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View Full Version : Are you still all at sea? Iím now firmly on the beech!



greenscoe
05-08-2018, 10:31 PM
My latest tenor is made of spalted beech. Beech is often considered hard, heavy and uninteresting and pros may say they couldnít sell a beech instrument. I like spalted beech: I used it to make a pineapple soprano in my first year and have been using it for decoration on my other instruments.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?106172-Soprano-pineaffle&highlight=pineaffle+soprano+beech

From my small board, I chose the most spalted part for the back (not a bad bookmatch), the sides have less spalting (poor matching) and the soundboard has just a few dark lines. However its all quarter sawn, so shows the woodís medullary rays, most noticeable on the soundboard (which I find attractive).

Itís finished in Tru Oil over shellac: the soundboard has blonde shellac, the back and sides a darker shellac to give a contrast.

The rosette and end graft are spalted beech bounded with walnut: the bindings are also walnut and thereís a touch of maple for the purfling.

The neck started life in China, but I grafted on wood to make a tapered dovetail joint, added the end cap and headplate, drilled the holes and did the final shaping. Still a little work but less than starting from scratch. The fretboard and bridge are also Chinese.

It has Grover machineheads and Seaguar strings with low G (40, 50, 60, and 90lb line).

This is the 4th tenor of this design (sapele, cherry and walnut), but the other 3 had an Engelman Spruce soundboard. Despite this, all four instruments are not dissimilar in terms of volume, tone and sustain. Maybe this one has less treble/more bass or maybe thatís what I was expecting to hear? Iím certainly happy with the way this instrument performs.

So now that Summer has arrived, whoís going to join me on the beech?

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Diogenes Blue
05-09-2018, 12:11 AM
Beautiful uke. I have some spalted beech and I thought about building with it but chickened out. Now I'm rethinking it.

It makes great cam clamps too.

108885

Uke Don
05-09-2018, 04:58 AM
Very nice. I really like the rosette.

Jim Hanks
05-09-2018, 02:00 PM
Looks great! Let's hear it!

greenscoe
05-10-2018, 09:42 PM
Beautiful uke. I have some spalted beech and I thought about building with it but chickened out. Now I'm rethinking it.

It makes great cam clamps too.

108885

You make some great looking ukes so I'm sure that you could do something interesting with spalted beech.

I love your wooden cam clamps but my intentions to make some have come to nothing: Irwin F clamps are so cheap and easy to use.

Diogenes Blue
05-11-2018, 11:30 AM
You make some great looking ukes so I'm sure that you could do something interesting with spalted beech.

I love your wooden cam clamps but my intentions to make some have come to nothing: Irwin F clamps are so cheap and easy to use.

Thanks, Greenscoe! I like Irwin clamps but I made these with bridge clamping in mind, which they do very well. Three of them will fit in a soprano or concert sound hole. I'll probably have to make a few longer ones for tenors and baritones.

hoji
05-12-2018, 03:37 AM
Hey, looks great greenscoe.

As an aside, I'm interested in that "Tru Oil over shellac finish" you mentioned.