You can get a Hawaiian style hand crafted ukulele made in America at an affordable price. No two ukuleles can be the exact same even when made from the same design and materials because each is individually made one at a time with hand tools.
This is the only shop website I know of where you can pick your wood from drop down menus to create your own individualized ukulele. There are many selections on the order request form with descriptions of the wood here. I will build a tenor or concert ukulele just for you which takes about a week to make. Chances are you will not come across another Kelali ukulele other than the one you own.
I guarantee you will love your new ukulele. If for any reason you are not thrilled with it, you may return it in like new condition prepaid, and I will refund your purchase price after verifying the condition, less shipping cost.
Kelali is not a Hawaiian word, but stands for KEvin’s LAte LIfe ukuleles. I have taken up making ukuleles as a retirement project in the northern California wine country. It is the culmination of skills I have acquired over the years: building and woodworking, silversmithing, engineering, and cabinet finishing.
Most important is how do they sound? I sent an early Mahogany and Spruce model to a recording studio in Los Angeles (Sullystone.com) to have it assessed by professional musicians who record there. The feedback I received was:
Perfect intonation and the scale stayed consistent down the fretboard
Good feel and nice wood
Really good resonance and projection
Liked string action
I currently am basing my instruments on the Hana Lima plans from Hawaii. Rather than looking for ways to save costs, I concentrate on ways to make the instrument better.
- Choice of back and sides, some wood species may be additional
- Open grain woods on back and sides filled with epoxy for smoother finish
- Cedar, Spruce, or specially selected top with herringbone rosette
- Mahogany neck.
- Head plate from the same wood as the back.
- Hand carved neck, head, and bridge.
- Ebony, Rosewood, Bubinga or Granadillo fingerboards and bridges
- Fingerboard and bridge polished and waxed or oiled
- 14th fret soundboard connection with 18 total frets
- Fingerboard width at nut is 1 3/8″ and 1 3/4″ at 12th fret. Modified upon request to fit your fingering style.
- Frets leveled and polished, no buzzing
- Fret dots on 5,7,10,12th frets or request your preference. 5mm fingerboard dots and 3mm side dots
- Grover Sta Tite open gear tuners, or request what you like
- Aquila Super Nylagut or Jim Dunlop strings; all high G
- Satin or Gloss nitrocellulose lacquer finish
- Hidden string attachment at the bridge rather than exposed tied knots.
- Rounded bottom rather than flat, requires shaping of the tail block to the same curvature.
- Spanish neck construction, like a classical guitar, where the neck continues into the body and the sides fit into slots cut into the neck, rather than bolted to the body. So the neck is integral to the body.
- Parts are not cut by a machine in cookie cutter fashion, but hand cut and pieced together so each element and dimension is inspected and fine tuned.
- Corian Nut and saddle sanded for a tight fit and proper string height.
- Select you preferences on the purchase request page, as well as any special wood requests.
- For a beautiful customized ukulele designed with your hand selected woods, please visit Ukuleletonewood.com or LMII.com to pick your back and side wood as well as any custom top soundboards.
A pair of Claro Walnut Tenors with closely matched backs
Claro walnut pair with different soundboards; left is Port Orford Cedar; right is Myrtlewood
Honduran Mahogany tenor back
Mahogany and spruce tenor
Koa concert back
Koa concert side
hand carved ziricote bridge, polished wood Hand carved Ebony bridge on Myrtle
Personalized headstock with mother of pearl inlay
Koa concert with spruce top and ziricote fingerboard and bridge