As always, a dearth of posts means that lots has been going on in the shop. We’ve had to adjust our work schedule because the weather is heating up. It’s supposed to hit 106 degrees on Saturday so we’ll be trying to start around 6:00am so we can finish up in the shop in the early afternoon and then do the computer work when it’s really hot.
In the image above, we’ve got six ukulele bodies taking shape.
Three are keystone tenors: Roni (an all maple blonde, named for Veronica Lake), Traveler (a thin-bodied travel depth tenor in Maple so it’s travel-tough) & California (a standard tenor with a golden Kauri sound board)
One is a super concert keystone and this one will have a quilted Maple soundboard hence the moniker “Fancy” because this one will look fancy indeed. As fancy as we make them anyway.
Another one is an asymmetric, FatBottom, semi-hollow, electric hardbody like the famous “F1”. This one has a Zebrawood body and will likely have a golden Kauri sound board. She is named Savannah (which is the habitat for Zebras…um with an “h” added the end).
The last one is a super-soprano named “Decadent” and she is similar to our ukulele Renata. Decadent is also done in Zebrawood and we’ll probably go with dark Kauri for her sound board.
These two Zebrawood semi-hollow ukuleles are a bit of a conundrum. We are trying to reduce our use of exotic and rare woods so we would not ordinarily use Zebrawood but these pieces were gifted to us. We had to decide whether to not use them at all. We thought that using them could then drive up the demand but on the other hand, not using them would waste their beauty. Is using them an endorsement of their use and if so, what is an alternative? If any of you have any thoughts on the topic we’d love to hear them.
So that’s what we’ve been up to lately. Oh we’re also working on a new size keystone. It’s going to be right in between a concert and a tenor. We’re calling it the “Ideale”. It will come with either a 16″ or 15″ scale and is designed to fit everyone who feels a tenor is too big and a concert is too small. It will have 13 frets to the body and the first one is for me. It’s nice to be the luthier!
Smile when you play that!™
1. You can’t have it both ways. Are you “For” or “Against” using rare/exotic woods? Saying you are trying to “reduce” your usage of exotic woods is wimpy. For example: If you try to “reduce” your usage of mink fur by wearing a mink vest instead of a mink jacket, you’re still going to piss off some vegans.
2. 13 frets is bad luck
3. I’m very excited to see that travel tenor, I love my kala travel tenor
1. I can have it both ways! I can! I can! Dammit. OK if I don’t use it, what do you then suggest I do with it? And if I do use it, should I then cross you off my list of testers for it?
2. 13 frets is only bad luck in the west. In other parts of the world, it is good luck. So out of respect for the global community, the “Ideale” will have 13 frets. There is actually a reason for this. With the size of the body and the length of the scale, 13 frets to the body puts the bridge in exactly the sweet spot of the lower bout.
3. Yeah I’m pretty excited to see this one too.
1. Whoa whoa whoa, let’s not get hasty, crossing off lists and such. I don’t care what kind of wood you use, I was just pointing out that you sound like a politician (saying one thing, doing another). I think it’s awesome that you try to use sustainable woods/materials, and I think it’s a major selling point. As for what to do with this one, maybe don’t sell it? Maybe give it to one of your friends? Someone who has been an avid and vocal supporter lo these many years? 🙂 I think if you sell it, then you are contributing to the demand for exotic wood.
2. Screw the global community, this is AMERICA! Oh wait… 13 frets isn’t the TOTAL number of frets right? oops. AMERICA!!
3. Good. So am I.
1) Ahhh gift it to someone…now there’s an idea, but who? Think Dave think…who would be a good recipient? Weird, I’m coming up blank. ; )
2) Who plays beyond 12 anyway? I don’t know about you but my fingers just don’t fit in those tiny little frets
3) So I can put you down for testing this one?
1. Not Stu
2. My fingers barely fit past the 5th fret…
3. Yes! I’ll test ALL of them!
1) still can’t think of someone
2) Two words…baritone
3) I can’t wait for your to see “Breeze”, she’s a beauty!