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Patchenu
09-03-2018, 04:18 PM
Hi All,
I have never posed a build a thread before but I have been on the forums for a few years and I found them to be very valuable while I was researching builders. My journey with Hive ukulele (owner and built by Jake Maclay) started when I saw some of his instruments on UU. I had read a lot of posts saying what a great builder Jake was and even in theukulelereview podcast interview with Noa Bonk of Ko'olou he mentions Jake as someone he admired for the clean build. I still hadn't considered purchasing until I got to play one. The Hive I got to play is a very special instrument owned by Ukulele Eddie. It's his "The Tree" Mahogany back and sides with Lucky12 spruce top. A wonderful instrument that I instantly feel in love with. I was on the fence until that first strum and I put a deposit down to get on Jake's list later that day. The problem is that I wasn't sure what wood combo I wanted. Jake had been very patient with me sending me a lot of wood pictures and ideas. I loved a lot of his wood but I couldn't make a decision. Finally I decided on Luthiers Choice. This was based on the fact that I heard that when the luthier has the freedom to make their best instrument, they do. I just told Jake that it needed to be the best representation of his style and sound. He took up the challenge and so I wanted to share with the forum progress to date. (Please note, if you follow Jake Maclay on facebook or instragram, he posts pictures of all his builds in progress). Also, I have to add this, Not only is Jake a master luthier, Jake is such a great guy. We was one of the six luthiers that participated in Luthiers for a Cause where he donated a build for charity. I got to work with him for over a year on that project and I can't believe what a genuine and great guy he is. So back to the build thread. Jake selected this wood combo:

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Ebony back and sides paired with Ancient Spruce Top.
Since this build has been going for a few months already, I will be able to post a lot of pictures now. This build has a few things Jake has never done and I will point them out as we go. A great example is that he is using an x-brace for the first time.

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Patchenu
09-03-2018, 04:22 PM
Here is a picture of the top and the rosette. A unique combination of Ebony and Silver.

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Here is the top being glued on.

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So what neck wood would you use for this build? Jake asked me my thoughts and I repeated, your choice. He then asked me about weight and I knew where he was going...

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yes, that is an Ebony neck. While it will add weight, it should not be that significant on an ukulele. I am not sure he will build another with an Ebony neck as it has a reputation of chipping easily and being brittle. Jake is a master.

Patchenu
09-03-2018, 04:25 PM
So now Jake started to work on the binding and the box. Here are some pictures.

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Patchenu
09-03-2018, 04:29 PM
one more with the back and sides of the closed box.
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Here is the ukulele with the neck on. You can also now see the silver binding much clearer.
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Now with fret markers:
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Patchenu
09-03-2018, 04:31 PM
we now have frets and off to finish...this is shaping up to be an instruments that is beyond my wildest dreams.

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I will update everyone once it's back from finish. I will say that because of my involvement with Luthiers for a Cause, and the generous donation from Rob Rodger for that project, we will be purchasing Rodger's tuners for this build.

DownUpDave
09-04-2018, 01:03 AM
This is one of the most unique ukuleles I have ever seen. But it is also one of the prettiest, smart move to let Jake do a luthiers choice, turned out to be gorgeous

dkcrown
09-04-2018, 01:15 AM
Ah, so you are the lucky one that commissioned Jake for that uke. I have been following the progress on his FB page. I can't wait to see it with the finish on. And most of all, hear it after it is completed. Congratulations in advance!

hollisdwyer
09-04-2018, 02:54 AM
Congratulations on one of the best designs I’ve ever seen. We are so fortunate to live in a time when there are so many great Luthiers practising their craftsmanship.

Osprey
09-04-2018, 07:51 AM
I really love the wood choices in this ukulele. The look is simple but very striking. I think it is beautiful. Congratulations.

Doc_J
09-04-2018, 06:01 PM
Very cool uke with a definite dark side. The back cross bracing is the first I’ve seen from Jake, and really adds to look. Thanks for posting.

saltytri
09-04-2018, 06:56 PM
This instrument is absolutely killer. No doubt the tone will match its appearance!

Patchenu
09-05-2018, 04:47 AM
DownUpDave: Thank you, I can take zero credit for this build but it’s shaping up to be something special

dkcrown: Yes, I outed myself. Following Jake on facebook allows you to watch all of his builds in progress. I will record something along with a NUD write-up when I receive it. I am expecting it around November.

Hollisdwyer: Thank you, I am really lucky. I agree, there are so many master luthiers work right now, some might say we are in a golden age of luthiers.

Osprey: I also really like the wood combo. I was nervous when Jake wanted to go with Ancient Spruce because the top is a grey/silver and I have only seen Barron River building consistently with this wood and never pairs it with a dark/near black wood. I did play an Oceana ukulele with this wood a few years ago and I like the sound.

Doc_J : Thank you. The cross backing is a nod to Michael Bashkin of Bashkin Guitars. The X-brace is new and something he tried for this build. I get the impression that getting that right, took a long time and he doesn’t think he will be doing it again on another build.

Saltytri: It’s shaping up to be something special. It’s a Hive so I think the sound will be great.

hollisdwyer
09-05-2018, 06:00 AM
Patchenu, yes I’ve only ever seen ancient Spruce used by Allen McFarlan (Barron River Ukuleles) before.
Most of what I’ve seen from him has been darker. I love the silver grey that yours is.

I’m tending to think of your build as the ‘Stealth Ukulele’. The ebony neck flowing up to include the headstock is just wonderful! Also fascinated by the X brace. Do you know if they are ebony or just coloured black?

Ukulele Eddie
09-05-2018, 06:50 AM
Patchen, I've never been more happy that you live within an hour's drive. ;-) What a stunner this is turning out to be!

