This project was not really planned, and so evolved as I went. When I first started I was planning on doing a backpacker's ukulele using plans from, but I wanted to add a front sound board for a little bit louder sound. I messed around with various designs, and finally started moving toward a more traditional design with bent wood sides and solid front / back. At that point, it started as a pineapple shape, but due to some problems with the wood bending I ended up going with a teardrop shape.

I made it thin to make it more portable... the thought was to be able to throw it in a backpack for hiking and camping and stuff. Remember that the original plan was for the backpacker's ukulele. No idea if I will actually bring it, as it is a bit heavier than I had originally planned for, but it sounds like a fun idea nonetheless.

The frets were calculated out with the StewMac fret calculator (I used a scale length of 30cm, so slightly smaller than a traditional soprano ukulele) and then added to QCad for printing. I glued the paper onto the fretboard and then cut the slots with my scroll saw.

The outside bent wood was done with boiling water in a cookie pan on the stovetop. Not the best way, but my attempt at steam bending didn't go well (the jig I rigged up was pretty lame).

I used walnut for the back and sides, and maple for the neck and soundboard. Yeah, maple soundboards are not great... but that was what I had lying around. The next one I make (assuming I do so) will likely be larger (probably baritone scale length), with more traditional component selection.

The intonation is decent, although not great. If you stick to the top 5 frets (which I do, at least at this point in my learning) it's not bad. When I first finished it, it was pretty bad, but I managed to fix things. There were a few problems... first off, the distance between the first fret and the nut was a bit too large, so all fretted notes were sharp. I cut off a mm or two and re-attached the nut and it's fine. Then there was buzzing from the saddle; shaping it to be more slanted / sharp (not sure how to explain it). I also made the slots in the nut a bit deeper and that seemed to help the intonation too. Even after all those changes, I find the uke still has a very light touch; when chording, you don't want to press too heavily.