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View Full Version : New Build Thread: Joji Yoshida Lucky Strike Redwood / Brazilian Rosewood Tenor



Ukulele Eddie
10-27-2017, 06:25 AM
I commissioned a tenor ukulele from Joji Yoshida, one of the fine luthiers contributing to our Luthiers for a Cause project. He is working diligently to finish the uke so he can show it at the Hawaii Ukulele Festival (Nov. 17-19), which means I'll be bringing it home with me. ;-)

This uke has some elements of the project ukes in its soul. Joji is using Lucky Strike redwood for the top and The Tree for the bindings and endgraft (the project ukes are Lucky Strike redwood tops with The Tree for back and sides).

The story on the Lucky Strike redwood top is part of this storm-felled tree laid over a small ravine and air dried for many years. As a result, wood from this section of the tree has higher stiffness-to-weight than is typically found in redwood. Those who are very familiar with it say it combines the best attributes of both spruce and redwood.

Continuing to tie in some elements of the Luthiers for a Cause project, I commissioned Harvey Leach to do an inlay and Rob Rodgers to make the tuners. Harvey leach is a world-renowned inlay artist who inlayed the Luthiers for a Cause logo on the project uke fretboards. And Rob Rodgers makes incredible, custom tuners which he contributed for each of the project ukes as well.

I picked BRW for the body wood and then Joji scored some of the craziest, most beautiful quilted maple I have ever seen. Many people know I have a maple addiction. It was hard not to switch the build, but I decided to say the course with the BRW.

Basic specs:

Top: Lucky Strike Redwood
Body: Brazilian rosewood
Bindings: The Tree
Rosette: Maple and The Tree
Endgraft: The Tree
Headstock: Slotted with torch inlay on ebony by Harvey Leach
Fretboard & bridge: Ebony
Tuners: Rodgers


Harvey Leach torch inlay:
https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4380/35787085074_de1dff7262.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/WwoaAb)

Rob Rodgers tuners:
https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4339/36225579620_314ffd79c0.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Xc8yJY)


BRW body & sides (and Joji's toes ;-):
https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4249/34376213650_e47df388fb.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/UnH5EN)


Lucky Strike redwood top with rosette of maple & The Tree:
https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4512/37964746951_91a50cff64.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/ZQPfAB)

DownUpDave
10-27-2017, 09:49 AM
Holy moly man.......your wife will need to say 15 is the new 2!!! Really spectacular in everyway Eddie, very wise to stick with BRW, espiecally those pieces.

Peace Train
10-27-2017, 09:58 AM
Each of these elements, singularly beautiful, combine so effortlessly; stunning! Love the history and story behind it. A true collaboration!

Congratulations on the build. I presume your efforts in getting it coordinated are equally impressive. Looking forward to seeing the end result!

SoloRule
10-27-2017, 11:03 AM
Eddie , you need to show us a family photos of all your children (ukes).
You probably need extra wide angle to get everyone in.
Congratulations! (again). It's a beauty.

good_uke_boy
10-27-2017, 03:53 PM
Wow. Just Wow. And...nice toes.

Doc_J
10-28-2017, 12:57 AM
Another beauty Eddie. You have a good eye for design.
In terms of numbers of ukes, Tell your wife youíll definitely keep to 2....dozen. :D

hollisdwyer
10-28-2017, 02:24 AM
Going to be a real beauty Eddie. That BRW woodset is just gorgeous. Can’t wait to see the details in close up.

dkcrown
10-28-2017, 03:21 AM
That is one beautiful set of Brazilian rosewood Eddie!

bariukish
10-28-2017, 05:05 AM
WOW, just...WOW! Can't wait to see that BRW grain light up when the finish hits it.

Tanman
10-28-2017, 09:42 AM
That looks super classy, love the torch. And the voice it’ll have!

CheeseSandwich
10-28-2017, 11:25 AM
Whoa Eddie it looks amazing! Really looking forward to seeing the completed product. Congrats!

Also is it really true that Joji gives you BRW in the base price of 5000? That's what it says on his website but im not sure it applies to this day. That sure is crazy if so; what a deal! :)

Ukulele Eddie
10-28-2017, 06:06 PM
Thanks, all. Yes, quite excited for this one.

@CheeseSandwich: Correct. Joji does not have a surcharge for BRW that he has on hand. At present, his base price includes any Master grade wood that he has on hand.

saltytri
10-28-2017, 06:52 PM
Well, my friend, you've certainly got yourself boxed in now. Fabulous wood transformed into a sublime instrument by the finest of craftsmen. What does that leave for the next one? ;)

Congratulations. It's a beauty!

Nickie
10-30-2017, 11:40 PM
Wow.....holy cow. You lucky stiff, that is gonna be SOME ukulele! Will it have a pickup in it?:drool:

Ukulele Eddie
02-06-2018, 04:36 PM
Finishing this uke for UGH turned out to be a bridge too far. I certainly didn't want to rush a master craftsman, so I told Joji to take his time. It is now just about a day or two from being complete. Joji is gluing the bridge today and then strings in the next day or two. Pretty excited that I should have this in the next week or 10 days. Here are a few recent photos:


https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4624/40093786912_1cda179f94.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/245X919)

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4723/40126805341_72b2b99752.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/248Snep)

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4608/26252712068_d1a3c0ec1a.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/FZS1EG)

luv2uke
02-06-2018, 06:19 PM
Looks great! Waiting to hear sound samples.

