View Full Version : #4 Cherry tenor

07-29-2016, 03:06 PM
Here's #4:

Cherry front back and sides
Rosette, bindings, headstock inlay: birdseye maple
Purfling: walnut
Fret markers: abalone
Fingerboard: Pau rosa
Bridge: Pau rosa and birdseye maple
Neck: Sapele, walnut, carbon fiber
Tuners: Gotoh
Strings: Worth Browns
Finish: Cardinal Nitrocellulose lacquer

It sounds quite nice to me.

As always, comments, critiques, questions, suggestions welcome.

Thanks for looking,


07-29-2016, 03:11 PM
A couple more photos

07-29-2016, 04:48 PM
Nelson, nice work. Your precision, fit, and finish look outstanding! Congratulations on building such a beautiful instrument!

Jim Hanks
07-29-2016, 05:03 PM
+1 what Hodge said. Looks great. Cherry is probably underutilized being a generally "plainer" wood than other choices, but the maple bits (love the rosette especially) are a great complement against the cherry. Only number four? You're obviously a very quick learner. :shaka:

07-29-2016, 06:40 PM
Yes, yes. A lot of work went into that... What kind of top is that? Looks like a torrefied spruce top. Looks like it sounds great.

07-29-2016, 07:12 PM
Very tasteful, well done!

07-29-2016, 07:59 PM
Its nice to see no 4 (no 5 was shown recently): I searched your posts previously and realised we hadn't seen it. Cherry is a great wood to work with, it bends so easily and is one of my favourites. Once again we see how much thought/work you've put into this: you clearly have much more patience than me! It looks so good, and at no 4, who wouldn't be proud of it?

As Pete pointed out for no 5, the saddle also looks high on this ( though the bridge looks good ). The fret board extension looks as though its not touching the soundboard. If so, then either you did this intentionally or else you already know this was a mistake?

Vespa Bob
07-30-2016, 09:43 AM
You are indeed a superb craftsman! It's hard to believe that it's only your 4th build! Great attention to detail.


07-30-2016, 01:21 PM
Thank you all for the kind words.

Sequoia, the top is cherry, same as back and sides. There is some very nice medullary ray fleck in the right light with this wood.

Greenscoe, I see what you are looking at in the picture with regards to the fingerboard attachment. That is, in fact, a weird illusion caused by shadow and the walnut purfling. In regard to the saddle, that picture is a glamor shot I took before Pete's comment about my saddle height on #5. Good eye. Since getting his comment, I added the birdseye piece to the top of the bridge to give the saddle a deeper pocket to nest in. You can see it better here:


I am a little fuzzy still about whether this fix addresses the issue Pete brought up. I now have less than .125" saddle exposed, but the top of the saddle is still just as high above the top of the soundboard. I think I am on the right track: in reassessing my earlier bridges, I believe they were designed too short. This maple top brings the bridge more in line with bridge dimensions on the plans I have, and buries more of the saddle. But I am certainly seeking the opinions of all you experienced luthiers.

Thanks again for all your help,


07-30-2016, 01:41 PM
Beautiful work! Cherry is my favorite wood for woodworking. I hope to one day have a uke made of cherry. I've never run across any production ukes in cherry so I suppose it wold have to be custom.

Rob Uker
08-01-2016, 07:30 AM
Very Pretty!!!

08-01-2016, 11:37 AM
Great work over all and the detail is outstanding. Be sure an post a few pics after the cherry matures and darkens. One of my favorite things about cherry is that it gets even more beautiful with age.

08-01-2016, 01:03 PM
I love the look of Cherry and Maple. Kudos for resisting the temptation to stain the Cherry. It takes a lot of light to darken cherry, so for the sake of the ukulele it's probably better that it remains light.
Your instrument looks terrific. For my taste the maple feels a little bit fractured. Something a little more creamy or purely birds'-eyeish? Maybe just a little less "radial"? The Maple binding is a treat. Good work.

08-01-2016, 02:47 PM
Nice work and pretty woods. I would like offer a general rule of bridge thickness and saddle height. If you lay a straight edge on your finished fretted fingerboard (directly on the frets) and then measure the distance from the top plate to the straight edge where the bridge would be, that distance should be the thickness of your bridge. The saddle height would be an additional 1/8" or slightly higher, but not much. I shoot for a bridge thickness of about 3/8" for a tenor and not more. If you find that your bridge thickness is more or too much, then I would suggest adjusting the neck angle to the body. Shoot for no more than 1 degree or almost flat to the top, that way your bridge will be in the correct range. If you build with a dished top, then you will have to adjust the neck angle and work out the details. Good luck.

08-02-2016, 05:36 AM
Thanks again for the kind words.

The cherry has already darkened a bit, and will continue to do so. I, too, love the look of cherry as it ages. As it darkens, the contrast with the maple will become more pronounced, which I think will help the looks.

Photoshooter, when you're ready for your cherry ukulele, if you can't find what you're looking for, shoot me a pm, and maybe we can work something out.

Blackbearukes: Thank you for your general rule. That is exactly the kind of information I'm looking for. I put my rulers on it, and I think I'm pretty close to ball park.

All of this feedback helps. Thank you all,