PDA

View Full Version : First Uke Build - Wood choice



Ukemakinmecrazy
10-04-2016, 03:31 AM
I have a Cocobolo back and sides set, but someone earlier told me that probably isn't a good wood to build my first uke with. I am looking at a black cherry set. Is that an easier to work with wood for a first uke build? Thanks for the tip to buy the Hana Lima 'IA book BTW. Lots of good info in there.

Yankulele
10-04-2016, 05:33 AM
No experience with cocobolo, but I have built a uke out of cherry. It would be an excellent choice. Bends easily, closed pores, not brittle, won't break the bank. And mine sounds really good.

Good luck,


Nelson

Ukemakinmecrazy
10-04-2016, 05:59 AM
Thanks for the reply. Think I'll go with that. I tend to go too far with initial projects, so I will probably go with a cocobolo binding, cocobolo fretboard, and cocobolo bridge. I think it will look great against natural cherry. BTW, is curly cherry harder to work with than straight grain? I already have the cocobolo for the fretboard and the bridge.

Kevs-the-name
10-04-2016, 06:07 AM
No experience with cocobolo, but I have built a uke out of cherry. It would be an excellent choice. Bends easily, closed pores, not brittle, won't break the bank. And mine sounds really good.

Good luck,

Nelson

Completely agree with this post. Cherry is great

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
10-04-2016, 06:55 AM
Any figured wood will pose more bending difficulties than straight grained wood of the same species
Make sure when you glue up your cocobolo that you wipe the gluing sure face immediately with acetone in order to remove the oils and to promote better adhesion. And I'm not talking about ten minutes before, but just as you are ready to spread glue on the piece. Keep wiping the surface until you rag is left pretty free of color. This is especially important when gluing up the bridge.

ksquine
10-04-2016, 07:09 AM
Cocobolo can be brittle to work with but it depends on the set. All those rosewood type woods are also very hard so thinning the sides and backs is more work. And they're usually oily woods so they clog your sandpaper faster. Filling the pores is one more step in finishing too. But they do smell nice to work with.
I dunno if that makes it so hard to work with that a first time builder couldn't use it.....you're just risking a more expensive set of wood.
I would practice bending a few times with cheaper woods before risking it.

sequoia
10-04-2016, 07:49 PM
I've been working a lot lately with cocobolo and find that it tends to bend really nice and polite. This makes sense to me because it is an oily woods and heats up nicely. It works well and easy with no nasty habits like sudden chipout or cracking. Basically the stuff works like, well, wood. I do however have two big problems with cocobolo wood; 1) And the biggest problem for me is that the wood does not hold that beautiful deep rich red/orange color that attracts us to it in the first place. It tends to oxidize over time and turn a muddy brown color and that looks like something that came out of the rectum of a cow (not attractive) and (2), it can be a toxic wood to some people (not me yet) which can make working with it a nasty experience. .... And yes as stated above, it must be wiped with solvent just before gluing like any tropical oily hardwood. That said, I have forgotten that step a time or two and have had no glue problems. Yet. I love this wood, but as a first ukulele wood, maybe not such a great idea. It is beautiful, precious stuff in my eyes and it would be a shame to sacrifice it on what is basically a learning process. But then again, I've seen some first ukes that are near perfect works of art.