Ukulele Building Workshops


Thank you for your interest in attending an upcoming Ukulele Building Workshop. Please find comprehensive information below and contact me directly if you have any further queries: mobile 0439 722 218.

Course Dates/Times

Ukulele Builds are ‘intensive’ style workshops held at Studio 13,  Lot 19, Castlemaine. The Concert Ukulele Build is held over 2 days and Tenor Ukulele Build over 3 days.

Cost: $690.00Au Concert / $990Au Tenor

To achieve the construction of your ukulele in the allocated timeframe, the workshop commences at 9am sharp each morning.

Morning and afternoon refreshments are provided during scheduled 15-minute breaks. Note: Please indicate on the Application Form if you have any dietary requirements ie. gluten/dairy free.

Lunch is scheduled between 12-1pm both days. Please organise and bring your own lunch, a refrigerator is available for use along with tea/coffee making facilities. Tables and chairs are within close proximity to the workshop at Lot 19, with grounds to wander. Castlemaine CBD is 5min drive from Lot 19 with a plethora of eateries and cafes.

Completion time is at 5pm each day.

Dates for upcoming workshops will be posted on the website and Facebook calendar. See or Benedict Stewart Instruments, on Facebook.


The workshop is located at Studio 13, Lot 19 Langslow Street, Castlemaine (enter Lot 19 via McShanags Road) See map

Castlemaine is located within Mount Alexander Shire in Central Victoria. By road from Melbourne, it is 150 km from the city centre, off the Calder Freeway. There is also a V-line train arriving at Castlemaine train station about 8am Saturdays and Sundays (see PTV for updated details). A range of accommodation is available in the area. See

What to expect

The ‘intensive’ ukulele workshop is intended for beginner level participants with basic or no woodworking skills. Processes have been streamlined to ensure complex issues associated with an advanced-level build are negated. However, the workshop schedule has been carefully designed to allow participants as much hands-on work as possible.

Type of ukulele

The Concert Ukulele is built over the two-day workshop and Tenor Ukulele over three days.

The ukulele is a well-known 20th Century instrument. The Concert ukulele is of a similar construction to the ubiquitous smaller Soprano size, it is strung and tuned similar to the Soprano but has a longer scale and a fuller tone with more projection, offering possibilities for the player to cover varying musical styles. The Tenor is more complex and offers more possibilities of tuning and stringing.

Ukuleles are constructed from solid timbers, which may vary depending upon availability.


Concert & Tenor sizes

  • Back & Sides: Queensland Maple or Australian Blackwood
  • Top: Queensland Maple or Australian Blackwood
  • Bracing: Spruce
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Bridge: Rosewood
  • Rosette: contrasting ring of solid veneer timber
  • Tuners: open style ukulele
  • Strings: nylon ukulele for standard tuning (Re-entrant C6)
  • Bone nut & saddle
  • Pearl fret position markers
  • Narrow gauge fretwire

Content of workshop

  1. Bending Sides
  2. Top and Back Bracing Construction & Shaping
  3. Body Assembly
  4. Neck Shaping & Fitment
  5. Assembly
  6. Setup & Finish

 Tools & Materials

The tools used in the workshop are common to luthiers the world over. These are primarily hand tools, such as; rules, squares, chisels, saws, rasps, files, scrapers and reamers. Participants will work directly with small power tools on certain processes, however where high-power, electrically driven, power tools are required, these tasks will be completed by the instructor.

All materials will be pre-organised and equipment ready to use so as to provide the participant with the best opportunity to complete their chosen instrument to playing condition.

Basic PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) will be provided for the duration of the workshop; apron, glasses, hearing protection and dust masks. It is a requirement for participants to wear fully covered hard shoes or boots whilst in the workshop. All tools and equipment remain the property of the instructor for use by participants in subsequent workshops.


A simple coating of shellac will be applied during the final stages of the workshops to seal and give basic protection to an otherwise vulnerable instrument ‘in the white’. Finishing (painting) of a ukulele can be approached in a number of ways. The coating applied in this workshop is the basis of a French polish finish and should participants wish to do so, they may continue the process. Alternatively, shellac is an excellent sealer prior to a more ‘modern’ sprayed finish. Participants may wish to have the instrument finished at a later date by a finisher of their choosing. The preparation and finishing of a ukulele is a time-consuming process and can, depending on the type of finish chosen, take almost as long as the building of the ukulele itself.

 What is included? What can I expect?

  • Professional guidance, well-structured processes and sound technical instruction from commencement to completion of the solid wood instrument
  • The availability of quality materials and tools to build the instrument
  • Adequate time for completion of the instrument
  • Ample space for construction of the instrument and access to necessary tools and resources
  • Refreshments on each of the two workshop days (taking into consideration dietary requirements indicated on the Application Form)
  • Adequate time for breaks and access to amenities
  • The ukulele you have constructed
  • Soft-case

 Can I record the workshop?

Audio recorders are allowed for personal use of material only.

 I’d like to attend. What do I need to do now?

Ukulele workshops are strictly limited to six (6) people to ensure generous instruction time. Please complete the online Application form.

I will contact you to discuss/confirm acceptance into the chosen workshop. At that time, I will give you my account details – a non-refundable 20% deposit is required, to secure your place.

Please leave your name as a reference and a receipt will be provided

You will receive an information pack of materials by post prior to the commencement of the workshop, so please ensure you have provided your full address.  This pack will include a list of what to bring and a set of notes about the instrument you will be building, for you to familiarise yourself with prior to the workshop.

Important note: It is your willingness, not my guarantee that you will leave with a quality instrument. Wonderfully, instruments vary and this is the beauty of a hand built instrument. It is important to understand that by nature, every piece of wood is different. When comparing instruments, they will each produce a sound characteristic of their own structure, including the way the materials have been processed and how they have been assembled and finished.