Harley Benton Ukulele DIY-Kit

Ukulele DIY Kit

  • Do-it-yourself kit
  • Soprano size
  • Body: Basswood
  • Set in neck: Basswood
  • Fretboard: Roseacer (thermally treated maple wood)
  • Dot fretboard inlays
  • 12 Frets
  • Scale: 350 mm
  • Nut width: 35 mm
  • Total length: 53.5 cm
  • Open machine heads
  • Nylon strings
  • Colour: Natural
  • A certain degree of skill in handiwork and some tools are required for successful assembly
  • Body and neck are primed with pore filler (suitable for lacquer finish, but possibly poor for staining - may need to be sanded again)

Further information

Body Basswood
Top Basswood
Frets 12
Neck Catalpa
Pickup No

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3.7 / 5.0
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Good for experimenting, but that?s all

CSF , 02.04.2018
I had a feeling that this kit is simply a box filled random parts failed on quality control.

The neck and body had pre-drilled holes for alignment, but the neck was almost 4 mm off center. I had to cut the dowels, drill new holes and align the body and neck properly. The body is made with metal clamps and at some places the lining does not even touch the sides!

The fretboard is made from thermally modified wood and the material is very brittle. It was also badly warped. Probably that?s why it was uneven on the sides and almost 2 mm too narrow at the top. I had to use some leftover veneer from other projects to build up the missing part. However, since this is a finished fretboard, the frets are still 2 mm narrow at the nut.

The bridge is made from the same brittle wood. The holes for the strings are pre-drilled, but the strange spacing is uneven. The spacing two high strings is 3 mm(!) more then between the two low strings. The bridge location described in the instructions is completely wrong, you should measure it yourself properly, based on the scale length.

Conclusion - yes, it is possible to build a working ukulele from this kit, but you have to be familiar to the basics of guitar making. Maybe I simply got a wrong package, but the quality of mine was close to unacceptable. Thomann should either remove this kit from the shop, or design a better quality kit and raise the price with 5 euros or so. I bet this kit ends up in the trash bin in most of cases.
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Total
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Fun little project but beware ...

30.08.2016
This kit is a fun project but beware, unless I got a bad one you cannot just put the parts together and voilà as the manual says. You'll have to make sure all parts fit perfectly and probably make adjustments at the neck joint, bridge and nut to make sure things are really straight and have the proper height. This means you will have to know what you're doing and have some basic luthier notions and tools. Having said that the ukulele will look quite good if you use a nice color and lacquer, and the tuning machines and sound are not bad at all. It needs good strings. Don't panic if you have a lot of fret buzz after just putting the first strings on, it'll take a little while( with strings on) for the neck to get a little more relief and for the tuners to be stable.
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