View Full Version : A Tas Blackwood and a Cherry long neck soprano

Paul Henneberry
12-11-2015, 10:29 PM
Some pics of Ĺ of this yearís batch of four. All four are the same size and specification with the only difference being the material of the sound board, back, sides and neck. This pair is Tasmanian blackwood and English cherry.
Style: long neck soprano
Scale: 14 ĺ 14 frets to the body
Fretboard and bridge: mulga
Rosette: ebony, boxwood and paua
Finish: Wattyl stylewood precatalysed nitrocellulose lacquer.
The only difference between these and last yearís batch is that I experimented with carbon fibre reinforcing the bracing. I had some CF woven matt and tried gluing it as a vertical strip in the middle of the bracing. I conducted some rigidity tests on the normal spruce braces and compared them with reinforced ones with the idea of reducing the weight and size of the brace while maintaining the rigidity. The experiments werenít a great success in that I didnít get to reduce the spruce by much because the epoxy/ CF is so heavy but I used them under the soundboard of these ukes. I will upload some pic of the other two (lace sheoak + western red cedar / Tasmanian blackwood) in a few days.
I have started a hobby uke making blog with more photos and technique details at


for those with an interest or nothing better to do.

Paul Henneberry
12-11-2015, 10:35 PM
a couple more pics. very pretty and dark tas blackwood.



Jim Hanks
12-12-2015, 02:19 AM
Wow. Those are really stunning. I especially like the dark one but both are incredible. Love the rosettes. So both those tops are tas blackwood?

12-12-2015, 02:52 AM
Wow. Those are really stunning. I especially like the dark one but both are incredible. Love the rosettes.

I totally agree!

12-12-2015, 03:13 AM
:agree: Real lookers!

12-12-2015, 04:20 AM
Wow, that dark Tasmanian Blackwood Soprano looks great :iwant:

Michael Smith
12-12-2015, 08:50 AM
Nice Work Paul

12-12-2015, 10:42 AM
Great work Paul, and many thanks for the blog - some great ideas in there. As a fellow hobby builder I am inspired by the effort you have put into the jigs and tools, and wish you the best for your future builds.

Paul Henneberry
12-12-2015, 11:27 AM
Hello again,

Thanks for all of the nice comments. They are pretty and I suppose I do go to that extra bit of trouble on the detailing but almost anything looks good with a coat of shiny polish.

Sorry if there was any confusion (Jim), the TBW one is all TBW (except the fretboard) and the cherry one is ALL cherry (apart from the fretboard). I really like the look of having the neck and body the same colour which I know some see as problematic because of weight and stability but I reinforce with carbon fibre (and cross my fingers).

If you like this TBW one you will love the one in the next post. I will put a few words trying to compare the sound of the 4 ukes in the next post as well.

12-12-2015, 05:44 PM
Very pretty. Great job.

12-14-2015, 07:06 AM
Very cool rosettes on those beauties.

Paul Henneberry
12-14-2015, 05:26 PM
Hi ksquine,
The rosettes are what everybody notices first. I make my rosettes at about 10 at a time hoping to get 8 good ones. Making those 10 took about 20 hours I guess (an hour an evening for 3 weeks) but that included cutting the paua rings out of sheets of shell laminate.
There is a more in-depth description of the process at my blog site but basically itís a process of accurate router trammel work while it is held secure with double sided tape. Some system if accurately indexing the trammel really helps.

Using a similar approach I produced a lot of accurate curve sections for purfling from a sheet of shell laminate for a previous batch but I didnít document the process. Next time Iíll photograph it because it worked out very well and I got all the way around a soprano body with about 12 pieces that all fitted perfectly.