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Tenor and Sopranino Travel Ukulele Fret Templates

People from all over the world have utilized my free plans to make a travel ukulele (or it’s backpacker brother).

Here’s a ukulele made by Mark in Oregon.

The plans are for a concert version of the travel ukulele.

I’ve also made tenor and sopranino versions of that design.

Here are the downloadable and printable templates for the fret placement.  They can be used in conjunction with the templates and hints.

Tenor fretboard template (17.5 inch scale length)

Sopranino fretboard template (11 inch scale length)


Michael from Germany’s Travel Ukulele Design

Michael from Ludwigsburg, Germany emailed some awesome files this week.  We added upon the work that Craig from Seattle did.

He tweaked a few things according to his own taste.

He told me:

  1. I wasn’t very keen on the nut (0-fret) made of a bass fret, so I came up with the idea of modeling it from a piece of walnut.
  2. The turnaround will be made of a lathe-turned piece of walnut with a glued in 7mm dia. aluminium core with inner M4 thread (lathe + thread tap).
  3. The turnaround will be held in place by countersunk M4 x 25 screws (internal hex socket, cap-head).
  4. The position markers and strings will be black.
  5. The bridge is a thin aluminium pipe held in place by clamps similar to those you used in your early Travel Uke design.
  6. I skipped the electrical wiring and internal wire channels.
  7. I initially wanted to use black string pegs instead of simple holes but after a while I realized it would ruin the simplicity of the design.
Here are some great digital renders of the travel ukulele.





There are lots of thing that can be done to the original design.

Great job Michael!  I can’t wait to see the final product.

Download file here: Travel Ukulele File

Deluxe Altoids Ukulele

Difficulty: Intermediate
Cost: $$

My Altoids Ukulele has been a favorite on this blog and on my YouTube Channel.  Someone at work gave me a large sized Alotids tin, so I decided to make a “Deluxe” Altoids Ukulele.

I used a normal sized rosewood ukulele bridge to go along with the rosewood fretboard.

Unlike my other Altoids ukulele, I put a slight taper on the neck to make it more like a normal neck.  The neck is made of oak.

I wired a basic piezo disk to the 1/4 inch mono jack.

See it in action!

Souvenir Ukulele Repair

As my wife and I were traveling home from the Philippines this last summer, I had a a few Filipino pisos in my pocket that I wanted to spend before we left. I found a cheap souvenir ukulele in one of the airport gift shops. I was unplayable, but I got it to see if I could make into into a playable instrument.

Here are the “before” and “after” pictures.





The fretboard wasn’t even close to being right.  I’ve made a 7 fret ukulele, but not an 8 fret uke with the frets placed randomly.



The tuners were made from scraps of wood.  Not great for holding a tune.


The string action was very high.



The bridge was a simple triangular wedge.


It had a paper rosette.  That was the first thing to go.





New fretboard (12 frets, 9.25 inch scale length).  New bridge, nut, and strings.  No new rosette.



New friction tuners.


I’m glad that I was able to resurrect this little uke.  It will never be a great instrument, but at least now it is playable.

See it in action!