View Full Version : Progress on my first custom

09-30-2014, 04:00 PM
As I mentioned in a previous thread, I am finally getting my first true custom. It is an Ancient Sitka (2850 years old) top with Cocobolo back and sides. The luthier is Byron Barnes (www.bbstrings.com (http://www.bbstrings.com)). Byron is a great guy and an excellent luthier. He specialized in local (Northern California) woods and sustainable woods, but he will work "exotic" woods if you prefer. He has been great to work with and very patient- which is great when you are as neurotic as we UUers are! :)

Here are some progress photos:

09-30-2014, 04:03 PM
The sound box is basically together. Next, I must figure out what type of binding material should be used. He is working on the neck now.

I love the gray color of the Ancient Sitka. It is very different than other tonewoods, which is what I was going for in this custom.

09-30-2014, 04:07 PM
Very nice! Can't wait to see that Sitka top when it is finished! I love watching the creation of a uke. I think I speak for everyone when I say: Keep the updates/photos coming!

09-30-2014, 04:24 PM
Look fantastic Tiger. Great shape and that spruce is special. So many cool ways to go with the bindings. With they grey color, I'd include ebony in your list. You could "black out" the rest of the uke. It will look amazing with anything you choose.
Any chance there's was enough scraps of the spruce to use on he head stock or heel cap??? Need to use every bit of wood that rare.

09-30-2014, 04:39 PM
Looking good CJ. Lots of ways to go on the binding. You could use side purfling and stay with cocobolo on the binding too.

09-30-2014, 05:17 PM
Close-up of the rosette area. Wood wiped with alcohol to approximate what it will look like when finished. I'm getting pretty excited about getting my hands on this thing... but there is a long way to go!


I wasn't sure how abalone would look against the gray top, but I think it looks pretty nice!

09-30-2014, 06:11 PM
How will the wood be finished, oil or lacquer?

09-30-2014, 06:32 PM
How will the wood be finished, oil or lacquer?

Likely a water-based lacquer.

10-01-2014, 05:51 AM
It looks stunning. Love all the photos; thanks for the updates and please keep them coming! I can't wait to see it finished and also hope that you post a sound sample!

11-24-2014, 05:10 PM
It's been a little while since I updated this thread. Looks like I'm just a couple of weeks away from getting this uke. Binding was finished today and he began shaping the neck. Here are the pictures once the binding was finished:

11-24-2014, 05:22 PM
Very nice, love the ancient spruce top.

12-03-2014, 09:58 PM
Not long now! Off to finishing. Hoping to get it in the next week or two.


12-04-2014, 04:31 PM
Looking good CJ! Thanks for the update pics.

12-04-2014, 04:41 PM
Looking good!

We're in the same boat. Custom instruments almost completed.

The wood for the back of yours is glorious!

12-04-2014, 04:57 PM
That is one beautiful Uke! I have always wanted a cocobolo guitar. I would love to know how this wood translates to a Uke.

12-05-2014, 01:01 PM
I really love the way the sides are book-ended at the butt!
Edgeguy, see Cocobolo Ukuleles....they're pretty darn nice, and Kevin is a grat guy to deal with.

Ukulele Eddie
12-05-2014, 01:16 PM
Very nice looking! Look forward to hearing your sound sample and review after you receive it.