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View Full Version : Building A StewMac Premium Solid Wood Tenor Ukulele



sequoia
01-10-2019, 05:02 PM
I've been curious about the new high end solid wood ukulele kits from StewMac, so I bought the "koa" one. I'll be posting here as the process goes along. The kit arrived today. Some impressions and photos.

Fresh out of the box:

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The Taiwanese Koa (Acacia confusa) is nice looking wood, but doesn't, to my eye at least, look much like Hawaiian Koa (Acacia koa). The back as well as the front are two jointed plates and they are joined well with no visible seams. The back has some sap wood in the center which I find attractive.

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The sides are a little less figured and there are strange round burn marks. Should sand out.

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Blocks, bracing pieces well machined and ready to go with a little TLC and sandpaper. The neck is well done mostly (two piece) and will respond to TLC. The problem is that the kit is advertised as having an ebony fretboard, ebony peghead veneer, and ebony bridge. However all three are obviously E.I. Rosewood. Not a problem really for me, but not as advertised.

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Building weather is horrible at the moment (monsoonal rains) so this could take a little while. Stay tuned.

saltytri
01-10-2019, 06:49 PM
The fretboard looks like Macassar ebony, which is a pretty good choice for a fretboard. The ad copy specifies Diospyros celebica, so SM seems to have gotten it right.

sequoia
01-11-2019, 07:15 AM
The fretboard looks like Macassar ebony, which is a pretty good choice for a fretboard. The ad copy specifies Diospyros celebica, so SM seems to have gotten it right.

Yes, you are right. I was thinking Diospyros crassifora (Gaboon ebony) for some reason. Yes, it is "macassar ebony" Diospyros celebica which I find rather attractive. More attractive really than the jet black of Gaboon ebony. I've never worked with macassar ebony so should be interesting. Really hard (3,200 Janka). Picture and links from the Wood Database below for those interested:

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https://www.wood-database.com/macassar-ebony/