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Spanish Style 'Ukulele Neck Construction
The 'ukulele, like the guitar is commonly built employing two methods with variations on the joinery of each method. Following is a description of "Spanish Style" neck construction.

Heel Slots  

1. The traditional method is called "Spanish Style Construction" whereby the 'Ukulele's side pieces are end matched and then inserted into the neck piece by means of precut slots that are made in the neck of the instrument. There is no separate head block.

Spanish Heel  

In "Spanish Style Construction" the neck end extends into the body of the 'ukulele beyond the slotted side inserts and forms a table or platform for the back and top plates. The sides when fitted into the larger neck slots are then simply wedged from the inside of the side piece to ensure a tight fit when looking at the side joint from the outside of the 'ukulele.


The sidepiece is usually NOT glued into the neck slot, just tightly wedged! The outcome is a one-piece neck construction with the heel of the neck on the outside of the 'ukulele and the tabled one-piece neck headblock on the inside of the 'ukulele.

Pros and Cons of Spanish Style neck construction

The Spanish style of construction provides a very strong and tight fit between sides to neck. Centerline alignment and true flatness of both neck and body (soundboard) surfaces is easier to accomplish.

Inserting a carbon fiber fixed truss rod into the neck surface also helps improve stability. This ease of alignment will aid in final string set-up especially for the bridge and saddle height adjustments.

This style of construction also allows a delicate heel shape since you will not need the extra mass in the heel for mechanical fasteners.

The Spanish Style however has a few drawbacks in that when binding the 'ukulele the trimmer to cut binding slots is not free to cut around the body in it's entirety and must stop at the neck connection.

The remaining binding channels must be hand cut and relieved into the soundboard at the neck to body connection. The attachment of the sides to the soundboard/neck piece also requires a different work board to glue the sides to the soundboard neckpiece.

Try all methods of construction and choose the method that suits your mode of working.

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