CommonCurt
09-05-2018, 05:28 PM
Yeah, saw this on instagram. Absolutely amazing.

Patchenu
09-06-2018, 08:52 AM
Patchenu, yes I’ve only ever seen ancient Spruce used by Allen McFarlan (Barron River Ukuleles) before.
Most of what I’ve seen from him has been darker. I love the silver grey that yours is.

I’m tending to think of your build as the ‘Stealth Ukulele’. The ebony neck flowing up to include the headstock is just wonderful! Also fascinated by the X brace. Do you know if they are ebony or just coloured black?

The X brace is adi spruce with a black vaneer cap. There is ebony on the center line brace through the center.

Patchenu
09-06-2018, 08:52 AM
Yeah, saw this on instagram. Absolutely amazing.

Thank you. It is shaping up to be something nice.

Patchenu
09-06-2018, 08:54 AM
Patchen, I've never been more happy that you live within an hour's drive. ;-) What a stunner this is turning out to be!

Thank you, I am excited to see how it turns out. When I get it, you should come over with your Hive and we can do a sample of each.

Kenn2018
09-06-2018, 05:57 PM
Absolutely terrific looking ukulele. You're going to have to dress like Roy Orbison when you play it. Even at home! ;-)

Pete F
09-06-2018, 10:01 PM
repeating what everyone is saying, this is the most striking uke I've seen. Can't wait to see and hear it? I've got a redwood Hive on order, but I've a looooong wait.

Patchenu
09-09-2018, 01:35 PM
Absolutely terrific looking ukulele. You're going to have to dress like Roy Orbison when you play it. Even at home! ;-)
thank you. I think I have the right sunglasses for that.

Patchenu
09-09-2018, 01:38 PM
repeating what everyone is saying, this is the most striking uke I've seen. Can't wait to see and hear it? I've got a redwood Hive on order, but I've a looooong wait.
Thank you. I am partial to redwood so I can't wait to hear what Jake is building you. I know about the long wait...I spent a long time on the build list and then finally he got to me. Watching the build is both awesome and killing me. It will be worth the wait.

hollisdwyer
09-09-2018, 05:04 PM
Thank you. I am partial to redwood so I can't wait to hear what Jake is building you. I know about the long wait...I spent a long time on the build list and then finally he got to me. Watching the build is both awesome and killing me. It will be worth the wait.

Yes, I’m sure that it will be worth the wait.

good_uke_boy
09-11-2018, 02:57 AM
Congratulations! Looks like your instrument and mine are siblings (as in, built one after the other).

Patchenu
09-11-2018, 10:51 AM
Congratulations! Looks like your instrument and mine are siblings (as in, built one after the other).

Congratulations to you too! Which one is your build?

good_uke_boy
09-11-2018, 02:17 PM
Congratulations to you too! Which one is your build?

Adirondack spruce over African blackwood. With your permission, here are a couple of pics. According to Jake, it's about to go "off to spray."

Not intended to derail your thread at all, though. Please let me know if I should delete them.

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dkcrown
09-12-2018, 01:18 AM
Adirondack spruce over African blackwood. With your permission, here are a couple of pics. According to Jake, it's about to go "off to spray."

Not intended to derail your thread at all, though. Please let me know if I should delete them.

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A couple of real beauties coming out of Jake's shop. I am sure that both of you will be extremely pleased with them.

Patchenu
09-12-2018, 02:24 PM
Adirondack spruce over African blackwood. With your permission, here are a couple of pics. According to Jake, it's about to go "off to spray."

Not intended to derail your thread at all, though. Please let me know if I should delete them.

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I saw this one and I have an African Blackwood ukulele which I love. Your build looks really nice. The sap wood matching on the back is amazing.

Ukulele Eddie
09-12-2018, 02:33 PM
@good_uke_boy; That's a gorgeous set of African blackwood! Wowza!

Jerryc41
09-13-2018, 03:22 AM
Beautiful. I like to see ukes made with different kinds of wood and with non-standard headstock shapes. That one looks beautiful. Please keep us posted.

good_uke_boy
09-13-2018, 05:45 AM
I saw this one and I have an African Blackwood ukulele which I love. Your build looks really nice. The sap wood matching on the back is amazing.

Thank you! I’m very excited about this instrument. I understand Jake prefers building with 12 frets to the body, like yours. I opted for 14. Your 12-fretter looks special!


@good_uke_boy; That's a gorgeous set of African blackwood! Wowza!

Thanks! This ukulele has been in the works for more than 20 months. I can’t wait to play “Pepe le Pew” for the first time!


Beautiful. I like to see ukes made with different kinds of wood and with non-standard headstock shapes. That one looks beautiful. Please keep us posted.

Thank you! I’ll do a NUD when it arrives. Probably after Patchenu posts one.

Patchenu
09-14-2018, 05:21 PM
111982
I guess I was a bit early but one last picture before it leaves for finish on Monday

Kenn2018
09-14-2018, 06:42 PM
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I guess I was a bit early but one last picture before it leaves for finish on Monday

Wow, that is really looking good. You must be getting really eager to have the finished instrument.

Steve in Kent
09-16-2018, 10:29 PM
Absolutely stunning ukulele.

I'm having a similar specification built, (torrefied instead of ancient spruce), but with totally different finishing touches.

I'm saying they are different, but they haven't actually been decided yet....

Looking forward to the rest of your build thread with interest.

Patchenu
11-16-2018, 03:27 PM
I just got some new 113546113547pic as the uke came back from finish.

Kenn2018
11-16-2018, 08:12 PM
That looks great! I don't know how to spell a wolf whistle.

dkcrown
11-17-2018, 01:31 AM
Ooooh. The Black Mamba. When you get it, we have to hear a sound clip!