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Archives for: September 2008

Spruce Top Tenor - Video Sample

Here is a video sample of the spruce top tenor playing a little of Gently Weeps and Crosscurrent. I'm really pleased with the sound and look forward to it maturing down the road.

Spruce Top Tenor #007 - Complete

Tonight I strung up the spruce top tenor I made specifically to use during my performance at the upcoming Southern California Ukulele Festival (SCUF) in Cerritos on October 4th. Out of the gate the tone is a little brighter than I had expected but it sounds great and will definitely mature over time. Still need to do more work on the saddle as soon as the strings stabilize a bit more.

The spruce top and figured walnut were given to me by Pete Howlett, known as Ukulele Pete, from the Uke Talk forum. This is my first ukulele with a slotted headstock design and, overall, I’m pleased with it but I will adjust a couple of things on the next one to make it even better.

I purposely made the neck on the beefy side to see how it affects my carpal tunnel issues. I can always shave it down later but adding to it would be impossible.

Some of the specs:
Spruce top with paua abalone rosette with bwb inner and outer rings
Figured walnut back and sides
Curly maple binding top and back
Bwb fiber and maple top purfling
Mahogany bolt-on neck
17” scale joined to the body at the 14th fret
19 frets total
Ebony fingerboard with paua abalone combination side and fingerboard markers at the 5th, 7th, 10th, 12th and 15th frets
Ebony peghead overlay with paua abalone logo
Grover 18:1 Sta-Tite gold slotted peghead tuners
Ebony through body bridge
Corian nut and saddle
Worth CH strings
Misi-Acoustic Trio battery free pickup
Top finished in lacquer
Balance of instrument finished in hand rubbed oil and wax

The pics don’t really show it but I hurried the oil finish and up close it shows. I needed to get it strung up so I can spend the next week and a half playing it in and getting acquainted with it prior to SCUF. I spent some extra time on the lacquer top and though not perfect it is 100 times better than my first attempt on my number 002 mahogany tenor.

As soon as the strings are settled and I intonate the saddle I will get a sound sample put together.

A Soprano for Howlin' Hobbit

Well folks, I know I haven’t been doing much transcribing lately because I’ve had other activities and priorities to deal with. I’ve been spending most of my spare time, which is really hard to come by right now, in the work shop building some ukuleles. Tonight I’m posting some pics of a soprano that I’ve just completed for Howlin’ Hobbit. I started this ukulele approximately 17 months ago. Unfortunately things like the day job caused many months of inactivity in the shop. Fortunately, Hobbit was not in any hurry and not once during the process did he ask when the uke would be finished. God bless that man :). I plan to ship it in the next few days or so and hope to get a sound clip recorded before doing so. Too late to do it now and the noise level in the house is currently not conducive for recording. We had water damage to the laminate floor in the kitchen the other day and Serv Pro has the de-humidifier and blowers running big-time. But that's a whole different and very unsettling story. Here's a few pics.

EDIT: Here is a quick Sound Sample

Some specs:
Western red cedar top
Figured cherry back and sides
Mahogany bolt-on neck
Ebony fingerboard and bridge
Peghead© geared tuners
Aquila Concert gauge strings
Ebony peghead overlay with MOP logo
MOP side/fingerboard markers at the 5th, 7th and 10th frets
Top finish is lacquer
Balance of instrument finished in Tru-oil and wax

I'm also working on a tenor that I hope to have completed in time to play during my performance at the Southern California Ukulele Festival (SCUF) at Cerritos coming up in a few weeks. I'll post pics and a sound clip with it when it's completed.