View Full Version : "Bear Claw" Stika Spruce Top Final

05-07-2016, 05:04 PM
I finally finished out the "bear claw" spruce topped uke and I'm quite pleased with the result. It was an adventure as usual. The wood was extremely soft and not stiff at all. I thinned a bit past what I thought was prudent since it didn't seem to want to ring until it was south of 80.

Now, I always laughed at the claim that bears (or cougars) actually clawed "bear clawed" wood, but I have recently had a bear near my house (who stole my bird feeder by the way) and the claw marks it makes on the trees looks an awful lot like this. Something deeply scratched this wood is all I'm saying.

The sound is very good with all that spruce projection one would expect. Loud and assertive. Its a cannon and I like it a lot. However, I will not be using this wood again. It is just too soft and a "bear" to work with.

Cocobolo binding and peg head veneer. Honduran mahogany back and sides. Mixed wood and plastic purfling. Green ab from New Zealand.






05-08-2016, 03:45 AM
Very nice! The only ukulele I have built has a bear claw spruce top. It sounds great. If you want to keep and play a uke, spruce is the way to go.

Vespa Bob
05-08-2016, 04:32 AM
You have a winner there, I think it's your best up to now! I love the peghead and the binding, well done!


05-08-2016, 01:01 PM
Nice job The bearclaw looks great

05-08-2016, 05:38 PM
If you want to keep and play a uke, spruce is the way to go.

It is funny, I'm not an experienced uke builder, but I have built 11 of the things of all kinds of different wood and darn it, the spruce top always sounds best. Not that the other ukes sound bad. I built a koa that is sweet as hell, but for power, projection and balance, spruce just beats them all by a hair. Kind of discouraging in a way because spruce is inherently boring and guitar-like and not ukulele at all. More discouraging is that I have not been able to get a California redwood top to really sound like I want it to sound. Discouraging because the stuff is all around me. Oh well. The thing is they all sound different in different ways and none really suck (well maybe one), but spruce just beats em all down.

05-08-2016, 08:09 PM
Great job, love the cocobolo headplate!

05-09-2016, 10:16 AM
Sequoia, the bear claw on your ukulele is anything but boring looking. For those who are intrigued by medullary rays (silk), bear claw is infinitely beautiful. And your build is right up there with a nice example. For instrument geeks and seasoned players, a nice spruce is as good as it gets. Sell the koa--keep the spruce.