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Thread: Hive Katalox & Red Spruce Build Progress

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Pickering, ON, Canada
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    3,466

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    Well done Hodge, I love how you are thinking outside the box. Jake no doubt likes this wood or he wouldn't be offering it. Certainly is beautiful looking and being a Hive it will sound beautiful as well.
    Last edited by DownUpDave; 01-22-2017 at 05:03 AM.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    So. Oregon
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    1,305

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    Hodge, I'm glad that you and Jake are undertaking this build. Some of the most reputable tone wood sellers have been showing katalox sets in both guitar and ukulele sizes. It appears to be in good supply and not threatened, or at least not CITES listed. Many of us will be following this project with interest!

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Mandeville, Louisiana
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    1,495

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    Congratuations, Hodge - I think you'll be pleased.

    This is a wood we've used for years. As always there are lots of names. Royal Mexican Ebony is the new one; Katalox seems to be used most often. We used the older (Aztec) spelling: Katalo'ox, but in our neck of the woods where terminology was very general and often made knowing what you were talking about difficult, the most common name was "Cocobolo Negro".

    The latin name is Swartzia cubensis, so it's not directly related to Cocobolo, not a true Dalbergia, and so not effected by the new blanket restrictions on rosewood from CITES. Be careful, however, if an instrument with this wood were to come into the U.S. from outside the country. Several areas where it grows have local restrictions meaning Lacey Act paperwork and permit documentation showing local restrictions were followed will come into play for entrance into (not exit from) the U.S.

    While we used it on most of our instruments for a number of years, that use was typically on fretboards. Still we used it on bodies occasionally as well. Here's a photo of the back of an Alto Largo:

    Picture 059.jpg

    I still actually have this one, and as it's a primary instrument for string testing, it's gotten pretty gouged up below the bridge. Now that the testing has ramped way down, I'm going to try to make it a presentable instrument again and likely play it myself.

    We built these in Central America and in those days used locally imported soundboard material. The most common was European Spruce - very popular with the local guitar builders, and we used it a lot as a result. It's the soundbard on the instrument in the photo. That pairing, as you might imagine, tends to be on the bright side, but there is a bit darker flavor these backs & sides give to the sound as well. So I'd say you have a nice combination and of course you can expect Jake will bring out the best in your selections.
    Last edited by southcoastukes; 01-22-2017 at 12:50 PM.
    Dirk Wormhoudt



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    email: sales@southcoastukes.com

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Cottage Grove Or.
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    Congrats Hodge! Jake builds beautiful instruments
    Perry Bullinger
    Covered Bridge Ukuleles

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    406

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    You don't mess around sir Hodge!

    As has often been the case recently when I read your posts, I have to go to google and learn about something new. Todays topic: What is Katalox? Well, for starters we can see it is beautiful to behold!

    Thanks to Dirk and David for their educational input!

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    McDonough, GA
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    New pics of the build from Jake. I'm loving how it's looking.
    The Katalox grain and curl kind of resembles rising streams of smoke. Gorgeous!



    Last edited by Doc_J; 04-20-2017 at 08:04 AM.
    -Hodge
    Humble strummer of fine ukes.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA
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    2,669

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    Wonderful, Hodge. It does seem reminiscent of smoke!
    More an appreciator of the ukulele than a true player. My motto is: "Don't matter how good it ring if it ain't got some bling."

    Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.—Voltaire

    Curious about the relative importance of tonewood vs. the luthier? See Luthiers for a Cause to learn more!

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Pickering, ON, Canada
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    3,466

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    Ok now you need to learn to play "Smoke on the Water"......or at least the riff for when you do your NUD sound sample. Looks wonderful Hodge.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Ceres, California (Central Valley)
    Posts
    240

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    That's a beauty. I've been following Jakes work on other sites and am always impressed. I love the shape of the Hives and the Katalox is gorgeous. I thought it was Myrtle when I first saw it.
    joe
    KoAloha Concert
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    Kala Mighty Uke Concert
    KoAloha Tenor

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    23

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    Possibly weird question... how are you getting these pictures as the build continues? Are they emailed to you?
    My Ukuleles
    KoAlohoa Noah
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