Greetings fellow wood working enthusiast.
You and I share a similar interest if you have found this website to learn how to build an acoustic instrument. The examples presented on this site are taken from two types of instruments that I have built since 2010, ‘ukuleles and tenor guitars.
My background is in the tech industry ranging from PC support and maintenance to consumer home automation dating back to 1999. As a distraction from the “corporate” world, I took up a life long aspiration to build an acoustic instrument. In 2010, I took a class in Honolulu, Hawaii from the Hana Lima ‘Ia School to build my first acoustic instrument, an ‘ukulele. During that class, I discovered a new passion for building acoustic stringed instruments. Someday, I will progress to building electric stringed instruments.
My introduction to music was in elementary school, where I learn the clarinet, moved on to piano, and then I saw the footage of Jimi Hendrix play the Star Spangled Banner at Woodstock from 1969. It blew my mind, my version of the Star Spangled Banner didn’t sound like that on the piano.
Ever since then, I’ve been drawn to the world of music and all its nuances. I bought my first knock off Gibson Les Paul electric guitar as a freshman in high school. Now several years later, I’m content to say, I still cannot play the guitar (sad face). But, that’s not gonna stop me from my dreams. If I can’t play music, I am gonna build the instruments that musicians need to play music (high five)!!!
Hence, this website. Still dabbling in the art of luthiere as a hobby, one day I hope to make it my trade. Since 2010, I have built 11 acoustic instruments, nine ‘ukuleles and two tenor guitars. By documenting my journey and presenting it to the world, I hope to engage fellow wood working enthusiasts, who will both encourage and constructively criticize my work, so I can grow and meet any challenge presented to me working with various materials used in building stringed instruments.
I have arranged this website as learning tool to guide people through the processes I was formally taught using the Hana Lima ‘Ia ‘Ukulele Construction Manual and the lessons I learned through trial and error. My goal is not to regurgitate what you can find in the manual, but to expand on the examples from my personal experience and provide additional instructions on how to build ‘ukulele jigs and how to build tenor guitar jigs from scratch.
Hopefully, through formal and casual interactions we will grow as enthusiast of music and appreciate the art and craft of luthiere and to provide a resource for others searching for guidance and inspiration to follow their own dreams of building an acoustic instrument.
Aloha nui loa,
An Aspiring Luthier
“ Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.” Psalm 150:4 KJV