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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:02 am 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:06 pm
Posts: 34
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Hi, as a starting amateur builder, I am trying to limit the amount of wood I will be turning into firewood. I have acces to a lot of sides (unmatched) and was wondering if the rosewood/spruce or mahogany/spruce combinations could be used for ukes and would give a good instrument.

Any thoughts would be appreciated!

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:24 am 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:10 pm
Posts: 204
First name: Chris
Last Name: Reed
City: Stowmarket
State: Suffolk
Zip/Postal Code: IP14 2EX
Country: UK
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Both work fine for tenors and baritones, especially if the players is looking to play melodic runs rather than strumming (especially complex strumming, triple strokes etc).

I find that spruce tops on sopranos and concerts sound too brash and jangly, though some like the sound.

And don't forget that all mahogany is a long tradition for ukes, so those mahogany scraps are tops as well. However, rosewood is usually far too dense to make a good top.



These users thanked the author profchris for the post: FlyingFred (Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:17 pm)
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:18 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:06 pm
Posts: 34
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Thank you. Is rosewood back and mahogany top any good?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:51 am 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:10 pm
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First name: Chris
Last Name: Reed
City: Stowmarket
State: Suffolk
Zip/Postal Code: IP14 2EX
Country: UK
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
FlyingFred wrote:
Thank you. Is rosewood back and mahogany top any good?


I've never seen one, but I can't think of any reason why it shouldn't be good.

If you've not built with hardwood tops before, the secret is lightness - hardwoods are denser than softwoods, so the top needs to be appreciably thinner. I don't know anyone who has built a hardwood uke top (baritones excepted perhaps) which is thicker than 2mm, and for sopranos 1.6 mm is the thinnest I've heard of.

My (unscientific) approach is to concentrate on the long-grain stiffness of the top, thinning it until I get a flex along the grain which seems "about right". Cross-grain the top might feel alarmingly flexible to a guitar builder, but this is what bracing takes care of.

And of course you need bracing as light as possible, to allow a hardwood top to work. Make the bracing very thin (for extra stiffness, go taller rather than wider to keep the bracing mass down). X bracing is overkill except for baritones - ladder for sopranos, fan for concerts and tenors.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 3:09 pm 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo
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Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:36 pm
Posts: 136
First name: Ed
Last Name: Miller
City: Wood Dale
State: Illinois
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
My first tenor ukulele, which turned out very nice , and fairly loud , was all honduras mahogany, with top thinned to .075 and only two fan braces along with bridge plate. The second tenor is a very dense wood, granadillo, for b&s, with a mahogany top using three fan braces. Also sounds good but not as loud as first, and noticeably heavier. Very playable just wish more volume.
Ed

Sent from my SM-T230NU using Tapatalk


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:13 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:06 pm
Posts: 34
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Thanks for your hindsight, Ed.

I will see which of my projects turns to firewood...

Got any good blueprints?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:27 am 
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Contributing Member
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Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:50 pm
Posts: 1697
Location: Seattle WA
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
donsplans

New username, same ole Pat Macaluso!


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:36 pm 
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Contributing Member
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Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:46 pm
Posts: 414
Location: Napa Valley
First name: David
Last Name: Foster
State: CA
Zip/Postal Code: 94558
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
keep in mind that with ukulele's its more about the building style/technique then it is about which woods you use.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:08 pm 
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OLF Sponsor
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Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:26 pm
Posts: 229
Location: Craig, Alaska
First name: Brent
Last Name: Cole Sr
City: Craig
State: Alaska
Zip/Postal Code: 99921
Country: USofA
Focus: Build
Status: Professional
We have been selling a lot of sitka, red cedar and yellow cedar for ukulele... more and more every year. Alaskawoods.com/shop


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:37 am 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2018 3:40 pm
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First name: Ernest
Last Name: Kleinman
City: Guthrie
State: OK
Zip/Postal Code: 73044
Country: United States
Focus: Build
Status: Professional
The conventional woods used in the past . are still viable today/As brent says players and uke builders are exploring a whole bunch of new woods and combinations. One of my favorites is WRC and tamarind.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:16 pm 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo
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Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:36 pm
Posts: 136
First name: Ed
Last Name: Miller
City: Wood Dale
State: Illinois
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
My current tenor uke build is WRC top with Tzalam back and sides. Tzalam also known as Mayan walnut but not a true walnut. Sides bent nicely.
Ed


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