Tenor ukulele triplets

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Stray Feathers
Posts: 348
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:39 pm

Tenor ukulele triplets

Post by Stray Feathers »

Here are the bodies (finally) of three tenor ukuleles - a project that has dragged a little. Several glitches as I learned to work smaller. Still some cleaning up to do too. Two are Western Redcedar tops cut from the same board a foot apart, one joined to include more dark wood, and one more light. Bodies are Western Bitter Cherry (P. emarginata) which is a spindly tree out here and I don't know where they get wood big enough - maybe Washington or Oregon. One has rosewood binding and an abalone rosette for fun, and one walnut binding. The third just sort of happened. I was given some unidentified hardwood scraps passed on by my brother-in-law from a furniture making friend. I figured one odd L-shaped piece was Wenge, and I thought I could use it for fingerboards on the two cedar ukes. When I was cutting it, I realized I could just get a ukulele out of it too, so did that. The top is cut from a Sitka bracewood billet. I did spring for holly binding but if I were to do it again I think maple or cherry would have worked. There will be a Black Walnut neck for the Wenge uke and Yellow Cedar for the cedar and cherry ones. When I was doing next winter's firewood I found a piece of Arbutus (Madrone) from last year's supply that had not checked or split so I cut it up and it has remained stable (which is unusual), so a piece of that might become the fingerboard for the lighter cedar uke, maybe with a dark accent line to separate it from the Yellow Cedar neck. We'll see . . . Bruce W.
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BEJ
Posts: 116
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:38 am
Location: Seattle

Re: Tenor ukulele triplets

Post by BEJ »

Nice, 3 dudes in search of a neck.
Stray Feathers
Posts: 348
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:39 pm

Re: Tenor ukulele triplets

Post by Stray Feathers »

The triplets have necks! I have rough-fitted them to the bodies. The heels need work; I think I will incorporate slightly rounded ebony heel caps to clean them up and finish them. The walnut neck has no headplate veneer, because I wanted to use some Grover uke tuners that I bought on sale, and they are short and only allow a headstock thickness of 7/16" I think. I bought longer tuners for the other two, but the shorter ones are the only ones available with white knobs, which I wanted to use on the wenge uke with holly binding.
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Stray Feathers
Posts: 348
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:39 pm

Re: Tenor ukulele triplets

Post by Stray Feathers »

Finally I am putting finish on these ukuleles, since I can get outside to spray lacquer. The two Bitter Cherry ukes with Yellow Cedar necks needed no filling and after six coats of lacquer I'm very happy with how my new-to-me Fuji spray unit works. The Wenge uke I talked about under finishing I think, and even after 5 coats of Mohawk filler the grain is still showing, so I'll see how that goes with more lacquer, drop filling etc. There is lots of drop filling and other touchup to do. Bruce W.
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Stray Feathers
Posts: 348
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:39 pm

Re: Tenor ukulele triplets

Post by Stray Feathers »

The ukeleles now have voices; I strung up the last one today. The finishes are pretty good (first time - including a guitar - using lacquer) but I did have some issues with not getting it levelled well enough. Spots where I did some drop filling looked like they were levelled, but as I went through the grits to the finest Micro-Mesh, and the shine started to come up, they showed up as smooth rounded bumps. The softer cedar seemed more difficult to level. I decided to go ahead and get them playable, and I may go back later and re-level and re-sand and polish. The two Bitter Cherry and Redcedar ukes sound very much alike, the darker one maybe a little warmer. The Wenge and Spruce uke seems brighter, and may surprise me down the road as it opens up. The next step is to learn ukulele chords, and then help my wife to learn how to play too.
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RHayes
Posts: 50
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2020 8:06 pm

Re: Tenor ukulele triplets

Post by RHayes »

Looking good!
jread
Posts: 322
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:52 am

Re: Tenor ukulele triplets

Post by jread »

Beautiful and inspiring!
PSmill
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2018 12:23 pm
Location: British Columbia, Canada

Re: Tenor ukulele triplets

Post by PSmill »

Super nice :)
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