Customer Comment H3125 Ukulele Kit as reviewed in Fourth Coast Entertainment Magazine/ April 2009.
The H3125 Ukulele Kit from Grizzly Industrial Inc. is by far the most affordable lutherie project available today. For a paltry $25 bucks and a few evenings time, anyone who got at least a "C" in shop can build a very playable and fun instrument. The kit consists of a pre-built soprano size ukulele body and neck of mahogany, rosewood fretboard, ebony saddle, and all hardware. The body and neck are rough sanded to around 120 grit at the factory while the fretboard and saddle are ready to go.
The main assembly is smooth and easy with good results achievable by following the well written manual. For students and anyone else wanting to build "on the cheap" many of the recommended tools can be replaced with household items such as rope, rubber bands, and cans of soup.
A number of options exist for finishing your new ukulele including the recommended spray lacquer method (http://grizzly.com/images/manuals/h3125_m.pdf) and all will produce professional results if done with care. I chose to finish my kit using a wiping varnish as described at the Lutherie Information Website (http://www.liutaiomottola.com/PrevPubs/WipingVarnish/WipingVarnish.htm). If using a wiping varnish, the builder will want to attach the bridge before finishing.
I only encountered two points where the realities of construction didn't match the instructions. First, it was found that the position dots were far too large for the pre-drilled holes in the fretboard. I drilled these out with a 7/64 bit which allowed the dots to be pressed in snugly. Secondly, the string height was far higher that the recommended 1/64" and you will want to lower the action at both the nut and saddle by almost 1/16".
In conclusion, the Grizzly Inc. H3125 kit builds into a wonderful soprano ukulele with warm sound and good intonation. The project takes only a week of evenings to complete with only minor difficulties as noted. The hands-on knowledge gained about instrument design, construction, and maintenance can easily be applied to other fretted instruments. For $25 bucks, there is no reason not to build one! ---
I love my newest ukulele! You'll see from the picture that I added one of your Samba pick-ups and a set of machine heads I had kicking around.
Thanks for a great product.