As I rehabilitate my shoulder, I’m doing what I can in the shop, making the various bits and pieces I need for building our ukuleles. I’ve got some beautiful Poplar and a nice piece of Mango that we’ve been cutting up.

Poplar is so varied. It’s amazing how different it can look. From pale whites to deeply stained purples and black; from planks with tight quartersawn grain to wispy, wavy flat sawn grain. The variety is simply incredible. It can be smooth and knot-free to distorted and full of “eyes.” These will be used in our ukes for the Palm Strings Ukulele Festival. We also have our first billets of mango. It’s lightly spalted with lots of hinted colors, yellow, black, orange…it’s surprising what you can see in it when you look closely.

These samples have been sawn and roughly sanded. We’ve book matched all the pairs and next we’ll be gluing them together.