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Matt Clara
03-02-2017, 03:23 AM
It's my, I don't know, 8th ukulele build? I wanted to keep this simple, but give it a longer neck. Ended up with a 19" scale length--that's the abomination part. Uke is Engelmann spruce soundboard from Simeon Chambers (says it's from old growth), curly claro walnut back and sides, Port Orford Cedar neck, and Texas ebony bridge, fretboard and binding. I overbuilt the neck some to compensate for the greater string tension, but I ended up stringing it down some, too, because tuning to gCEA was really tense and the sound was oddly muted. Now I have it at D#G#CF (that's the other abomination part), and it has a really rich full sound. To me, anyway.98243

You can see more images here: http://imgur.com/gallery/nmF66

jcalkin
03-02-2017, 04:15 AM
Nice work, Matt, and beautiful wood. It does look wildly out of balance, but it probably answers a question a lot of us have about necessary body size. What is Texas ebony?

Matt Clara
03-02-2017, 04:43 AM
Nice work, Matt, and beautiful wood. It does look wildly out of balance, but it probably answers a question a lot of us have about necessary body size. What is Texas ebony?

It looks wildly out of balance in relation to other ukes, but I'm banking on starting a new thing here. People are gonna love it. I tell ya. Also, thanks, John. Texas ebony is a tough shrub like tree native to Texas: Ebenopsis ebano. http://texastreeid.tamu.edu/content/TreeDetails/?id=39 It's hard heavy and dense, but works well enough and the bindings bent up just fine. I think of it as a US exotic hardwood. There's not much of it, and it's not cheap, but not as bad as, say, hens teeth. My next uke is going to use it, same as this one, but with osage orange back and sides. An all American Uke, if you will, though this one (above) kind of is, too--kind of because I think the spruce top may have come from further north, from Canada.

anthonyg
03-02-2017, 12:21 PM
Nothing abominal about it Matt. 19" is a classic scale length for Baritone ukuleles tuned DGBE. I guess that what you have built would be called a Super Tenor.

Anthony

Jim Hanks
03-02-2017, 02:47 PM
Nothing abominal about it Matt. 19" is a classic scale length for Baritone ukuleles tuned DGBE. I guess that what you have built would be called a Super Tenor.
I agree. I like my 19" bari and even have it tuned up a half step from DGBE like Matt as the tension was too low on the unwound 4th string. If I was trying to go reentrant, I'd aim for dGBE though.

Debussychopin
03-02-2017, 03:23 PM
That's one stunningly beautiful abomination.

sequoia
03-02-2017, 07:30 PM
Yeah I'm really liking the proportions on that. Definitely different but nice. Maybe there is something beautiful about an abomination? Really nice piece of art Matt. It works in an oddly pleasing way. That is what I love about this forum. Something different. Me, I just make my conventional tenors. However I am inspired.

LDS714
03-03-2017, 03:17 AM
Speaking as someone whose primary instrument is electric bass, the bridge position and balance look perfect! :cool:

Matt Clara
03-03-2017, 04:13 AM
Thanks guys--I appreciate all of the comments.

cml
03-03-2017, 06:40 AM
Looks great Matt!

southcoastukes
03-03-2017, 09:44 AM
Hello Matt,

We've built a lot of similar instruments, though ours always had a 20" scale. If you want to take a look on our website (I don't think I should post a direct link), you'll find a page on them that includes a lengthy list of stringing options.

I've only seen Texas Ebony one time - that was on an instrument from David Newton (he's in Texas), so I don't claim to be any sort of expert. Still, my memory of it was that it was a lot closer to Madagascar than that. There was sap in what I saw as well, and it's my understanding its really almost as much a big shrub as a tree. I had some neighbors originally from just north of the Mexican border that were supposed to bring me some when they came back from Christmas holidays (didn't happen).

Not to say I don't like your wood - I like it a lot! It's almost a dead ringer, though, for a wood from Colombia that we call "Brown Ebony", and have been using as our primary fretboard/bridge material for the last few years (the last of our production and the current prototypes).

Matt Clara
03-03-2017, 02:41 PM
Hi Dirk, I got the wood from Lloyd Stahl of Texas Wood Crafts http://texaswoodcrafts.net/Texas%20Ebony/ Take a look at some of the sample pics he has there and tell me what you think. Lloyd's been a good guy to work with and I don't have any reason to think this is anything other than what he says it is. I have another stick from him that's much darker, but I liked the grain in this one so went with it for the fretboard and binding. The bridge is made from yet another board, and you can see it doesn't have the highly visible grain in it like the fretboard/binding. Thanks for your comments--I'm going to go ahead and check out the info on your site. Appreciate it.

southcoastukes
03-06-2017, 02:58 AM
Hello again Matt,

Being in Texas, little chance he's getting his timber from Colombia. BTW, I remembered the little town my neighbor's family lives down the road from. It's called "Los Ebanos" and that's the area it's best found in.

Matt Clara
03-06-2017, 11:22 AM
Hello again Matt,

Being in Texas, little chance he's getting his timber from Colombia. BTW, I remembered the little town my neighbor's family lives down the road from. It's called "Los Ebanos" and that's the area it's best found in.

I read that Los Ebanos got its name from the Texas ebony tree that anchors the last hand pulled river ferry crossing the Rio Grande. Found it on the internet, so it must be true. :)

sequoia
03-06-2017, 07:16 PM
Did a little research. The Texas ebony is called Pithecellobium flexicaule or Ebonopsis ebano or "ebano" in Spanish. It is not related at all to true "ebony" (Diospryos. sp.) but is member of the pea family of trees. It doesn't really look like ebony to me but has an interesting black and brown color. Very dense and hard. The tree doesn't grow very big but could be used for small pieces like fretboards or peg head veneers.

98343

Nickie
03-07-2017, 05:32 PM
Nice looking uke. The only thing I would change if it were mine is the headstock shape. Beautiful wood, nice work! Don't stop, Matt!

sequoia
03-07-2017, 07:17 PM
I don't usually comment on artistic observations because it is so subjective, but I really like that headstock shape. I hear you Nickie, it does look blocky but that is what is the whole charm of this design. It is almost cartoonish and yes perhaps an abomination, but I think it really works as an original piece of art. I think the thing is inspired. Definitely different. Original definitely. I love it.