Custom Grimes “Freehand” Tenor Ukulele


Preowned. 2022. A work of art! Custom Steve Grimes “Freehand” Tenor Ukulele built on the island of Maui, HI. If you were looking for the best of the best in high-end ukes, look no further! The time invested on each piece is a testimony to over 50 years of guitar and ukulele luthiery and can be seen in the quality of instruments he handcrafts and the world-class tones they produce. Absolutely incredible in all aspects of construction and sound.

Steve is at the forefront of discussion in terms of contemporary luthiery theory and technique while remaining firmly rooted in his understanding of classical construction. The application of these two knowledge bases equates to an instrument with both sound structural integrity and exceptionally refined tonal qualities. His wealth of knowledge in working with various tone woods and materials coupled with his understanding of finish work has led to an extensive contribution to the guitar and ukulele communities on the local, national, and global platforms.

Steve Grimes Bio Information

The Focus of Steve Grimes’ instruments building career has been the arch top guitar for over thirty five years. He produces six arch top models, two double-soundhole flat top guitars (steel string and nylon string), two singles soundhole model flat tops, two models of arch top mandolins, and several sizes and styles of ukuleles. Grimes began building instruments in Seattle in 1972, and moved the business to Hawaii in 1982. He met Keola Beamer, a master “slack key” guitarist, and collaborated with him on the double hole flat top guitar design. The result was the creation of the “Beamer” and “Hapa” model guitars.

  • In 1991 Grimes teamed with Ned Steinberger to produce a “stress free” flat top guitar design, where the string tension is applied to a tailpiece, rather than the soundboard, thereby increasing sustain and volume. Gibson Guitars acquired the rights for this guitar in 1993.
  • In 1998, Grimes was selected to be among 22 arch top luthiers from around the world to build a guitar for Scott Chinery’s “Blue Guitar” collection, which spent one year on exhibit in the Smithsonian Gallery of American History.
  • In 2002 Grimes collaborated with legendary jazz guitarist Larry Coryell on a flat top, oval hole guitar, and the result was the “LC” model. He is currently working on a guitar design with George Bensen and Ibanez.


The hallmark of Grimes guitars is the close attention to detail, and the careful voicing of the soundboard, from arch tops to ukuleles, before the back plate is glued on. Grimes customizes each instrument to fit specific requests from the player, including tone, dimensions, aesthetics (woods, inlay, finish color, embellishments, etc). In addition to ukuleles finely handcrafted for world-class musicians such as Jake Shimabukuro, Keola Beamer, and Barry Flanagan, Steve has also made over 330 arch top guitars and 250 flat tops for such artists as George Benson (4 guitars), Larry Coryell (3 guitars), Leo Kottke, Earl Klugh, Keola Beamer (4), Walter Becker (8), Steve Miller (8), Pat Simmons, Willie Nelson and others.

This beautiful Custom Grimes “Freehand” tenor ukulele is handcrafted from master grade quilted Maple wood on the face, back and sides with a gorgeous upper bout double soundhole, curly Hawaiian Koa wood rosette, bound maple wood top and back binding and matching bound headstock and fretboard for a smooth of play up and down the neck. Gabon Ebony wood headstock veneer. A multi-ply wood black-white-torquoise-white-black purfling line on the soundboard and rosette for aesthetic appeal and a musicians grade Gabon ebony wood fingerboard and bridge with a Hawaiian Koa wood center veneer are a few attributes that display a subtle elegance offered by this beautiful ukulele as it keeps with the theme of the instrument. Simple mother-of-pearl position markers on 3, 5 7, 10, 12, and 15 for quick reference and a Honduras mahogany neck for added stability and sustain. Professional open-geared Gotoh UK-700 machine tuners for precise tuning with little weight added to the headstock. Gorgeous high gloss nitrocellulose lacquer for a beautiful finish. L.R.Baggs / MiSi Acoustic pickup for quick plug and play.

Perfect intonation, remarkable sustain and wonderful clarity on each note. The instrument is very comfortable to cradle and is well center-balanced. This beautiful uke plays wonderfully and offers great range with a clear round mellow sound.  A remarkable instrument from one of Hawaii’s most highly regarded luthiers, Steve Grimes. ID#220047.

Price: SOLD

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