Pueo
02-06-2018, 11:25 PM
Lucky you!
I was fortunate enough to get to play each of the Luthiers for a Cause ukuleles and Joji's was one of my favorites!
So happy for you!
She is a real stunner!

DownUpDave
02-07-2018, 12:39 AM
I know why you had him build you this instrument.........that curly maple neck is outrageous. The flaming in the slots on the headstock is worth the price alone, the rest of the instrument is pretty spectacular too!!!

David Ingalls is right, where are you going to go from here;)

WCBarnes
02-07-2018, 12:57 AM
WOW!!! :drool:

I'm glad you bumped this with an update as I somehow missed the original post. That is amazing Eddie! Congrats on a stunner! I can't wait to hear your impressions after you get it.

dkcrown
02-07-2018, 01:15 AM
Spectacular Eddie! And beautiful work Joji.

Are there shipping issues with CITES and the BRW?

Ukulele Eddie
02-07-2018, 03:12 AM
Spectacular Eddie! And beautiful work Joji.

Are there shipping issues with CITES and the BRW?

While BRW has long had certain limitations per CITES, it is also affected by last year's expansion of restricted woods that added all rosewoods (and certain bubinga's).

keod
02-07-2018, 03:52 AM
Eddie, I am so excited for you. Your heart will be beating double time when you first hold this one in your hands for sure. Everything about it is just breathtaking and I can’t wait for your review- and maybe some pictures comparing to your other stunning instruments....That BRW is gorgeous.

niwenomian
02-07-2018, 05:02 AM
that curly maple neck is outrageous.

My thought too! I don't know if I've ever seen a neck as handsome as that one. The dark woods on the headstock/fretboard and back and sides really make it pop. You got all the great woods on this, and had a true artist to tie it all together.

good_uke_boy
02-07-2018, 06:50 AM
Wow, that's beautiful. Some day I'd like to see a list of your current ukulele inventory. MBU, Hive, ...

OhioBelle
02-07-2018, 11:30 AM
Echoing what everyone else has already said - this is spectacular! I love the way he bookmatched the back to create a chevron effect with the woodgrain. Beautiful!

Ukulele Eddie
02-07-2018, 12:39 PM
Me too, maybe even give us your address Eddie :D you can trust us! Really :D


Wow, that's beautiful. Some day I'd like to see a list of your current ukulele inventory. MBU, Hive, ...

Nothing to hide here folks, it's just a bad case of UAS. Including those listed below, I've cycled through a total of 57 ukes. Gulp. Funny story to share. I have a friend who is a serious musician (has recorded albums and such). I was at his house before I started playing uke and noted he had 10 guitars. When I saw them all, I said, "Why do you have so many guitars?" He explained that they were all different. I scoffed skeptically and asked, "And how many can you play at once?" I think Karma decided to kick me in the butt for being a judgmental ass and gave me a bad case of UAS!

Listed within each category in order of joining my collection:

Concerts:
Collings UC3MSB (spruce/quilted maple cherry sunburst)
National Resonator (chocolate speckled milk metal body)
16" J. Rieck torrefied spruce/sapele (linear C)

Re-entrant Tenors (all Bb unless noted otherwise):
Collings UT3MSB (spruce/flamed maple tangerine sunburst)
TODA (spruce/Madagascar rosewood)
Joji Yoshida Lucky Strike redwood/BRW

Linear Tenors (all Bb unless noted otherwise):
Hive Hornet Lucky 12 spruce/tortoise shell quilt from The Tree
Kinnard Series 3 spruce/California sycamore
Moore Bettah "Aspen" spruce/ebony
Blackbird Farallon with unigrain top (linear B)
19" Beau Hannam Grand Tenor (sinker redwood/Amazon rosewood)
I'iwi mango with ebony center in backstop
Ono "Wahoo" torrefied spruce/sapele


I keep three to four ukes out at a time. I do try to rotate them periodically, but I certainly have moments where I think I need to limit it to 5-6 ukes. The problem is, these are all pretty special ukes and it's hard imagine parting with any of them.

good_uke_boy
02-07-2018, 01:09 PM
Hey Eddie- never thought you were hiding anything. Just had trouble inferring your current collection based on too-infrequent scans of the UU forums. Now that you’ve shared your collection, can I just say “double wow”? How do you ever leave home, if that’s where you keep them? Congratulations.

Ukulele Eddie
02-07-2018, 02:19 PM
@good_uke_boy, my comment about nothing to hide was my attempt at humor. I didnít meant to suggest anyone thought I was hiding anything. All good!

I need to win the Lotto so I can stay home all day and play!

Doc_J
02-08-2018, 01:59 AM
Just saw this post. Eddie, that finish alone was worth any wait. Another outstanding instrument. Looking forward to a sound sample from you.


Finishing this uke for UGH turned out to be a bridge too far. I certainly didn't want to rush a master craftsman, so I told Joji to take his time. It is now just about a day or two from being complete. Joji is gluing the bridge today and then strings in the next day or two. Pretty excited that I should have this in the next week or 10 days. Here are a few recent photos:


https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4624/40093786912_1cda179f94.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/245X919)

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4723/40126805341_72b2b99752.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/248Snep)

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4608/26252712068_d1a3c0ec1a.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/FZS1EG)