I am completed convinced that side sound ports add immensely to the pleasure of playing a ukulele. I am also convinced that they don't detract from tone, volume or quality, in fact they may increase volume, and they certainly allow the player to better hear what he is playing. I doubt I will ever make another tenor without a sound port. Here is how I do it.
Very carefully I draw a fine pencil line around a sound port insert that I have shaped to fit the curve of that upper bout. Be careful to center it on the side or it will look bad when finished. It wants to be dead center--Or does it? I guess I want it centered, you could put it anywhere. Then with a Dremel and a spur point drill bit I cut entirely around the oval mark staying carefully away from the pencil line.
When the drilling has been completed I take a tiny little Exacto saw and cut out between the drill holes freeing the hole.
So now you have a big jagged hole that will be finished later, But first you have to consider what you have done to the strength of that side. Have you created a place where a split might occur? Over time this instrument is apt to face some extreme stress, either with temperature, humidity or rough handling so lets strengthen this potential weak spot.
It is simple enough. This is maple veneer, good tough wood if the grain is placed opposite the grain of the uke sides. So with scissors I cut a piece to fit.
This thin veneer will be glued to the side of the uke. Its grain goes up and down, the grain of the maple on the side goes front to back. Perfect for preventing a split.
This as as far as I have gotten- tune in tomorrow for the finish of the Side Port Story