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© 2017 Honu Ukuleles    |    Danbury, CT  USA   |    sales@honuukes.com

All about

Honu Ukuleles

A little

Honu Ukuleles

history

How it all began

 

For years I have had a passion for building things. Be it a website (a programmer by trade, Flagnotify), furniture for my family and friends, or just gutting a room in my home and rennovating it to perfection.  I have always loved to build, building quality 'ukuleles is a natural evoloution of this, read on.

My wife and I are in love with Hawaii (and each other), so a few years ago I decided to learn to play the 'ukulele prior to our next trip to Hawai'i.  I imagined myself sitting on the beaches of Hawaii strumming a uke.  Well on our most recent trip to Hawaii, I put aside a nice amount of money to buy myself a nice solid Koa 'ukulele.

I picked my new 'ukulele out a store, loved the sound, but was sure to ask if the uke was solid wood or laminate.  I was assured it was solid wood. 

3 days later, I dropped my precious new 'ukulele down a stone staircase (after strumming it on the beach).  My heart dropped, but what made the situation even worse was after I examined the damage, I found out that it was indeed not solid wood but a laminate soundboard.  Of course I had words with the shop owner, who was also not aware it was laminate . -- We went back on another trip and took this picture of those stairs!

I decided to put my passion for building to new uses. So after weeks of research on the internet, books, videos, etc, I headed to my garage wood shop (no room for a car here) with my passion and building knowledge (and obsession for perfection).  After several weeks, I finally came up for air holding the fruits of my labor, Honu Ukulele #1.  It wasn't perfect,

but it had a nice deep sound.  That one was solid black walnut (had some lying about my shop), it was coated with polyurethane.  A little more research and Honu 'Ukulele #2 was born. .  this one even better, made from some pine paneling I found during demo while renovating our dining room, Black walnut sides and "Home Depot Maple" back.  I avoided many mistakes made during the first build.  100% improvement.

After a few more practice runs, the build quality had exceeded even my expectations.  I was able to finally replace that broken Hawai'i bought uke with a hand crafted solid Koa 'ukulele, built with Aloha.  

Can you order one with beautiful bindings??  Sure but not from me.  Bindings hide laminate, I won't do them. 

 

The Workshop

Workbench

Welcome to my shop. Right here at this workbench is where your Honu Ukulele will be hand crafted. 

Using quality exotic and domestic instrument grade wood matched together with quality hardware, such as Grover tuners and Aquila strings will result in your Honu Ukulele being a unique instrument perfectly balanced for look and sound. 

There is no mass manufacturing of 'ukuleleles from this shop. Every 'ukulele is built, finished and inspected on premesis.

Forms

All the forms for a Honu Ukulele have also been made in this shop. While the shape of a Honu Ukulele is the classic shape of an 'ukulele, the forms are exclusive to this shop, giving your Honu Ukulele a unique shape and sound.

Side Bending

Each 'ukulele is hand bent with a bending form, a heating blanket and a custom wood-softening formula combined with a forming technique that makes the wood soft enough to bend, yet firm enough to hold it's shape and not warp or twist in the forms 

Necks

Our necks are made from stacked laminate of wood (1/2 inch) and a scarf joint at the top, then veneered with the same wood used to build the body. 

Normally a Mohogany neck will be preferred for it's strength and weight ratio, but a heavier Maple neck performs well, looks fantastic when paired with Maple sides and feels quite firm and solid in the hand.

Solid Wood Bodies

Bodies are constructed of solid wood, never a laminate. Leaving the edges of a body without a decorative binding (the edges are softened slightly by hand sanding) lets a Honu Ukulele show off it's quality craftsmanship, it's solid wood construction and true beauty of the wood itself. 

Inside, we use Spruce for the soundboard bracing and linings. Spruce is light, easy to form and does not hinder the sound, allowing the wood of the 'ukulele to speak for itself.

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