Picture of Constructing the Laser-cut folding ukulele
This folding ukulele is a soprano-size instrument that can be folded up into a package measuring about 9 inches long max. I bring mine everywhere! Here's a short video on how it works:

Follow these picture steps to construct your own folding ukulele from kit. The kit is available from

Before you get started...

- Please thoroughly read through these instructions before building.
- Test-fit all the pieces before gluing them together.
-  Note that all joints are to be glued unless otherwise specified. Pay close attention to the parts that are not to be glued.

You will need...

  1) Folding Ukulele Kit, available from
  2) Wood glue (such as Titebond II or superglue)
  3) Four cylindrical magnets, 0.25” diameter and 0.125” thick.
  4) Sandpaper, 150 grit and 220 grit.
  5) A small, flat file (like a needle file or slightly larger)
  6) A set of ukulele strings (or similar gauge fishing line:            0.024”, 0.032”, 0.034”, and 0.028” diameters)
  7) Two lengths of 0.25" hardwood dowel - 3.5" long and 1.75" long

Take your time and enjoy the building process, and of course enjoy your Folding Ukulele anywhere you go!

                        - Brian Chan
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Step 1: Constructing the head

Picture of Constructing the head
The first component we will construct is the head, or pegbox, of the ukulele. It houses the pegs on which the strings will be wrapped. Because there is quite a bit of force on the pegs from the tension of the strings, it's important to make sure all the joints are well-glued.

Remember to dry-fit each part before gluing them together.

Step 2: Constructing the neck (1)

Picture of Constructing the neck (1)
Attached to the head is the neck of the ukulele, which also contains most of the fretboard.

Securely glue all the pieces together according to the sequence shown, after test fitting each piece.

After completing the last step on this page, flip the neck over to begin working on the fretboard.
Victor Does8 months ago

Way to cool! Nice work!

Ryanoxpqz1 year ago
Is there any way that you could show us the blueprints? I have a laser cutting machine that I could make it with, and it would save me a hunk of money to make it myself.
Tinworm2 years ago
Brian, the coolest (and very cleverest bit) is the way you made the Frets with sloping layers. Is that just a cool gimmick or is the sound not compromised at all?
Tinworm2 years ago
Utterly incredible. Am blown away!
danm_daniel2 years ago
Unreal. Amazing!
jhorvath2 years ago
Ditto neufuture re: selling the print/cut files!

I have a Universal laser and would LOVE to cut the bamboo out myself. Any chance? I haven't ever signed up to be a maker for Ponoko, but we've been emailing back and forth for four years or so....not that that makes much of a difference, but I really really really want to cut one out and make a folding uku myself. Willing to pay for plans! I use CorelDRAW. Fingers crossed! Makes typing harder but will hopefully work this time!

Laser It All, Toledo OH
neufuture3 years ago
Amazing design! Have you considered selling/offer the design files?
What a great idea. I like that the kits are bamboo plywood. Just curious, what cad program did you use and how many prototypes did you make? Going to order one soon.


chosetec (author)  CHARLESCRANFORD3 years ago
Hi Charles,
I've made about five prototypes, with variations between each one. I used Rhino3D to do the design, but only as a 2D drafting program. After that I did use illustrator to edit the blueprints before I sent them to

Thanks for writing!
Thanks. My brain is itching with ideas.