Damn, I’m having fun!

I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to be back in the shop making new ukuleles. I am building a tenor resonator for Hart in HI and I just finished this sassy tenor reso that is for sale.

A couple of years ago, I was tipped off about a nice sycamore tree that was lying on the side of the road near the Beacon Drive-In in Spartanburg.  www.beacondrivein.com  My ears perked right up as I’d been looking for some sycamore. I loaded up the truck with chainsaws, gas and cold water and hit the road. The directions were good but I drove by the wood several times before I saw it. The guy who told me about it really must have eagle eyes!

I wanted to build a resonator out of sycamore but I also wanted to experiment with a different type of sound well. I model my sound wells after the ones in early resonator guitars.

I have been thinking about making a simpler, lighter type of design. National uses a similar design but theirs is made out of metal.

The National sound well.

My sound wells – the one on the bottom is the old design turned out of poplar; above it is the new idea using high grade plywood.

I tried something else a little different. I decided to cut the fretboard markers out of some old ivory I have. It came from the keys of an old piano. I couldn’t get it to show up very well in the photos but it is really pretty. You can see the grain running through it.

Fitting the neck to the body.

Getting ready to glue the fretboard to the neck. Isn’t this Macassar ebony beautiful?

Now you see why I was excited about getting the sycamore?!

So, here she is – the latest ukulele to strut out of my shop. She is for sale on my website for $950 russmorin.com

I will post a sound clip or two in the near future. This reso has a thick, powerful bark – you’re gonna like it!

Published in: on October 18, 2012 at 9:14 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Russ, The Sycamore you got from the side of the road, does it need to be kiln dried or anything? Small pieces of logs I’ve saved (for no real reason!) have seemed to crack.

    • Hey Dwight,
      Wood stored ‘in the round’ will usually split. It’s important to cut it so it can move without cracking. You should rip it in half lengthwise at the very least. I do that and then I cut each half into strips of quartersawn boards. I air dry all my wood.

  2. Nice wood!

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