Kit Ukuleles

Little Lyon decorate it yourself Ukulele kit
Wolfelele tenor Kit Ukulele
Tenor Wolfelele
Hosco Ukulele kit
Waldron Ukulele kit
As well as making compleat Ukuleles, some manufacturers produce a box of parts, or a kit if you prefer, from which a Ukulele can be made. The complexity of the kit can go from something like the Little Lyon where you get a white Ukulele and a box of paints to decorate it, through a neck and a body you stick together, to a kit where all of the wood shaping has been done but you do all of the glueing and screwing. (I suppose you could say back to getting a couple of blocks of wood and everything is a kit Ukulele but thats not what I'm talking about here). What this means when you come across a Ukulele made from a kit is there are question marks about how well it has been put together. It can be very well made better even than some factory or luthier made ones but it can be poor and prone to fall apart. One thing to watch out for with kits is, some people to buy kits, assemble them and then sell on the end result. Now some luthiers make no bones about the fact they started out with kits and learned a lot of useful techniques assembling them and the ones they made are sold as kit made and at kit made prices, but some "luthiers" buy them, assemble them and sell them on as proper hand made work; with a price tag to match!

The kits themselves can vary in quality of parts for budget to good solid woods with kit prices to match, (of course how good the end result is depends on the person assembling it), it is quite possible to spend more on a kit than a reasonable quality factory made complete Ukulele. Scale wise you can get all sizes though, particularly with the cheaper examples, Soprano is the most common, and you do get pineapples and a range of other less traditional shapes. I've not seen any Lili'u or Taropatch kits though.

There are some big manufacturers like Sinomusic and Hosco who include a kit as part of their catalogue but there are some firms that only make kit Ukuleles and have done some branding of their kits so you hear the name mentioned. This is a list of kit makers I know of who don't have complete instruments with similar branding

  • Grizzly US Woodworkers supplier
  • Little Lyon a childrens decorate it yourself kit from Music Arts
  • StewMac from Stewart MacDonald, a big US lutheiry equipment supplier
  • Waldron US firm founded in 2009 who have been know to complete some of their instruments but I have only ever seen the Ukuleles in kit form
  • Wolfelele From Canada, triangular ukuleles in all scales designed by Wolfgang Kater

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