“Avatar: The Last Airbender” Travel Ukulele

Soph from France recently completed this “Avatar” themed travel. She used my basic travel ukulele plans as a start, but then added her own customizations and personalizations. Make sure to check out her delightful video about the project above.

If you want to make your own ukulele only using basic tools, look at my article below:

Building a Ukulele with Basic Hand Tools

Fender Fullerton Tele Ukulele

Fender has released an awesome new line of ukuleles. It is the Fullerton series and it has acoustic ukuleles shaped like Telecasters, Stratocasters, and Jazzmasters. Each body style is available in two colors.

I am checking out the Black Tele Uke. I’m a huge Telecaster fan, so this is a homerun for me.

Below is my video about the ukulele. I talk the specs, give a acoustic and an electric demo, and share the unboxing video.

German Retractable Ukulele

This is a video that people need to check out.  Even if you don’t speak German (which I do not), you can understand pretty much everything going on in this video.

He builds a ukulele with a retractable neck that slides into a vintage bed warmer that serves as the body.

This video caught my interest because I have also ventured into making a ukulele with a retractable neck.

This is another video from his channel where he builds an entire ukulele with scraps found on the street in Istanbul, Turkey.  My favorite part is when he scrounges remnants of fishing line from people fishing in the Sea of Marmara.

Check out and subscribe to Peter’s YouTube Channel.  According to Google Translate, his channel tranlated from German to English is called “The Amateurs – definitely botched tutorials”.  So look for some cool projects that don’t take themselves too seriously.

Building a Ukulele with Basic Hand Tools

Over the years I have accumulated a collection of specialized tools for building ukuleles.  But for this project, I wanted to scale back the needed tools and see what I could build with simple tools.  I am a big fan of Leatherman Multi-tools, so I decided to build a travel style ukulele only using the Leatherman Super Tool 300.  This tool is one of their “heavy duty” multi-tools, and it has a great selection of tools.

Even if you don’t have a Super Tool 300 (or its little brother the Leatherman Rebar), you can still build this instrument with the tools most people will already have in their garage.


  • Pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Slotted screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Knife
  • Saw
  • Awl (for drilling holes)
  • File

Parts and Supplies:

  • 9.75″ by 1.5″ by .5″ wood (for neck)
  • 2″ by 1.5″ by .25″ wood (for where the neck meets the body)
  • 16″ by .75″ by .75″ wood (this will be cut in half for the body)
  • A set ukulele strings
  • 4 – beads for the ukulele strings
  • 4 – ukulele friction tuning machines
  • 1 – 5/32″ by 1.5″ cotter pin (for zero fret nut)
  • 6 – 3/32″ by 1.5″ cotter pins (for 12 frets)
  • 1 – 1/4 by 3.5″ carriage bolt
  • 6 – 1/4-20 jam nuts
  • 10 – 1/4 by 1″ fender washers
  • 4 – 1/4 by .75″ nylon washers
  • 2 – 3/16″ ground wire straps
  • 3″ aluminum or steel tube (for bridge)
  • 2 – 3/8″ screws
  • Wood glue
  • Super Glue (also known as Cyanoacrylate glue, or CA glue)

Other instructions:

  1. Cut 16″ by .75″ by .75″ wood in half to make two 8″ pieces.
  2. Drill holes for the turnaround and two tuning machines on both of these 8″ pieces.  .5″ from the end, 3″ from the end, and 5 ” from the end.
  3. The neck is glued to the two 8″ body pieces with a 2″ overlap.
  4.  The 2″ by 1.5″ by .25″ wood is used to fill in the overlap area to flatten out the back.
  5. The string slots up by the headstock should be 1/4″ to 3/8″ deep.
  6. The jam nuts, fender washers, and nylon washers can moved around to adjust string spacing at the bridge.


Printable Fret Template: 

Print this template at 100% size on 8.5″ by 11″ paper (normal printer in the USA) for a 13.5 inch (soprano) scale length.



Watch this video to see how this ukulele was built.

Candy Tin Ukulele Giveaway with Steve’s Strings

I’ve teamed up with the Steve’s Strings YouTube Channel to do a giveaway.

He is giving a candy tin ukulele that he made, and I am giving away a Jowoom Smart Tuner.

Make sure to subscribe to both of our channels, and make a comment on both videos.

This contest will run through the end of November 2019, with the random drawing taking place in early December.

LEGO Ukulele

After planning, gathering the parts, and designing this ukulele, I was finally able to start  build this LEGO ukulele.

Here is the ukulele before I glued the top on.  As you can see in the picture, I followed the traditional building method and installed bracing on the top and back.

This is the completed ukulele with Strings.

Any idea why I used these shirts for this picture?

I hired a new setup technician to help me adjust the string action.


Here is a video about the building of the LEGO ukulele.  Towards the end there is a playing demo.