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Thanks to the success of the Extreme Build 2009 Workshop organized in conjunction with the "2nd Helsinki International Ukulele Festival", the Finnish Ukulele Network (FUN) in cooperation with Pete Howlett is proud to invite you to the Extreme Build 2010 this August 4th–7th.

What is an "Extreme Build?"

Zoe and her uke
Harri & Pete at work

In four days you will build a classic ukulele using techniques both old and new. The ukulele are built with fine tone woods: Hawaiian koa for the tops, backs and sides, rosewood for fingerboards, and Spanish cedar for the necks. The ukulele you build will surprise you with its volume and tone; you'll have built an instrument worth well more than the cost of the course.

What can I build?

This is an intensive course that is designed so that you will leave with a completed, playable instrument. You have a choice of making:

  • Pineapple Soprano
  • Ditson Concert
  • Standard tenor

Zoe and her uke
Miss Zooey & her extreme-built Howlett Concert.

Over the four days there are numerous "jumping off points" for discussions of the theories of musical instrument construction, wood working techniques, ukulele history, fine food and wine and just about anything else a group of people focused in on a goal might want to chat about! We'll also have time to jam and Pete will be conducting three evening courses on blues ukulele playing for those who want to learn some of his chops!

For whom is the course designed?

This ukulele building course has been designed for folks of all ages and skill levels; no previous experience in woodworking is required. We start from a kit of parts prepared by Pete in his shop in Newport, Wales, and all assembly operations are done by the end of the third day. On the last day we string up the ukulele "in the white" and hear the miracle of how the wood makes the strings sing in the air. Pete gives his personal guarantee that all attending the course will leave on day 4 with a finished ukulele!

group 2009
Group photo of the 2009 Workshop. Spot the Aussie, the Englishman and the Finns.

Where does the course take place?

The course is held for the second time in a fully equipped workshop in Janakkala, Finland. Janakkala is a picturesque location in the heart of the nature near Hämeenlinna, approximately 1h drive away from Helsinki International and Tampere Airport (Ryanair). Shuttle service from Hameenlinna Railway station to the workshop location will be available without extra charge. Hämeenlinna is easily accesed by the train service of the Finnish Rail with a direct connection from both; Helsinki and Tampere. Railticket will cost you (depending on the service you choose) between 10-20 Euros.

What are the costs?

The course fees vary depending on the type of instrument you want to build:

  • Pineapple Soprano 425,- Eur.
  • Ditson Concert 485,- Eur.
  • Standard tenor 525,- Eur.

What does the cost of the course include?

Pete and Zoey at work
Zoey & Pete at work.

The cost of your course will cover everything including breakfast, accommodation in a beautiful setting with an original Finnish sauna and "river" swimming facilities. Pete will cook an evening meal which all delegates contribute to.

What does the cost of the course not include?

Your travel-costs to Finland, food & drink. There is a kitchen at the location and fishing at the river is free, so it's easy to keep the food-costs down.

How do I sign up for the course?

Contact Pete directly at specifying which instrument you wish to build on the course. If you need further details contact pete on his UK mobile number: (44) 7811 054584 .

A 100 deposit will secure your place with the balance of the tuition fees paid on the first day of the course. Payment is best made PayPal but if you have no PayPal account then a BACS transfer is the next best solution.

What else is happening?

The FUN is interntionally known for putting up some of the coolest uke-events on this plannet and is currently planning to organize several workshops and gigs that will take place around August 2010. Everything will be timed so, that the attendees of the workshop won't miss out any FUN fun. Programme is to be announced soon.

Interested? Any questions? Need help with planning your trip? Need a shoulder to lean on? Get in touch: