We're moving! Lutherie Academy is our new portal to everything lutherie and starting from June 1st you will be redirected automatically. Read the FAQ or visit LutherieAcademy.com →


Learn how to make a tenor ukulele with Canadian luthier, Heidi Litke of Red Sands Ukuleles. This is a great way to get started making your own instruments.

Buy Now $211.00 72 Lessons 9:34:39 Downloadable

Launch Promo • Get 10% OFF on the 6-Day Classical Guitar Course

No promo code needed! Price already reflects the discount

Free Videos

About This Course

Welcome to the Robert O'Brien Online Ukulele Building Course. In this course Robert invites Canadian luthier, Heidi Litke of Red Sands Ukuleles, to show how she builds a tenor ukulele in her shop in beautiful Prince Edward Island, Canada. The course is divided into 12 chapters, each containing easy to follow lessons filmed in high definition video. You start with a box of lumber and progress to a finished high quality instrument. You will do it all: thickness and brace the top and back, thickness and bend the sides, make and carve the neck, slot and thickness the fretboard, install frets, learn how to apply a French polished shellac finish etc. Emphasis is on the use of hand tools. The course also includes a set of Heidi’s tenor ukulele plans as well as plans and instructions for making a plate joining jig and a fret slotting jig. Heidi has other ukulele size plans available at Luthiers Mercantile International (www.lmii.com).

In addition to the detailed step by step instructions on how to build a tenor ukulele, the course also includes an interview with Heidi on the history of the ukulele as well as interviews with world renowned ukulele players James Hill and Chalmers Doane. As if that were not enough, we even visit wood dealers to show how wood is processed and torrefied.

The ukulele is a fun instrument and has become quite popular over the years. Learn how to make yours! You will have bragging rights as well as the “know how” to build high quality ukuleles on your own in your own shop.

Please read the FAQ page before beginning. To begin just register/login and purchase the video lessons. Happy Building!

Kudos to you and Heidi for the Ukulele course. It made all the difference. It is one thing buying a set of plans and another to have someone go over them in detail with an explanation. Stuart
See what others are saying


This is probably a good time to thank Heidi and Robbie for the excellent Uke course. This is the sixth Uke I have built since buying the course and I am enjoying the new challenge. I have sold 3 of them already and the other two went to my nieces for Christmas. Thanks Heidi! Matt
I recently purchased the ukulele construction video course. I’ve previewed the first three chapters and so far I am very happy with the quality of both the video and the instruction provided by Heidi and yourself. I have received my kit from LMI, made some templates, and am currently getting together the various tools and jigs—very excited to get started! Kevin
Kudos to you and Heidi for the Ukulele course. It made all the difference. It is one thing buying a set of plans and another to have someone go over them in detail with an explanation. Stuart
I’ve started my ukulele. I’ve been woodworking for years. Made lots of furniture. Making an instrument is taking wood working to another level. Great learning exercise. Carl
I’m a relatively new builder, 2 guitars & 1 ukulele completed and I’m enjoying your course on ukulele building. I’m hoping it will add some details to my build skill set. Mark
I hope it is apparent that I like this video set a lot. Review for American Lutherie magazine. John Calkin
I’ve been going through the Uke building vids. Nicely done, lots of info I can apply to my guitar making. Thanks for a great service. Eric
Huge thanks to Heidi Litke and Robbie for the ukulele video course -- if y'all hadn't made it seem so darn approachable I'm not sure I ever would have given it a try! Ryan
I hope it is apparent that I like this video a lot. John Calkin - Review from American Lutherie Magazine
Robbie, both of your uke courses with Jay and Heidi have come in handy through several of my builds. Tony
I wanted to drop you a note and let you know how much I enjoy the ukulele course with Heidi Litke. The box is closed and as Heidi says "it's time for a victory dance ". It has a spruce top and walnut back and sides. Maybe a bit unusual for a ukulele but too late now. Anyway I hope you can let Heidi know that her course is excellent. Thank you Joe
Chapter 1 • The Neck
Intro 6:56
Lesson 1: Cutting the scarf joint 7:54
Lesson 2: Truing and gluing the scarf joint 8:29
Lesson 3: Thicknessing the headstock 7:57
Lesson 4: Scale layout and heel glue up 17:59
Lesson 5: More layout 5:32
Lesson 6: Cutting side slots 4:53
Lesson 7: Pre-shaping the heel 9:33
Lesson 8: Headstock veneer 8:50
Lesson 9: Shaping the headstock and tuner holes 5:21
Lesson 10: Top relief and tapering 3:07
Chapter 2 • The Sides
Lesson 1: Layout and profile 2:41
Lesson 2: Thicknessing 4:42
Lesson 3: Bending 10:43
Lesson 4: Cutting to length 3:48
Lesson 5: The end block 3:05
Lesson 6: Attaching the neck 2:35
Lesson 7: Linings 6:04
Lesson 8: Radiusing 6:00
Chapter 3 • The Back
Lesson 1: Joining 6:37
Lesson 2: Thicknessing 4:29
Lesson 3: Brace layout 1:49
Lesson 4: Reinforcement strip 5:11
Lesson 5: Making braces 3:51
Lesson 6: Gluing the braces 4:52
Lesson 7: Shaping the braces 4:11
Chapter 4 • The Top
Lesson 1: Joining 2:24
Lesson 2: Thicknessing 2:46
Lesson 3: Attaching soundhole and bridge patches and cutting out soundhole 11:11
Lesson 4: Gluing braces and tone bars 5:51
Lesson 5: Shaping the braces and tone bars - voicing 11:18
Chapter 5 • Closing the box
Lesson 1: Cutting braces and strip to length 4:04
Lesson 2: Notching the linings 2:55
Lesson 3: Fitting the top 2:44
Lesson 4: Gluing 4:10
Lesson 5: Flush trimming 3:03
Chapter 6 • The fretboard
Lesson 1: Slotting 5:39
Lesson 2: Tapering 3:09
Lesson 3: Thicknessing and gluing 5:32
Chapter 7 • Shaping the neck
Lesson 1: The heel cap 2:52
Lesson 2: Shaping the heel 5:55
Lesson 3: Flush with fretboard 3:28
Lesson 4: Rounding 7:16
Chapter 8 • Fretwork
Lesson 1: Leveling 2:16
Lesson 2: Fret markers 3:44
Lesson 3: Frets 12:50
Chapter 9 • Finishing
Lesson 1: Sanding 7:29
Lesson 2: Pore Filling 7:30
Lesson 3: Seal coats 2:42
Lesson 4: Drive around the island 4:58
Lesson 5: French polish 17:34
Chapter 10 • The Bridge
Lesson 1: Thicknessing 4:24
Lesson 2: Rough shape 2:36
Lesson 3: Final shape 12:20
Lesson 4: Attaching the bridge 4:51
Chapter 11 • Setup
Lesson 1: Tuners 3:17
Lesson 2: The nut 7:58
Lesson 3: The saddle 3:25
Lesson 4: Strings 6:58
Chapter 12 • Extras
Lesson 1: Rosettes 2:08
Lesson 2: Kerfed linings 1:30
Lesson 3: End wedge 3:37
Lesson 4: Soundport 3:11
Lesson 5: Bindings 12:37
Lesson 6: Jigs 22:02
Lesson 7: Visit with James Hill and Chalmers Doane 44:14
Lesson 8: More with James Hill and Chalmers Doane 49:07
Lesson 9: How wood is harvested 23:08
Lesson 10: How wood is torrefied 13:12
Lesson 11: Interview with Heidi 22:05
Lesson 12: History of the ukulele 14:44
Lesson 13: Bloopers 3:50