Backyard Tenors

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Stray Feathers
Posts: 664
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:39 pm
Location: Ladysmith, BC

Backyard Tenors

Post by Stray Feathers »

A while back there was a thread in which RHayes talked about cutting wood close to home, and I mentioned a small log I had from a volunteer Sweet Cherry tree (Prunus avium) that had to go. After about three years sitting, I had it milled.It was about 10% RH at that point and I am surprised how much it twisted. It is drier now after a dry summer and I have cut some. The most I have got out of it is about four inches quarter sawn, so I thought I would try some ukuleles. RHayes also mentioned adding wings to the lower bout to get the necessary width, something I had not tried. That worked for tenor ukelele backs. Here is a photo in case anyone is considering that some time. It's quite pretty wood, and I have read favourable views on it for tonewood, but on a uke I'm not sure how much I could detect. The one on the left is glued up but not sanded. Bruce W.
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Diane Kauffmds
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm

Re: Backyard Tenors

Post by Diane Kauffmds »

Great idea, and eco sound to boot. I like using wood that would otherwise get wasted.
Diane Kauffmann
Country Roads Guitars
countryroadsguitars@gmail.com
Stray Feathers
Posts: 664
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:39 pm
Location: Ladysmith, BC

Re: Backyard Tenors

Post by Stray Feathers »

Finally some more news on these two tenors. They are now finished and I confess I did not photograph many steps along the way - a couple of photos follow. I have been rushing to get these two, plus two guitars lacquered and polished in good weather, in time for the Guitars By Hand show last weekend (mentioned in the Events section). One uke has a Sitka top from the same billet I made two out of (in the Tenor Uke Pair thread). The second has a top made from a wild-grain piece of Red Spruce that was used as packing a shipment of wood I bought from a supplier. They had tried to get a parlour top out of it but it was just too tight I guess (they had marked it "Adi" but I don't know where it came from). But I got a uke top out of it . . . free, sort of.
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Stray Feathers
Posts: 664
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:39 pm
Location: Ladysmith, BC

Re: Backyard Tenors

Post by Stray Feathers »

Well, these two ukes got finished (the third back you see in the go-bar deck was put aside after I broke the sides in the bender). They both have sweet cherry necks from the same tree. So I got them to the show, each with a remaining small blemish or two, which I planned to fix later. I didn't even photograph the finished ukes before they went to the guitar show. To my astonishment a visitor to the show bought the ukulele with the sitka top - my first instrument sale.

I have now photographed the one that did not sell, with the Red Spruce top. Both instruments have a very full and warm sound which I am very happy with. My first two ukes had Bitter Cherry backs and sides and cedar tops, and they sound much brighter, almost tinny by comparison. I have made other ukes with the same Sitka used for the tops (Narra and Black Walnut) and neither sounds as good as these two new ones. So I wonder if it is the Sweet Cherry (which you would not know from the Bitter Cherry). I think the Red Spruce top is a little better than the Sitka top, but they're close. Bruce W.
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