View Full Version : Making a Uke from Sapele ? any Thoughts

11-08-2014, 03:18 AM
Any thoughts of making a Uke from Sapele as to Mahogany? and whether the sound would be as good?

11-08-2014, 03:48 AM
Any thoughts of making a Uke from Sapele as to Mahogany? and whether the sound would be as good?

I'm not a builder, but I have a guitar with sapele b/s, and a mahogany top that sounds pretty sweet.

11-08-2014, 04:15 AM
Yes! it will work Ok.. a little heavy but a good tone and volume.

11-08-2014, 06:17 AM
ditto....should be pretty close to mahogany in tone.

11-08-2014, 07:48 AM
I've recently made 3 tenors and a soprano completely from sapele, a tenor uke and a guitar from sapele with a mahogany soundboard and a tenor from sapele with a spruce soundboard. I'm happy with the way they all sound.

I use sapele because its readily available here in the UK.

Compared to mahogany its a little heavier and since I use mainly hand tools and do a lot of planing and scraping (no drum/thickness sander), I am aware that sapele is harder than mahogany. On the plus side, I don't think it scratches as easily as mahogany. Whilst a lot of sapele has the ribbon grain associated with veneers on doors/furniture, it can also be very attractive.

Both mahogany and sapele are opened pored timbers. I have finished my instruments in Tru oil without pore filling though on some I've achieved a high gloss finish by repeated wet sanding with Tru oil using the slurry formed to pore fill.

I am happy using sapele: I am a hobby maker not a pro.

11-08-2014, 08:52 AM
I've built several from Sapele. Both plain and figured. From guitars to soprano's. They all sound fantastic.

I've got a long neck soprano in the spraying stage right now.


11-08-2014, 07:56 PM
Love the heal cap in picture one. Very snazzy. Nicely done.

Henele Henele
11-09-2014, 01:15 AM
good tonewood for ukuleles. give it a go. :)

11-09-2014, 01:38 AM
Love my Sapele KoAlana concert.