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Ukulele & BIUG News

1/4/18: Chris has an idea!

I was recently drilling pilot holes for the tiny wood screws that position the tuning machines on my latest project when I broke off a drill bit in the last hole. Did I panic? Well, maybe a little, but then I remembered a tip about making a hollow drill bit to cut around an embedded piece of bit or broken off screw.

Tuning machine hole

I cut about two inches of aluminum tubing just larger than the bit and filed several small slot on one end (in reality I could have made do with just a couple slots), stuck the tubing in my drill press, lined up the tubing to cut around the broken bit and drilled deep enough to remove a plug of wood before pulling the drill bit out with needle nose pliers.

I lacked a wood dowel of the right diameter to fill the hole so I stuck a short piece of dowel in my drill press and filed/sanded it down to size as it spun. Glued it in place and sawed it flush before re-drilling the hole. Viola!

11/17: Tonewood Database

Check out this site to learn about different tone woods: THE TONEWOOD DATABASE.

10/16: Wailoa Show - Building Demo

Roger Johnson sat in the Tom Mullen and Doug Powdrell’s ukulele building demo Saturday at our BIUG exhibit in the Wailoa Arts Center in Hilo. Roger provided photots and reported that Tom and Doug did a great job explaining the construction process. He added that there was a good turnout of interested folks who “asked lots of questions and a couple of possible folks joining the Guild.” A great day at the exhibit and you still have a couple weeks to see the show!

Pictures available in the Gallery SHOW album within Wailoa 2017.

10/6: Wailoa Show

Read Chris Stewart’s write-up here.  You’ll find both all the displayed ukuleles and snappies of opening night in the Gallery.

10/7: This former furniture shop now makes guitars

Meet the small town Tennessee woodworkers that have been crafting one-of-a-kind guitars for three generations.  

Watch the video here.

From CNN.COM: In 'The Wonder List: Handmade Edition,' take a step back from our mass-produced, digital existence to celebrate the artisans and preservationists dedicated to quality handmade goods and services. From a master bladesmith to a third generation guitar-carving family, meet extraordinary people still committed to old world artisanship."The Wonder List" returns on CNN Oct 7 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

Sounds like something fellow BIUG’ers might be interested in.

6/17: Slotted Headstock Jig

Here's a clever jig for routing slotted headstocks and drilling the tuning machine holes. The online link is: Look for the Slot head Ukulele jig


Craftsman’s deft, skilled touch helped ukulele sing


Julian Hipolito was the last of what Fred Kamaka Jr. calls “The Dream Team” — four master craftsmen who for decades made the world-renowned Kamaka ukuleles. Those four — Julian, his brother Jose, their cousin Kenneth McFeeley and George Morita — were hearing-impaired but able to tune each piece of the ukulele to precise standards just by tapping on the wood and feeling the vibrations. (from

Holualoa Gallery Remodel & Blessing - 4-1-17

Sam greets guests

Gallery Video

BIUG member Sam Rosen had a great turnout Saturday as he celebrated the re-model and enlarging of his Holualoa Ukulele Gallery. Under wet skies guests gathered for a blessing, food, drink and the fine music of Hana Aloha and the Mauka High Notes. 

Guests enjoy Mauka High NotesHana Aloha 2Mauka High Notes 2Teri Hawkins (L), Hariet Corlett and Alan Hale visit Sam's shop

Interesting Videos

  • Voicing Video One of the better ones I’ve seen…

 Another interesting video, this one on bracing.  Are your chisels this sharp?

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