wide range of folks participating in discussions, from complete novices to professional builders, discussing all types of stringed instrument building.

Stewart MacDonald has just about everything for instrument building and repairing stringed instruments and is the source of many of the materials that I have needed for my projects. Stewmac is also a sponsor of MIMF (Musical Instrument Makers’ Forum as well. I’ve also had great luck getting supplies from Luthiers Mercantile International as well as obtaining some woods through auctions on EBay. Stores like Rockler and Woodcraft also have many of the tools you might need and some woods that can be used.

About npcarey

Amateur Luthier, music enthusiast, software enthusiast
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