Monday, October 1, 2012

Uke #4, The Hinano Paul uke


This is another mango uke that I made for my friend, Paul from California. He wanted a uke similar to Pablus's instrument, but with something that the others didn't have. He didn't care so much what it was, just that it was unique. So I surprised him buy inlaying an island themed silhouette into the bubinga fretboard. This was a lot of fun to make! The mango has a nice, warm tone and good sustain, with just enough punch to make it stand out.

Uke #6, The Pablus ukulele

This is a uke that I made for another friend of mine, Pablus, who resides in the Tampa Bay area and is and amazing musician and front man of the tiki band, The Crazed Mugs ( This one is made from mango wood. Mango has a suprising amount of color, figure and depth. I am still getting people who as for it based on this one uke. When Pablus and I were discussing the details of how his uke should look, he joked with me that I should carve a tapa cloth design into the headstock. I don't know if he was serious or not, but I thought about it long and hard and desided to create a veneer for the headstock that looked like tapa cloth. It took me forever to do, but eventually I created one out of maple, mahogany, and ebony.
Since then, Pablus honored and humbled me by shooting a video of himself playing the uke that I built for him. I owe him a huge debt of gratitude, because the video turned out wonderful and has been an amazing sales tool for me. THANK YOU, PABLUS!!!!

Uke #5, The Rhum Rhum Room ukulele

This is an ukulele that I built for my good friends, Joe and Nicole, for their New York home bar, The Rhum Rhum Room. This was a very fun build, with fretboard inlays to go along with their bar's logo. This uke is similar in style to my previous uke; being made from mahogany and spruce with an ebony fretboard.

Here is a link to a review of The Rhum Rhum Room that was done by the NY Barfly website:

Uke #2, progress!

These are some pictures of my second ukulele build. It is solid mahogany with a sitka spruce top. I built this one to Hana Lima's plans for Kasha bracing. I do like the sound and look of a Kasha braced uke. I have made other ukes with this style of bracing, but it isn't as popular as a traditional, fan braced uke. I sold this instrument on ebay, and it was officially the first ukulele that I sold to the public. It turned out rather nice, especially for only my second build. But, I have many years of wood carving under my belt, so I had a lot of the tools and skills that someone who was starting fresh wouldn't have. Plus, I am also a musician, so I also have the advantage of knowing what an instrument should sound like.

Uke #1, the indestructible uke!

This is a picture of the first ukulele that I ever built. I finished it in April of 2011. It's walnut with a mahogany neck and a bubinga fretboard. It is definitely the work of someone who had never build one before! It's built like a tank; thick, heavy, and nearly indestructible. I also used a water based varnish, which I immediately regretted. I've since switched to Tru-Oil, which I love working with now. But, this uke was a great way to cut my teeth and I learned very much from this first build.